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Old 12-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
Doogle OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Ohio-Cincinnati
Oddometer: 541
TransAmerica Trail-2007

I would have posted this sooner,but I just recently discovered ADVrider.I rode the TAT solo in 2007.I tent camped and used motels when I needed to do laundry.Below I posted the date,odometer reading,days total,and trip total.I hope the pictures are in the right places.

Date odometer day total
Home 462
Trail 592

8-16-07 670 208 208 - End of day Tenn. MM60
Camped beside trail at MM60.13.Terrible sleep.Over 100 degrees & humid during the day.

8-17-07 1079 409 617 Tenn. MM360
Gate closed at Rock Island S.P. Lost for hour and a half and twice had to back track 20 some miles.Over 100 degrees again.Tired and hot,decided to get a room for the night.Stopped at Tenn. MM360 and stayed at Richland Inn-$66.

8-18-07 1461 382 999 Miss. MM96
Dropped the bike at Tennessee creek crossing I had been warned about.Gave some victory throttle as my front wheel got to dry trail and spun the rear all the way around.Almost went down 3 times in rain.Terrible red mud in Mississippi.Almost impossible to stay up even with feet down.Then at Miss. MM38 the road was flooded and I had to turn around.Back track 5 miles and make another route.Last 2 hours fun riding on dirt roads.Camped at Miss. MM96.

8-19-07 1821 360 1359 Ark. MM199
Talked with Ed Davis-friend of Allen_____(owner of Memphis Shades.)Almost went down at 60mph on gravel doing gyros over center hump.Almost went down at 50mph going over tractor ruts covered with talc like dust.Camped at Arkansas MM199.

8-20-07 2169 348 1707 Ok. MM109
Last 200 miles in Arkansas and first 50 in Oklahoma were great riding through some forest.Camped at Ok. MM109 (N 86 39.7' W95 24.4').This was a farm field that a lot of earth movers had been working on.Probably a highway going in.I was about a 1/2 mile off the trail.

8-21-07 2598 429 2136 Ok. MM550
Tough strong winds all day.Lost my watch when I stopped to put sun screen on.Went back 5 of the 8 miles and found it unhurt.Off track several times again today.Camped at an oil pump site.

8-22-07 2930 332 2468 Co. MM58
Not sure if I was on the trail all the time through New Mexico.I know I missed a gas station.I got to Branson Colorado with less than a pint of gas.Small town with no gas station.A man at the school went to his house and got me 2 gallons of gas.He said it was 51 miles to the nearest station.After I got the gas,I headed for Trinadad.I got 2 miles out of town and turned around.I was heading into a scary thunderstorm.Storms get deadly at this elevation.I abandoned my bike in front of a building and ran up onto it's porch.Even with a little roof over me I was scared.I thought I might be a tornado.Non stop lightning,wind,rain,and hail that was getting pretty thick on the ground.There were rivers of water running through the streets.I thought about breaking into this building that appeared to be under renovation.This went on for about 15 minutes and then abruptly stopped.Glad I didn't get that gas 10 minutes earlier.Anyway,I rode in to Trinadad and got a room at Trails End Motel.

odometer day total
8-23-07 3238 308 2776 Co. MM327
Stopped in Salida and bought a new lense for my goggles and a new rear tire.Rode to National Forest Camp Ground north of Salida near Mt.Princeton and Mt.Antero.They said it was safe from bears.They get them every other night.And they were there the night before.

8-24-07 3462 224 3000 Co. MM474
Put on rear tire before leaving camp.Needed it going up Hancock Pass.Great riding today,even at 12,600'.Missed turn before Lake City and came out 15 miles above Lake City instead of 15 miles south .Then I went north and hit US50.Had to back track 46 miles.Did I mention my primary GPS went out in Arkansas.There were a lot of bikes in Lake City.I camped 10 miles out of Lake City at Mill Creek C.G.($7).It's on the way to Cinnamon Pass.

8-25-07 3509 47 3047 Co. MM522
Tent was frosted when I got up this morning.Rode over Cinnamon Pass and California Pass.Both are very scenic.I've been here before riding quads.There were a lot of bikes and rental jeeps on the trail.My tent and sleeping bag came off when one of my bunji cords broke.I think I lost my hydration pack during this stop.Decided to have an off day.Rode into Silvertown and stayed at the Outsiders Inn $25.This was a converted house.It had 4 bunk beds and a twin bed in the room I was in.I was the only person in the room that night.In the morning I gave the cleaning lady a little show.I didn't realize I had to lock 2 doors while taking a shower.

8-26-07 3810 305 3352 Ut. MM105
I altered my route a little today.I was told Black Bear Pass was more scenic and more difficult.It was both.The difficult section was mostly exposure to a sheer drop off going down a steep rock area.It was really not a long section.I turned my motor off to use it as breaking.Got a scare when that breaking unexpectedly dead stopped me near that exposure.And my tires were at high points-so my feet were about 6" from touching.Panic subsided when I pulled the clutch in and started rolling again.The way my bike was packed (a lot of weight,high and centered behind the rear axle),it is not focused towards technical riding.But there are some great views here.
Again,as most other nights so far,I saw rain and scary lightening in the evening.And,as usual,when the lightening is at it's worst,I am heading straight towards it,at the top of a mountain or pass.Add to that,one of my biggest concerns:black cows in the middle of the trail at night.I saw them often.I camped at the Riverside Campground.

8-27-07 4072 262 3614 Ut. MM428
Had planned to ride up "the lion's back",but it was closed.Went to Baby Lion's Back and went up Hell's Revenge.Rode over Gemini Bridges.Today was the best riding so far.Saw nobody.The Green River area and west was great.The Black Dragon Canyon trails were great.Lost the trail 25 miles from Richfield.More rain and lightening the last hour of riding.Camped 1/4 mile north of I-70 overlooking Richfield.

8-28-07 4383 311 3925 Nev. MM70
Good ride out of Richfield.Rode some of the Piaute Trail.It was rough and ungroomed.I had considered quad riding here in the past.Glad I didn't.We have so much better in Ohio.Got gas in Kanosh,Utah (the outer edge of the universe).Bob,the Sinclare station owner,knew all about the TAT.
Did not see another vehicle or person for 177 miles.A lot of fun single track at 55mph in Nevada.Very poor TAT maps again.Camped at Nev. MM70.2 and route 93, 1/4 mile from the road.Got up at 2am to piss.As I'm getting in the tent,I hear a pack of coyotes start howling,about 100 yards away.Decided I still have to sleep.So, I got my gun out and put it by my coat.About 5 minutes later,I hear another pack of coyotes start howling.They are about 100 yards in the opposite direction.I finally put a shell in my empty chamber,put my earplugs in,and go to sleep.

8-29-07 4689 306 4231 Nev. MM558
Off trail several times again today.I'm really cussing the guy that made these maps and charged me $270.At that price,these maps should be near perfect,and have GPS coordinates.I know I've missed some turns myself.But many times I've gone back and found it said turn right instead of bear left.By the time you know something is wrong,you are miles down the trail.Without GPS coordinates,how do you figure where you go back to get on the trail.You wasted 20 miles,an hour and valuable gas.Okay,I fell better now.
In Eureka,Nevada mining closed some of the trail and I had to trail blaze for awhile.It was a good riding area.Later had a lot of 20 mile across straight,flat,sandy canyons.That night I got a room in Battle Mountain so I could do some laundry.

8-30-07 4934 245 4476 Nev. MM558
In the morning I had a note on my bike from 2 guys riding the TAT.The only riders I saw on the whole trip who were riding the TAT.I met them at a gas station in McDermmit.They were on 1 bike.The other was broken down 15 miles back.I saw a video of it as he rode the last spoke out of the wheel.Phil(Phoenix) and Russ(England) were motocrossing the trail.They had a chase truck and spare bikes.The good life.We agreed to met and camp down the trail at MM594.We met again on the trail,after all of us being lost.I had drug my bike under fences trying to get back on the trail a couple times.We rode the last hour together.I was over my head trying to keep up with them.I think they slowed down a little for me.But it was fun riding hard for a while.We stopped at Denio Junction,where Russ's wife got the last motel room for us.Phil is a friend of racer Steve Hatch.He rode with them for a day back east.He loaned him his bike after 2 other bikes broke down.

8-31-07 5188 254 4730 Or. MM41
I left before Phil,Russ,and Caroline.I didn't want to ride with them because I knew I was slowing them down.After about 50 miles,I heard my rear fender hitting my rear tire on small bumps.Well,my subframe was broken in half.The fender was all that was keeping it from falling off.I put the tent and sleeping bag over my headlight,and my storage box on the back of my seat.Now I'm ready to motocross.Phil and Russ caught me 50 miles later.They were going to wait for Caroline and gas at a road.They only have an 80 mile range.We were going to put my stuff in the trailer so I could continue riding.She wasn't there and they had no cell coverage.I decided to go on alone.I rode to Lakeview,Oregon and shipped most of my stuff home.Took the trail into Fremont N.F. and lost the trail again.Tried some trailblazing again to get to the trail.Now in the forest lost,alone with no tent,no road, and very little sunlight is unnerving.I finally found a road and headed back to Lakeview.Near dark,going 60 on a gravel road,and a deer in the ditch.The deer lunged forward with it's front feet into the sloped ditch and just stopped.I had never seen a deer move and stop like that before.But I liked it.In Lakeview I stayed at the Interstate 8 Motel $96.Most places are full for holiday and county fair.After 97 miles,I'm back where I started from.

9-1-07 5588 400 5130 Or. MM377
Eventually found the trail in Fremont N.F. Bad directions again.Other poor directions in the forest.Great 50 mile ride from 138 to Tiller.Big Cumus road winds along the Umpqua River.Got a room at Motel Market $39 at exit 112 on I-5 36 miles off trail.

9-2-07 5902 314 5444 Or. MM576 End of trail
Last 50 miles of trail was great curvy fun.Trail ends at Chine Mountain Rd.Rode in to Port Orford and ate at the Crazy Norwegian.Stayed at the Chinook Inn in Gold Beach.

9-3-07 6180 278 5722
Visited friends for 1 1/2 hour in Gold Beach.Rode through Avenue of the Giants in Humbolt State Park.Stayed at Sherwood Forest Motel $72 in Garbersville,Ca.

9-4-07 6513 333 6055
Rode 101 to route 1.Took 1 down the coast.I think it has way more curves than the Dragons Tail in Tennessee.Rode it through Fort Bragg,Mt. Tamalpais and the Golden Gate Bridge.Stayed at the Highlander Motel $50 just south of Oakland.A really scary place.I didn't answer the knocks at the door.Put the ear plugs in and go to sleep.

Met a friends son at his house in Oakland.Left my bike there and he took me to the airport to fly home.Over Thanksgiving,I drove up from our winter RV park in California,and got my bike.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #2
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Nice!! Nothing better than lightning, flash floods and broken subframes!!
Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die. ~Lewis Carroll~
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:15 PM   #3
O Captain My Captain
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Nice job doing the TAT solo.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #4
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Location: Lynden, WA
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Good read. Thanks for posting!
2008 WR250X/R
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
Having a Nice Time
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Great ride, pictures, and report. Riding solo must have intensified the experience a bit. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:53 AM   #6
Sherpa-ing around
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I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 12-17-2009, 04:50 AM   #7
More Undestructable
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Diamond Bar, CA.
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You had one of the tougher crossings of the TAT.

I think most of your "accidents" could have been avoided if you had packed less, and carried it lower on the bike.

But hey, you had a great Adventure.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:48 AM   #8
dirt dauber
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Nice. Very nice.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Lone Rabbit, Oklahoma
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Cool. Thanks for taking the time to post it. It brought backs lots of memories for me. We rode it in '08 from OK to OR. Makes me want to do it again-yeah!
"I can't think of nothing better than riding a fine horse through new country. It's what I was meant for,,,,,", Gus, Lonesome Dove
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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Nice pics. Looks like a good ride!
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
Katie em
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Ace! thank you for posting your RR and photos - the DRZ looks great! Thank you
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:41 AM   #12
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Thanks Ace!
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
TAT survivor
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Crestwood, Kentucky
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You where right behind me, did you see my tracks?
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1999 DR350SEX Dual Sport bike
1996 XR600R adventure bike
KY state Vet A offroad champion
TAT, KAT and TWVT survivor
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:19 PM   #14
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Jasper, Indiana
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Tat 2007

The group of 4 I was with were a few days behind Jeff@The QuadShop. Guess we were on the trail at the same time. Hard to believe we didn't run into each other. Hope you have done the section from Moab to Port Orford. It is truly a ride of a life time.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #15
Happy Paleoflatus
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Very impressive.
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