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Old 10-19-2010, 06:41 PM   #1
BryceB OP
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8lbs of Bananas and 5lbs of Beef - a trip on the TetS

Last year I took a trip on the TAT from Atlanta to Jellico, TN, to Fort Smith, AR, and back. Since then, the ideas of long DS rides have been the subjects of my daydreams. After I got the Track files for the Trans Eastern Trail South, I knew I had to go.

I originally tried to organize a ride from Atlanta to the southern terminus of the TetS in Carrabelle, FL, by the quickest route and then back towards Atlanta riding the TetS north as far as we could in 2 days so we'd only need a 3 day weekend to do this. Others wanted to ride the TetS north as far as we could out of Atlanta and then turn around and slab it back on a 3 day weekend... the thought was the weather was still nice enough to go north, the leaves would be turning their fall colors and we could do the southern portion later when the weather wasn't as nice up north. So, North we'll go.

The plan was to meet at Highland Park Motorcycle Resort on Thursday, October 7, Camp there and head north on Friday. Friday and Saturday, we'd head to the Northern end of the TetS near Pearisburg, VA, and then Sunday we'd slab it home. For those that could not ride Friday, we'd meet them Friday evening somewhere on the route.

As is normally the case, a there was a good bit of interest at first... closer to the departure date, people fell off. In my experience, 1/2 the people that say they're interested never had any real intentions of going (wishful thinking), half of those left have something come up that keeps them from going (shit happens) and then you're left with about 25% that actually make the journey.


On this adventure, we had 6 brave souls: (Left to Right) Bryce (me), Bob, Cheryl, Benny, Sarah and Dan, and this is the story of this adventure to the best of my recollection...
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"It sure beats working all week, boozing it up in some smoky bar or sitting around watching the world go to Hell in living color and still ending up, just before payday, flat broke as usual. That's only existing, not really living."-Don Marshall, Cycles South, 1971
'08 KLR650 - Blue 21 & '06 Ninja 650R - Galaxy Silver
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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In preparation for this trip, I wanted to replace the chain and sprockets on my KLR and I probably should change the oil before we go. So I ordered up a new chain and sprocket set... I wasn't so sure it would show up in time.

I also wanted to keep all my stuff for this trip in my 3 Pelican 1520 cases and not have any junk strapped on. In order to do that, I'd need a new tent that packed smaller than my current tent and I'd have to use my daughters 3/4 length thermorest instead of my old full length... this was a great excuse to buy a new tent. I scored a 2 man Big Agnes Fairview 2 person tent that packs small enough to fit in my at REI the week before we left (its really a large 1 person as 2 people would be really cramped with anything other than people and sleeping bags in it). As I watched the extended forecast, it was soon apparent that I was going to freeze my ass of in my ulta-light weight 45deg LaFuma Extreme sleeping bag and was going to need to take a much larger packing cold weather bag for this trip... that along with warmer weather clothes and my jacket and pants liners just shot my plan to pace everything into 3 Pelican cases out the door.

So, off with the top pelican case and on with a larger Givi top box for more room. Now I had more room, but I quickly filled that up. I really wanted to bring my dSLR camera along, so where the 3/4 length thermorest once was stowed, the dSLR and its lenses now sat. Since I was going to end up strapping my thermorest to the seat, I might as well take the full size. So much for nothing strapped to the bike.

The chain and sprockets actually showed up earlier than tracking said it would, and that was a good thing. My front sprocket was shot and was probably what was causing the funky noise from the chain.

With the bike almost ready for the trip, I figured I'd have a smooth exit on Thursday afternoon. Leave work at 3pm, get home around 4pm, leave around 5 and meet the rest of the group at Highland Park before dark to set up camp.
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"It sure beats working all week, boozing it up in some smoky bar or sitting around watching the world go to Hell in living color and still ending up, just before payday, flat broke as usual. That's only existing, not really living."-Don Marshall, Cycles South, 1971
'08 KLR650 - Blue 21 & '06 Ninja 650R - Galaxy Silver
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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Thursday October 7

It almost seemed like everything was conspiring against me and trying to keep me from my trip that day. Things at work fell apart early on but we got them straightened out. Just before I was going to sneak out a bit early, my boss wanted to chat... not sure if he somehow knew what I was up to or if he was just in a talkative mood, but that set me back about 20 minutes. Traffic sucked as Atlanta traffic does getting me home even later. I still had some stuff left to pack up that I couldn't pack ahead of time and I ended up repacking everything to make things more organized. My daughter needed help with math homework and I couldn't turn her down...

Finally, I Kissed my wife, hugged the kids and headed west towards Cedartown, GA about an hour away... at 6:15. Only about 75 minutes behind schedule, but if I hustle, I can make it there before dark!


15923.3 on the KLR's odometer before I left.

About half way there, I realized I forgot to bring a cell phone charger! Decision time, do without it and risk not having my phone or stop and pick one up? I figured if I saw a convenient place, I'd stop and get one otherwise I'll check in gas stations as we stop along the trip for one. As luck would have it, I passed a Wal-mart in Rockmart, so I swung in to get a charger. Add 20 more minutes to my ETA... I was going to be setting up in the dark.


After another quick stop to get some gas and something other than water to drink with dinner, I headed the last stretch to Highland Park in the dark. A bit nerve-wracking since HP is way out in the boonies and there's lots of wildlife to get tangled with on the remote roads after dark.

By the time I got to HP, it was real good and dark... so dark that I blew right past everyone else camping. I turned back around and was greeted by Dan, Sarah and Benny. I set up camp, cooked some dinner and got ready for bed. Since it was so dark, I thought it would be a great time to take some long exposure shots with the dSLR. These two shots are 60 second exposures with some lighting from a single white LED headlamp (shining on the bike for 10 seconds and hung in the tent for the entire 60 seconds).




October 7 Map - 62.6 miles - Home, Acworth, GA, to Highland Park, Cedartown, GA

Coming Next - Maybe we underestimated the length of this route
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"It sure beats working all week, boozing it up in some smoky bar or sitting around watching the world go to Hell in living color and still ending up, just before payday, flat broke as usual. That's only existing, not really living."-Don Marshall, Cycles South, 1971
'08 KLR650 - Blue 21 & '06 Ninja 650R - Galaxy Silver

BryceB screwed with this post 10-20-2010 at 12:39 PM
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:47 AM   #4
eddie98
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Keep it coming Bryce
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:39 AM   #5
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This was a great trip. I'll add my pics as you go along Bryce!
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:03 AM   #6
ke4yyq
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Not sure if my pics would help or hurt to story. I do need to get another camera.
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