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Old 10-05-2009, 06:13 AM   #46
flyinfuzz
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Yea you don't want to get between me and tater tots or any kinda food for that matter. It was great meeting and riding with you all.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #47
MotoYaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoAdventureGal
But I'll upload when I get home. I'm still on the road...
Ride on girl...waiting for you...
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:44 AM   #48
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Day 10: Friday July 3rd, 2009

The day before, we had left the TAT a bit early because we were getting tired, and I was concerned we might not be able to find camping if we arrived at the State Park too late. So today we broke down camp,

and headed back about 40 miles via pavement to where we left the TAT.

Along the way, we stopped and had one of our many "Gas Station Breakfasts." Not the best food, but reliable and cheap. If I remember correctly, the coffee was pretty good though.


If there is one bit of advice I can give fellow Long Diatance riders it would be to eat food whenever you get the chance. Waiting for another hour, to find "better" food, usually turns into two to three hours, and you seldom find better food. All that happens is that you get hungry and grumpy.
Besides, once you lower your standards, you will find delicious food almost everywhere. I actually started to like "Gas Station Burritos" after the second week. Keep reading, you'll see what I mean.

The TAT had become mostly dirt roads by now, and with the prolonged drought, the dust was becoming a problem - especially for Motoadventuregal. But she's a tough chick, and put up with my dust for over 12,000 miles.

The fine dust roads of Mississippi.


However the consistent traction was great for riding with a bit of drifting in the corners.


We passed small old buildings...


As well as big new buildings.



The day was getting to be very hot and humid, which was okay as long as you kept moving.


Sometimes the road had small gravel mixed with light sand. My rear tire was getting pretty spent from all the miles.


But the red mud of Mississippi was always there. In fact I think there is still some worked into my riding gear. I could only imagine how slippery this stuff would get once it got rained on. Fortuantely, today, the roads were dry.


Crusing along at 50 MPH. (Note the dust...)


We were starting to see our first areas of Kudzu. It was eveywhere!!!

[More information on Kudzu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu]

I had never seen one of these before...




So we stopped.




Given my fascination with Missile Silos, and Bomb Shelters, I had to go check it out.


It was clean and well designed, but a bit small compared to what I'm used to. (But then again, I'm used to Nuclear Missile silos. )

So we rode on to lunch.


It was on these roads that we had out first encoulter with big logging trucks. They would be comming the other way, and the dust could they would kick up would totally obscure the road for about a half mile.
But we did make it to lunch, and it was BB-Q!


Yummy plate full of goodness. (Much better than Gas Station food.)
Also, because of the drought, they were charging for a cup of water, so drank for free from my Camelback. (Yes, I'm that cheap.)


After lunch, we returned to the TAT, and later came to this.


I'd read about this "Bridge Out" as well, and knew we could make our way across. It looked sketchy,

but I knew larger, heavier bikes had done it, so so could we.
After sucessfuly crossing the bridge, we left a note for those who were following the Trail behind us, namely the two crazies on KTM 950's we had been texting with, Juniorsktm.


Hours later, we came to our first Levees.




They were great. Like custom made dual sport highways - with a view!
We saw our first of many Rice fields.


Back on the roads...


Past old grain storage buildings.


And Steers on tall metal posts.




Yeup. We were getting to the agricultural part of the country.

We crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River, and entered Arkansas.


Camping for the night was to be in a National Forest outside Helena, so along the way we stopped for my evening beverage.


Until this time, I had been a beer snob. No Budweiser, Bud light, Coors, Coolrs Light, Busch, or other NASCAR beers were allowed, but like food, if one wants to survive the TAT you would be advised to lower your standards. I've been known to buy the occasional 24oz Fosters Oil Can simply because they pack well. But I never knew you can buy beer in 32oz cans.

Again we set up camp Snuggly.

However it was 95 degrees, 90% humidity, and there was no breeze. It was Hazy, Hot, and Humid, and we were sticking to eveything. But we had to retreat to the tent because of the mosquitos. It was even hotter in the tent, but we had no options. So there we lay, sweating for hours.
However, Motoadventuregal did tour around the area and did find showers at a near by boat ramp.

So as we lay in the tent around 7:00pm, we heard a familiar sound.
It sounded like a dirt bike. Possibly a KTM.
Was it another TAT rider? Was it Juniorsktm?
We got out of the tent and waited expectantly...
The sound got louder, and presently, this guy showed up.


Yeup. That's all the protective gear he rode with. Not exactly ATGATT.
He was riding this KTM, and flogging the crap out of it.


His name was Chris and he was a hyper individual. Perhaps a bit if a tweaker. He stayed and talked for the amount of time it took him to inhale one cigarette. Apparently he was riding the levees all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
His advice was to build a big fire, and keep it burning all night long beacuse the campground was frequented by, "six foot long Black Panthers!"

Then he took off with a spectacular 30 foot roost across the campground.

We did not sleep too well that night.

Stats for the Day:
205 miles.
Moving time 6:00 Moving Average 34.2
Stopped 3:39 Total 9:39

Q~

Questor screwed with this post 10-06-2009 at 04:17 PM
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:43 AM   #49
LittleWan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
In hindsight, I need to be much more relaxed. Questor can do stupid things when he gets frustrated. If you follow this report long enough you will see several example of this - like when I was riding out of the National Forest near Lake View... The road bed was there, but the road had not been completed. The grass was taller than the front wheel and I was frustrated and riding too fast. I never saw the five foot deep eight foot wide drainage ditch that had been dug across the road for the drainage pipes to be placed in... But that's another story
Uh oh. That sounds familiar...

Locked gates, gas station food, tweakers... sigh. I miss the TAT.

Great report, you guys!
I'm glad that it's going to be a long one...

this is my first time using the popcorn thingy!
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:44 AM   #50
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Glad to see

at least one of you home safe. Looking forward to reading the details... keep 'em coming!

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Old 10-06-2009, 09:22 AM   #51
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Dave told me this post was up and running. Subscribed. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

LDF
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:40 PM   #52
MotoAdventureGal
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Day 10 (July 3rd) pics [Includes Levee video]

The heat was challenging today. We were getting further and further south and the heat was picking up, but we were not far enough west yet to get dry heat, so we were both pretty humid and miserable. Both of us were pretty cranky. (of course I don't remember this now but it's what the journal says!)

I have a thing for turtles. I always stop and rescue them. Always. I think it's good karma.



We rolled through some pretty bucolic places



The red road ahead


Oh, and I finally found my journal. Questor's quote of the Day (QOTD):
"Red gravel's not that dusty." This coming from the guy out in front. Ha.

Kudzu central.



So we rolled by these things in the ground. At first we could not figure out what they were (coming from New England we don't have storm shelters, or " 'fraidy holes" as Vinnie the Snake calls them)


We had to stop and investigate. We were a couple of curious kids.




Mmmm. BBQ lunch. And a respite from the desperate heat.






I want to mention that I drank 5 FIVE liters of water this day. It was freakin' hot!

Would you buy a car from this place?



You can see who won the chicken award...I figured I'd let Q go across first and see what happened...



We just couldn't get over all the kudzu:



The levee:



Now if someone will tell me how to post a Youtube video, I have a video of riding the levee.


I love old barns, and this one was intriguing.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:45 PM   #53
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Excellent reading.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:16 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Donna Fugata
Dave told me this post was up and running. Subscribed. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

LDF
Ah the beautiful LDF has blessed us with her magnaimous presence.
I'm so glad your back from M-IV.
Home safe in NYfC.

You have adventures of your own to share. I am following them.
Nice to see you again.
Q~
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:27 PM   #55
Rusty Rocket
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoAdventureGal
Space left empty for future input.
When you do this, please tell us because I go to the next "unread" post and wouldn't know to go back looking for pics.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:12 PM   #56
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Been waiting for this. IN!


How'd that plastic spork hold up? Almost bought one the other day. (Yes, I'm a cheap bastige, too)


MAG, as RR said, be sure to update us when posts are backfilled. Most folks won't browse back from the beginning all over again.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:49 AM   #57
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Day 11: Saturday July 4th, 2009

We awoke to the sound of a barking dog at 6:30am.
Some lady would drive up here, and use the Campground as a place to walk her dog.
As soon as she opened up the door to the car, her little dog came tearing across the campground and started barking at us in the tent.
(I had half a mind to put on my riding gear and chase the dog around the campground a few times. Teach it some manners.)
So we packed up the camp, and headed back to the TAT.
The roads were wide and dusty.


But they took us through agricultural areas, and towns that had been forgotten as the highways were built and paved.
An old General Store.


Some kind of metal working shop.


The huge grain silos.


After about an hour, we stopped and asked the locals where we could get some food, and they all pointed to the gas station. Oh well, we tried.
I present to you, "The Gas Station Breakfast" in America.


Tater Babies and Okra were on special. I had the standard breakfast grease and fat sandwich.




As much as I complain, I should point out that they did have a "Beer Cave".



After breakfast, we stopped to look at some of the gigantic farm machinery that is used out here.


We returned to the back roads that make up the TAT.
They were long, flat, and consisted of a super fine dust that has the consistency of talcum power. This stuff got everywhere.


It could be only an inch or two deep. or it could be a foot deep. You could nevr tell. I think in Australia, they call it "Bull Dust".


It's easy riding, so long as you are the person in front.
But if your following, I was told the visibility dropped to a few feet.
Motoadventuregal soon figured out that riding "wingman" was the best place to be.
In this pic. I'm shooting over my shoulder as we traveled at about 40 MPH.
That dust cloud lasted for miles.


The vegitation on the sides of the road were all coated in the fine dust.


The riding was prretty easy, until the Bull Dust got wet. Like when an irrigation canal broke.


Then it became a different story...
Deep super slimy mud.


That would stick to your tires, and make everything slick.


Later, the TAT took to some pavement to cross this bridge.


and across the wide flood plain of the river.


After crossing the river. we get routed back to farm land.




And into a large wildlife preserve. No signs. No powerlines. Just Nature, and a road going through it.


The GPS leads us down this abandoned road.


Which gets more overgrown.


Until we get to this.


Maybe the "Dukes of Hazard" could jump this, but we can't so we turn around and seek an alternate route.

Back into farmland...


With deep gravel on the roads to keep things interesting.


By late afternoon we were getting tired, and needed food.
We found a town, which were few and far between.


And stopped at a Pizza Hut to get cool, take a break, and a bit to eat.
Motoadventuregal took the opportunity to clean her pin-lock double pane visor of all the fine dust.


Later when we emerged back outside the weather had changed.

Looks like a chance of rain. That's good, it will cool things down, and keep the dust under control.


So we continued on towards Conway Arkansas, to meet up with Scoon66 and Tinks, our ADV Tent Space for the night.

When we get to their house, it's bike maintenance time.
Motoadventuregal needed her brake pads replaced.


Think they were ready to be replaced?


The air filter probably need to be cleaned as well...




Yeup. I'd say so.


After the bikes had been taken care of, it was time to relax with our hosts.



They are great folks, who seem to be becomming a TAT waypoint / hostel.
Thanks again guys.

Stats for the day:
217 miles.
Moving average 32.9 Moving time 6:37
Stopped 4:28 Total 11:05

Q~

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #58
MotoAdventureGal
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Day 11 July 4th MotoAdventureGal pics

It always felt so good to get on the bikes and start the day's ride.



We'd been so lucky with the weather (in our opinions). Your choices are rainy and wet (lots of mud and no dust) or dry and hot (lots of dust). Even though I was riding behind Questor, I'd take hot & dry over wet & muddy.

So for the most part the roads were really great for us. So it was kinda fun when we came upon stuff like this.

Lights, camera, action, and SMILES!









Back to moving fast (I had to pull ahead of Q to take pics!)



Lesser roads



Where's all this mud come from? I'm used to hot & dry?!?!?



Again, we were really lucky...So it was with gleee that we tooko these pics (I've read RRs in which it's nuthin' but mud and it doesn't look fun!)

Questor's front tire:



My front tire:



Top questions of the TAT:

1. Where are you from? (Connecticut)
2. Where are you going? (All the way to Oregon)
"Gosh that's a long way".
3. On THOSE little bikes (Yeup!)
4. How can you take the time to do this? (We quit our jobs)
"Really?"
-and that'd keep up tied up for at least a half hour EVERY SINGLE TIME we stopped.



At some point we started booing in the Scalas every time we'd have to run on asphault. But generally we like bridges. Especially ones that cross deep rivers.



Back to farmland & nice grassy tracks (grass=less dust for MAG!)



Hm...this doesn't look too well traveled. But the GPS is omnipetent...



Are you s-u-r-e? I'm going to take a pee break while you consult the GPS (no peeking!)



Really? re you really Sure?
Whoops, maybe not!


Thanks, Garmin, for thos up-to-date maps!!!

Phew. Out of the woods and onto the road again.

<>

A HUGE thank you to Tinks and Scoon66 for their hospitality. Your kids are amazing! And such great hostesses, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor


We continued on towards Conway Arkansas, to meet up with Scoon66 and Tinks, our ADV Tent Space for the night.

When we get to their house, it's bike maintenance time.
Motoadventuregal needed her brake pads replaced.


Think they were ready to be replaced?


The air filter probably need to be cleaned as well...


After the bikes had been taken care of, it was time to relax with our hosts.



They are great folks, who seem to be becomming a TAT waypoint / hostel.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:10 AM   #59
markbvt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
Wow, that's way worse than Trans-Lab dust.

--mark
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:53 AM   #60
bigdon
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Enjoying the report. Just did Ms. and Ar. on the TAT last week.
We had a blast.
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