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Old 08-21-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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2012 Summer Ride TET & TAT Part I

2012 Summer Ride TET & TAT Part I



After completing the CDR with my son Cameron last summer, our ride plan for 2012 was to go to Colorado for a week of riding. I read a ride reports on ADV Rider titled “Coast to Coast”. A father and son rode the TET then hooked up to the TAT and rode it to the end. This made me think that would be a cool ride for Cameron and me.

Once we decided on a date, we had three weeks to prepare. I took out the credit card and started ordering maps and equipment. My bike, a BMW 650 XChallenge, was ready to go except for a chain and tires. Cameron’s bike, a Yamaha WR250R, was still stock and needing upgrading. I ordered a 4.7 gal gas tank, Andy Strapz saddle bags from Australia, a saddle bag frame from Dirt Bags, a tank bag, tires, GPS mount, numerous electrical hookups etc etc etc. Now the wait was on to see if everything would come in on time.
While I was waiting, I converted the maps to a GPS file. It took about a week to break the routes down by day and add in campsites and gas stops. By that time all the farkle had arrived and it was time to start installing. But first I had to travel to California for work; this was one week before our planned departure date. Cam came over the weekend before I had to leave so that we could have the bikes ready to go when I got back.

Working on the 250


Changing the Oil


Testing the new saddle bags fit


New tires and chain on the 650


Glitch number two, while I was in California, Cam informed me that his class was going to end later than expected. That pushed our departure date from Friday, 8/3 to Monday, 8/6. On the bright side, that gave me a few extra days to make sure everything was ready to go.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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Day 1 Houston , TX to Jackson, MS 395 miles

Day 1 Houston , TX to Jackson, MS 395 miles



We left the house at 5:30 a.m. on Monday 8/06 and headed east to Mississippi.



I had decided to take the toll road in order to miss some of the rush hour traffic. I had change so we could just ride thru one of the unmanned toll booths. What I thought would be a time saver turned out to be one of those “good grief” moments. The toll lane did not register our bikes therefore, even though I had thrown my money in the basket, the arm refused to budge. So there we sat. I am not sure what the people behind us thought but we decided to just go around the arm before we got run over.
Cam on frwy


We took mostly pavement so that we could make better time so there was not much to see or comment on. We stopped for gas and a bite to eat at Burger King yummy



Natchez Trace Bridge


Second gas stop

Ten miles from our final destination for the night, we hit rain. It wasn’t bad enough to make a stop for rain gear but it was a foreshadowing of bad weather to come. We arrived at Roosevelt State Park around 4 p.m. Our camp site was in the primitive area and came with a handy pavilion. It looked like more rain might be coming so we wisely set up our tents under the pavilion.



Five minutes later came a torrential downpour which included wind and lightning. The conditions were so bad that we still got wet under the pavilion. There was some flooding in the low areas.





The heavy rain lasted for an hour and it continued to rain off and on throughout the night. Despite the weather , our tents were dry and we remained in good spirits.



Stats


Elevation
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:54 AM   #3
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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It looks like another great adventure, and I'm looking forward to your report. You have been many places on your XChallenge and it must have many miles on it now. Sometimes I regret selling mine.

Robert
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:00 PM   #5
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Looking forward to the read. We took about the same route last year to the TAT start, but had no rain until after hitting the trail. My son and I are about to head out for Forever West in a week, our first long trail ride together. I'm wondering if those 606's went all the way.

Are you going to finish the TAT next year?
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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My girlfriend and I are on the TAT in Missippi right now headed west. Not sure what to do from Oregon. What's the "TET?" and or is there dirt route headed back? On a WR and a T Dub and don't want to ride the highway.
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roberts View Post
It looks like another great adventure, and I'm looking forward to your report. You have been many places on your XChallenge and it must have many miles on it now. Sometimes I regret selling mine.

Robert
Robert,
I love my X its a great little Dual Sport and after this trip it now has 35,000 miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaisew View Post
Looking forward to the read. We took about the same route last year to the TAT start, but had no rain until after hitting the trail. My son and I are about to head out for Forever West in a week, our first long trail ride together. I'm wondering if those 606's went all the way.

Are you going to finish the TAT next year?
We have a plan to do the Trans-Labrador Highway next year but I also want to complete the TAT. So we will just have to see what happens.

By the way our 606's completed the trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Han Solo View Post
My girlfriend and I are on the TAT in Missippi right now headed west. Not sure what to do from Oregon. What's the "TET?" and or is there dirt route headed back? On a WR and a T Dub and don't want to ride the highway.
Here is a link to the TET link

Work is real busy but will add more to the report soon.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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More miles and rain.

Day 2 Jacksonville, MS to Tybee Island, GA 567 mi.



Because of the storms the night before, we decided to wait until daylight before getting on the road.

Bikes loaded and ready to go.


Sunrise over the lake


We ran into some fog once we got onto Hwy 20 so it was good that we had delayed our departure.


We would be covering a lot of highway miles so there isn't much to write about.


We got lucky and dodged rain for the first 300 miles. The weather then started looking ugly so we stopped to put on our rain gear. Cameron went with his rain jacket only which was a decision he would regret later.

Putting on rain gear.



Soon after that, we ran into torrential rain which continued for the remaining 260 miles.


When we arrived at Rivers End Campground at Tybee Island, GA, it finally stopped raining. We quickly set up our tents and got out of our wet gear.

Tents


Rivers End Campground had great amenities. We were able to shower, do laundry and surf the web. We would have clean dry clothes when we go back on the road to start the TET.

Stats


Elevation


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Old 08-27-2012, 06:30 AM   #9
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Question

For Cameron's luggage - how did the Andy Straps do? Were they waterproof?

On the X - is that just a large waterproof duffel? Or what were you carrying? I'm debating on what type of setup to get and noticed yours is pretty simple. Any complaints?
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishin33 View Post
For Cameron's luggage - how did the Andy Straps do? Were they waterproof?

On the X - is that just a large waterproof duffel? Or what were you carrying? I'm debating on what type of setup to get and noticed yours is pretty simple. Any complaints?
The Andy Straps bags were great and never leaked a drop of water. Now if you don't close them or mount them on the bike right you could have an issue.

The duffel on my X is a regular size Cabela's Boundary Waters II Duffel Bag and I keep all my gear in it.
I used this system for the pass 35,000 miles with no real issues. It is hard to get to your stuff once its packed and loaded on the bike. I might get another set of the AS bags before out next ride since they worked so well. Here is a old picture of what is in my duffel.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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Howdy Trailace!
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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Howdy Trailace!
Howdy
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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More rain!

Day 3 Tybee Island, GA to Watsadler Campground on Hartwell Lake, GA 318 miles

Although the rain had been troublesome, it had lowered the temps a bit and we slept well. The skies were overcast when we got up so I checked the radar. It looked like we would have 5 to 10 minutes before the rain started again. I told Cameron to get his butt in gear or we would be packing in the rain. This lit a fire under him; I think he was tired of getting wet. We were almost thru when the skies opened up.
We rode to the beginning of the TET which is right on the coast of GA. Fortunately the rain stopped long enough for us to get a few pics.

Cam and Me


Cam and Me at the start of the TET


Rain coming our way


As soon as we got on the trail, the rain started pouring down and continued for several hours. At one point it was raining so hard we could barely see. This part of the trail looked like it would normally be deep sand. With all the rain, the sand was packed and made for good riding. (except for the afore mentioned rain)



Wash out


When the rain finally let up, we stopped at the Headhunters Hair Salon to take a break.

Headhunters Hair Salon


Stormy skies


Vapor coming out of plant Maybe this is a rain making plant


By the time we stopped for lunch in Augusta, GA, the skies had cleared.
Drying out the gear


The next section of roads were mostly gravel


Another good thing about the rain, it kept the dust down.

Cool bridge




We stopped in McCormick for gas. Cameron was complaining about his wet feet in his wet boots so we decided to take a break.


While Cameron aired out his feet, I check the GPS to see what our destination would be for the night. It was 57 trail miles to the Watsadler Lake area so that’s where we headed.

A few miles before our destination, it started to, you guessed it, rain. We decided to stop and put our rain gear on, jackets AND pants this time. Of course we never saw another drop of rain. (that day)


Home for the night


We rode into Hartwell and had dinner at the La Cabana Restaurant.


After dinner, we returned to camp to take showers and hang up our wet gear, The facilities as the camp ground were very nice.


We decided to put the rain flies on our tents because we could see and hear storms all around us.

Stats


Elevation


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Old 08-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #14
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Question curious

What kind of tents were you using? Trying to find something similar
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #15
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What kind of tents were you using? Trying to find something similar
We both have a MSR Hubba Tent for one and it work well with no issues for many nights.
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