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Old 07-31-2013, 08:42 AM   #211
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[QUOTE=mathewsturtevant;21995333]That's the photo I would have taken if I was calmer. That's exactly the spot. Did your GPS show a straight line instead of curves too? I also agree with you, about later maybe wanting to bite off more. For some reason, the way my brain works, the totally unknown is a fearful place but then as I can wrap my mind around the shape and scale it becomes much less threatening.
Now, In Colorado or the forests of Arkansas I would maybe ride a longer distance into the unknown but the difference is that it didn't have my negative dialogue about overheating and my subsequent death in the dry hot desert.

If I remember right my GPS was pretty close. I made my own GPS route by using the maps. I did have some issues with the route a little later but found some great riding. It's all good, might not have been true TAT through there but an awesome adventure anyway.

Now for my reasoning.
The Canyon was much rougher when I was through there. I was expending a lot a 58YO energy by pushing the bike over boulders and stuff. Some of it was ride able and some could have caused a "Spot Moment".
I was by myself and HOT!
Big Blue Cloud out to the North and West. I have heard about flash floods, did not want to see one first hand.
I did not know how much farther it was .I expected the rough stuff was behind me but did not know for sure.
The route up and out was pretty entertaining on its own.

I seem to take a lot of chances but sometimes listen to the voice of reason.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:52 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by mathewsturtevant View Post
The whole reason I am doing any of this is to gain awareness, maybe learn to push through some of this fear. I want my world to expand, not to shrink. Many people with agoraphobia end up as shut ins, and I certainly don't want that.
I never owned a motorcycle till the last few years. There is something about it that make it the perfect tool for dealing with this stuff in my head. When I start up the bike and feel it come to life under me it's as if the machine is more than the sum of its parts.
Good on you man and well said. Although I don't have agoraphobia, I've certainly come to know depression and I guess I've kinda started to be a shut in. Which is weird because I like dealing with people, but as time goes by that has been changing. The only thing that gets me out of my house besides work is to go riding.

I've never actually said any of this to anyone, so keep it between you and I

And as far as the perfect tool for dealing with our own inner demons/issues, I get that same feeling. I sometimes get home from work and take a moment to look at the bike...the bike looks back at me and says 'ride me dammit and enjoy yourself'

I guess what i'm trying to say...Nice freakin job on not allowing it to overcome you. Like someone else said a few posts just rode coast to coast on a dirtbike...that kicks ass.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:33 AM   #213
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Baggi 'tard, I guess you missed the freaking out part, the GPS not working part, I'm dealing with this stuff the best I can. I'm a long way from perfect, but it doesn't come easy for me. We might have missed a section there but I wasn't going to wing it without working roll charts or GPS in unfamiliar place while edging towards a nervous breakdown. Last year I was really scared just riding short sections of dirt in Colorado and now I was riding across a whole continent. I think that's pretty good progress..[/QUOTE]

No, No. I wasn't trying to give you any grief, was more wondering if you guys all rode up out of the valley there or if you went back down. Prolly just didn't give you time to finish the story. hell, for all I knew you saw the interstate, felt fine, went back down and continued. I'd say your progress is great.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #214
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Laugh Thanks Baggi'Tard

Another one of my quirks is being too sensitive. I appreciate you taking the time to clarify. Thanks for reading
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:36 PM   #215
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I'm in and watching. Great pictures. My buddy Kirkster and I just finished the TAT. Your pictures help remind me of the trip. We rode the TAT after you, as we saw the Cycles East guys (only two were left) near the ArKansas/Missouri border.

Don't worry about making your own TAT route. We all do it. Weather, breakdowns, sightseeing, health, and physical condition all effect what we do and how/where we ride.

Kirkster and I did fine in Black Dragon wash, but got lost looking for Cats canyon (?). He ended up destoying his clutch so we bailed to I-70 to Salida and waited 3 days for parts.

It's all part of the adventure, and each one is unique.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:45 AM   #216
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thanks esp41

Thanks for your kind words.
I red your report. Good thing I didn't have clutch probs on top of being sorta lost. I would have lost it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #217
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Just getting caught up from a little ride about in the North Cascade on my 950 and an glad your post is alive and running. You are doing a great job with it all and that' some damn good jamming muzak you open this post up with. Never heard it before but I am waking up in the am with it jamming in my gray matter.

Ya Man....bring it on......
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #218
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Question next

After Black Dragon we headed to Salina to see what was next. After eating at a less than ideal Carl Jr's restaurant we headed briefly north and then west. Roll charts were screwbally again. Then the GPS was telling me to go where the dirt roads weren't. Dang it!!!! This was pissing me off. So we went back into Salina to start over and try again. Some locals came over and tried to help. This actually happened the whole trip. People who mean well want to come over and tell you how to get back on the interstate. They would have been handy back in Black Dragon Canyon, but I wasn't in the mood for the small talk. One lady actually said(referring to me) "He don't talk much". Then I noticed across the way, the Brits were pulling into a restaurant on their KLRs. We decided to ride with them for a bit because the GPS situation. Dom said "no problem" and downplayed his buddy's hurt leg which later we would find out was broken.
We left town and in 5 minutes he had us going the wrong way too. But unlike me, Dom doesn't worry. He had loaded the coordinates himself and we just followed along even though much of it seemed like guess work. We made one more wrong turn with his "SAt NAV" as he called it, but then he did eventually get us to Richfield. When we were looking for a hotel, I was right behind his buddy. We hit a red light and when he put his foot down, he just fell over. I jumped off to help him. Surprised he made it this far on a cracked fibula or whatever.
We actually went for a cheaper hotel down the road complete with a lunatic who hung out yelling at nobody while he smoked outside his room. His cuss filled bouts of turrets were loud enough for me to hear with the door closed. Whenever I went to grab something off my bike I just kept thinking, don't make eye contact.
As far as what was next on our journey I was pretty confused. I had trusted the GPS/map/Roll Chart system but it was was failing pretty consistently now and even the Brit couldn't figure it out. I forgot to mention earlier, easily 50%of the trip the GPS would be shutting off and Id have to keep turning it back on. Also, not a confidence builder. I replaced batteries, rewired to my cigarette adapter thingy and it was always shutting off. The guys on the little honda 110 bikes said they had the same problem and that it was due to vibrations... pretty sure we'll have more of that. The vibe of our group wasn't doing well either. I guess my neuroses were getting old and I'd be lying if i was charmed with my mates either at this point. Three weeks of waking up at 4:30, eating the food from shitty restaurants, dealing with tons of gear, riding 10 hours most days was taking it's toll.
But the biggest problem was my trust in the navigation system was gone and my anxiety completely stirred up. I wasn't sure what to do next. We were about to do the REALLY remote, difficult stuff. I had read ride reports of people who got really lost in Nevada and ORegon wasn't supposed to be much better.

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Old 08-08-2013, 04:21 PM   #219
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Just Stopped In

Matt: Great story, great an old fart rider{64}, who is looking to get back into the Adventure Riding sometime before I kick the Bucket{list}, I am enjoying the heck out of your story...and read the entire thread this afternoon{way too much time on my hands}...the trials and tribulations are what life is all about.

Keep on Bikin'
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:51 PM   #220
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Slabbing ain't necessarily slackin.

Until I was less freaked out or the navigation system was making sense again we'd head west on some slab.Whichever came first. I know, I know, but I was doing my best.
So Nevada was an emotional low point. The guys were sick of my fears. Understandably so. I am sick of them. Anybody who has ridden this stretch knows what I am talking about. The first map of TAT crosses the back into Utah and head wayyy south!! In a state where there going to be over 500 miles of dirt the first 50 are south then north and back into the state you just came from??????? I said screw it and we headed west to Eureka. Cool Little Town. Rest. Then on our way to Battle Mountain the next morning/afternoon we got into another argument over my freakiness. Again, I understand the guys being frustrated with me. We rode in really bad wind, hot as hell, with road construction for what seemed like 2 hours. The wind felt like it was going to push us into the 18 wheelers that were going by. The solution I saw was maybe call it a day get a hotel. A local guy said the winds were worse in the afternoons.
They guys figured if we were slabbing it lets get a lot of miles done. We had done 300plus miles the previous day and now they wanted another 300 plus mile day. I was just shattered mentally and lunch was about as comfortable as eating dinner with your in-laws just after filing for divorce. We actually talked about saying screw it and getting a Uhaul right there in Battle Mountain. In stead we pressed on towards Denio Junction.
Even on pavement we had some challenges:

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Old 08-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #221
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #222
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wow! Good luck! Keep posting please.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #223
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Very nice...very real.

This was your trip & it is your report...keep it coming!. I am finding your prose refreshing because you are keeping it real.

We all have our freak out moments that can overwhelm us. You pushed, pulled, went sideways, under, around...and most went through them. Well done!

I'm with you...keep writing.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:14 AM   #224
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Keep it coming.

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Old 08-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #225
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desert, sand, forests

After my freak out in Battle Mountain where I just wanted to get a hotel and rest, luckily the wind died down a little bit as far as the immediate area we were riding in. Still very hot, but at least we weren't being blown all over the highway.
Nevada is basically long flat valleys in between many mountain ranges from 10 to 70 miles apart. The wind had kicked up in the valley so bad that the mountains we mostly not visible, so now on top of my other numerous worries, I start to imagine being in a dust storm. Would we get stuck out in this heat, blinded by dust and sand? But I as I had already learned, every 20 minutes or so everything changes, even if sometimes it gets worse. At least the big thing I was worried about got switched for something else. We had seen the sign that said no gas for 179 miles and my bike was hitting reserve at 160. My IMS tank will do 200 in ideal conditions, but with wind, tons of gear, we couldn't chance it. So we backtracked 20 miles to a gas station where they wanted to charge me $35. for a gas can!!!!!! And it was the only one they had and it was a 5 gallon one??? Where am I going to tie that? But then the manager dug up a 1 gallon one that they still charged me $17.00 for. Literally highway robbery. turn out to be a good thing. Denio had no gas.
Little While later...unexpected..... freezing cold rain!! I loved it and my mood swung way back to happy land. My helmet was open face and admit it felt like pin pricks on my face but I was very happy to trade rain for heat.

Earlier that day hiding under a bridge from the furnace that is Nevada.

Somewhere out in Nevada:

Signs not helping my fears:

Just on and on and on and on...

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