|08-28-2014, 02:43 PM||#1|
Life is an Adverture
Joined: Aug 2014
Day 1, July 12th Jacksonville NC Odom: -0-
It's 12:30 a.m., Ken arrived. It was only 9:30 p.m. on his schedule so he really wasn’t tired…. We’d been asleep as it was 12:30 a.m. for us! J We got up later that morning and waited for Lyon to arrive. He got in around 1:30 in the afternoon. We got on the bikes and rode to Topsail Beach, NC. It was a beach access area and was full of people playing in the sand. We were able to park the bikes so that you could see the ocean in the background. We then walked out and stood in the surf. I was surprised as to how warm the water was! After the pictures were all taken, we rode back to the motel in Jacksonville walked to Walmart for groceries and last minute stuff. Zeroed the odometer at the beach!
Day 2 Jacksonville, NC Odom: 52
Breakfast about 7 am. Woke the boys at 7:45. We all loaded the bikes and got out about 9:30. Stopped for lunch in Mt. Olive, NC, fueled the bikes and continues. (approx. 66 mpg) Stopped for the evening at Badin Lake CG. Really nice spot with showers and good drinking water. Beautiful sunset. Shazammm, it was humid! Don’t think any of us slept inside our bags that night…. Odom: 272
Day 3, Badin Lake, NC to Erwin Kentucky Odom: 272
Toasted blueberry bagel w/peanut butter and hot coffee….YUM!! Got out about 8 a.m. Got to admit, it was fun watching Lyon packing his stuff for the first time after a camp night. Hah! Beautiful morning, sunny & clear. Saw a small deer and a beautiful red bird! Actually rode about 40 miles of dirt roads today…. Sweet! Late in the day we asked a guy about a campground in the area and he gave us directions to one in Kentucky, about 20 miles away. When we got there the CG host said a “severe” thunder, lightning and rain storm was due in that night and suggested we ride down to Erwin and get a motel. We followed his advice, checked into the Super 8, walked to McD’s for a salad and came back. About 30 minutes later it unloaded!! The whole package! J Great timing!! Odom: 518
Day 4 Erwin, KY to Huntsville TN Odom: 518
Humid, overcast, foggy & MUGGY!! You could see the big clouds and the further we rode, the more we realized that we were going to get wet, we just didn’t know when. As it turned out, we entered the Cumberland Tunnel, dry on entry and downpour on exit!!! We rode a few miles and pulled into a covered gas station. We fueled and killed a little time until the downpour slowed a little. Lots of fun, small and narrow paved roads!! Beautiful homes with very large 3-15 acre yards all beautifully landscaped!! From the large bring homes to the small single wide mobil homes, they were all nicely landscaped and mowed and looked wonderful.
Had our first hiccup in the route. It lead us to a private home so we backtracked and Bob found a way around it. Found a really cool campground in Huntsville TN. It’s a motocross/trail riding camp, Brimstone ATV. The showers were wonderful and we had the campground to ourselves. Loved the lightening bugs!! Odom: 752
|08-28-2014, 02:56 PM||#2|
Life is an Adverture
Joined: Aug 2014
Day 5, July 16th Huntsville TN to Rock Island, TN Odom: 752
Once again, we’re out about 8 a.m. Today it’s a bit foggy but you can see blue starting to burn through. Road lots of dirt and gravel roads today. More gorgeous, one-lane, paved roads with manicured lawns right to the road…. No center or white lines! Had lunch at Ozone Falls. Stopped and made some calls at a bike shop in Sparta TN. Melanie at the bike shop gave us directions to a camp ground and a nice restaurant with good “local beers”. Stayed at the Rock Island State CG and had dinner at the Foglight Roadhouse. Both really nice. Showers and a nice dinner, you just can’t beat it. Today, along with the beautiful blacktop, dirt and gravel roads, we had a couple of ‘teaser’ routes that turned us down some really narrow, rutted, overgrown and muddy roads. One water/mud was about 2’ deep! We all made it through but when Bob rode through first, he was so excited to get off his bike and take pictures of us going through it that he jumped off his bike and promptly dropped it!! He left it on its side until we all got though then we helped to pick it up. Silly boy! Still loving the lightening bugs!!! Odom: 939
Day 6 Rock Island, TN to Lynchburg, TN
Another beautiful morning! Picked up a sticker for the bike. Stopped right out of the camp and took pictures of the Great Falls @ Rock Island. Very nice. Several deer today. We haven’t had cell service for over a day now. Ken is still looking to get some tires for his bike! We finally got service around 10 a.m. and then was told he had to have a physical address to ship them to so we made a beeline to Lynchburg, TN. Got into town about 1 p.m. Ken located Lynchburg Choppers. Curt, the owner, allowed him to purchase his own tires and have them shipped, overnight, to the shop. They would install the new tires on Friday after they arrived. Had lunch at the Rumrunner Restaurant, 5 generations of rum runners with the owner being the 5th generation. Very nice folks. Rode about 15 miles back to the state CG. Nice park but the bathroom/showers left little to be desired. The water was hot but that was about it…. Glad we had flip flops! Ken & I played frisbee and we visited with the family across the road. Since we had such a late lunch, we grazed on jerky, crackers and wine for dinner. Odom: 1082
July 18th Day 7 Lynchburg, TN Odom: 1082
Sometime around 2:30 a.m. it started to rain! This was not in the plan!! It wasn’t supposed to rain till later this afternoon…… J We finally got out and loaded up. Our tent was dry inside as were our bags so that was good. Bad thing is that the tent cover was wet, towels and some clothes were wet. Kens tent got wet along with his bag. We rolled into town about 9:30 and met Curt from the bike shop in the parking lot. He said he would make some calls to see if he could locate some lodging for us for tonight. Wow, how nice! We then walked over to the local restaurant that was recommended to us for breakfast. While we were sitting there, Ron, Curt’s friend, stopped by our table and said he heard we were looking for a place to stay. He told us about a house for rent just up the street. Curt called Ron who called his wife, who called around and found a place it was kinda spendy but we finally decided it would be worth it to be able to get everything opened up and dried out before we hit the road again. The owner, Hank, was really nice and allowed us to use the washer & dryer too. We are at the “Mulberry Manor” and it was a good call as it rained all day! We unloaded the bikes and then walked to the Jack Daniels Distillery for the ‘tasting tour’. It was fun and very interesting. We got to sample 3 different blends. Pretty cool! After the tour Ken went to the bike shop and got his tires put on. They were also able to find the correct carburetor jets for his bike so him mileage should improve. Lyon, Bob & I headed to town. Had desert for lunch then hit the tourist town and browsed the shops. We all got showers and washed our clothes. Now it’s just time to catch up on this log. J Dinner at the “Barrel BBQ”. Oh yeah, it’s still raining! Odom: 1097
Day 8, July 19th Lynchburg, TN to Corps of Eng. Park near Sardis, MS Odom: 1097
Yes, it’s still raining. Ken forgot his boots inside the bike shop so now we are waiting for it to open at 10 a.m. We finally get on the road. We were clean & dry and started out with our rain gear on. Stopped for lunch at an abandoned farm house. The sun came out and it was really hot and muggy. We rode for 100 + miles before we came across a flooded roadway. Bob rode out and all of a sudden was down in the water! It wasn’t real deep but it was very fast moving. I rushed out to help him pick it up but all of a sudden, I was being carried/pushed downstream towards the roadways drop off. A good Samaritan drove up on the other side of the water and got out of his car and rushed in to help. He was on the side that the water wasn’t running quite as fast. Anyway, they got the bike picked up and pushed across the water. As it turned out, there is ALWAYS water running across the road and the concrete is green with slime!! Jeezzz, you couldn’t stand up, I was standing up and it was pushing me downstream! I couldn’t move! Another guy in a dually truck came along and gave Bob a ride back across to his bike. (he’d made it across to where the rest of us were) We found another way around and met Bob on the other side. Nobody hurt but the good Samaritan did fall down too!! He said he’d driven over the water in a car last year and was washed downstream into a tree!! He turned his car around and went around too. We laughed about it and continued on. Now we’re on red dirt roads. We came across a creek crossing and everyone made it across but me!! I went down this time!!! DANG!!! The next one we all made it but then came another one and Bob went down again!! Pits!! No one hurt but by this time we’re all moving around with boots that are full of water and we have some wet gear…. The thing is that we’re soaked but still hot!! It’s like riding in your own private sauna! Decided to get a motel again to dry out as Bob’s sleeping bag got damp ( hah… damp….go figure!). When we pulled into the motel lot a young family pulled up and the husband asked if we were riding the TAT!! Wow, someone actually knew what we were doing! He as a young father/husband who just got out of the Marines. He had started the route in Jacksonville but crashed and did not continue. He also said that he’d ridden the route that we’ll be on tomorrow (Savanah to the Mississippi line) He said it was mostly pavement. We decided several days ago that the pavement we’ve been riding was OK. It was narrow, twisty and you really felt like you were out in the boonies!
We’ve now had showers, dinner at the local Kroger’s (Bob really knows how to impress a lady) and the wet gear is in the motel’s laundry machine. We are getting the hang of the creek crossing though…. they are solid rock with slime. Don’t give it any gas and go very steady! We’ll see how tomorrow goes
|08-28-2014, 04:05 PM||#3|
Life is an Adverture
Joined: Aug 2014
Correction to Day 8: Lynchburg TN to Savanah TN
Day 9, July 20th, Savanah, TN to Corps of Eng. CG near Sardis MS Odom: 1302
Greetings. Well, today it started out raining…. BUT!! We were clean & dry and started out with our rain gear on. We started with dry gear once again. Well, mostly dry….our boots were still wet from all the previous creek crossings. It was a beautiful day. Pretty country. During a lunch stop a BLM ranger pulled over to check us out. He asked what we were doing, where we were going…etc. When we explained the route he checked it out and informed us that a bridge was out and the road was closed up ahead. He showed a way around then asked us if our bikes were street legal?? It would have been nice to have informed him that we have vehicle laws in Oregon too but noticed that he was packing 2 guns on his hips so we just smiled and said yes…. Shazammmm, he probably thought that since we were from the ‘wild west’, out in Oregon, we probably didn’t have any rules where we came from…..
We all agree that Tennessee is the most beautiful state. At one point, Bob stopped and told me my front tire was in MS & my back tire was in TN. It will be a slim night…. we found a Corp. of Eng. camp ground about 12 miles from Sardis, MS. Just above the Sardis reservoir. It’s free but there is no water. It’s hot and muggy and we have to eat our own cooking!! As luck would have it, a nice family had been fishing at Sardis Lake (without luck) and was BBQ’ing some chicken. We must have looked pretty bad ‘cause they brought over some chicken and baked beans for us for dinner!! Wow, how nice. Odom: 1506
July 21st, Day 10, Sardis, MS Corp of Eng. CG to Beebe, AR Odom: 1506
Everything was covered with dew. Once again, we’re wet! There’s nothing like rolling up a wet tent!
We did have a few dicey sections with ruts and red mud but no mishaps! We all kept the rubber side down.
It’s funny, I didn’t take many pictures today…. just rubbernecked a lot. Actually, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures…. We’d still be in North Carolina if I stopped every time I saw something great! It turned out to be a long day, over 200 miles so we’re back in a nice motel. Actually jumped into the pool tonight …. ahhhh. Odom: 1730
Day, 11, Beebe Mississippi to Murfreesboro, AR Odom: 1730
Stopped by a WalMart for clean socks. My old ones were pretty skanky after being wet for so long. With the heat & humidity, I am beginning to wonder if we’ll every dry out!
Today was a sunny start and finish. Mostly dirt and gravel roads. We actually turned away at one point. Water was running over the two track road that ran in farm land. It would have been hard to say where the actual track was and how much mud had been washed in. As it turned out, a road grader came by as were we talking ourselves out of trying it, we watched him go through and definitely decided it wouldn’t be a good idea. Just too deep. Also, you could see there was more to come around a corner. We backtracked to a different dirt road and got back on track…. ahhhhhh ….. still dry!! We’ve seen fields of rice, corn, mullet, cotton and soy. Mississippi has lots of loose gravel roads. We crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas. They too, have very long, loose, gravel roads. On one long stretch we rode by a sign that advertised a “rest stop” for TAT riders!! We pulled in to ‘TAT STOP’ in Trenton, Arkansas. Once we arrived a phone call was made and the boys came out of the fields to meet us and take pictures. Percy Kale, Glenn Kale & Al Faust all sat and visited with us. They are keeping a book of pictures of all the riders that come by their place PLUS they had nice, cold, water for us! Nice guys!!
The trip to Murfreesboro is a detour off the TAT. We turned south at Damascus. Bob had researched and downloaded a dirt route for us to follow. Turned out it was really off the beaten path!! What fun. To cap it off, we arrived on the wrong side of a locked gate!! (nothing really new for Bob & I) We had small downed trees to go over and a locked gate to get out of! Tons of fun! We pulled into around 5 p.m. Naturally, the Crater of Diamonds State Park was full so we found another campground on the other side of town. Neat open-air shower and quiet park. Perfect! Once we got showers the humidity seemed easier to handle. It was an on-top-of-the-bag night. Just before we crawled into the bag we noticed something crawling out of a hole in the ground in front of the tent…. It was a small crawdad!!! Odom: 1983
Day 12 Murfreesboro, Arkansas Odom: 1983
Headed out to the mine. I’ve got pics, it’s a huge, plowed, field and people all over digging. We all walked around and looked but the boys gave up within the hour. I slogged it out for about 3 or 4 hours before I decided I’d had enough sun!! We headed back into town and stopped by a Baskin & Robbins! Yum!!
Bob fixed a hole in my overflow tank and I decided to go back out to the mine before dinner. The clouds had moved in and there was thunder and lightening in the distance. It looked like it would miss us…… About the time I got to the mine and way out in the south 40, the skies opened up, the wind howled and the rain came down in buckets!! The main office got on the loud speakers and ordered everyone in…. NO KIDDING!!! It was bad!! I really couldn’t have left to go back to camp if I’d wanted to. I knew Bob and Lyon would be having a bad time with the tents but tree limbs were coming down and the wind and rain was vicious. It seemed to get a little better so I got on the bike and went back to came only to find Bob and Lyon just as I thought…. both standing in the storm, holding on to the tents. We all laughed and finally just started to bag it all up and head to town. Everything was/is so wet! I think the story we will tell by the time we get home is that we were standing in 2’ of water with 90mph winds howling around us!! What an adventure!! At least it’s not cold.
We are now tucked into a motel and will stop by the Laundromat in the morning. There is no way we can open the tent and bags up in our room to dry. Nothing dries around here, it’s too humid! Oh yeah, no diamonds!
|08-30-2014, 11:19 PM||#5|
Life is an Adverture
Joined: Aug 2014
Day 13 Murfreesboro AR to Ozark AR Odom: 1995
Bob, Lyon and I hit the laundry this morning to finish drying all our gear from yesterday’s downpour. OK, this morning is where I lay claim to “honey, I shrunk the tent” Bummmer, I’d put the tent in the local laundry dryer on low…. Everything was drying fine. I pulled it out to check it only to fine it not quite dry. I put it back in the wrong dryer and did not check the temp……. As it turns out, it was on high…. It was SMOKING when I pulled it out. It turned into a 4x4 tent at best. I just hate it when that happens! That done, we headed north and got back on the TAT today. Bob had programed in several dirt roads but the ones he found were really bad!! We crossed several small creeks and ran through several long mud ruts…. with MUCH better success today. No problems. Ken walked across one long water crossing and proclaimed it passable. We let him go first! Hah!! We did finally come to one river crossing that we all said no too. Smart move humans today! Luckily, was is a Walmart here so we’re now in a new tent! Nice campground, clean facilities. Odom: 2202
Day 14, Ozark AR , Corps of Eng. Park to Lake Wedington CG, Lincoln AR Odom: 2202
We finally got out of town about 10:15 as Ken decided to do his laundry. At 12:00 we pulled back into Ozark, 71 miles later!! We started on the hard route only to be stopped at a river crossing. The news last night said that they were currently 6+ inches OVER their average rainfall and it is really showing on the dirt (mud) roads! Anyway, we backtracked till we could get to the easy course. Several miles into that we had to turn back as there was a relatively new sign up on the dirt road saying that it was closed, 24 miles, ahead! Dang!!! So….. like I said, 71 miles in a couple of hours and we didn’t get anywhere! Bwah ha ha
The route is mostly dirt now. Actually, ever since we left Tennessee, the route has been either dirt or gravel. PERFECT. Oh yeah, we still have fireflies!! Sweet!! Everyone we’ve met has been really nice and helpful. Some seem to watch for the TAT riders but most have never heard of the route. Odom: 2388
Day 15, Lincoln, Arkansas to Copan, OK Odom: 2388
This morning started out clean and dry, it was still muggy but there was a breeze blowing. The rest of the day we rode dirt and gravel roads. Bounced from AR to OK to KS to OK to KS then back to OK today! The tall prairie grass that you read about in western novels is beautiful. Low rolling hills, tall grasses and long dirt road made for a fine day.We stopped at a private campground for a break and found the most rafts we’d ever seen at one time! As many as were in the picture, there were that many again on trailers coming in! Lots of people too! We’ve got a couple of shots of the long dirt roads we road. On one of these long roads, Bob picked up a rusty nail. It looks s though it’s been waiting for a TAT rider since the early 1900’s !! While we were fixing the flat another TAT rider came through. His name was Brennan and he was from Mass. He was riding solo and has already had a flat, dropped his bike in a creek crossing and crashed….. he was a happy rider! Made it to Copan Lake CG. It’s nice to have showers at most of the parks after our long days in the dirt. We’d go from dust to mud and back to dust and back to mud….repeat! J All day!! Odom: 2577
Day 16, Copan Oklahoma, Copan Lake CG to Freedom OK, Alabaster Caverns CG Odom: 2577
Hot, muggy, overcast. Lots of dirt roads, long day, hot night…..
There is a lot…. LOT of long dirt roads. !
I discovered that a grasshopper, inside your helmet shield, looks like Godzilla!!!! I pulled my visor down today and just about jumped off the bike…. A bug that close you your eye is HUGE!!!! I’m glad I wasn’t in some technical section, it would have been a hard choice whether to stay on the bike or get rid of the Godzilla inside the helmet!!
Northern Oklahoma is made up of 1 mile grids going both north and south. As we loaded all the ‘hard’ routes to our GPS, each turn took us progressively to a road in worse condition than the one before it. There were some really muddy & slick areas! We pulled in to Alva, OK, around 3:30 and decided to hit Walmart for some supplies and go a little further to the Alabaster Caverns near Freedom for the night. It was a 37 mile jaunt by highway but we stayed on the TAT and covered 82 miles before we made it to the campground. We are the only ones here so it’s nice and quiet!
The rest of the day went fine although we saw a temp. sign that said 102 degrees!! Plus it’s still muggy….and my boots are still wet! Whaaaaaa Bwah ha hah! Odom: 2856
Day 17, Freedom, OK to Liberal, KS Odom: 2856
We ran into Brendan Wiley again today. He’d dropped his bike in a slimy creek crossing but was upright and making repairs when we rode up. We visited for a while again and agreed to meet that night in Liberal Kansas for either dinner or breakfast the next morning.
It was a beautiful ride, the land has gotten very flat and once in a while you’ll see piles of debris that must have been homes at one time…..before tornado reduced it to the piles we saw. It was very humbling! I’m very glad we did not see a tornado!! Unlike Oregon, you could turn 360 degrees and see nothing but horizon and lots of sky!! It was beautiful but I was missing the mountains! We did get caught in a downpour that turned the section of nice dirt road to ugly black grease for a while. We had to ride a couple of miles in it before we could get to some pavement. Since no one dropped their bikes it was fun!! A little tense, but fun! We are going to start looking for a place to ship tires as Bob’s, Lyon’s and mine are wearing out. Odom: 3066
Day 18, Liberal, Kansas to Elkhart Kansas Odom: 3066
Breakfast with Brendan then we were all off. We started in Kansas, dropped back into Oklahoma then back to Kansas for lodging & fuel. There just aren’t any campgrounds in northern panhandle of Oklahoma. More long, straight roads. We kept veering north and south but continued our westerly direction. More mud & dirt…J Odom: 3190
Day 19, Elkhart Kansas to Trinidad, Colorado. Odom: 3190
We mostly rode in the entire length of Oklahoma, just south of the Kansas border. There were hundreds of miles of straight dirt and muddy roads! There were several places today and yesterday where there was standing water and it was like grease!!! To date, all 4 of us has dropped their bikes. Ken finally joined the ‘club’ today. It was amazing, when we entered into New Mexico, the scenery changed almost immediately. We saw the Rockies in the distance and started to have elevation changes. The route went through some really beautiful country with old stone cabins (ruins) and rock outcroppings. New Mexico was a short lived ride as we soon entered Colorado near Branson. Most of the time the only way we knew we were entering a different state was when Bob would stop and tell us as he was always able to see it on his GPS. Lyon hasn’t crashed yet but did catch his pant leg on the foot peg and went down….ya gotta hate that! Hah, if it doesn't stop raining he may find a mud hole he has to get down close and personal with! We’ll see. We’ve camped in some really pretty campgrounds but with this rain, and the storm we chased into Trinidad, we’re back to the Super 8. Discovered that both the bike shops in Trinidad had closed and the closest one was in Raton, NM, about 25 miles south.
We ordered the tires and will have them shipped there. Odom: 3305
Day 20, Trinidad Colorado Odom: 3305
Still in town….. Rode into town and walked all over. Had a really nice lunch at a local Italian restaurant. Very good food! Stopped by the post office and picked up a flat rate box to ship visors, clothes, GPS mount, etc. home. Fred sent a U-Tube clip of a bike going up and over Hancock & Tomichi Passes. Don’t want any more weight on the bike than necessary!! Picked up a couple decks of cards and roped Lyon & Ken into a game. Ate left-over chinese food for dinner and retired early.
|08-30-2014, 11:20 PM||#6|
Life is an Adverture
Joined: Aug 2014
Day 21, Trinidad Colorado to Raton New Mexico
Walked around the area, picked up a couple new bungees, washed my sleeping bag then packed up. The office staff took care of my box of stuff to ship home…. Really nice!! Pulled out around 10:30 and headed to Raton, NM. We found the Honda shop and talked to them. Had some lunch then checked into the motel. Found a nice NM t-shirt & hat then had ice-cream with Lyon at Dairy Queen. Will head out to the bike shop tomorrow around 10 a.m. to get started. The tires are due around 11. It’s hard just hanging around waiting…… REALLY hope the tires show up tomorrow!!
Day 22st, Raton New Mexico and back to Trinidad
Hung around R&D Honda in Raton all day….the tires came in around 12 o’clock. We got them mounted and Bob put on the different front sprockets on our bikes, this was to help with the high elevation routes the next few days. It had been cloudy all day and finally started to rain just as we were getting things ready to go. I put on all my rain gear, including the boot gaters, BRILIANT!! Just as we crossed Raton Pass, back into Colorado it started to pour!! We were on a major highway and got pelted with not only the rain, but the car spray too!! I was the only one that arrived back at the motel dry! Just as we pulled into the motel lot, a group of TAT riders pulled in. They were a group of 7 guys from New Zealand. We hung out in the lobby that evening and visited. They had transported, via ship, all their bikes and gear to Savanah Georgia and started at the coast there. Odom: 3355
Day 23, Trinidad CO to a dry camp out of Salida Odom: 3355
The Kiwi’s took off about a ½ hour ahead of us. They’d stop for a break and we’d ride up. They’d leave and this would repeat all day until late in the afternoon, one of them had a flat front tire. 3 of them were fixing that and the rest stopped about 10 miles up the road. They took pictures of us as we rode by. They would be staying in Salida for one or two nights, riding scenic loops in the area. I don’t believe they are going to ride the Hancock & Tomichi Passes. We checked several places in Salida for a campground but ended up in a dry camp about 25 miles from town, back on the TAT. 280 miles today. We are tired and grumpy. The dry camp turned out to be a great place to stay. Great attitude adjustment! Elevation: 8460’ Odom: 3635
Day 24, Dry camp out of Salida, CO to the boonies! Odom: 3635
We did get a little rain last night but when it cleared, it was a beautiful night. The stars were wonderful!! Breakfast and back on the trail. Today we climbed Hancock and Tomichi Passes. WOW!!! It was much tougher than the video showed!!!! Like riding a steep, rocky, creek. More water than normal too with all the rains they’d had. Hancock was the toughest, 12,140’ elevation!! The bikes handled and ran great…even though they’d lost all their ‘snap’ they had plenty of torque to take us up and over. With all the weight on the back, they had loads (pun intended) of traction! There was a group of Razors and quads on the top from Missouri, They were pretty amazed to see up come up! Next was Tomichi Pass. It wasn’t as bad but it was still 11,907’. Not as rocky of a climb. We timed it just right, the clouds had cleared and the views were spectacular. We stopped for the night on the “Historic Stage Route, Saguache San Juan Toll Road, constructed in 1874, up in the Gunnison National Forest. Beautiful!! Trees, sage brush, meadows. It’s a gated road through wilderness and it was some of the most fun riding. Nice two track, tree roots, water, grass….. very primitive. We’ve set up another dry camp and it’s a beautiful location! No one around. We’ve been watching some rather dark clouds roll by but so far we’re dry. Elevation: 10,000’ Might be a bit chilly in the morning! Odom: 3732
Day 25, Saguache San Juan Toll Road to CG near Dolores CO Odom:3732
Well, a bit chilly was correct but once the sun came out it was really nice, cool, but nice. The clouds missed us so we are all dry. Headed out about 8 a.m. Road lots of dirt and gravel and arrived in Sargent’s CO for lunch. It was cool to be there again as it was the same place the group of us stayed at while on the ‘Divide Ride’. Last time we pulled in here, it was spitting snow and we holed up in the bunk houses. This time it was going to rain so we all put on our rain gear and headed out. Shortly after we left it started to rain. We turned onto the dirt/mud and headed up and over Ophir Pass, wow…. Really beautiful! Miles and miles of muddy roads!! Ken went down again today but no injuries thank goodness! Looked for a motel but when we tried to find the Shilo in Dolores, we found that it had been closed for a long time. Went back up the route and pulled into a nice campground. We’d hoped to get a shower tonight but were happy to have a river and water available. Even the pit toilets were a nice change from the bushes!! I stopped and talked to a family that had a campfire going. They saw us pull in and asked where we were headed. When I told them of our trip they asked all kind of questions. I’d asked them if there was a store around that we could pick up a cold beer… they said it was about 15 miles away. We laughed and decided we didn’t need one that bad anyway. Later, one couple showed up in our camp with a cold beer for each of us. Robert & Marie lived close by and were camping there with family. We all sat and talked for an hour…. REALLY nice!!! Later, Bob and I walked back to their camp and visited some more. We were treated to s’moors too! Wahoooo Looks like I’ve turned into quite a beggar!!! It’s fun, we’ve always done that for other people but never realized how nice it was for the receiving end till this trip! Nice evening, the moon is even out! Odom: 3851
Day 26, Tuesday, August 5th Dolores River CG to Moab UT Odom: 3851
WOW, what a storm last night!! The thunder and lightning was incredible!!! It sounded like the sky was splitting in two, then it rained!! By morning the rain had stopped and we packed up. Bob and I were dry…. Cheap Walmart tent and a tarp over the top, nice to be dry! Stopped in Dove Creek for fuel, water and some groceries. Very sunny and we were tempted to remove our rain gear but the clouds still looked like they would unload any minute. Pulled into Utah today. Lots of scrawny, 2-track, dirt roads…. Very nice! It’s warming up! Picked up a couple of motorcycle tracks. Followed them all the way to Moab. Finally got hot! Pulled into Blanche & Larry’s about 3:30. Ahhhhh, showers and clean clothes. Blanche fixed a wonderful salmon dinner then we went out for frozen yogurt. We all collapsed into bed and got a great nights sleep.
Day 27, Moab UT, Blanche & Larry’s house Odom: 4078
What a nice stay! Larry & Blanche took Bob, Lyon and myself out to view several ‘Arches’ in the area. Ken ordered tires for his bike. We ordered pizza for dinner and had a great day.
Day 28, Moab UT
Ken’s tires arrived today and he got them mounted. Bob & Larry drove the truck to the bike shop to watch. Blanche took Lyon and myself and toured Moab. We picked up groceries for dinner and the next few days on the bikes. Nice BBQ dinner w/ burgers, potatoes & salad. Will load up tomorrow and head out after breakfast. What great hosts Larry & Blanche were!!
Day 29, Moab UT (Larry & Blanche Schwarch’s house) to Ferren, UT Odom: 4078
Got out around 9 a.m. Fueled the bikes and hit the dirt road towards Gemini bridges. It was a rocky, dirty road. Just what we were looking for. Lunch in Green River at ‘Rays’ as per Larry’s instructions. It was a good burger! We then had about 120 miles of dirt!! Lots of small, two-track roads with rock, sand, slick rock, steep climbs and beautiful scenery! It was about 180 mile day! The San Rafael Swell was beautiful and challenging. Black Dragon Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Devil’s Canyon and Cat Canyon was really awesome!! Really tough on these bikes with all the gear. It will be fun to come back with dirt bikes and ride this area!! Just before Emory, we got into a huge wind/rain storm. Mostly wind but it felt like it would blow us off the road! We were all leaned over, riding down the road! Saw a sign for a motel and turned off. Turned out they were booked so we had dinner, fueled the bikes and headed out of town for a campground. It’s a nice place and we got the last site available! The wind really picked up again so we’ve crawled into our tent and I’m finishing this while the tent is shaking!! J I’m just hoping it doesn’t rain!!1 Odom: 4275
Day 30, Millsite Campground, Ferren, UT to Richfield, UT Odom: 4275
What a windy night! No rain but I was glad we staked the tent down…. I think it would have taken off with us in it! We pulled out around 8:15. Headed back to Emery then picked up the TAT. We climbed up the side of a rock mountain… lots of switchbacks, rocks and dirt. Really pretty though. Shortly after that, we pulled off on a “trail alliance” route. Wow, rock hill climbs and narrow two track. Really challenging and beautiful!! Ken finally had enough and said he was going to go back to the main dirt road, hit Hwy 70, and meet us in Richfield as he had brake pads ordered and wanted to get there before the shop closed. Lyon, Bob and I continued on and actually met Ken on the gravel road. We split again when the TAT went west and he went east to the hwy. Lyon, Ken and myself all dropped the bikes today…. Lyon and I both dropped them when we tried to stop too quick and just couldn’t touch the ground and hold on to it!! J 142 miles of really great trail riding is what it felt like. We met up with Ken in Richfield at the KOA. Kind of a spendy campground but it has nice clean showers and is right on the TAT. We had problems with my bike today, the battery does not want to hold a charge!! Checked all the parts stores in town with no luck so I’ll make sure to park on hills for now! Odom: 4399
Day 31, Richfield UT, KOA Campground to the boonies, NV Odom: 4399
Shazammm, I had to be towed to get the bike started! My battery just won’t hold a charge. Headed out about 8 a.m. again….seems like a pretty easy time in the morning for the four of us to get it together. It was a sunny, warm morning that turned hot right away. We had about 3/10th’s of a mile on asphalt then we hit the dirt. Another beautiful ride over, around and through some really beautiful country. I was expecting Nevada to be boring, straight, gravel roads but it’s been some of the most fun riding! It got hot for most of the day. Met a couple of riders on the route that asked if we were riding the TAT. They’d ridden it west from Colorado to Oregon. We seem to always be heading for a storm! For a time we were hot, then cold and wet in a storm then hot again! Rode into Baker, NV late this afternoon. Got a soda and candy bar then decided to head up to a campground just north of town. We landed and are watching another storm work it’s way towards us…. We’ll see if we stay dry. We are at 7500’ so it should be a comfortable nights sleep. Great Basin National Park, Nevada! Odom: 4571
Day 32, Great Basin National Park, NV Eureka, NV Odom 4571
Again, mostly dirt two-tracks today. In fact, one was more of the ‘imagination’ type of route…. You had to use your imagination to find it!!! It is beginning to be a memory route. Too many more gully washers and it may just disappear altogether! It was great! You have to be careful as the sage brush is so big that it wants to snag the saddle bags and pull you down. Bob got popped into a huge rut today. Luckily he stopped and we all lifted the bike out. Any further and the rut was too deep and too narrow to accommodate the bike w/gear! Another great day in Nevada! The weather was really getting bad. Black clouds and rain. We finally got rooms in Eureka but had to beg for the last one…. It was literally the last room left in town!!
At the motel, I was turning my bike around when the kill button was pushed by my tank bag….DANG!!! Dropped it right there in front of the motel lobby door…. Jeezzzzz, I hate to be the entertainmnet!!! Then to top it off, I had to be towed to start it. $%&$%^# Odom: 4798
Day 33, Eureka Nevada to Hot Springs out of Paradise Valley NV Odom: 4798
Still fighting my bad battery. Hopefully when we get to McDermitt or ??? we’ll find a new one. I have to be very careful not to start it too many times without running it a while to charge it. Had to be towed to start… pain in the rear!
We started off on the dirt right out of Eureka, NV. Like one block and we were on dirt! We made this big loop around a valley and ran another ‘imagination’ trail. You really had to use your imagination to ride it as it wasn’t there much of the time! Lot’s of fun!! Bwah ha ha!! We kept going from dirt, to two track to trail then back. Made much better time and still covered 227 miles!
I can honestly say now, that when we talked about riding the Transamerica Trail I can now truly understand why people would look at us funny and say “you’re going to do WHAT” and “you’re going to ride THOSE”. I look at the bikes and think about how far we’ve come, what we’ve seen, where we’ve ridden….. I think maybe we’re a little touched….. maybe…….
What a hoot! Tonight we are dry camped somewhere between Battle Mountain & McDermitt Nevada. Ken knew of a hot springs in the area so we are camped there for the night. It’s a really pretty site and there is lots of room. We got rained on a couple of times today but arrived in camp with the rain behind us. Actually, we got chased into Battle Mtn., a huge thunder storm with lots of rain pushed us down a narrow canyon into Battle Mtn. I was worried about flash flooding so we all rode like little bats down the mountain! I think the worst is over but have said that many time already so no bets! Odom: 5048
Day 34, Paradise Valley Hot Springs to Denio Jct. NV Odom: 5048
We woke to thunder, lightning and rain this morning but the sun finally came out. Soooooo much fun packing up everything when it’s wet! We’ve been so lucky with the weather so far. Even though we’ve had rain, we have NOT has the 100+ days of the hot weather we’ve been expecting in Utah & Nevada. It’s been unusually cool and that’s made for great riding.
Had lunch in McDermitt, picked up some fresh water & candy bars…. Ahhh food for the real rider…then headed out again. Wow, what fun. I know I sound like a broken record but we’ve really had some tough routes!! We are really having fun! There was a couple of steep, rocky, loose hill climbs today! We all made it!! We rode through some dried weeds that had piled up on the trail…. It sounded like you were riding through whispers. Pretty awesome! Had to dodge cows most of the day! Pulled into Denio Jct. to find that they no longer have gas. It will be a close call for Ken’s bike getting to Cedarville. The motel was full but they said we could camp out by the gas pumps and use the shower in room #7…. At least it was free! The shower room left little to be desired but it was free… They had cold beer and we stayed the next morning for breakfast. The ‘old boys’ who were sitting around when we got there said that they get TAT riders coming through almost every day in July & August. Odom: 5316
Day 35, Denio Jct. NV to Cedarville, CA Odom: 5316
We’d talked to some guys that were working for the BLM while in Denio, they were rounding up wild horses to move them to Tennessee. Seemed kinda silly but that’s the BLM for you. Anyway, we actually ran up a dirt route today that took us directly into the horse trap! A woman & man came out all excited and mad. Told us to get out NOW. The woman was so mad she was spitting little green nickels… She told the guy to get us out of there Bob said we would but they could be a little nicer about it. They said they had horses coming in and we needed to get out!!!! Jeeezzzz, we turned around and made our way back to a gravel road. Bob checked the GPS and found another route via a gravel road. While on the main road, we could hear the helicopters in the distance but they were still quite a ways from the trap. We then came up on a road block, from the wrong direction, and they asked us if we were the ‘ones that they’ve been talking about’ on the radio…. So, the next stop was when a ranger with lights flashing in his grill stopped us. He was really nice and just asked “how’d we get into the horse trap, they had all the roads blocked and wanted to know how we got there”. We told him about the TAT route and that there weren’t any signs via the way we rode in. He didn’t even show our route on his map! COOL. We told him we were heading north and west which worked for them. Next we came upon a huge washout on a small 2-track road we’d been on for a while. The boulders, dirt and debris was just too big to cross. We got off the bikes and found a route through the sage downstream. After getting back on the road, we ran into some really nasty mud and ruts! We were all reminded of the muddy & rutted roads in Oklahoma. Not fun. We were tired and dirty by the time we got out of that!
Pulled into Cedarville, CA about 4 p.m. The manager of the hotel loaned us a battery charger so Bob has been charging my battery. It will be nice not to be towed to start it when not on a hill. I was so worried I’d kill the motor when we were getting around the washout and the muddy sections!! I could just see the look on Lyon’s face as he would have had to park his bike right in front of mine and spin the tire to pull-start me….. He would have just enjoyed that too much!! I would have had to wrap a tarp around me in order to avoid all the mud I would have been showered in!! Hah!! (I never gave him the chance though)
Day 36, Cedarville, CA to Crescent Jct. OR Odom: 5435
Ken announced first thing this morning that his “fun meter” had been pegged and he was going to head home after breakfast. We learned at breakfast that the big rock & mud slide that blocked the road yesterday had happened within the last 3 days!! Shazammmm!!!! Glad we weren’t going through when it happened!!! We all had breakfast in Cedarville then went our separate ways. More great dirt routes!! AND, my battery is now holding a charge!! Wahoooo
(I should mention that Bob pulled the h-light & t-light bulbs to conserve juice). We were hoping to make the coast tomorrow but it doesn’t really look like we’ll make it. It’s just too far and with what we’ve ridden so far, you never know what’s in store till you get there! The sky is clear. One of the first nights without thunder clouds that we’ve had in weeks! Odom: 5564
Day 37, Crescent Jct, OR!! Yeah!!! To CG out of Azalea, OR Odom: 5564 miles
It was cold this morning!!! Felt like frost but it was only cold (really cold!!) and a bit foggy. Kind of unusual for the Crescent/Gilchrist area. I was shocked to find that the TAT took us through the Interfor, millsite in Gilchrist! I’ll have to call my contact when I get home to see what they think of having bikes run through the mill during the summer.
Well, we obviously didn’t make it to the coast today….. the TAT route took us in circles all day!! We were expecting some really bad routes today but really didn’t have anything bad at all. We did have one “imagination trail”…… had to use your imagination to find it! The trees and bushes were so grown up that we were afraid we might poke a hole in a radiator. Bob noted a parallel road so we turned around and found it. It too was bad but the trees in the middle of the road weren’t as big! Looks like everyone else riding the TAT was doing the same thing. We made it to Crescent Jct. about 6 p.m. Topped off with fuel and found out there was a community park we could camp at. It has water so that’s nice and it’s free. Looks to be a cool, comfortable night. Odom: 5782
Day 38, Wimahlita CG, near Azalea OR to Port Orford, OR Odom: 5782
Man-o-man…. Last night was party central! The music was finally turned off in the campground at 2 a.m. then the conversations stopped about 4 a.m.!! Not a lot of sleep last night for sure!
We headed out of camp about 6:30 and rode into Glendale for breakfast. A beautiful morning, cool but sunny and no clouds, fog or dew! Today, Bob saw a cougar, it “loped along” across the road in front of him.
We tried to take a couple of the ‘hard’ routes but the roads have been closed for years. One we tried got us far enough in that just getting turned around was an ordeal! The last TAT section says the trip to the coast today is 116 miles long….. we should be there for lunch……..should be! Hah!
We have discovered that the TAT routes from the Cascades to the ocean were not very accurate. We ran into a couple of guys from Michigan that were going the wrong direction. One guy on a KLR was really tired and only wanted paved roads. They didn’t believe us that they were going the wrong way…. Kinda wonder what happed to them as we didn’t see them in town when we got here. They trailered their bikes to Colorado and rode west from there. Yesterday and today both, we spent hours and miles just going in circles, attempting to navigate skid roads that haven’t been used or maintained in years, and coming out on the wrong side of locked gates! It was very frustrating! At one point, we rode for over 25 miles only to come out on the wrong side of a locked gate. We started to strip the bikes with plans to drag the bikes under the gate when a BLM firefighter pulled up in a fire truck and wanted to know how the heck we got in there! We got the lecture that that particular area was closed and that we must have gone through a locked gate. We explained we didn’t but I don’t think he believed us. Oh well, he opened the gate and we got out. Whew!
Guess since we live here in Oregon, we may just have to make a good route from Hwy 97 to the coast!
FINALLY, made it to Port Orford around 5 p.m. 200 mile day that was supposed to be 116!
Had a nice dinner in town and are parked in a motel. It’s cold and windy outside!
Happy day, WE MADE IT!! Wahooooooooo Odom: 6000.2
Day 39, Port Orford, OR to Home!! Odom: 6000.2
We slept in a bit this morning in Port Orford. It was cool and kinda foggy so we weren’t in a big rush to hit the road. Bob & Lyon changed the front sprockets on the bikes so that we could cruise a little faster on the pavement. A nice, relaxing, morning. We then went over to a nice restaurant and had a good breakfast. At the gas station, we saw the two guys from Michigan. They had a bad day yesterday trying to follow the TAT route. At one point, their GPS’s each showed that they should got the opposite direction!!! They also went in circles all day…. Just like us! Finally hit the road and headed north on 101. Lyon headed up to Lincoln City and Bob & I peeled off at Florence. We stopped by Rogers to say hi then had lunch and boogied home. 290 miles to home today. Time to get EVERYTHING cleaned up but not tonight! It’s nice to be home. What a great trip! Yes, we would do it again…..just not anytime in the near future! Bwah hah ha!!
Once we charged my battery in Cedarville, CA, it held enough of a charge to start every time. It was nice not to have to be towed to start! Bob thinks it was the slow running that caused the battery to go dead as at the low rpm it wasn’t putting out enough voltage to charge it. We had a lot of long down hills so the break light was on a lot as was the headlight all the time. We taped a flashlight to my front fender for the trip up the coast and home….cute! We also replace the t-light bulb so I had break lights for the road trip home. Other than the battery, we didn’t have any problems with the bikes at all. The DRZ-400’s all pulled the passed without any problems… even with all the weight, in spite of the dire predictions that we saw on the internet…. they all said they couldn’t do it! Odom: 6290
|08-31-2014, 09:51 AM||#7|
Joined: May 2006
Location: Louisiana, Baton Rouge
Please change your text color back to White so the old farts can read what you have to share.
Really looking forward to reading the ride report...if we can read it.
No, really, the mustache means I love you.
|09-02-2014, 05:37 AM||#8|
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Clarksville, TN
Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
It's a small world my friend.
|09-02-2014, 07:34 AM||#9|
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: SE michigan
I know someone had to have a camera for this ride! Where's the pictures at?
2300 miles on a 250 all for a sticker http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616239
Fall ride on a KLR250 http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=754065
1994 KLR250, 2009 F800GS, 2006 KLX351
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