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Old 07-25-2014, 08:54 AM   #61
Throttlemeister
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You where on the right road, I could have sworn I called it the "Val ve dell"
phonetically spoken, oh well you where on the right road. Would have been a great way to get up to Colorado, love that route, at least you got to see some of it. The garmin is only so useful, don't try to route everything...it screwed you this time

Nice meeting you man
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:00 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2oboy View Post

I find a potential shortcut, so I take it. I take a nap on the road before it ends at a fence saying "private property keep out".


Damn dude just saw this, you got to be careful Solo=Conservative
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:51 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
Damn dude just saw this, you got to be careful Solo=Conservative
Well, I went down twice on this trip. Both times off road and both caught on camera. This was the second.

I'm not sure if I started getting more conservative or I just got better riding off road
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:10 PM   #64
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A little about Steve and Geoff

They come from a little island across the pond known as Great Britain. I'm not sure how great it is. They all seem to talk funny and drive on the wrong side of the road.
Anyway, Steve and Geoff are riding Yamaha XT660s which they shipped over and picked up in Baltimore, Maryland.
They took 6 weeks to ride across the US and specifically to do the TAT. They bought 2 sets of Sams maps with roll charts and everything. I had downloaded GPSKevins, so I am at their mercy when the two map sets don't align.

Steve is a Mountaineer. For the last 17 years he's been a guide in all sorts of places. Nepal, Antarctica, Morocco, Namibia...etc. He's not a stranger to travel.

Geoff is trying to get out of the working classes. He has one foot into retirement but I don't think he's totally ready to make the jump yet. My favorite Geoff fact is that he was a sidecar racer in the past. He wasn't the driver, he was the crazy person climbing all over the place while moving at mach speed.

They both like good beer.

Maybe it's me who doesn't know what he's getting into by hanging out with them..... hmmm.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:32 PM   #65
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Day 22 Wednesday June 25

Trinidad CO to Salida CO

We started the day off right. Gas up. Both us and the bikes. Steve and I found breakfast burritos in the gas station.

We head out of town on pavement looking for the first turnoff onto the dirt. Steve saw it late and hit the brakes hard, I was screwing with my GPS and looked up just in time to avoid plowing into the rear of Steves bike. I did brush his side bags though. That would have been an awesome start to our adventure together(where's the sarcastic font at?). End Steves trip before we even hit the dirt. Luckily no collisions were had.

We hit the dirt and did lots of long straight dirt roads before we finally got to some hills.




We went up Starvation Creek and over a pass and through some woods and arrived in a town in time for lunch.



I was looking at my rear tire and it didn't look like it was going to last more than a day or two.



I have been known to not be the best at estimating tire life. This has been evident on a couple of occasions when I was sure I'd have enough tread to get to Idaho and back to Portland, only to get to Idaho with threads showing.
With that knowledge, I figured I'd better get the tire changed now while we were still fairly close to civilization and not in the middle of Nevada.

I love my bike - I hate my bike.
I know my bike has an unusual tire size but I didn't realize that there wouldn't be a knobby tire that size in all of Colorado. After exhausting my resources in the small town of Westcliffe and finding out that the shops in Salida had closed and they didn't have my size in Canon City, I ended up riding into Pueblo.
When I got there I did a search for all motorcycle shops in town and started calling them to see if they had anything in my size. No one did. I drove to the last shop on the list instead of calling them.
HyMark motorsports in West Pueblo. They didn't have a tire in my size either but they were really helpful and started calling other shops in Colorado Springs, an hour up the road. They didn't find anything in my size either. They did find a shop (Rocky Mountain) that had a tire in 130/90-17, stock is 140/70-17. It was close enough in size for me.

The only problem was that it was now after 4 and they closed at 5.
I remembered that there was a Rocky Mountain shop here in town. I drove over there to see if they might have the same size tire as their shop in Colorado Springs. Luckily enough they did.

I bought it and proceeded to change my tire in their parking lot. I was sweating but it wasn't hot enough to make the tire nice and pliable only nice and miserable.
I eventually got it put onto the wheel and got it all mounted onto the bike.



I got a text from Steve telling me what hotel they were in in Salida CO.
I ate dinner then loaded up and headed to Salida. I arrived about 10pm and the guys were already in bed. I got a room and did the same.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:32 PM   #66
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DAY 23 Thursday June 26

Salida CO to Durango CO

Arose to a beautiful morning and hotel continental breakfast. What could be better?

Met up with Steve and Geoff after packing up the bike and laid out a plan for the day. My plan, follow where they lead and hope to not screw up their trip or mine. Their plan, follow their GPS's and roll charts. Oh ya....6 PASSES

We started the action pretty quick with a run up Marshall Pass which is also the Continental Divide.


Officially it's all downhill from here to the Pacific. But we're not going to be following the water. We are headed over 5 more passes this day on our journey West. Tomichi Pass and Los Pinos Pass before lunch in the beautiful town of Lake City.
After some lunch we head straight out of town and up Cinnamon Pass. There were quite a few Jeeps in this part of Colorado. We passed several coming down and passed others that were headed up.




Steve had a get off heading up this pass.



I'm not sure what happened but it looked like it was in slow motion. I knew he wasn't hurt so the priority is get the picture then help him pick his bike up.
We got him all situated and moving in the right direction. UP.



This little guy was just mugging for the camera. He ran over and hung around looking at us. It even looked like he was smiling for the camera at one time, but I suck at photography and missed the shot.


We passed through some snow banks that were over 6ft high on the way up. Quite impressive I thought to still have that much snow in June.




On the West side of Cinnamon pass is the ghost mining town of Animas Forks. It's a little tourist destination to come see. You can drive a Prius to this town from a different direction than how we got there and how we were leaving the town.




California Pass accent starts right there in the ghost town. This was the funnest Pass of the day. I'm not sure funnest is the right word. It was definitely the most technical. 12ft snow banks, loose shale road, muddy steep tight switchbacks with huge drop offs..... yeah fun.

The following video is from Steves GoPro. Both Geoffs and mine had run out of juice by this point.












From there we went straight into Hurricane Pass then into Corkscrew before hitting any pavement.






To add to the excitement it was raining on us off and on during these passes. It was great fun. Probably one of the best days of riding I've had. We were scratching 13k feet on some of these passes. Lots of frozen lakes and snow banks to pass by. Lots of great views and steep cliffs to potentially fall off.
Steve had a friend that lived in Durango that had wanted to see him if he got close.
We headed about an hour south of the TAT to the city of Durango on the "Million Dollar Highway". There were some really fun sections of pavement on this. Geoff is a really good rider and we were testing the stickyness of our knobby tires. Steve was right behind us but I think he was playing it a little safer in the corners than Geoff or I.

Unfortunately when we got to Durango there was some miss-communication between Steve and his friend and they didn't actually get to meet up. We went ahead and got a hotel room instead of camping at his friends. I wasn't complaining because we were all sharing one room now so my hotel costs just got cut down by 2/3's. Luckily no one had a snoring issue and we all slept well that night.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #67
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I don't recall which pass this is but google made a pano out of my pics automatically and I thought it was cool.

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Old 07-28-2014, 12:16 AM   #68
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DAY 24 Friday June 27

Durango CO to Monicello UT

Slept like a log. I didn't notice pain in any parts of my body where there shouldn't be so I figured that Steve and Geoff didn't have there way with me last night.

Got the bikes packed up and headed out...... DAMN it's cold. Geoff and I had our heated grips on high. Steve was cussing at his bike or more directly, his broken heated grips. Even with those on, I was shivering and wishing I had my heated vest with me.

The 3 of us shivered our way up to Silverton where we stopped at the first gas station to warm up and grab some snacks for breakfast.

In the parking lot were a couple more riders doing the TAT. Kevin (KevinBB on ADV) and Brian (bdsmoto on ADV) are from North Carolina and riding a DRZ400 and 500exc respectively. We chatted a little bit about our experiences so far.

The 4 of them were regaling all the fun they had in the mud and unsuccessful river crossings back east on the TAT. I had no such stories due to riding on pavement most of that time. Therefore I figured it was a good time to go use the facilities of this fine establishment and let the 4 of them reminisce.

Kevin and Brian were doing GPSKevins track. Yesterdays routing seems to be the only major differences that I have seen. They route you totally differently. I think only Cinnamon pass was the same. They got cock blocked by snow on the first pass they tried that morning. Hancock I believe.... hmmm.... that would mean they got Hancock blocked..... Stop rolling your eyes at me. I'm funny damn it.

Kevin and Brian took off for Ophir Pass. This is where we were headed also but we weren't done unthawing and eating.

Once we finished, we then headed out for Ophir also.



Ophir was a fun pass besides the rain on the west side of it.

Geoff in the rain



By the time we got down to the bottom of Ophir we had caught up to K&B. I don't think they realized it though. They didn't stop at the bottom to chat or anything, they just took straight off.
Steve, Geoff and I stopped long enough to snap some pics in the rain.




Look blue sky

Take off on the pavement till the next dirt section.

Steve and Geoff like to play this game "See who notices the missed turn first". They kept playing this the whole trip.
I always just figured it was the difference between GPSKevins and Sams so I would never get to play.

Anyway, we get turned back around and headed up the dirt road and I notice that Kevin and Brian must play the same game. As we're headed up the mountain, they are coming back down the paved road that our intrepid leader was going to take us down. I wave to them but I don't think they noticed us up there.

Now they are behind us, not for long. Brian does not seem to like to be behind us eating dust. He passes us all up over the course of a couple miles then notices that Kevin is not following his lead so he stops to regroup with Kevin. A little while later Brian again goes past us again but again no Kevin. At this point I'm starting to think that Brian is just an ass that likes to make other people eat his dust.

Brian stops at a fork in the trail eventually and we all stop there and start chatting. Brian doesn't seem like an ass while we're here talking. He's actually a really cool guy.

This fork in the trail is for a bypass or the regular route which says "muddy and rocky" on Sams maps.
We all agree to do the muddy, rocky track and bail only when it gets too bad.

It turned out to be a really nice 2 track through the forest. There was a couple of mud pits that had routes around though. Steve decided to find out how deep and muddy one was. Well he took a little bath and his bike took a nap. He got it righted before I could get and pics but he has it on video and I took some as he left the pit.



Geoff was pulling rear duty and when he got to the mud pit he discovered that his GPS had come off.
He had plugged in the power cable not to far back so he rode back to find it while i waited at the mud. He showed up a little bit later with no GPS.
We both hop off of our bikes and start walking the trail to see if it may have bounced into some shrubbery. No dice. He thinks he may not have gone back far enough.
We decide I should catch up to the other guys as it's been about 15 min of searching and they didn't know anything about the missing GPS. Geoff will catch us, hopefully with his GPS.

I noticed before that with a little faster pace the trail was much easier. So I'm hauling ass.... having a blast. this is some great fun. There were a couple of forks that I had to use some tracking skillz to find the right way but I eventually caught up to Steve, Kevin and Brian.

You thought I was gonna crash or something huh?

I explain everything to the guys. Within 5-10 min Geoff rolls up. GPS in it's cradle...YAY.
Geoff was thinking the same thing I was and he had be hauling some ass too. He was still feeling it so he takes off in the lead. Steve takes off second before I was ready. I knew I wanted to run a faster pace that Steve so I passed him like we're going for the hole shot. I win...The trail was actually wide at that point but it narrowed further on.

Geoff was indeed hauling some ass and I was right on his or as close as the dust allowed. He stopped near the end of this section and was shocked to see me parked right behind him with a huge smile on my face. I believe we may have even high fived each other. Then got back on and finished the section.




I sense a Wan has been this way.

After that it turned into desert fairly fast. One minute you're in the forest then you're in a scrub brush desert.



We headed on into Monticello stopped in town for a quick chat. It was still fairly early so we discussed how we were going to proceed. We officially became a group of 5.



We then headed across the street to get a couple rooms for the night.

Steve had some work to do on his bike.

I looked at my schedule and it looked like there would only be 1 night in our future that we might even consider camping. I made the executive decision that we would not be camping that one possible night because I'm shipping all my camping gear home. No one had a problem with that. We're all soft anyway and melt without AC. Well except Steve but he's a freak that loves hot weather. I have no idea how he lasted over 2 years in Antarctica.

I head to the post office and ship my camping gear, then the car wash for a pressure wash and finally to the laundry mat to defunk my clothes.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:38 PM   #69
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Wow those passes look great, I might have to visit Colorado one day.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:54 PM   #70
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Wow those passes look great, I might have to visit Colorado one day.
I agree. You should get over here and take a look around
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:49 AM   #71
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Day 25 Saturday June 28

Monticello UT to Moab UT

Today is a short day. Only about 100 miles to Moab via the TAT.
We decided that a real breakfast might be a good thing since we had time.
We walked a few blocks up the road for some nutrition and caffeine.

After fueling ourselves up we headed out onto the long straight roads that took us towards Moab.




As we got closer we started climbing the only mountains in the area. It took us up into the pine and birch forests where it was nice and coolish (everything is relative).



There was one little technical section that Sam routed us on that was really fun but short that GPSKevin bypassed. Of course earlier in the day while on a graded gravel road Sam routed us the long way around only to back track to a road we could have turned onto a lot earlier. Both map sets have pluses and minuses. Using some from each would result in a better ride than either individually imho.

On the way down we stopped in a nice meadow to enjoy the beauty and diversity of environments we have been experiencing in such short distances.

As we continued down we got to a break in the trees for our first glimpse of the red rock landscape this area of the world is know for. No matter how often I see red rocks they always have me in awe.











We made our way on down into Moab and checked into our hotel for 2 nights.
The immediate plan is to go get some lunch then head out to the Slick Rock area in the evening after it cools down some.

The immediate result is we went and got food successfully then back to our rooms and took naps. No complaints were heard.

After naps we went for dinner at a local brewery.



Tomorrow we ride The White Rim Trail.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:44 PM   #72
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This a pretty cool ride, you start out heading for Mexico and finish riding the western end of the TAT. Talk about diversity.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:22 PM   #73
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This a pretty cool ride, you start out heading for Mexico and finish riding the western end of the TAT. Talk about diversity.
Thanks for following along AB.

More diversity to come
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:48 PM   #74
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Here is another google pano special.

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:41 AM   #75
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Day 26 Sunday June 29

Moab UT to Moab UT

White Rim Trail

Plan today? Don't dehydrate and die on the White Rim Trail.

To maximize the survival potential we got up at the butt crack of dawn again. I love mornings, the peace and tranquility of them. The crispness of the air. I just hate getting up for them.

I head to the local Maverick on my way out of town thinking that is where we had all agreed to meet the previous day. Apparently that wasn't the message and the others went to a different gas station. I knew they would have to pass by me on their way out of town so I ate my nice hot fresh made breakfast sandwich and waited.
They eventually came on down the road and I joined in their procession. I later learned that they had no hot food for breakfast and only stale doughnuts. This is a public shaming of "I told you where the food was last night" guys. =) But I digress. No one starved and we all had supplies we needed for the day.

We had all taken off our luggage for this fun filled day since we were staying in the same place 2 nights in a row. I think this was a bigger deal to the others in the group since I had already shipped a lot of my gear home already.

Here's some info about the trail from National Park Service website.

The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Trips usually take two to three days by four-wheel-drive vehicle or three to four days by mountain bike.

Under favorable weather conditions, the White Rim Road is considered moderately difficult for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The steep, exposed sections of the Shafer Trail, Lathrop Canyon Road, Murphy's Hogback, Hardscrabble Hill, and the Mineral Bottom switchbacks make the White Rim loop a challenging mountain bike ride, and require extreme caution for both vehicles and bikes during periods of inclement weather. During high water conditions on the Green River, sections of road on the west side can flood, making a complete loop impossible.


I wonder if they don't mention motorcycles because they don't want to make the others feel bad that we do it in a day?

This country is just so beautiful. I'm not going to bore you with a lot of my words I'll just put up some pics.

We did have one flat on the trail. Kevin on his DRZ400 front wheel. He was also the only one running a Tubliss system.

I will start with the pics that google made panos of.






I'm not sure how Google decides to stick the pics together to make panos but I wish they could give me another bike for real
























I think this pic needs an explanation. The guys were calling it vegan poo. While it may look like that's what it is, it is not. The protective candy coating on M&M's only can protect for so long it seems. This trail mix still tasted good but I only ate a little bit of it. I'm hoping that the hotel maid enjoyed what was left as I seem to have forgotten it in the rooms fridge.














h2oboy screwed with this post 08-01-2014 at 06:17 PM
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