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Old 10-30-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
William42 OP
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TAT 2009 TN to AR

Well you have to start somewhere.

People I spoke with complained that the TAT in Tennessee was mostly paved. No problem. We would be two fat old guys on beasts, i.e. DL650s. Pavement is good for us. To take care of the un-paved sections we would try to not haul as much stuff on the bikes and run TKC-80s.

My riding partner for this trip was Bruce who now lives in NC. Bruce is a street rider. He is not an inmate. Our agreement was to stop the ride if it became too difficult for him. We have done a lot of riding together and he is a smooth, competent rider. If the ride in Tennessee went well we would try the Arkansas TAT.

Because we started the ride in the third week of October we did not plan on riding 200 miles a day. Neither one of us wanted to ride in the dark. The longest day we had planned for was 150 miles.



The bikes outside the motel in Jellico, TN.



Our first half day ride on the TAT.



A pack of dogs coming to greet us.



We liked this.




First stop on a bridge.




View from the bridge.



This is not a troll. It is I.



Just a few of the deer we saw.



That ended our first day on the TAT. The day ended because I had downloaded the route incorrectly and the route stopped. So we rode back roads to where we could pick up the TAT again. I really should learn how to operate my GPS.

This is where the GPS route wanted us to go. It gets worse further in. In a fit of common sense we bypassed this road.























The first creek crossing we came to.




It doesn't look too bad.



I get off the bike to walk across and see how deep it is. About three feet into the stream my foot slips. Another step and I slip again. By this time Bruce is in the stream. His foot slips. We get out of the water to discuss this crossing. We hear a vehicle coming. It is the mail carrier in his Buick. The Buick has no trouble with crossing the creek. He asks us if we are going to cross all that slippery rock. We tell him we are considering it. He tells us that last summer he helped a couple push their bikes across because they had dumped one in the water. He says it was much warmer then. We decide to detour around this water crossing. We thank him and are on our way.

After a quick detour we come across another small creek. Riding down hill I can see the rock bottom. I slow down and ride through it with no problem. Bruce slows down ride rides through with ease. His first creek crossing.
Of course I did not take pics.

Back on the pavement.







Our first look at Mississippi gravel roads.



After some gravel roads south to the highway we rode pavement all the way to the Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel in Lula, MS.

When we get to Arkansas Bruce decides he needs an Arkansas map so we stop so he can get a free one. No, Bruce does not own a KLR.



Some of the first Arkansas gravel roads we ride are being graded. All of the oncoming pick ups we meet on the freshly graded roads pull way over to their right to let us through. Very polite of them.





Some interesting buildings along the route.





This pick up stops. The driver rides a XL650. He asks us if we are going all the way to Oregon. We talk about the TAT. He tells us that they have had some heavy rain but the roads should be passable since there has been three days of sunshine. He says that some riders on dirt bikes with a chase van quit the TAT in the last week or so because of the mud.



We motor on. We find these tracks on the route. This might be a clue as to why the riders quit. Right now it looked good for us.



Still looking good.



Not looking too good. Of course I take a pic before helping to wake up the sleeping Strom.



This pic only starts to show how muddy it was. We had a tough time getting our boots un-stuck.



Good news. No apparent damage.



End of our TAT for this year.



Now this doesn't look that bad in this pic. The distance from where the road goes under water to that little tree which appears to be in the middle of the road is about 100 yards. Bruce did not volunteer to walk the distance to confirm that estimate. The water was moving fast over the road. The weather forecast for the next day was for rain.

We headed east to find a motel.

We will attempt the TAT again next year. The ride in Tennessee was great for two old men on beasts.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
Rusty Rocket
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Live to fight another day. Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
on2wheels52
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Nothing wrong with knowing your limits. Looks like you saw some nice country.
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
wvdeuce
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Good report even it is short. I have ridden back county roads here in West Virginia a little. I do not like to see dogs. I have had some close encounters but had not been injured. People in the country do not believe in tying their dogs up and dogs love to come after bikers.
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
cypert2
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That was me in the pu truck. Glad you made it as far as you did. You were riding during this driest weather of the last month, believe it or not. You should see it now. 6 more inches of rain last night and today. Puts us over 20" of rain in October. By far the wettest October since they have been keeping records. The gravel road I talked to you on was flooded about 3 feet deep this afternoon. Well, maybe better luck next year. Take care.
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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congrats on your trip!
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
Vinnie the Snake
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Very cool guys, We were just ahead of you a week or so. Thanks for taking the time to post and share.

Had to laugh, knew exactally what you were thinking, but had to go thru anyway.


Same here, rode thru this as well. Was about a mile of water at the time. Your right as well the picture doesnt do this justice.
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Vinnie the Snake screwed with this post 10-31-2009 at 06:08 AM
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:27 AM   #8
GB
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I'd call this TAT the Sensible Way! If you try it again, take us along with another report
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:59 AM   #9
begeberg
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When ya gonna do the TAT...

On the DRZ? Rode Arkansas last year and it was awesome...
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:57 AM   #10
William42 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypert2
That was me in the pu truck. Glad you made it as far as you did. You were riding during this driest weather of the last month, believe it or not. You should see it now. 6 more inches of rain last night and today. Puts us over 20" of rain in October. By far the wettest October since they have been keeping records. The gravel road I talked to you on was flooded about 3 feet deep this afternoon. Well, maybe better luck next year. Take care.
We were glad you stopped. We enjoyed talking with you.

After reading your post I sure am glad we quit when we did.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:07 AM   #11
William42 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begeberg
On the DRZ? Rode Arkansas last year and it was awesome...
Next year. Bruce and I will ride Tennessee on the DL650s. But all the rest will be on the DR-Z.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
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Thanks for the pic's I enjoyed tat....
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