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Old 08-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
BoomerDL OP
They went thataway!
 
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Location: Berks County, PA "Cabela's Country"
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Father & Son Trip on TPAT

So at the beginning of summer 2014 my son Ethan, age 12, and myself made plans to ride a few sections of the Trans PA Trail which runs near where we live. Our goal was to take a three or so day ride on my 2009 KLR 650 up to the PA Grand Canyon and camp along the way and do some exploring. Between work & family schedules and the weather forecast, we had to push back our dates twice. Once after having the bike packed and ready to go . Finally a four day window opened up and the weather looked promising .

The plan was to leave on a Sunday after lunch and return by Wednesday late afternoon. Ethan has done some day riding with me but never any overnite trips. We wanted to do some of the TPAT and we wanted to camp at the PA Grand Canyon as well. Breakfast & dinner would be at the campsites and lunch would be on the road. We tried some MRE's from the local army surplus store and they are surprisingly tasty. One MRE was enough for both of us if we factored in a snack around the campfire as well.

We begin the process of packing up the bike (again).





Even had enough room for some oatmeal & granola plus snacks!

We had purchased a large dry bag from Cabela's bargain cave (in true KLR fashion!) to put clothing and the sleeping bags in. Two days before the trip, our hound dog believed that it need more ventilation and put a nice rip in the bag . I looked into a few options and decided to patch the bag as well as we could, but would still put clothing in a smaller army dry bag from the surplus store.

Here she is all loaded up Saturday evening. The bags off the crash bars each hold small water bags. Probably not 100% needed but it sure was convenient at the campgrounds.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:31 PM   #2
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And We Are Off!

Came home from church on Sunday, ate Lunch and we were ready to go by 1pm. Since I had done the TPAT sections by our home a number of times I decided to skip the closest parts and pick it up at Tamaqua so we could make better time and I did not want Ethan to get "saddle sore" on the first day. We said good-bye to Mom and Sis and we hit the road!



Weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful. A sincere thank-you to all who helped put this trail together .







The majority of the roads are not rough. Most are back roads, stone roads or no winter maintenance roads. The exception was Tower Rd just outside of Tamaqua. It is simple enough to route around it, but where is the adventure in that! This road was pretty brutal on a fully loaded KLR with stock suspension. Never dropped it but we were going very slow, mainly because I would bottom out if I tried to get going. Lots & lots of rocks! I have already started looking at the Topgun Springs as a winter upgrade . That was really the only serious section that we encountered and Ethan thought it was great fun! Sorry no pictures of that section, although in hindsight I should have at least snapped a pic of what it looked like.

More typical roads of the TPAT:












We took a rather leisurely pace through everything. I really wanted this to be a positive introduction to the fun one can have motorcycling for Ethan. He has been riding a PW80 for a few years now. He needs something bigger because he is starting to look like a monkey riding a football, but I just haven't found what I'm looking for yet.



We arrived at Riverside campground about 4:30pm and had logged about 125 miles. I had also checked into another more rustic campground, but that was another hour plus away and while I felt like I was stopping too early, I wanted Ethan to have some fun at the campground as well.

It is a nice campground right along the Susquehanna River. We got a tent site and began to get things set-up.





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Old 08-28-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
tennyis
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Looking forward to this one, i've got a 12, 9 and 6 year old that can't wait to start riding on the bike with me :) I have not taken them yet.. but soon :)
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:52 PM   #4
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Great!
These high quality time with sons/daughters will be wonderful memories for them.

I took my son also on a 4 days ride when he was 12. He loved it and did more longer rides. Daughter has done only one day rides but wants go longer.

suscribed!

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Old 08-28-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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Awesome....you will never be sorry for spending time with the boy.

I wish I was a boy going on a ride/camp with my Dad
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 PM   #6
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Looks like fun and I'm sure you guys had fun


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Old 08-28-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
BoomerDL OP
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First Campground

Once we had our site all ready we decided to hit the pool. Nice pool, water was great and had fun playing marco-polo with another little fella in the pool. The campground has a pub on the property with outside dining or food to go back to your site. We opted to get it to go. Unfortunately it looked so good I didn't even think to take a picture of the burgers. They were great as were the fries!

We went exploring around the campground and made our way to the rivers edge to goof off for a little.





The field beside our camping spot. It sure looks like there should be some deer in there somewhere.



Great night for a campfire and to be sleeping out (went down into mid 50's overnite).



Ethan slept in his hammock and I had the tent to myself. I was very comfortable but I never sleep good my first night away from home no matter where I am. Ethan slept great and we awoke for a quick breakfast of oatmeal mixed with granola & coffee (hot cider for Ethan).



Got the bike packed back up in short order and it went rather smoothly if I do say so myself. We were actually on the road just after 8am.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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Day Two

Once we left the campground, we stopped to fill up the tank on the bike as well as our Camelbak's. I never rode with one before but I will be more often now. Half the time I didn't even know it was there unless I got thirsty.

Another gorgeous day with more beautiful scenery as we make our way north.





We saw a number of these windmills on the trip. Ethan began counting them in the beginning but quit after fifty some. These things are enormous and the engineering that goes into one must be mindboggling.





Just outside of Morris there is an optional watercrossing route that you can take, and after all this is "adventure" riding! So we decided to give it a try. I will admit I gave my cell phone and the camera to Ethan and made him walk across rather than stay on the bike. There were two reasons for this thinking: first, if we did go over I would rather him not be on the bike and second I really wanted a cool picture to show off to my riding buddies!



All went well. Honestly I wasn't too worried about it because I used to take my old 175 Kawasaki enduro up and down the creek from where I lived. Ethan got a great pic for me to show off! (even if he did cut off my head )




There was some great riding on the other side of the creek. It reminded me of mostly cabins or vacation properties and it was a nice scenic area with no traffic. Eventually we merged back onto the trail and some more nice back country roads as we were getting close to Wellsboro.

We did not see another vehicle on this stretch of road for probably 20 minutes or more.

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Old 08-28-2014, 09:11 PM   #9
slugsmasher
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great ride report. my dad took me backpacking, cycling and motorcycling when I was a kid. I'm 50 now and guess what I like to do, backpack, cycle and moto. Good job bringing the next generation into our world!

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Old 08-28-2014, 09:47 PM   #10
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You have some very scenic country there.

Coming from the southwest, seeing all that green, makes a fellow jealous. Sounds like a very nice ride and bonding experience.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:43 PM   #11
BoomerDL OP
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Back to the report!

Sorry for the delay and thanks for the comments .

We arrived in Wellsboro just in time for a 1pm lunch. We decided to eat at the Wellsboro Diner, I've eaten there before and the food was good. It had been a while since I was there but the food was as good as I remembered, however the prices have definitely gone up. (Inflation and all that garbage)






We wanted to camp near the Grand Canyon and there are two state parks that you can camp at right by the canyon. We decided to walk the few blocks to the tourist information building to check into our options, a nice woman showed us what was available and gave us some pamphlets to review.

Colton Point State Park has camping on the West rim of the canyon with hot showers and drinking water. Leonard Harrison State Park is on the East rim of the canyon with primitive camping. We decided we would take a look at each of them and then decide. First we went to Colton Point to check out the view and than take a peak at the camping facilities.

Here's the view from the West rim observation area.






Great views and a nice facility complete with visitors center, gift shop, rest rooms and plenty of parking. They even had motorcycle only parking right up front in the shade!

On the way in we saw the camp sites within walking distance to the observation area. We drove over and did the loop to see what all there was. A quick decision was made and we decided to stay put and set up camp without going to the other side.

I registered us for an open site and we began to set up camp.







I was impressed with how clean and kept everything was. The bathrooms and showers were very nice, drinking water was located at a number of locations close by and they even had an area set up for washing all your dishes when you were done cooking. I was glad to see a state park that was very well taken care of.

Here we are all set for the second night.

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Old 09-01-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
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Camping at the Canyon

With camp all set up, we did a little bit of exploring some of the local area in the hopes of eventually finding a place to pick up some hot dogs to roast over the fire as an evening snack. Beautiful area, someone could easily stay put for an entire weekend and just sleep at the park without getting bored. We got our hotdogs and even found some cheap firewood, $3 a bundle, that fit nicely onto the rear rack of the KLR since it was now empty.

Stopped at an animal park near the campground for some ice cream cones. We did not go into the park but the ice cream was good! Got back to our site and decided to walk over to the observation area and take a better look at things.



As we were walking to some of the various lookout areas, we met a couple celebrating their anniversary who arrived on a 650 Yamaha Maxim that I had seen parked in the lot when we walked over. A nice couple and I took some pics for them and they did for us.





I was hoping maybe they were camping at the park too, but they were staying in New York and were getting ready to head back for the night. We wished each other well with safe travels. The views are magnificent.








Our stomachs were starting to talk to us so back to camp we go. There is a nice obstacle course/play ground right by the camp sites so Ethan opted to time himself on the course while I got the fire started.





We had our first MRE of the trip, which consisted of chicken in gravy with noodles, cranberries, crackers, apple cinnamon bar and a punch mix to drink. We both thought it tasted good and we had our hot dogs to roast as evening began to set in.



The weather forecast was calling for a chance of rain during the night so we did not leave anything out that couldn't afford to get wet. Ethan wanted to chance sleeping in his hammock again and so we enjoyed the campfire and then called it a night. (no singing though)
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:40 PM   #13
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Thanks for enjoying it Boomer. I enjoy reading about others using the TPAT.

That is why I went through the effort of putting it together

I think your the first report I have read that someone did the creek section. That crossing is pretty well used, even by cars from what I am told.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
BoomerDL OP
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The Rain Moves In

Second night out so I had no problem falling asleep I was out in 10 minutes. I woke up around 1:30am to what I thought was the wind blowing through the trees. I realized it was a light drizzle on the tent. No biggie, I started to roll over and go back to sleep when I remembered Ethan was outside without a tarp. Awww Nuts!

I awoke enough to get out of the tent without falling over or tripping on anything. I go over and "attempt" to wake Ethan up so he can get into the tent. This kid can sleep through anything. . . . I was shaking the hammock, pulled his bag down so his head was out, saying "it's raining, you need to get into the tent". Finally he stirred and we were back into the tent before the sky really opened up.

We both fell back asleep and woke up to the sound of it still raining, and raining pretty good. All was dry inside the tent and even the items in the vestibule of the rain fly. We weighed our options and decided to make a break for a rather large picnic pavilion that was across a field near our camping site. We packed up the clothes and sleeping bags into the dry bag and rolled up the mats while staying dry in the tent. Ethan grabbed what he could carry and I quickly put a strap over the dry bag on the rear rack, started the KLR and rode down to the pavilion where Ethan was waiting.

Here we are at the dry pavilion on a very wet morning.



We started to re-organize and pack things up for a wet ride. It was great to have a nice dry place to have breakfast and sort things out.





It was still raining the whole time but we were dry and enjoying our breakfast .





We had everything with us except that the tent was still set up at the site. By the time we were done eating, and I had straightened out what goes where on the bike, the rain slowed down to a drizzle again. I decided we had better take advantage of this opportunity to pack up the tent and it went better than I expected. We were even able to stay relatively dry!
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:43 PM   #15
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The Rain Moves In

Obviously we would need to make some changes to our plans now, but Ethan was not ready to head for home. I knew there was some ADV blood in there!
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