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Old 09-18-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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A CT175 and DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT

This is a ride report of the trip through the Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado sections of the TAT my father and I rode June 26th through July 4th 2014.

The machines:
Dad rode the same trusty 1971 CT175 Yamaha Enduro that he did on our first leg of the TAT (for that report check my signature line). He added a 1.5 gallon fuel can, a fork leg mounted LED light, rearranged his luggage setup a bit, and added LED lights to his roll chart holder but otherwise the bike went unchanged. Thankfully, we had GPS this time around so the role chart and holder were not used much. Also, since we had no plans of camping we were able to travel a bit lighter.


I had changed bikes since our last run and now I am riding a 1995 DR350SE. I absolutely love the bike and have installed a few items to add to its usefulness on a trip like this. I put on a 6 gallon tank from a Honda XR series bike, round headlight, headlight grill, skid plate, handguards, rear rack, higher bars, front fender support, kick starter, etc. to make the bike what I consider the perfect bike for this trip. Also, having an electric start is a nice addition compared to riding the XR250R I rode on the previous trip.

We headed out the door early on June 26th with Bartlesville Oklahoma as our destination and TAT starting point. I saw the family off

We snapped a beginning of trip photo

And we were on the road.
We stopped for an early lunch just outside of Casey IL at Richards Farm Restaurant which is an amazing place that is built inside of an old barn. They have a killer lunch buffet so we loaded up for the long journey to Oklahoma.


We made it to Bartlesville that night in time to get a good meal from Outlaws Steakhouse (was TK’s last time we were there) and a decent night’s sleep before we started the TAT. The next morning we woke up, did our final packing, told the receptionist where we were leaving the vehicle, and were on the road. We headed for the exact spot where we left off… the dreaded water crossing. It was a bit of a tense moment considering we had no idea what to expect. The road could have been much worse than when we left it or not have a drop of water on it. Lucky for us it was the later…












It’s hard to believe that the water was almost up to the top of our seats at this very spot a couple of years before. We rode on happy to have not started off with a tough or possibly impassible water crossing. I was hopeful that this was a good sign of water levels for the rest of the area as well. Riding the rest of the day was as to be expected for the OK section of the TAT, flat and pretty mundane. The weather was perfect for us and even though it was clouding up we didn’t get a drop of rain all day. Just about the only thing you see on the trail in this part of the state is oil well pumps.

The ground was prime so we were able to keep a good fast pace doing around 50mph on the mix of dirt and gravel. If the roads would have been muddy it would have been a whole other story. We did hit soft spots of dirt every so often that would shake us up a bit but nothing major. And of course there was the wind…







This was one lonesome and desolate stretch of riding and we had yet to see a place to stop for fuel or food all day. We had wondered how we were going to get the gas out of dads horizontally mounted auxiliary fuel tank so on our first time running out of gas we found out. Running down an old gravel road I knew dad had to be running on fumes. I was keeping an eye out for trash on the side of the road to use to transfer fuel from the auxiliary tank to his main gas tank. Dad crept to a stop and I knew what had happened. I drove back the road a bit where I had spotted an RC Cola two liter bottle a minute before. We cut the top off the bottle to use for a funnel and dad would lean the bike over as I held the RC Cola bottle under the spout to fill with fuel. This was a great system we used the rest of the trip. We saved the RC Cola bottle and it stayed with us the whole time. It is one of those great trip souvenirs that will probably go with us on future trips! We had our refill routine down to NASCAR pit crew speed by the time the trip was over


Our first stop and where we were able to get lunch was at a gas station in Newkirk. It was the hub of civilization for the couple of thousand people that lived in the area and had Subway so we were happy to find it. By the time that we made it to Newkirk dad had already ran out of gas a couple of times and ran out of fuel a total of four times on the day. Thankfully between the aux. tank and the fuel in my supertanker we had no worries. The only other issue we had all day besides stopping for refuels was when I had a slide out on a creek crossing. The creek was barely trickling over the concrete pad that went through the path of the crossing and the moss was very thick on top. I didn’t have a second to think before I had been pancaked to the ground. Thankfully dad was able to barely get stopped before running over me. I brushed myself off and looked over the bike and we were back on our way.

We made it to Alva Oklahoma at about 7pm after 250 trail miles. We checked in to a hotel and got some diner advice from some contract oil workers. They said that the local BBQ place “about five miles out of town” had some really awesome grub. With more wind than we had experienced all day and lighting in the distance we headed toward the Smoke Shak. After riding through threatening conditions on the highway for about twenty minutes we had finally made it to a place that really earned its right to put Shak in its name. It was the longest “five miles” I had ever ridden but it was worth it. We got stuffed on awesome BBQ, sides, and sweet tea and headed back toward the motel with conditions not improved and it now being dark. When we arrived at the hotel the guys that gave us the food advice were outside partying it up and we talked for a bit. We told them thanks for the recommendation but it was just a hair further out of town than five miles!

We went to sleep that night knowing that a storm was rolling in and taking off in the morning was going to be questionable. When it rains on the Great Plains it really comes down. When wind is mixed in with the rain it’s not something to mess around with especially on small motorcycles. We got packed up the next morning and headed for McDonalds for some breakfast seeing the storm hanging overhead. While eating the rain started coming down in buckets so we decided to wait it out for about an hour. The rain let up a bit and we decided to push onwards.
After finding out what the dirt was like in OK we knew it would be nearly impossible to ride the trail in the muddy conditions that this rain was bringing on. We decided to stay on Hwy 64, just a two lane paved road, and keep an eye out on the side roads to check on dirt conditions. After riding the boring highway for hours the rain had stopped but the view of the dirt roads told us that we were going to be staying on the slab.
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=827855
A CT175 & DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1010764

AC909 screwed with this post 11-24-2014 at 08:52 AM
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
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We stopped at an old gas station outside of Buffalo OK for fuel and something to snack on and met up with a couple of other TAT riders. They were doing a coast to coast run on a route based on the TAT. The two went under the name RogueADV on Google Plus and were super nice and great to talk with. Both bikes they were on were well set up. One being and DRZ400

And the other was a Husky

They were wearing front vest packs called Ribz that I thought were a really cool way to carry gear

Like us, they were both ready to get out of Oklahoma. We went inside and talked with a few of the locals. I just had to ask where in the world these people go for day to day supplies since there was literally nothing around. One of them responded that “Tulsa was only about 120 miles and they have everything you need there”. I had to really hold myself back from laughing about the thought of driving two hours for a gallon of milk or laundry detergent. It really blew my mind. This whole state and area just completely reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite with how bland and dull everything is. Everyone was very nice to talk to but we had to keep truckin’ along.
From the gas stop we headed on looking for some real food and stopped at a “Soda Shop” in Hooker. It was a pretty cool little place with decent food but they didn’t even have old fashion soda!


Oklahoma was really starting to get to me at this point. We were ready to get out of this state that I really have no desire to ever go back to. I am glad we didn’t skip this part of the TAT just because it made us appreciate what was to come so much more. We pressed on and rolled into Guymon which was our stop for the night.

As we were coming into town I noticed that my carb was overflowing and my bike was sputtering. I assumed that my float was stuck and that it would work its way out of it. The carb didn’t want to stop leaking so since it was pretty early, about five o’clock, we decided to tear into it. After taking the carb off we found that the problem was a shot needle holder o-ring. I brought tons of spares along but I didn’t have that part in particular. Dad set off for the Auto Zone across the street from the hotel to see what he could come up with. I stayed with the bike and dad made it back with a couple of packages of assorted o-rings. We picked out the o-ring that closest resembled what we needed and it felt really good when I reinstalled the needle holder. After putting everything together we took a quick spin and the problem had been taken care of. It was an amazing feeling to fix something like that out of parts you can find at an Auto Zone and the whole ordeal only took a couple of hours.
After riding a pretty bland past couple of days the trip was really looking up. We got washed up a little and I was ready for a beer. We started walking toward the gas station and were keeping an eye out for dinner at the same time. I spotted a Mexican food truck and we hit it up on the way back from the station.


It turned out to be a very memorable meal and we got to talk to the food truck owner for a bit which was a really nice guy. We both ordered Tortas which neither of us Midwesterners had ever had or heard of and they turned out to be absolutely amazing. Dad ordered one to go and gave it to the receptionist on the way back up to our room and she was very grateful. Hey, when you put up with us and tell us where to find cold beer you deserve something in return! This is what it’s all about:

We were both excited to know that we would be seeing Oklahoma in our rear view mirror tomorrow. The next morning we set our course toward the metropolis of Boise City where we would hop back on the TAT. Dad added injector oil at the gas station in Boise City for the first time and we were off. The end of Oklahoma was a pretty sandy ride and we saw a couple of tracks where guys had wrecked in some of the deep spots. Seeing the zig zag patterns in the soil I could tell that they were riding under way worse conditions and had much larger heavier bikes than us.
Crossing into New Mexico was a very joyous occasion.


The temperature was hovering around the 105 to 110 Fahrenheit mark but there was no humidity like we are used to in Indiana so it really wasn’t too bad. Every once in a while I would get a good gust to the chest that took my breath away a bit but staying hydrated made a big difference.


Riding through New Mexico was an absolute treat as we had never been in this part of the country. There were what we called Prairie Dogs absolutely everywhere, my rear tire sent one to it final resting place, and the antelope were not in short supply either. I was leading and an antelope ran down the road in front of me for a good distance before it finally tucked under the fence lining the road. It kind of blew me away because the White Tail deer in Indiana would have jumped over the fence with ease long before. Another time one of the antelope was running parallel to me about 15 feet away for a good distance. I was cruising at about 30mph and he was right there with me. Knowing he wanted to get to the other side of the road I hit the brakes and he did an immediate 90 degree turn feet from my front fender.
It was very desolate country and dad ran out of gas twice.








The whole part of New Mexico had been just amazing dual sport riding. We came toward the end of the New Mexico section and met up with two riders, one on and KLR and the other on a DRZ if I remember right, so we stopped to talk since we hadn’t seen a soul all day. They informed us that they were heading back the way they came due to the route ahead being very steep and washed out with big cliff drops and ruts that would swallow the bikes. The two strongly advised us not to try the route and that there was a paved road that would take you to Branson CO which is where the TAT route was heading. We thanked the guys for the information and told them we wanted to assess the situation for ourselves.
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=827855
A CT175 & DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1010764

AC909 screwed with this post 09-19-2014 at 07:07 AM
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #3
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We got to the bottom of the “biker route” (as the little foot long faded handmade sign called it) and pressed on. The route did have two to three foot deep wash outs, step climbs, a switchback or two, large rocks strewn all over, a huge drop off the side that would surely be fatal, and a low margin for error so of course without much hesitation we proceeded to make an attempt at it. Well, let’s just say it was some of the best and awesome technical riding of the trip! It felt amazing to get to the top of something like that where most others have turned around. I can totally understand detouring and think it is completely the right thing to do if you don’t feel confident in your riding ability in those conditions but man did it feel good to conquer it. We continued on to the top where the route plateaued into an amazing empty grass land. Dad was ready for a gas refill and it gave us the chance to talk about how awesome the climb up was and even saw some wildlife while we were refilling.



We continued on and came through the town of Branson Colorado. As we were rolling into the backside of town we came to the intersection where the pavement and dirt meet. Sure enough here came the guys that had told us about the rough road ahead. They saw us sitting at the intersection and gave us huge congratulations and took our pictures as proof we had made it through. These were the only other two TAT riders we were to meet on the entire trip and it was a great moment we got to share with them.
From Branson to Trinidad there was some very nice riding and we were clicking along at a good pace.

We were starting to get into some good hilly riding and you notice right away you are in Colorado much like we could tell right away when we got to New Mexico. We had been having so much fun all day we didn’t even realize that we had not eaten anything since breakfast. As we rode into Trinidad we started looking for some food. We ended up at a place called BRIX which was a great restaurant with big open windows out the street that let the amazing weather in.

I ordered up Green chili, sweet potato fries, and a Dales Pale Ale and was in heaven. One thing I love about going out west is that hot sauce is just a standard condiment anywhere you go. Back home when we eat out and I ask for hot sauce it is hit or miss whether or not the place will have any. I was in good company here.

The owner came over and talked to us a bit and said he had guys like us in the past coming through on the TAT. We got a hotel not far away that had a swimming pool which felt AMAZING after riding through the heat that we had been in that day. When I hopped in the water it felt like all of the pores of my skin were just soaking it up. We hit up the hot tub too which was nice and relaxing. Dad noticed his bike getting a little sluggish and not running up to par so he decided to do the first of many main jet changes. The old Enduro has an awesome external bolt that holds the main jet so a change takes about two minutes with a wrench and or screw driver. We also repaired my cameras helmet mount with some Gorilla Tape since it had decided to snap at some time or another along the trail.


As dad was finishing up his jet change a guy came over that had an old Enduro just like the one dad was riding back in the day (seems like everyone did). He and dad got to talking and the guy got so fired up about seeing the CT that he was going to track his old bike down and get it back up and running. It was really cool to see someone get inspired by dad still using this great old machine. Who knows maybe that guy will be doing a similar trip on his Enduro in the future.

After a long day of riding we turned in knowing that the trail was only going to get even better tomorrow. The next morning we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed for La Veta which was going to be our first fuel stop. The trail out of Trinidad was very straight and unmentionable until you get into the forest and mountains and then it gets very nice. Dad’s bike still was not running well and so we decided to try another main jet change. The riding to La Veta was beautiful consisting of a great mix of gravel and dirt roads.






We made it to La Veta and pulled in the gas / service station. We filled up and pulled the bikes over to a shady area behind the building so Dad could clean his air filter and do anything else that may be needed.

The filter was very dirty so cleaning it was sure to help performance and we also changed the spark plug out. We still were not sure on the jetting so we put yet a smaller main jet in knowing that getting in to the high elevation wasn’t helping the situation. After a nice maintenance break we hit the trail which was very nice hard packed dirt and still had a pretty desert like feel. The scenery was great and we saw Moose, Elk, and tons of prairie dogs.


Rolling along dad was dropping further and further behind me and I was constantly having to wait for him so I knew his bike was not in good shape. We got to an amazing view point just outside of Salida where we stopped to take it in.


Being on the mountainside dad didn’t even kick his bike over he just started coasting. Well, turns out as we are riding that he hadn’t started his bike in the 10 miles it had been since we had stopped! He had coasted all the way down the mountain and kept up with me just fine! Probably not a whole lot of people that have done that on a motorcycle. After a long day of the 175 running at only 20 mph at times it was nice to get to our nights destination of Salida. We went and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Mama D’s which was right across the street from a bar that we had been told about in La Veta called the Victorian. It looked fantastic but we were both beat and ready to get some sleep. That’s not to say we didn’t stop at Sonic for some ice cream on the way back to the hotel. While we were at Sonic the crowd there reminded us of some laws that had recently passed and some things that were illegal in Colorado are not so illegal now...stoners love Sonic apparently.
The next morning dad did some work on the 175 and adjusted the points which seemed to help a ton. While he was working on the bike I did something that we had never done on one of our trips before and booked a hotel room in advance for that night. I knew that we had to get to Silverton and knowing how small of a town it was I decided it would be a good idea. Ends up we got the last room in town and so it was a very good thing we pre-booked. Dad got the bike put back together and we took off hopeful that the points were the issue. It was July 1st, my 29th birthday, and I knew this was going to be one to remember. The riding was again phenomenal and the view is just spectacular anywhere you look. We were quickly taken on Marshal Pass that was some fantastic riding.

The pass had a lot of what I could only guess were snow blocks of some kind that kept snow slides from happening in the winter. The blocks made for some excellent ramps. I was really chugging along in a good groove and getting some pretty nice air on some of them. Did I mention we were having a blast? We made it to Sargents CO where we were hoping to fuel up but the pumps were inoperable so away we went. Sargents seemed like a very cool place with not much more than a gas station and some primitive cabins you could rent. Since the station was unavailable dad again made use of the spare fuel we were packing along.
We went past Tomichi Dome which was just beautiful country side with perfect gravel roads. The entire area smelled like a bouquet of fresh herbs.





Soon after Tomichi Dome we came to a spot in the road where a couple of cowboys on horses were rounding up some cattle. They had a couple of dogs with them and I puttered along past as slowly and quiet as I could so I didn’t disturb anything. Dad stayed back and witnessed a pretty cool site. The dogs had went to one side of the road and the cows on the other. One of the cows hunkered down and was going to lunge at one of the dogs. When the cow made his move the dog reared up showed its teeth and lunged back. The cow got scared mid road and put itself back in line. Dad just laughed and rolled along. It was pretty cool to see this little dog put such a huge cow back in its place.
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=827855
A CT175 & DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1010764

AC909 screwed with this post 09-22-2014 at 10:31 AM
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
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Looking forward to more...nice DR350 Nathan!
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:08 PM   #5
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Heading into Lake City we were ready to grab some food and stopped at another great BBQ joint that was also a gas station. Lake City gave me the feeling that the whole place was one big campground. It was so cool to see everyone just hanging out, driving golf carts up and down the street, and having a great time. While eating we saw a few other motorcycles and all sorts of 4X4’s and Sportsmobile type machines rolling through town. It was as if every day was a parade of awesome stuff coming through.


Leaving Lake City I knew that just around the corner was Cinnamon Pass. I had read so many great things about this Pass and the area so I was super excited to get there. The day was getting late for us to start on the section so I knew we needed to get a move on. Just as we started into the entrance of the pass dad’s bike loses all form of power. We pull over and figure we really need to dig into the bike to see what is going on. Thankfully both of us brought enough spares and tools to do dang near a whole rebuild so I knew we would be fine. The main problem was that time was very much of the essence since the top of a mountain is no place to be in the middle of the night. We get to tearing into the bike taking the left side cover off, pulling the flywheel, and inspecting everything and notice way more oil than should be in the area.

Come to find out the main crankshaft seal had popped out of its place. I suppose that the seals are only good for about 40 years or so… We get the seal back in, put all new points on, change the spark plug and the bike starts running better than it has in days. We are very relieved to figure out the problem but not relieved that we were starting at the base of Cinnamon Pass at six o’clock at night.
Charging onward I am having such a blast riding that I almost forget that darkness is really creeping in.















The trail is fantastic with enough little challenging spots to keep everything interesting and the scenery is beyond picturesque. The whole way to the top of the pass I was thinking about how happy I was to be on a small bike because a bigger bike would just be a burden on these types of trails. After a great ride up through some spots with 10-12 foot high snow walls we made it to the top of Cinnamon Pass and grab a couple of pictures.








We don’t dally around too much since its getting dark and Silverton is still a good ride away. I stop to grab a picture of one of the old structures at Animas Forks and we decide that we need to assess or situation. It’s no longer getting dark, it flat out is dark and we are on top of a mountain.





We decided to type in Silverton to the GPS and have it take us the shortest distance there. I mean when I say that this is one of the biggest mistakes we could have made and it could have turned out very very bad in the hours ahead. As we were leaving the old building I noticed that we kept going up the mountain a good ways. It really got me to thinking that Silverton is at the base of the mountain so why are we going up? Well, we were about to be going down quickly very soon.
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=827855
A CT175 & DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1010764

AC909 screwed with this post 09-19-2014 at 08:02 AM
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:31 PM   #6
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The sun was just going down at its last point and we had arrived at the very top of the mountain range. It was one of the most beautiful serine moments of my entire life. Little did I know that this was to be the calm before the storm.



As we continue on down the trail things get very steep, very loose, and very fast. It’s completely pitch black out at this point and I can see nothing beyond my headlight. This was the steepest grade we had been on the entire trip and the rock beneath us was extremely loose like there had recently been a landslide. Beneath the shale rock there were bowling ball sized boulders waiting to clip my front tire and pitch me over the edge. Also, this trail was the narrowest we had been on so hugging the mountain side was reassuring. Did I say reassuring? Well, it should have been other than on the mountain side of the trail was a ditch that water had dug along the entire path. This ditch was full of small rock that was ready to suck you into it should you get too close. This was absolutely the most terrified I have ever been in my entire life. We were creeping along white knuckle riding the whole way trying not to have a slide out and preparing for the switchbacks that were in the distance.
After each switchback and new level of decent the trail was so steep that my light would not touch the ground ahead until I got my bike started down the hill so I had no idea what to expect in the darkness. At one point I came to a rock ledge and my rear wheel had a rock wedged in front of it not allowing me to use my momentum to simply coast. I was going to have to barely burp the throttle enough to send me over the ledge and quickly squeeze my brakes without giving too much throttle and not grabbing too much brake that would certainly send me off the side of the mountain.
After an hour or so of this I was getting exhausted from stress and strain and got caught by the rock pile in the ditch running mountainside. My DR fell over on my leg pinning me completely in a very painful position. Dad was barely able to slide to a stop without wrecking himself and pulled the bike off of me while I held a hand on the front brake lever so the bike would not go tumbling down the trail. This incident was the pinnacle of us realizing we were in an extremely dangerous spot. From the accident on things were twice as tense knowing how susceptible we were to something like that happening again and how easily it can turn deadly. After about another hour and several more switchbacks things were starting to look much better as we had reached a road that my GPS called 2 that took us into Silverton. Getting off of that mountain I could have kissed the ground but was so stressed out and exhausted that even running the basic dirt road that was 2 into Silverton seemed like a task. Since my tip over on the mountain every rock seemed like something that could turn into an accident and every dip in the road could buck me from the bike. I was ready to rest. We rolled into Silverton at about 10:30 and it was a ghost town. We came to the room we had rented and I don’t believe I have ever been so happy to be somewhere.
We walked in the room and I gave dad a great big hug. We were laughing and I was almost crying with excitement and adrenaline just to be alive and off the side of that forsaken mountainside that could have easily been the end of our time on earth. As I hugged him he sarcastically said “why did you make me do that!” and we were just so glad that we escaped another one of our crazy situations.
Riding into town we noticed the lights were on at a Mexican restaurant down the street from our room. We decided to go back to it just to see if by chance they would still have something we could eat.

Turns out they were having a family party of some kind and had closed for the day hours ago. When we asked if they had anything we could eat she offered us a meal of three tacos each and a couple of beers. This was without a doubt the best birthday dinner I had ever had and the food could have been terrible and still tasted like edible gold.

This was a really cool authentic Mexican restaurant. The family was having a heck of a shin dig on the other side of the room playing some sort of dice game that had to be the greatest thing since bread came sliced. This environment was so different from what we had been in not a half hour earlier it couldn’t help but lift our spirits even further.

We left for our rooms extremely grateful to the family and ready to crash.
I woke up the next morning early, having two young girls at home does not allow you to sleep in, and walked around the town of Silverton. What an amazing place!


This is my kind of town. Remote but with all of the things you want. Silverton has a hardware store, multiple good looking restaurants, a coffee shop or two, and a gas station. Oh yeah, Silverton also has a magnificent view of the mountains and other scenery.

I could have stayed here a few days no problem.

I headed back to our room and got dad up to get some breakfast. While he was getting ready I went outside and talked to a few of the guys from a group of Adventure motorcycles parked out front. They were doing a similar route to the TAT in the surrounding area. I asked how they were fairing out there on the big bikes in some of the more technical stuff. One guy went on to tell me that a few of the riders had sacrificed their center stands to the mountains that day! They were a good group of guys and said they were heading the same direction as us. As me and dad were walking off to breakfast I said goodbye and maybe we’ll see them on the trail. We found an amazing place for breakfast and ate like hogs. We were happy to find some more good food! Green chili being called “gravy” and being put on or in everything is just alright by me!

We walked back to the room and spoke with the owner of the place. He was a good guy and a DRZ400 rider himself. I told him what we had gotten ourselves into the night before and he gave me the “I’m surprised you idiots are alive” look that a local will give a traveler when they do something really dumb. He informed me that we were on Picayune Gulch and it was difficult in the day let alone in the dead of night. He also said the gulch had just opened a week or so prior so we were one of the first people on it all season.

We talked a bit longer and were on our way knowing that today would be our last day of riding. With not a whole lot of miles to accomplish and certainly a lot more relaxed than the day before we were looking forward to a perfect finish for the trip.
Heading out of Silverton we stopped at the gas station at the intersection on the outskirts of town. We talked with a man and woman on a Harley that had come over from Australia to do a multi week USA trip on rented bikes. They were having a blast and called us “legends” for doing the type of riding we were doing. They were a very nice couple living out one of their motorcycle riding dreams. Next up was Ophir Pass. What a sweet ride this was.

The sun was shining bright and conditions were fantastic. There were some small water crossing and we were in heaven.

We made it to the top of Ophir grinning the whole way.

Ophir was just beautiful, with the descent we have all seen the pictures of. It never seems to get old though.


As we were nearing the end of Ophir I saw a group of Adventure bikes stopped on the side Lo and behold it was the guys from the room in Silverton that had left an hour or so before us. They looked a bit worn out on the big bikes but we just cruised along grinning and honking at them. They recognized us and were giving thumbs up and waves back. They were a good group of riders and had to have been having a great time too.

Shortly after Ophir you can certainly tell you are getting close to the Utah border and out of the mountains. The riding is still spectacular and fast paced on hard packed and gravel dirt roads. There was a spot where wildflowers were growing that was beautiful.


We road through this scenery for hours and came to Groundhog Lake that seemed like an oasis in the middle of nothing


Groundhog Lake was to be one of the last notable places we rode through before our TAT trip ended. We came to a spot on the trail that definitely let us know we were right on the Utah border by the desert looks of things and temperature.

We realized we might want to start making calls to see where the nearest UHaul was so we could get a truck reserved to get us and the bikes back to our vehicle in Oklahoma. After a few calls and about a half an hour we found out that a place had the truck we were needing about an hour away in Mancos. We were going to be cutting it close on time because they closed in about an hour and a half. It quickly became a race to just get to the UHaul before the business closed and start heading back to Oklahoma on that same night instead of waiting until the morning. After a little drama of getting separated on the way I made it to the UHaul business in the nick of time and took care of the reservation. I got my bike ready to be loaded and changed clothes so when dad rolled up we would be ready for him to do the same. After finding some wood to make a ramp out of we loaded the bikes and were on our way home.

The drive home was a great one talking about our next trip for the TAT and how ready we were to see the family again. We really made good time stopping just outside of Albuquerque NM the first night and making it to Bartlesville OK the next. My goal was to make it back to Indiana in time to make the big 4th of July party in Ferdinand that we always have a great time at with my wife’s family and friends. We made it to Jackson’s Hole where the party was at and I was so happy to see my girls and wife again.

The night was fantastic and it was the perfect ending to another amazing trip with dad I will never forget.
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
theofam
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That was a great write up! I've been lucky enough to take a couple trips with my dad - they're highlights of my life's memories to this day!

I cringed when I saw you guys were heading up Cinnamon Pass at 6:00pm. I figured you two accidentally got orders switched with some of the other Coloradoans at Sonic.

I read your ride report solely on the title having "CT175" in it. I forgot it was an old Yamaha. What a hoot! Between your dad being stone-cold awesome, and your nicely kitted DR350, I'm thoroughly pleased I postponed cooking my family dinner for 30 minutes to read this!

Take care,
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
Kevinj110
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So awesome. I am still jealous.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for the report!
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed the report!
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A CT175 & XR250R Do A Few States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=827855
A CT175 & DR350 Do a Few More States of the TAT
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1010764
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:26 AM   #11
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Perfect ride report! Im scared to do mine now.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:32 AM   #12
wayno
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First one first.....Ill be back lol
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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Cool report - great memories for you and your Dad!
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #14
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That was just great...wish my father and I could had done same!
Thanks
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:37 PM   #15
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Fantastic. Cool idea to rent a Uhaul for the return trip.
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