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Old 07-29-2014, 08:36 PM   #181
locorider
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Great pic!
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:54 AM   #182
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Glad you are enjoying our neck of the woods. Had my DR on the Dragon and the Gravelhala a few weeks ago. However, I crashed on the Gravelhala trying to avoid a giant pothole and an F-250 at the same time.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:05 PM   #183
Deanwife
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FYI - Catch this guys RR!

Deanman,
When you get a chance to... This guy has a ride report called "TAT on a DR350" (looks just like your 350) that you should read up on. He's only four pages long so far and they are in Colorado at this writing. Being only a couple of states behind them you could learn some of the things that they are experiencing. For instance a Road Closed sign at a bridge in the Ozarks can really be passed on bike and good riding on the other side. Also mentions a mean rancher that doesn't want you to cross his path in New Mexico... better go around. All good info for you to know ahead of time.
Hope you get a chance to catch up on YOUR ride report soon too... Gotta keep your fan club happy!
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:45 AM   #184
Deanman OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locorider View Post
Great pic!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdubb View Post
Glad you are enjoying our neck of the woods. Had my DR on the Dragon and the Gravelhala a few weeks ago. However, I crashed on the Gravelhala trying to avoid a giant pothole and an F-250 at the same time.
Yeah the 4 wheeled traffic has almost taken me out too, along with a few 4 legged critters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanwife View Post
Deanman,
When you get a chance to... This guy has a ride report called "TAT on a DR350" (looks just like your 350) that you should read up on. He's only four pages long so far and they are in Colorado at this writing. Being only a couple of states behind them you could learn some of the things that they are experiencing. For instance a Road Closed sign at a bridge in the Ozarks can really be passed on bike and good riding on the other side. Also mentions a mean rancher that doesn't want you to cross his path in New Mexico... better go around. All good info for you to know ahead of time.
Hope you get a chance to catch up on YOUR ride report soon too... Gotta keep your fan club happy!
Thanks baby, I browsed it, but need to jot down those locations. Working on it.

I'm at Frog Hollow campground about 9 miles So. Of the TAT, in Grenada, MS. They have Wifi, but it must not be too speedy, as it took over 6 hours to upload 250 pics to smugmug.
Today I'm going to buy a regular USB card reader so I can avoid having to deal with slow wifi.
But, back to the report, picking it up on Sunday:
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by CHICKENHAWK View Post
Glad to see you made it to the right coast (as opposed to the left coast) without incident.

The walking taco has become quite the topic of conversation between my sister and I. May have to share that one with the guys when I get back to work.

Pretty cool to see all the inmates that have been involved in your ride. What a great network of riders we have on ADV!
Yep, meeting (and not meeting but hearing from) so many people is what makes these trips so great, and memorable.

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Originally Posted by ClineDesign View Post
Killboy.com photos of Deanman on the Tail of the Dragon, Deals Gap, North Carolina.

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Or...2&po=35&pc=746
Thanks Jay! I only saw the one you shared on FB so far but I thought it looked great. I should have washed the bike first
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:10 AM   #186
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Day 29 Sunday July 27

Today I mounted tires on the bike, cleaned the air filter, and lubed the chain. I also safety wired in the exhaust bolts which I hadn't gotten around to doing the day before.



It was a pretty hot day, and even in his air conditioned garage, it was warm. I took my time, and had no trouble with the rear, but managed to pinch the front tube, so I had to take it out and patch it, then reinstall it. Oh well. I took another shower and relaxed for the hottest part of the afternoon.

The air started to cool in the evening, so about 7pm I decided to go scrub the tires a bit, and what better place than on the Dragon?







The TN/NC line



I had forgotten to take a pic of the Tree of Shame on Saturday,





so I asked a nearby dude to snap a pic of me, which of course led to all the usual questions.



They were up from N. Carolina ,and had camped at the resort the night before, but had been uncomfortable so they got a room. I didn't catch the one guys name but he had just bought the vee-strom and while riding the day before his front axle had come out and his front brake caliper had fallen off! He was pretty upset with the dealer he'd bought it from and was going to let them know. No kidding!

So we BS'd and looked at the tree of shame for a while, wondering how each piece had ended up there, and what happened to all the people who crashed. I know there have been more than one fatal crash on that road, so it was a bit of a somber moment too.

After a bit I said goodbye to what's his name and his friend Greg,



and took off.

I rode a little further down the road, past the Fugitive dam we'd passed yesterday and turned in to a littl campground right on the lake. I sat and watched the mist form over the water for a few then headed out again.



Coming back the Dragon was empty. I wasn't too woried about cops running their speed traps since I had just been up it an hour before, so I didn't try to adhere to the ridiculous 30mph speed limit, and just tried to pick good lines. It really is a nice little road.

When I got to the overlook who do I see, but my new friends Greg and What's his name on the vee-stroms.



A Harley and a Ducati are just pulling out and Greg tells me one of them just had a really close call with a deer. I've had a few of those myself. They just leap out in front of you.

So we parted ways again and I rode back down the last few miles, sharing the road with only the fireflys and a couple startled birds. I was startled too.

Here is a belated shot of Rick and Roxanne, my awesome tentspace hosts for several days. They were a huge support to me and made my stay most enjoyable. I really do need to come back here and explore this area for a while.



Back at the Dragons End, I run in to Rex Rocket, the guy I'd met the day before with all the bikes in his garage.



He rode over on his 1971 (I think?) Honda 750. It's a beautiful bike. I used to have a 1975 model, and loved it. Shoulda kept it.
Rocket likes to talk about anything with a motor, and is a walking encyclopedia of all things motor.

Have just about 50 miles on the new tires, and they are still holding air, so I go off to bed happy with the day.

Did about 50 miles today, no incidents.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:00 AM   #187
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Day 30 Mon Jul 28 (TAT Day 1)

Sigh. Another late start. Partly it was because I was slow and dinked around, but partly because Rocket had stayed the night, so he wouldn't get his beautiful bike plastered with bugs. Rick cooked the 3 of us breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast, while Rocket kept up a pretty constant monologue about motorcycles, race cars, and a story of hitting a dead bear on the the freeway in his fiberglass corvette. It all took a while.

Here is a shot of Rick and I



Here is Rocket with his awesome 1971 (I think, don't sue me if I got the year wrong) Honda CB750 sandcastle edition.



I finally split about 11am, using some directions Rick had written out. I also set the GPS to find Tellico Plains.


It was a pleasant ride to the TAT start,



and after touring the town to see if I could spot any ADV riders hanging around, I headed off following the track line.

For those who dont know, a track is not like a route your GPS calculates for you. It is a series of data points in space, with a line shown between each point. No turn by turn directions, you just have to watch the GPS map. Also, the track will deviate from the road, which can be confusing at times.

Pronounced "Blunt" BTW




I've seen lots of mowing this trip. Don't want to be leaned over hard and hit this stuff!



Ah, there's one of the culprits!





Blurry flowers? I don't know...



If I tilt my head just right I can make out the sign



A pose in front of the town sign



First turn, onto Witt Road, although GPS calls it Old State Route.



A good mix of roads





It didn't take long to come to the sometimes dreaded water crossings I'd read about, and indeed, the first 3 were yawners

Water crossing #1



And #2



#3



But the 4th was a bit intimidating with all the angled rutted shale or whatever it is.



I hated to drown my feet, but I did walk it and actually moved one breadbox sized rock out of the way, then after over analyzing the shit out of it, I jumped back on the bike and went for it.

No problem.



I should have just put me feet up and ridden it, and probably kept my feet dry.
Anyway, I was pretty thrilled to have made it without mishap, and after a couple self congratulatory pics, I was off again.



The cemeteries can be jaw dropping, as you come around a corner you are greeted by a riot of color. Looks like Memorial Day or something.



Why did the turtle cross the road?





Cause he's on the TAT! And he better get outta the way!


What? Nobody said anything about water crossing #5!! Screw this, I'm turning around and going home. Wait... :)



More pleasant riding, although most of it was paved



Cool road name

[IMG][/IMG]

Infrastructure, bringing power to the people. Power to the people right now.



Wah! Someone lost their bottle!



Ruts in the tarmac. Gotta be on your toes or those can throw you.




More abandoned structures, pretty scenery, and an ever stronger odor... Smells like a paper mill to me.





Aha! Here is the source of the pungent smell



More road shots





Hay!



Hi cow



No 18 wheelers. That's always a good sign!



I start to take side roads, looking for a decent campsite, but no luck. I try 4 or 5 but don't even come up with a flat spot on the side of the road.*

On one I find this guy.*



Poor doggy. Hard to say if he was dumped, or ran off from somewhere, but there weren't any houses nearby that I could see. He's not the first dog ( or cat) I've encountered on this trip, & probably won't be the last. Not too much I can do on an overloaded motorcycle and no cell signal. Best I could do would be to mark the location with the GPS, then go to a town and try to find someone who gives a damn, then return and hope doggy is still there. It makes my heart heavy but I ride on. :(

Finally, another unmarked road to the left. Hmmm. Ridable.



Down,



Up,



Flat,



End of the line.



Good enough, as it's now about 7pm. It's a crappy campsite, but I have *plenty of water & food, and it seems safe and private enough, so it's home for the night. And the price is right!

Sunset



A nice looking salad



Dinner was sorta fajitas again, only because I had some onion & green pepper left, and the smallest bit of meat I could buy was about 3/4 lb of "beef for stir fry", all pre cut for me. But it was tough, the fajita mix tasted like it was half salt, and the veggies weren't fresh. And I'm tired of tortillas. So. no pic.

All in all, a great first day on the TAT.



Crash count still at 2
Total miles for the day: 255
Total miles for the trip so far: 5,743
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:35 AM   #188
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awesome!! It begins! Are you tagging your camp spots? I am looking to do the same thing. Just cant justify a $10+ a night price tag for minimal facilities camping in "campgrounds" Any spots along your tracks that you could tag and share for camp/stealth camp sites would be awesome. I plan to do the same on my adventure next making making note of good spots, free camp areas, etc.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:54 AM   #189
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Hi Dean, it was great having you here. Thanks for helping me move stuff and fixin' my drawers. We would love to see you and Deanwife come stay here for a bit. You may see us on your coast before the years out. Have fun, Rick & Roxanne
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #190
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In Arkansas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07jkx View Post
awesome!! It begins! Are you tagging your camp spots? I am looking to do the same thing. Just cant justify a $10+ a night price tag for minimal facilities camping in "campgrounds" Any spots along your tracks that you could tag and share for camp/stealth camp sites would be awesome. I plan to do the same on my adventure next making making note of good spots, free camp areas, etc.
You'll be lucky to find anything for less than $20, if you can find a place that even takes tents what kind of campground doesn't take tents? Turns output, lots of 'em!
I have not been recording my camping locations, but I will try to remember. Most of my stealth sites have been poor, and I typically ride past something better the next day.
My advice would be to plan better, and use the tentspace list more. My problem has been lack of connectivity, plus the fact that I haven't been committing to being in a certain place at a certain time, which makes tent spacing hard. Also, I know I'll find great free camping farther west so for now I just don't care that much.

I'm now in Trenton, AK and my luck turned for the better today! Read more about that in Fridays episode of Coast to Coast... but first I hope to get caught up with the rest of this week.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor 1 View Post
Hi Dean, it was great having you here. Thanks for helping me move stuff and fixin' my drawers. We would love to see you and Deanwife come stay here for a bit. You may see us on your coast before the years out. Have fun, Rick & Roxanne
I enjoyed my stay thoroughly. It will probably be next summer but I'd love to ride the wing out there with Michele. Hopefully we'll see you at our place first.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #191
Deanman OP
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Day 31 Tuesday July 31 (TAT Day 2)

I woke severel times to drips on my face, and wondered why, as I checked and it wasn't raining. *For some reason the dew was heavy and my tent fly was sopping wet. I waited around for the sun to hit my little campsite and dry everything out and finally got on the road about 10.

My spot almost packed up, waiting for sufficient dryness



More old buildings and road shots. Most everything so far today was paved, but still very fun and enjoyable to ride.

















I popped out of the woods onto a bridge over the freeway. It feels a bit strange to be riding in all this really remote country, (it really isn't but it feels that way) and suddenly get a glimpse of civilization and all the people going about their business. Makes me feel damn lucky for sure!



More scenery









Cows



More rural America




When was this last someone's home?



Sharp curve?



Not really.

The red roof of this place really stood out against the green all around it







A pretty valley







Lots of birds are circling the skies over these meadows as I cruise by. I try but fail to get a good bird shot. I could probably do better if I actually paid some attention to the camera








Cool tractor yard ornament



Another pretty roadside flower shop, and they're all free!



Just kidding.

More old structures







We have a Kelso in Washington. It's a litter bigger than this one building stop.



There was a sign that said "Road closed 2.4 miles ahead, bridge out, local traffic only" but I decided to check it out anyway. And in 2.4 miles, sure enough, I see this:




Bummer. But let's see what's behind barricade number 1



Road hog. Or maybe I should post this in the Asshole Parking Thread?



Hey, there is too a bridge there!



Plenty of room for me!

And I avoided what would have been my first reroute!

Looking backward: Sometimes the signs lie.



There used to be a house around that chimney



Another Cool old barn (but I think most of them are pretty cool)




Hmm. Slow church?



Seems to me it's not moving at all lol.



Dangerous? Who are they trying to kid?



Moo



Any early afternoon I was needing gas again, so I headed for town and a Walmart.
This track so far has bypassed towns for the most part, and I ended up going about 10 miles out of my way. Wal mart is better than the mom and pop stores for selection, but what I really like are the safeways, kroegers, and the like, who have real people behind the meat counter, so I can buy small cuts of meat.

But not here, so I ended up grabbing a can of chicken, and a little can of BBQ flavor Vienna sausages, some flat bread (tired of tortillas) and a few other things.

Filled up the tank, and off I went.

Bits and pieces of the past fading away










Oh no! Another water crossing!



I just liked this church



About 5 ish I started looking for another place to camp, but didn't see anything, until I saw a nice dirt road disappearing behind a gate.



But wait, there is an easy ride around, and no signs... So I follow it to a smaller two track that looks pretty dubious, and am about to turn around, when it opens up to this







And I call it a day.

I have a nice low horizon to the East, so the tent will be in sunlight nice and early, unlike Monday morning. Hopefully I can get under way earlier tomorrow.

Almost no connectivity here, just a very weak 1x signal that comes and goes, but that's ok. I arrived early enough to go through my pics and write up my notes without having to cook dinner in the dark.

A very pleasant day, with only 169 miles on the clock.

One close call today when a medium size black and white dog went all Bambi on me and leapt out of a field and right in front of me! I braked hard and chirped the tires loud enough(as I missed him by inches) to cause a woman to run out from the house down the street looking all worried. If it's her dog I hope she gets better control of it! I thought I was in for a bad day there for a second, and the dog wouldn't have been too happy either.

Have I mentioned how big this country is? It's big. Really, really big.

More reroutes (or not) coming up.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:20 PM   #192
FongMan
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WOW!!

I lost track since Wyoming. Great fun catching up!! A true adventure!!
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #193
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great report Deanman! really digging all your pics When I finally retire I'm going to do it Deanman style.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #194
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Day 32 Weds July 30 (TAT Day 3)

I did a little better this morning, on the road at 9:30. Again I had to wait for the tent to dry out, it was so soaking wet I kept getting dropped on all night. It didn't rain, but it might as well have.

Weird.

It's not long before I come to the first water crossing of the day.





No problem! Maybe it's cause I'm rockin' the new Dunlop 606 knobbies?



And another one



Move along little crawdad. Be like the turtle the other day and get outta the way of us TATters.



I'm a stream crossing dude!







Lots of mowers around here.



Laugh, I think 50, 55 is about right through here.







Hmmm, this is a bit more intimidating than the previous water crossings



But no sweat. I power across it like a pro. And my feet are still dry.



The dirt is just so red here.





I briefly consider going for some of the little hill climbs, but quickly come to my senses. An overloaded DR650 is not the bike for it anyway.

A road of marbles. Some of these are really, really slippery!



This area seems to have a lot of trails to explore around here. I wish I had more time.





I don't feel any wiser



Road closed? Again? I don't believe it!



But they seem like they mean it.



And yet, the barricades are pushed to the side.



I wait for a minute, watching the crew watch the guy in the grader work, until they notice me sitting there. I start to ask the man nearest me and he turns to me and says you're the first one! Go for it!





Just enough room for me to get around the right side.



Who hoo! Road closed? Not if you are a determined TATter!

I successfully negotiate yet another water crossing.





Coming out of the woods I'm greeted by this beautiful cemetery. So many of them are just laden with fresh flowers. All these dead people are keeping a bunch of florists in business!



More old real estate.





Road closed? Not again.



Well, I don't believe them anyway. So I continue down the road.



But I think I can make it over that.







And though my skid plate bangs and scrapes over the top, I do make it over just fine. You don't want to go too slow over berms like this or you can get high centered.


The bridge over the Tennessee River into Mississippi.




Props to me!



Duck!




I ride through a low murky spot, and it is very sticky yet slippery mud. Mud can be that way. My first Mississippi mud. No problem, it's not that bad.

But around the next corner, there's no way I'm going through this.





I walk a little farther

Hell, the grader is stuck!




I think he gets an F in road grading 101.

What I mess!

A local that came up behind me in a jeep told me this corner has always been bad. He told me to just go back and take the first right and that'll take me back out to the highway.
So I do, and it turned out to be a great twistey gravel road. I find the track again, but I goof and take a right instead of left and go back the way I came. Oh well, I'm being, as Motor1 says, true to the TAT.

Here is that mired up mess from the other side. But the backhoe got the grader out. Well done backhoe guy.



It's late, and I need a campsite. I find a road off of a road, and settle down for the night.





Dinner is some beans and carrots, my usual salad, and some eggs on flatbread, with cheese. Kind of an unusual combination, but I like unusual.

I got the beans from a roadside table in front of a farmhouse, a huge handful for a dollar. And, they let me fill up my water bladders, (which I was kinda counting on when I stopped ).

I couldn't really steam the veggies properly, so I just simmered them best I could with a little water, and some garlic powder, red chili flakes and pepper.

I get the bags o salad for about a buck, so it's a cheap way to get some good greens on the road, and it fills me up so I don't eat as much other stuff. I toss in some nuts or whatever, and drizzle a little oil & vinegar over the top and voila!







Sigh. I forgot the odo reading again, but I believe I did about 250 miles?

And I still haven't dumped the bike.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:10 PM   #195
wrhux
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diggin it

Dean, I am really enjoying riding along. Wish I was with you. Love your sensibility as you observe, interpret, and share. We are all the better for it. We need more of your karma in our world.
Will miss you at the scavenger hunt. Will Michelle come?
-Reverend Bill
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