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Old 01-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #61
Duas Rodas
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It seems there is a bit of interest on how the KLR handled the trip.
When Chris is finished with the report, I will let you guys know the mods done to it and how it coped with the route's challenges.

Hey Chris. Standing up, the KLR is very stable cruising the smooth gravel roads at highway speeds. But sitting, it is also quite skirmy...
Don't ask about deep sand, (especially with truck tire ruts) never felt comfortable on it!!!
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #62
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Wednesday Day 13 Sept 14


So we awake from Ely and get back on the road. We are in Nevada for good this time. Yesterday we had some difficulty crossing the border, I mean it is easy enough, but the map takes you in and out of Nevada a couple of times and it was there we had some difficulty with the track. We did all there was yesterday, skipped none of the difficult sections, including the single track deep sand section on the way to the pine forest. A bit of paddling through there but nothing too hard for us. We are feeling good for anything Nevada throws our way.

Today there are are also some bypasses for big bikes, but we ignored those as usual. Today did not seem to be very difficult at all. Both our bikes were ticking over great and we are in the swing of things. With the cooler temperatures my stalling issue was also behind me. But with that you can get too cocky, and that would prove Vito's undoing as he would pull a bonehead move. I had my share of incidents till now, it will be his turn today.


As I recall the roads start out as smooth gravel. The danger is a vehicle coming the other way, or an animal on the road, so we keep our speed in check just in case. For us, I don't remember seeing any vehicles all day.





More gravel





An old homestead? Or perhaps a place for cowboys to hole up for the night while collecting the herd. Whatever it was, it was long ago. It must have been a hardscrabble life in these parts and bloody lonely. Nobody else had a go around here for miles around.





The roads climb into the nearby hills.





We come across some more old homesteads or ranch shacks.








Nothing out here for miles and miles. We saw a few pronghorn but not much else.





As before, Vito is in the lead as he has the GPS track and I got the paper. So he often is referring to his GPS and sooner or later something like this was bound to happen. Today it does. Vito rips into the fence and tries to tear it down with his bike.




Jeez, the way he is looking at me here, you might think it is my fault!





This is the point where we realize how bad things could have been, and how lucky Vito was that all he got was a couple of scratches on the bike and a torn suspension boot. We thank our little blessings.




I spy this rusting truck out in a field in the middle of nowhere and ride over and take a pic. It is being burnished by the sun quite nicely. It appears to have been there a while.




The route crosses Highway 50, the so called loneliest highway. I can see why. People drive this highway and collect stamps as part of a Nevada tourist promotion where they can, in the few communities along the route. The tourist mining of the road might eventually lead to a loss of title.




We finally hit Eureka. After the long day yesterday, we have an early day. No interest in camping, we hole up at the Best Western, our typical hotel of choice.

The receptionist at the hotel was another guy that did not seem to give a shit. After checking in I asked him "how's it going" and he said "I am out of here". Say what??? I said are you quitting right now? Turns out he thinks Eureka is a dump and he's getting out as soon as he can, but not tonight at least. So much for the friendliest town on the loneliest road of America! Not a place of opportunity for a young man.

We had problems with our TV and internet was weak as usual but he wasn't going to get that resolved, I could see that. Turns out it was the satellite moving across the sky, had to wait for a better one to come in view. Later in the evening some big guy comes in off a road bike, shivering, looking like a whipped dog. We listen to what's going on and eventually offer the guy the opportunity to sleep in our room on the floor if there is no other option, as the hotel was booked up. We got one of the last rooms. Turns out someone cancelled and he was good to go after all. Thank god, he said he snored something fierce. Not sure if that cancels out our Karma points.

We stroll around Eureka and it has a nice Opera House ca 1880 and the Jackson Hotel ca 1887, both in this shot.





But this block is completely dead. Maybe the young man is right.




Eureka does have the largest Fire Hall I have ever seen for a town of this size. I didn't get a picture of it so I found this on el Goog. Is this stimulus dollars in action? This looks to be under construction in May 2009. The American Stimulus package was passed in Feb 2009 - hmmm. No I don't want political comments crapping up this trip report! I am a Canadian anyways, I don't care.





So we get dinner at the local Mexican joint, every town has one, which by the look of things was an old dance hall. I am sure this changed hands recently and will again, likely next year. Food was tolerable. Cheers!





Our approximate route

cathulu screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 10:24 PM
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:01 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duas Rodas View Post
It seems there is a bit of interest on how the KLR handled the trip.
When Chris is finished with the report, I will let you guys know the mods done to it and how it coped with the route's challenges.

Hey Chris. Standing up, the KLR is very stable cruising the smooth gravel roads at highway speeds. But sitting, it is also quite skirmy...
Don't ask about deep sand, (especially with truck tire ruts) never felt comfortable on it!!!
Hi Vito

Yes, I also stood up and tried everything. I moved my luggage around, the heavy stuff further forward - and jacked-up my rear suspension. That helped a bit. My load was a bit higher than yours and I did not have saddle bags as you did, so that probably helped you. But I noticed in the loose gravel, the crap that washes your front end out and wants to pitch you off at 120kph in a tank slapper, well that is where I could see you were having an easier time of it. I need a steering damper. Mind you we were hammering it pretty good. Still I almost bit the dust a couple of times and scared myself silly. Didn't stop me though for rocking it the next opportunity!

It is interesting, there were times when my bike rocked it and was clearly superior, and times when yours was the weapon of choice. Neither is perfect, and that gives us the opportunity to mod our bikes and make them how we like it, which is cool.

cathulu screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 10:17 PM
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #64
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Love the rr!

Thanks for taking us along...great read and pics.

I've an old Voyager too ('95). Hoping my 3 control module holds awhile longer. When it goes expect a PM to learn your work around!

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathulu View Post
Hi Vito

Yes, I also stood up and tried everything. I moved my luggage around, the heavy stuff further forward - and jacked-up my rear suspension. That helped a bit. My load was a bit higher than yours and I did not have saddle bags as you did, so that probably helped you. But I noticed in the loose gravel, the crap that washes your front end out and wants to pitch you off at 120kph in a tank slapper, well that is where I could see you were having an easier time of it. I need a steering damper. Mind you we were hammering it pretty good. Still I almost bit the dust a couple of times and scared myself silly. Didn't stop me though for rocking it the next opportunity!

It is interesting, there were times when my bike rocked it and was clearly superior, and times when yours was the weapon of choice. Neither is perfect, and that gives us the opportunity to mod our bikes and make them how we like it, which is cool.
21 inch front wheels on both bikes?
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #66
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Ha Ha, yes a PM may be forthcoming. Yours is still going strong which is good.

Yes both fronts are 21"
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #67
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Cool RR... I'm originally good to see the PNW... miss home!
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:53 PM   #68
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Oops...damn barbed wire gates! Too busy looking where to go didn't see where I was going.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #69
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Thursday Day 14 Sept 15

I remember waking-up with the feeling today is going to be a long day. We can feel time creeping up on us, our two weeks nearing an end. We will want to make some serious miles today, and our original goal of a trip to the coast is a far away dream. We go as far as we can.

So it is a disappointment from the get go to have trouble getting out of Eureka and spin our wheels. We ride up and into the local hills, only to find the route has been decimated by fencing and no trespassing signs. It seems a bulldozer was also at work, and we can't make any sense of the gravel roads that we are on. After a fruitless search we return back to Eureka. Seems like Eureka is tough to get out of - that receptionist is probably still working at the Best Western even to this day, any time of the year, you can find it here.

We return to the Lonely Highway to bypass the mine and get back on track. Back to pounding the gravel, the double track, the sagebrush and scrub, to flour dust, to me following a dust cloud off in the distance...





And sometimes the gravel is very fast...





When you see a fork in the road take it...





It is a beautiful bike... I mean Country.





Here the gravel is even faster, with a lone blasted trunk standing watch. Vito? somewhere far off in the distance. I will find his cloud later.





There is some variety too, the double track returns as we climb into the hills, to find the next flat valley over yonder.





Coming down the other side, we find some arsehole is cutting down all the brush. What for, I have no idea. Seems like a bad idea, no doubt things grow very slowly here, if they can grow at all.





OK, I see I am going still in the right direction...





One thing I noticed doing this trip report, Vito's camera clock and my camera clock are out of sync. Recommendation in future - everyone get their camera clocks in sync! That makes life a whole lot easier. So this shot is also out of sync... and I can't be bothered to find out where it should be, but it is cool cause it is filled with KLR goodness. The KLR has definitely earned its stripes, or should I say scars on this trip!




We slow right down, this was the second time today where the road went right through someone's property. A lonely life for children, so better have lots of them. Who knows where the nearest neighbour is?





The stars and stripes. Took the time to double back and get this shot.





The road goes on - over those hills lies Battle Mountain somewhere.





And sometimes surprises - this little stream is like a green snake in the landscape, with lush vegetation on both banks.





We climb up over hills and roll down the other side, then the road flattens as we approach Battle Mountain. That is where we run into this guy. I am sure it was Gandalf at the helm.



more later...
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #70
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Hey great RR! Looks like you had a great time!
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #71
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I liked the little town of Eureka, we meet a lady that was over the local sports facility (we did laundry there) who offered us a very warm welcome. We were camping at the local park just behind the main strip....oh only strip. The park was well groomed. The lady brought us pork tender loins....yumm!! She set up a tour of the local underground mason lodge and we toured her parent old house that was the mayor's and told us about the opium dens dug by the Chinese RR workers. We stayed an extra day.

Getting out of there was a real pain as you said, gated roads from Barrick Mines.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:12 AM   #72
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Great RR

Thanks guys for all of the RR information. My buddy and I have made it from the trailhead to the Oklahoma border and are excited about leaving in the spring to knock out Oklahoma, New Mexico and what little we might do of Colorado in nine days. It appears from your report will would have a tough time finishing the TAT the next year in two weeks ... oh well, more riding the next year! The logistics get to be a bitch, running back and forth are not exciting but work schedules don't allow for more time .

Keep it coming!
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathulu View Post
Wednesday Day 13 Sept 14





























As before, Vito is in the lead as he has the GPS track and I got the paper. So he often is referring to his GPS and sooner or later something like this was bound to happen. Today it does. Vito rips into the fence and tries to tear it down with his bike.










































Glad to hear this did not have a bad ending. A reminder that we got be careful out there.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #74
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Couple of brief videos from Nevada. The first is some flat Nevada double track. The second is a poorly maintained route covered by a few inches or more of what I like to call "flour". Riding this stuff is tricky because the ridges left in the roads from tire tracks in moist clay now dry are hidden under a few inches of flour. They tend to grab the front wheel and make the ride interesting...





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Old 01-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #75
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Thursday Day 14 Sept 15 cont'd

So as mentioned we get stuck behind this guy rolling into Battle Mountain, and we can't get past. The gravel road we are on rolls straight to Battle Mountain, but the TAT route takes you there in a round about way. Through crappy clay roads covered in flour. Yeah!

Battle Mountain, Nevada is in the middle of a flat plain, though mountains are nearby. They say it was named after a skirmish with the local indigenous folks and 24 settlers led by a Captain Pierson in 1857. Turns out there was no Captain, only 1 settler, no battle and no mountain. The place was in the running for the Arm Pit of America, I think it won. Google it.

There is one interesting thing at least to me, a road cyclist also, is that a fellow British Columbian Sam Whittingham has the world's fastest cyclist title (unpaced, flat surface) that was obtained at an event in Battle Mountain, Nevada because I guess it is so flat and not at sea level. The streamlined recumbent he rode was designed by another British Columbian!

Anyways, suffice to say Battle Mountain is just a place to fill up. And after lunch we get out as fast as we can.

Maybe a little to fast. I was enjoying the gravel and came around the corner onto this bridge. Trouble is I dropped in the gap in the middle and still had some centripetal acceleration. I caught the edge and down I went. I was OK, it was a bruise to the ego more than anything, and a reminder that anything can happen anytime. Most of the time I dropped the bike at walking speed, but not this time. I had to remove the luggage to pick up the bike. One of the bags is still lying there. Got back on the road and again see Vito coming back the other way to see if I am OK. Sorry Vito! I can do bonehead stuff also!





Later on I took a picture of the flour that is over many of the back roads. It is a clay dust and makes for some tricky riding. It never looks as deep as it is when you want to picture it.





I don't have to stop and check my map. We ride in sand tracks. I felt very comfortable through this, I think Vito liked it a bit less.





Riding through fields of Gold!





High plains drifter.





We finally get to this place. A summer cow camp according to the scrawl on the walls inside. We had difficulty figuring out how to get there, until we realized you had to do a water crossing, there was no direct road in.





This is what it looks like from the other side once you are safe across. So I hear some drag boards across to bridge the creek, others try and find a shallower crossing a bit further up. Me I don't have the patience or the brain power to figure that out. The direct route is usually the best. So we decide on that and I go first.





The problem with the crossing is that you go down a slope into a stagnant creek, and then up the other side. Many ways to drop it here. And we don't know how deep it really is or how much mud or muck is down there. I go for it anyways. The F800Gs handles this no problem, though my boots fill up with water and I kept them on the pegs. Figure the depth was about 6 inches above the foot pegs.

Vito goes next, I want to document it with the camera but he is insistent I not take a picture. Wish I didn't listen to him, as he went through there also like a champ. Our relatively big bikes get through just fine.

We spend a bit of time exploring the cow camp. It is a dump and stinks - a combination of rotting wood with a urine overtone. Yum. Can't imagine anyone has actually slept in there in a very long time.

This could be the start of a horror movie, couple of teens enter at dusk...





Seen better days... we also found a bike battery and a spare tube inside.





We add our mark, some dog was apparently here before us.





We get back on the trail, it is now late in the afternoon. Evening is coming fast. The trail is a faint outline in the distance.





Another long night beckons, it is getting late and we decide to eventually bail out off the trail after the Chimney Reservoir and head into Paradise Valley. We get on highway 95 North and ride to McDermitt, right at the Nevada Oregon border. It looked like it would rain hard on us, with thunder and lightning in the distance, but it wasn't so bad. We reach our destination at about 8:00PM and get a room at the Diamond A Motel. I think it is run my the local Band. All we cared was that it was clean inside, and it was. Nothing to McDermitt except rocks in the area for rock hounds and the Say When Casino.

It looks like there is going to be rain overnight so we stick our bikes under the roof overhand. I pound my riding pants against the yellow poles in the morning and clouds of dust comes off.





We go for dinner at the Say When Casino. The place is almost to ourselves.





I am not much of a gambler, but I try my hand at the slots. Nearly nobody is in the place but a few addicted types that manage to keep the place open. My Money goes away fast. I will have to rely on my bank account for the gas money home.





In the morning, Say When in its glory.



Our approximate route
eureka to mcdermitt

cathulu screwed with this post 01-08-2012 at 08:03 PM
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