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Old 07-04-2013, 07:23 PM   #226
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Quote:

Another shot of the steep grade outside Glendale, OR.


The hill is a lot steeper than it looks in the photo! It gets steeper; when you walk back down to help your buddy's 950adv up the last 30 feet!
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:27 AM   #227
JerryH
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Absolutely amazing ride report. I'm 54 and absolutely love old bikes, especially those from the '70s, definitely including the Hodaka's. I never owned or rode one (I had a 1971 Kawasaki F7 175 back in the mid '70s) but I remember them well and how cool they were. Everybody keeps telling me how much "better" the newer bikes are. I think you just proved otherwise. I think you made a wise choice in taking the Toad over the KTM, I would have done the same. I probably would have used premix, and would have kept the points ignition from the beginning. I've had to many "electronic" things fail on me. Yes they are more of a hassle, but much more user friendly (to me anyway) But to each their own.

Don't know how close you are going to get to AZ, but there is a huge forest fire up in the Yarnell area that has already claimed the lives of 19 firefighters. Down in the Phoenix area it has already reached 119 degrees.

I would love to do the TAT sometime, but doubt I am physically up to it (to many medical issues)

Anyway, congratulations on your progress so far, and best of luck finishing it. The Toad will make it.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:24 AM   #228
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Day 29



You packed your gold pan, didn't you? Near Glendale, OR


Day 29
Glendale to Port Orford, OR.
The end of the trail.
The final leg of my journey was a relatively short one, only 124 miles according to my GPS. I was used to riding between 200 and 300 miles a day, and so I was in no hurry to get started this morning. I took extra time prepping the Toad for the day’s ride, it would be heartbreaking to have a mechanical failure this close to my destination. I was a little tight, almost like I expected something to happen that would prevent me from finishing. In fact, as a result of this case of the nerves, I forgot to switch on the tracking feature on my Spot device. Not a big deal really, but Donna would not be able to track my progress during the course of the day. She later told me that she thought it was because I was under the forest canopy again, and the satellite was not getting a signal, so she was not as worried as the day before.
Today’s route was almost directly west through the Coastal Range. The area was fairly remote after leaving Glendale, and there were no towns that I was passing through, so I had to carry extra fuel with me to be able to make it to the coast. I decided to go ahead a fill the extra two-gallon carry-on instead of just putting a gallon in it (which should have been enough) because I had this premonition that I would need it. This later proved to be a good decision.
I had heard from western riders that this part of the TAT could be difficult if it was wet, with all of the downed logs, branches and rocks on the trails, so this is what I was expecting. It had not rained in a few days, but as locals can tell you, the Coastal Mountains have a way of retaining moisture. There would be creek crossings, mud holes and slippery rocks and logs. That is just the nature of the beast.
After a short paved section out of Glendale, the TAT headed into the mountains. The climbs could be steep at times as the trail took me to the top, or near the top, of several ridges. After traveling along the ridge lines for some distance, the trail would dip down and take me along the shoulder of the mountain, before climbing up and over the ridge, back and forth, again and again. Occasionally, the route would dip all the way down into small valleys between ridges, before climbing out of the valley up to the opposite ridge. The views from the top of the ridge lines here were often breathtaking, and I stopped often to admire them.
As I made my way slowly to the west and the Pacific Ocean, the TAT passed through some areas of heavy logging activity. In fact, about 30 miles of the trail passed through active clear-cutting logging operations. As I was traveling along a ridge, I noticed that ALL of the hills surrounding me were devoid of timber. It was like someone had suddenly beamed me out of the forest to the surface of the moon. I was amazed at the effort it must have taken to retrieve the logs from the sides of these steep hills. Nothing remained except for some branches, brush and debris. This is where my difficulties for the day would begin.
As I mentioned in the previous day’s post, logging operations often change the network of roads and trails that previously existed in the forest. Some roads will become buried under mountains of debris, while others will be re-routed or become dead-ends depending on the needs of the loggers as they extract the timber. New roads will be created (that carve-up old roads) to allow them to access the logs more efficiently. All of this creates navigational nightmares for the person following a GPS track or following route sheets. For the next few hours I found myself backtracking down roads and trails that either became dead-ends or simply disappeared under dirt and debris in an effort to find a way around and get back on course. I was on one of these detours looking for a way to get back on the TAT when I can upon some loggers operating equipment that was blocking the road. I asked one lumberjack standing nearby if I would be able to get around. He said something into a walkie-talkie and said that I would have to speak to the man in the pickup truck that was coming up the road. I waited. When he finally drove up, he leaned out the window of his truck and asked, “Now who ARE you?” I told him. He said I was trespassing on private land and that I was not supposed to be there. He also said he was now going to have to escort me off the property to Highway 42, about 12 miles away. He also said that I should have known better, with all of the locked gates and signs saying that these roads were now closed to the public due to the logging operations. I told him that I did not go around any locked gates and did not see any signs. (I really had not, I just went around a giant log that was cut down to block the road at one point.) Of course, he gave me a look like he did not believe me and motioned for me to follow him. I was not in a confrontational mood and did not have the energy to argue, so I began to follow the dust of his truck as we headed down the road. After about a mile or two, he pulled over and motioned for me to come up to the cab of his truck. He then apologized for being a little gruff and explained that during the dry season the logging companies were very concerned about the possibility of people passing through starting fires. For this reason, all of the roads through this area were now closed to the public, and NOBODY except the logging personnel was supposed to be there. He asked if I had a fire extinguisher and water. I said I had water, but no fire extinguisher, since this was not a requirement in my home state. (Apparently, having a fire extinguisher if you are an off-road rider is required by law in Oregon.) He was curious as to how I got there without going around a locked gate. I took out my TAT route map and showed him on my GPS as well. I then had the opportunity to tell him the story of my journey. He warmed-up immediately and said that he would like to do something similar some day. I learned that his name was Harold Merritt, a senior forester for the Plum Creek Company. Harold then took out his maps and then helped plot a route that would help me bypass the logging operations and get back on the TAT. In fact, he escorted me to the beginning of the road that I would have to take to go around the logging. The road was very non-descript in the middle of the clear-cut, and it would have been difficult for me to find on my own, even with my maps and GPS. Harold then gave me precise directions on which turns to make once I was on the road to get where I needed to go. He was obviously a busy man, so it was very cool of him to take the time to do this for me. On the way out, I DID go around two locked gates with signs stating the area was closed.
Just before I reached the last gate in this area, I had a weird encounter with a bear. First of all, it was strange that a bear would be in the middle of the clear cut with all of the logging activity going on, so the sighting was totally unexpected. I was riding through a little sliver of woods between clear cuts when I flushed a bear cub on the left side of the trail. He ran down the trail in front of me for a few seconds, before turning around to stare at me from the right side of the trail. For a fleeting moment I had the impulse to stop and try to take a picture of him, but I thought better of it. Momma Bear could have been close by ready to swat me off the Toad if she thought I was threatening her baby, so I got out of there as fast as I could!
Further down the trail, the clear cut logging ceased when I crossed back on to public land. The contrast was astounding. One moment I was in the middle of a barren no-man’s land, and the next I was back under a lush forest canopy!
As I approached the ocean, I could feel it. It became much cooler, and the vegetation around me denser. Several kinds of wildflowers such as Monkshood, poppies, day lilies and paintbrushes lined the trail. I rode down between sheer rock corridors as the trail wound down the mountain. A few more ravines and creek crossings later (and a minor detour to the Elk River and back), and I was in Port Orford. After a few shots of the Toad in front of the town harbor and a hug from Donna, my ride was finished. 166 miles traveled today (with the backtracking and detours) for a total of 4,852 miles on the trip.
The little bike that could, did. It had sat neglected in a corner of the garage for nearly three decades and was resurrected for an adventure to celebrate the end of my professional career. I was not disappointed.


Pioneer graves, near Glendale, OR.

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Old 07-05-2013, 01:29 AM   #229
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Photos, Day 29



Do you see the trail? Neither did I. Coast Range, between Glendale and Port Orford, OR.




Riding the ridges between the clear cuts, Coast Range.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:34 AM   #230
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Photos, Day 29



Road blocked off by loggers, Coast Range, between Glendale and Port Orford.




More clear cutting. Coast Range.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:42 AM   #231
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Photos, Day 29



The TAT ends in a clear cut once again. Coast Range near Powers, OR.




On the next episode of Ax Men..... Logging equipment in the road on the private land that was closed to the public. Near Powers, OR.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:53 AM   #232
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Photos, Day 29



Harold Merritt, Senior Forester, Plum Creek Timber Company. Harold helped get me around the logging operations in the area. Plum Creek is the largest single landowner in the United States. The company is the heir to 47 million acres, first granted to Northern Pacific Railway in the 1860's.




Near where I saw the bear. Yes, that is the TAT trail in front of me. Look at the GPS track in the picture.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:57 AM   #233
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Getting closer... Near Port Orford, OR.




Closer yet.... Near Port Orford, OR.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:00 AM   #234
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Elk River, NE of Port Orford, OR.





Another creek crossing, Near Port Orford, OR.

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Old 07-05-2013, 02:05 AM   #235
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Photos, Day 29



The Toad hops into town.




On the way to the harbor.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:09 AM   #236
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Photos, Day 29



The Harbor, Port Orford.




The little bike that could, did.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:18 AM   #237
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well done abee

interesting trip report ,and yes we would love to see you wifes version of things,reminds me of a 10,000 km trip on a 71 vespa i did
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:54 AM   #238
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Congratulations! Great job, I enjoyed the ride to the end!

One simple question; what GPS map(s) did you use? It did not look like Topo.
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Moto's: 300xcw,500exc,990Baja
past:BigBear250,T100cs,Savage250s,TS185,DT175,GT550,TY250,XR200/350/250,R75/7,Ft500,RD350,YZ125,KDX175,SP500,K1000rs,DR250,883,S1,ST2,KLX650,KE100,GS1000,Monster,Vstr om1000&650,950adv,625sxc,250SSherpa,530exc,990adv, 690e
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #239
JackB1
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Andy,
Mega congrats on your amazing and epic journey!
Hope we get to meet at some point!
Ride safe.
Jack Broomall
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:04 AM   #240
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Well Done!
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