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Old 10-07-2009, 12:18 PM   #61
MotoAdventureGal
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I just got home yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by DR. Rock
at least one of you home safe. Looking forward to reading the details... keep 'em coming!

Sorry I've been slacking in my posting of pics...I've just landed back in CT yesterday. Doc, I hope to meet up with you and LDF at the Ear before I head out to So America.
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My Year of Motorcycle Vagabonding Part B (Solo to South America)
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #62
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Day 12: Sunday July 5th, 2009

It was a good thing we were indoors last night.
Huge thunderstorms with lots of lightning pounded the Conway Arkansas area all night.
My first waking thought was about the condition of the trail. Would it all be muddy and slippery? Would it be a hellish day of slipping around? I'd heard the horror stories, I'd seen the pictures...
My second waking thought was "Breakfast"!!!
And we were all good there. Tinks whipped up a great morning feast!


Yummy food and free Wi-Fi meant we got a late departure, but that was OK.
We had a kickstand up / wheels rolling by 11:30. There were brief rainstorms, but the trail was in good shape; and their was no dust!

The TAT took us through the countryside.


Past farms, and cows with BIG horns.


Across streams.


And to another Sonic for lunch.
There's something about a drive-in when you are on a motorcycle that just makes sense.


Semi-health food.


After lunch, the TAT took us past small, abandoned towns.


Scotland Arkansas's Post Office.


The large road grader the make the dirt roads so smooth and fast.
Honestly, the dirt roads in the Ozark National Forest are in better condition than a lot of the paved roads in the area.


I mean look at them.
Consistant traction for controled burn outs and power sildes.


Motoadventuregal approved!


Nice road surfaces.



Too bad my tires were pretty shot by now.


The forest views were a nice treat.


But don't get distracted, or you might go off the road like this guy did!
I tok this picture as I was passing the moving flat-bed truck going about 50MPH. (Not bad camera work for on the fly, 'eh?)


We rode all the side roads that looked like they might offer us a view.
Cell towers usually had good views of the forest around us.


Occasionally we would get a clearing.


As we entered and exited the Ozark National Forest several times.
(Of course there were some 'slightly tricky' sections, but I did not take pictures - I was too busy keeping moving.)


Bamboo was growing alonside thr roads. We don't have that in Connecticut.


We rode past old abandoned houses,


and on through the forest for mile after mile.


Climbing to higher elevations, the sky gets brighter.


Eventually we get to a ridgeline. The air is cooler and there is a breeze to keep the bugs away. (We've had our fill of hot, humid with bugs by now.)

Motoadventuregal finds a small, steep, side road that leads to a hiltop clearing.


It's called "Pilot Rock" and used to be the site of a fire tower.

Here's a panorama from the top.


The place is so nice, that even though it is still early, we decide to set up camp here and enjoy the afternoon.
It's cool and dry. There are no bugs, and there is a great view.


For me it's time for a cocktail. Rum and Coke anyone?


While enjoying the location, in the distance we hear motors. High reving motors with quick throttle controls. Getting louder. Dirt bikes perhaps.
Other TAT-ers?
Nope.
These guys come screaming up the hill towards us, and lock up the brakes when they see our little camp.


Arkansas locals in their Dune Buggies.
They turn out to be really nice folks.
Notice the cooler bungied to the front of the vehicle?


These rigs were custom, well made and fast!
(Perhaps I'll take my Dad on the TAT, in one of these next time! )


These VW motors were no joke. Probably 150 HP.


Look what they were doing to the tires!!!


After about a half hour of conversation and the mutual asking of questions about our vehicles and trips, they left in a roaring cloud of dust. We could hear them tearing down the National Forest road for quite a few minutes as they drove away.

Then it was dinner time. Tonight we had something besides Glorp. We had Chicken Chili!




And watched the sunset.


Another awesome day on the TAT.

Stats for the Day:
125 miles.
Moving average 33.7 Moving time 3:43
Stopped 1:44. Total 5:32.

Q~

Questor screwed with this post 10-08-2009 at 02:19 PM
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:21 PM   #63
MotoAdventureGal
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Day 12 MotoAdventureGal pics

Questor...you forgot the Tinks' famous COFFEE!!!! She spent 20 minutes making us the absolutely most perfect cup of coffee I've ever had in my life. And only in a TRUE ADVrider household do you find the GoJo right next to the MoJO.



The sign itself is not so significant...but what it DOES do is mark the beginning of the 'interesting' TAT, at least for me. If I ever do a "re-do" of the TAT, I'll start in Arkansas. Probably at Tinks and Scoon's since they are now a waypoint on Sam's Maps... :-)


GPS says?



I suppose this RR would not be complete without mentioning that my GPSMap 60Cx was on crack the entire TAT. Yes, I wanted to be in front at times, but Q and I could never figure out what my GPS would do next. We were navigating from the same tracks, same waypoints, yet mine would say go left when his said go right. And lest you think that it was due to "Fastest route" SHortest Distance" differences, my GPS would sometimes tell us we were heading South or West when we were facing the sun in the morning!


This was such a cool side road...and the mark of the beginning of my being the primary camping spot picker. I just had a feeling about this place, and it was so beautiful up on the ridge...there were 360 degree views



After the VW-cart-ers zoomed off across the forest we laid out our entire pantry to see what magic Q could perform from our meager rations

sorry, operator error on the camera controls


my personal chef



After dinner we took a stroll along the ridge



And witnessed a pretty fabulous sunset



no fly on the tent this night.
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My Year of Motorcycle Vagabonding Part B (Solo to South America)

MotoAdventureGal screwed with this post 10-18-2009 at 08:45 PM
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:59 PM   #64
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Hey all, Greetings from Tn. I liked the "antique car " tag on the railbuggy. We didn't have s shooting at the creek this year,guess people either can't afford the ammo or hording it for the coming end of the world. But we did have two near drownings, one atv rollover,two knife fights and various fistfights so the 4th of July wasn't a total bust. If it wasn't for the meth labs and the drug heads it would be a great place to live ! It is app 98 miles from the camp back to the house. It took a little longer than expected -I had to stop for a confab with a THP. Who would have thought a Klr 650 would do 72 in a 45 ? Lucky it was one of my buddies that pulled me. He was just setting up for a drunk driver checkpoint ,If I had came from the other way his Lt was on the other end and that would have been $$$. Brenda and the dogs say hey .
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:11 PM   #65
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Great report, thanks for taking the time to post it!! Looking forward to the rest of the story!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:30 PM   #66
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Great trip so far keep it coming!
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:30 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinfuzz
Hey all, Greetings from Tn. I liked the "antique car " tag on the railbuggy. We didn't have s shooting at the creek this year,guess people either can't afford the ammo or hording it for the coming end of the world. But we did have two near drownings, one atv rollover,two knife fights and various fistfights so the 4th of July wasn't a total bust. If it wasn't for the meth labs and the drug heads it would be a great place to live ! It is app 98 miles from the camp back to the house. It took a little longer than expected -I had to stop for a confab with a THP. Who would have thought a Klr 650 would do 72 in a 45 ? Lucky it was one of my buddies that pulled me. He was just setting up for a drunk driver checkpoint ,If I had came from the other way his Lt was on the other end and that would have been $$$. Brenda and the dogs say hey .
Hello Mr. Flyinfuzz.
Thanks for checking in.
So good to hear from you.

It's good to be a local when it comes to dealing with cops.
I'm glad your 4th of July was not a disapointment.


I've got lots more epic stories and pictures to upload to the collective.

I knew this Ride Report would take a while to post. What I did not know is how much bandwidth it's using. I had to upgrade my phptobucket account to "Pro" to deal with the 30GB a month this Ride Report is using up.

It's worth it...
Q~
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:29 AM   #68
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Day 13: Monday July 6th, 2009.

After a great nights sleep in the cool weather we woke up to overcast skies.


So we made a batch of coffee, broke down camp, and were rolling by 7:30am. Temperatures were in the low 60's but the air was dry. Perfect riding conditions for a New Englander like myself.
We rode an hour and a half to the town of Oark.
We passed some small logging operations.


But for the most part, the TAT was beautiful and peaceful.


We stopped to check out the small suspension bridge that went over a particularly blue river.


By 9:00am we found ourselves entering Oark.


Home of the famous Oark Country Store. I'd read that the food here was good, so I was hungry for a good breakfast.
We lined up the motorcycles in formation.


Pet the store's dog.


When we saw the stickers on ther door, we knew we were in "The Right Place".


The decor was homey. Not fake homey like some restauraunt chains.



And the food did not dissapoint.


The biscuits and gravy were very good.
We stayed there for almost two hours talking to an old biker guy who used to work for the Strategic Air Command. He had tons of great stories about the big bombers that he used to work on.
Best quote. "Strategic Air Command. Peace is our profession - total annihlation is our specialty."

After eating, on our way out of the store I noticed this mounted above the door.

Wow!

We gassed up.


And continued west on the TAT.




A few hours later we came to the infamous "War Loop Road".


It has been called the toughest part of the eastern TAT.
I found it to be fairly tame, but there were a few sections that would be tricky on a Big Bike. It was steep in places. Again, I did not take pictures of the tricky parts. I was too busy riding.

But we did see the pile of logs that a fellow ADVrider had cleared that spring.




We left a note for those that were following us.


Once we finished War Loop Road, we stopped for lunch.
This is what we were able to come up with.



In hindsight, I should have eaten the Dog Food...

I knew we were near the Arkansas / Oaklahoma border when I saw this.


But then again, the past week was becoming a blur.
I decided to name this area, "Tennemissiarkahoma".

Motoadventuregal had been contacted by "Vinnie the Snake" who lives near Tulsa. He had seen our TAT OCD 2009 thread in "Trip Planning" and he strongly suggested that we detour out of our way to stay with him for a day or two and get caught up on maintenance. I was unsure, for I wanted to stay on the TAT as much as possible, but when he said he had an air conditioned garage where I could work on the bikes, I agreed. We needed new tires, an oil change, and Vinnie seemed like he knew the TAT very well.

My rear tire.


Motoadventuregal's front tire.

(I'll just add this now. Meeting "Vinnie the Snake" was probably the highlight of the trip for me. A wiser, more generous person I have never met. His knowledge of motorcycles, gear, places to ride, and the TAT surpass most. And he's just such a nice guy. We were to meet up again in Colorado in two months time.)

So we rode to "Vinnie the Snakes" place in Oaklahoma.


Should we tresspass here?


We saw large 4 legged animals.



Stopped to get gas, and had to check out this tank.


and rode some 70 miles of slab to "Vinnie's".


When we rolled into "Vinnie's" place, he let us unpack, offered us cool drinks, and took us out to dinner at his favorite local Mexican restauraunt.
No Glorp tonight. Tonight we eat solid food.

And to top things off. Mr. Snake let us sleep in his air conditioned camper.

We were very fortunate...
Just an aside. See the tent drying out on the ground in that last picture?
When I picked it up to dry out the other side, several large ticks, the size of quarters fell out. We must have had them with us since Arkansas. None bit us, but they were numerous and gross. As I've said, we'd had our share of insects: Mosquitos, black flies, grasshoppers, chiggers, ticks, and more.

It was good to be back in civilization. Thanks again Vance!
Stats for the day:
262 miles.
Moving average 35.3 Moving time 7:22
Stopped 4:56 Total 12:19

Tomorrow will be a bike and personal maintenance day...
Q~

Questor screwed with this post 10-09-2009 at 05:42 AM
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:55 AM   #69
MotoAdventureGal
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Day 13 pics - MotoAdventureGal

All I can say is "God Bless the Snake".

I'm not sure why, but for some reason this was a hard day. I don't have any notes in my journal, but seeing the pictures I remembered this was the first time I turned off my headset and tuned out Questor. He was going too fast for me to go around the corners with him safely, and wasn't slowing up to let me get caught up after the corners, and I was tired of eating dust. (we had LOTS of days on the trail when we did not / could not fuel ourselves properly and got super grumpy with each other).

Those cheesy little sandwiches we had at lunch really didn't cut it, and honestly we probably both should have eaten another one each. Questor doesn't say it above, but we actually ate standing up in the grocery store because it was an iota cooler inside that outside. But then we get outside, and a fellow rider (in a cage not on a bike) starts chating us up and i'm FRYING and grumpy and just wanna get there because I know we have a long stretch of superslab ahead of us and GRRR is was just one of those days.

And Vinnie the Snake to the rescue!

But before all that, we rode some amazing roads in Arkansas--tons of fun!



Questor walked across--I only went half way (I had to pee!)






The parking attendant at the Oark General Store



More groovy slidey twistey roads...



This is where I had my temper tantrum and turned off the Cardo. I guess I figured if he was going to ride that fast and cut me off in the corners I'd let him get a few miles ahead...



I love riding on this surface



The road leading up to Warloop Road



The now famous stack o'wood



Sorry, no pics on Warloop ROad. I'd gotten really nervouse about riding it, and today was the day...and I can honestly say it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd heard...but I was riding a 350. I had to duck branches while negotiating large rocks, so I could see how I'd be more uncomfortable on a bigger bike. I could also see how it could get ugly fast in there when it was wet. We were lucky and it was dry.

A slight overshot in navigation brought us by this field...I could not believe my eyes...what in the world were all these strange beasts, from all different continents, doing hanging out chewing their respective cuds in the same pasture? Not in this pic is the water buffale to the left.



I did not take any pics when we got to Mr. Snake's. Instead, I divested myself of all my hot riding gear right beside the bike.
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My Year of Motorcycle Vagabonding Part B (Solo to South America)

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Old 10-09-2009, 07:33 AM   #70
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What kind of tires are those? I was about to razz you about not having D606's like you recommended to me. But then I remembered that you rode your bikes from CT to Tenn...so thats why they are worn out!

My D606's lasted the whole TAT ride...I had a smaller bike, 250cc and I was careful not to spin them up....
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:51 AM   #71
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Great RR keep it up!
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:04 AM   #72
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Tires...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbunceiii
What kind of tires are those? I was about to razz you about not having D606's like you recommended to me. But then I remembered that you rode your bikes from CT to Tenn...so thats why they are worn out!

My D606's lasted the whole TAT ride...I had a smaller bike, 250cc and I was careful not to spin them up....
Hello jbunceiii.
I was using a Maxxis 6006 on the rear.
It was inexpensive and lasted approximately 4000 miles on pavement.
But it was not that great a dirt tire, and clogged up quickly in mud.
It was also VERY noisy.

Motoadventuregal was running non-DOT knobbies, and they wore very quickly once we started to run higher speeds on pavement and warmer temperatures.

I'm still a fan of the Dunlop D606 and Pirelli MT-21 for smaller Dual Sport bikes.

Now that I'm riding a KTM 950 ADV, I'm looking at the D908RR and the Mefo Super Explorer, and Mefo Stone Master.
I'll mount the Stone Masters in Spring 2010 for Labrador, and let you all know how they work out.

Q~
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:40 AM   #73
LittleWan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questor
Now that I'm riding a KTM 950 ADV, I'm looking at the D908RR and the Mefo Super Explorer, and Mefo Stone Master.

Q~
Matt's favorite combo for the 950/990 is rally raid 908 in the rear, 606 in the front. Loved them on the TAT. We put a new set on in Trinidad, CO and they lasted all the way back to the bay area. just barely

I feel you on the bandwidth - we had to upgrade to Pro for our RR, too... I love your big photos - so, thanks for upgrading!

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #74
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:57 AM   #75
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I remember those "NO TRESPASSING - NO EXCUSES" signs! There were a whole bunch of them.

I also did not trespass there.

Nice report!
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