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Old 07-08-2009, 01:37 AM   #46
xymotic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_man
This is a picture of us learning how to get out of the towers as fast as possible if there is a fire in the 'nacelle' which is the box part where the generator, main shaft, and gearbox are. It takes some nerve to do this, but like anything you get used to it.

What happens to the nylon rope when the fire in the nacelle gets near it?

Oh I'm in
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:49 AM   #47
klrmtn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic
What happens to the nylon rope when the fire in the nacelle gets near it?

Oh I'm in
It stretches and you get down to the ground faster.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:10 AM   #48
leonphelps
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maybe a parachute for some base jumping!
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #49
kpt4321 OP
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Day 16: Battle Mountain to... somewhere, NV. 189 miles.

As per the last post, we awoke (after setting up camp after riding in the dark for at least 60 minutes) to great views from a grassy hillside:



As soon as we finished breakfast (the usual fare of oatmeal, grits, and dried fruit), I started tearing my bike down to figure out what the hell was wrong with my radiator fan and starter. After I pulled the tank and tank, I found that the radiator shroud had somehow gotten bent in, and was keeping the fan from spinning. I don't know how any debris got past the 747-size wings on my IMS fuel tank, but it happened. After a little bit of quick sheetmetal work, the shroud and fan were no longer an interference fit, and it fired right up when you jumped the relay; 1 down, 1 to go. The starter was not quite as easy to fix. First I attacked the starter button, a crappy radioshack switch zxip-tied to the handlebars by a previous owner. I took it completely apart, and found the the terminals had gotten bent and corrodded, so that was easy to fix. However, it was still not starting reliably, and some wiring tracking let me to believe that somewhere in the safety circuit(s) there was a failure; using the spool of wire I brought, i just bypassed everything, so the starter button no longer cared if you were in neutral, on the clutch, or had the stand down. This would result in many humorous situations later.

We started the morning on some fairly typical roads for Nevada. While every state had good and bad roads, Nevada became notorious for some nasty stuff. There were a bunch of old roads, formerly dual-track, where the wear was so bad that the tire grooves would be a foot deep, and only 10 inches wide. This, by itself was bad enough; touch one of the walls, and you're probably go down. Hit one of the pointy/loose rocks, and you'd probably go down. Hit a pocket of sand, and... Normally, you'd just ride in the center, but these roads were so bad that the cows wouldn't walk in the tire tracks, and by walking in the middle they created an additional deep, meandering groove, which was potentially even harder to ride in, as it wandered back and forth across the road. Add to this the fact that Owen and I rode about 50 mph all across Nevada, and we crashed. A lot.

However, the day turned into one of the best days of the entire trip. We rode into some mountains in northern Nevada, and ate lunch atop Coyote Mountain.



In the afternoon, we rode into a section of remote, grassy mountains (can you find me?). Incredible riding, great roads, great views, and this fantastic feeling of being somewhere men rarely go:


Then we come over a hill and see this:


My brain doesn't even really know what to do about this. "Are those... horses? Who is... wait... are those WILD horses? !!!!!"

As we ride up, the horses see us coming and run off to the left; however, they seem curious, one of them in particular, and the run with us about a quarter of a mile off our left. A mile or two down the road, after numerous stops to revel in the amazement and shoot pictures, the horses end up in the corner of some old fencing, with the gate up in the road we were riding:



After some discussion, we decide that Owen will (slowly and carefully) ride down, and see if the horses will run up through the gate, where I would be waiting in the weeds to get some good photos of them. So, Owen goes down there, dismounts, and carefully walks towards the horses:



He actually got surprisingly close with his camera:


In the end, the horses ran the opposite direction we hoped they would.


Over the next hill, we came across this:


In the end, it was an absolutely amazing experience.

We cruise some more, and briefly enter Oregon. Riding towards Denio Junction, our intended stop for the night, I liad the KLR down HARD on the left side in some Nevada Triple Track. It was one of my more painful crashes, but whatever, nothing new, so I shake it off and we keep riding. However, a little while later, with the sun going towards the horizon, I realize that my bike is overheating again. Figuring it must be that damn radiator shroud again, I pull over, and we tear the bike apart. Oh shit, it's worse this time. The shroud got bent again, and then when the fan tried to kick on the drive shaft blasted right through the plastic fan hub and melted it. Here's Owen making the diagnosis:



We tried a whole bunch of shit, including using Owen's whisperlite to melt the hub enough to straighten it back out. I can't remember the final solution, but it definitely involved 2 multitools, prying with screwdrivers or tire irons, and various other tools we dug out.

We got the bike rolling again right around the time darkness fell. We start the bikes, and Owen rides of first, with me close behind. Until my bike dies. I listen as Owen's "braaap" fades away and the light from his headlight disappears, as I get my headlamp out and start to disassemble again. I don't remember the problem, but I think the carb vent was blocked or something, and I wasn't getting fuel flow. As I get it back together I hear a faint exhaust note, which gradually gets brighter, and then I see Owen's headlight in the distance. We set off again, intending to ride the 30 or so miles into town. However, it got crappy really fast. We were riding in some farmland, with interestions, dead ends, and roads that eventually turned into roak fields. At one point, we were in a field full of rocks, and Owen went riding off, frustrated and trying to find the way. I got off my bike, walked after him, tripped and smashed up my leg, and wandered down into the gully where he had gotten stuck. I don't remember the words that were exchanged, but they were not good. We made the mutual decision to camp out there, pulling off after a big hillclimb, and setting up camp. Once we got off the bikes and had a dinner of clif bars, we felt a lot better, and went to sleep in relative peace.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:57 PM   #50
wind_man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321

As per the last post, we awoke (after setting up camp after riding in the dark for at least 60 minutes) to great views from a grassy hillside:
Kyle failed to mention the Kamakazi moths that bombarded our food and stoves... They didn't taste very good but it was something to watch them flock to the stove over some beers that we had picked up at a Terrible Herbst gas station!




Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321
We cruise some more, and briefly enter Oregon. Riding towards Denio Junction, our intended stop for the night, I liad the KLR down HARD on the left side in some Nevada Triple Track. It was one of my more painful crashes, but whatever, nothing new, so I shake it off and we keep riding. However, a little while later, with the sun going towards the horizon, I realize that my bike is overheating again. Figuring it must be that damn radiator shroud again, I pull over, and we tear the bike apart. Oh shit, it's worse this time. The shroud got bent again, and then when the fan tried to kick on the drive shaft blasted right through the plastic fan hub and melted it. Here's Owen making the diagnosis:

The trail that paralleled the OR boarder was one of the best of the trip for me, it ran along a stream that was beautiful and was great fast riding with no rock.

The radiator fan incident was a miserable/awesome experience since Kyle was frustrated and I was trying to figure out the best way to get moving since it was obviously getting dark fast. I kept trying to tell him that it was a KLR and the military probably threw away the cooling fans anyway..... The radiator was twisted and the fan shroud was equally tweaked so it was an interesting exercise to try and make the shroud somewhat round and untwisted again. The plastic fan was originally pressed onto the splined hub of the motor but apparently when the plastic gets to operating temperature it gets VERY soft and when you crash, well, it can be distorted easily. Luckily we tested the motor and found it not ot be burnt and still functioning. The hard part was manipulating the cold deformed plastic back to a shape where it fit in the deformed shroud....


Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321
We got the bike rolling again right around the time darkness fell. We start the bikes, and Owen rides of first, with me close behind. Until my bike dies. I listen as Owen's "braaap" fades away and the light from his headlight disappears, as I get my headlamp out and start to disassemble again. I don't remember the problem, but I think the carb vent was blocked or something, and I wasn't getting fuel flow. As I get it back together I hear a faint exhaust note, which gradually gets brighter, and then I see Owen's headlight in the distance. We set off again, intending to ride the 30 or so miles into town. However, it got crappy really fast. We were riding in some farmland, with interestions, dead ends, and roads that eventually turned into roak fields. At one point, we were in a field full of rocks, and Owen went riding off, frustrated and trying to find the way. I got off my bike, walked after him, tripped and smashed up my leg, and wandered down into the gully where he had gotten stuck. I don't remember the words that were exchanged, but they were not good. We made the mutual decision to camp out there, pulling off after a big hillclimb, and setting up camp. Once we got off the bikes and had a dinner of clif bars, we felt a lot better, and went to sleep in relative peace.
I was so pissed at this point after a few nasty hillclimbs and getting lost on cow paths that we were at odds with one another. I got stuck in a stream bed and refused help and just spiraled into a fit. a few miles later I figured it was not worth it and we decided to stop for the night, off the trail, lost in a beautiful place...

I have to give credit to Kyle a million times over for being positive when I got frustrated. I still don't know how people do this trip on their own, maybe they are just that much luckier or more careful than us, but having someone there when you have these sort of incidents/frustrations is what the journey is all about I believe...
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #51
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Day 17: Someplace near Denio Junction, NV to Lakeview, OR. 203 miles.

The morning after our adventure(s), we awoke to the following:


Looking the other direction (look at that amazing trail winding out into the distance!):


We rode down to Denio Junction, where we had a great hot breakfast at the same diner everyone else stops at. :)

Somewhere?


We rode pretty crap roads for a bunch of the day, almost all of the way to the California border. When we got close, we did have some good stuff, such as:


At this point, we got to California, where the riding was instantly fantastic. I have a bunch of other pictures from Nevada, which were missed earlier, so here some of them are in no particular order:







Me doing something amazing:




We took a quick lunch stop somewhere in California, and then rode into Oregon. The initial road in Oregon was VERY faint, , but the rest of the trip was on the great forest service roads that we would continue to see in Oregon. We arrived in Lakeview sometime in the afternoon, checked into a motel to take showers and wash clothes for the first time in quite a few days, and had dinner and beer at a sweet little Mexican joint.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #52
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Day 18: Lakeview OR to Diamond Lake, OR. 257 miles.

We got up early, and left the hotel around 7:30, after spending a bunch of time cleaning, organizing, and refilling supplies the night before. Most of the riding was on fantastic forest service roads in Fremont National Forest, I could go out there for weeks and just ride around all day, the number of empty roads with almost perfect surfaces was amazing.

Morning snack stop:


Great shot of Owen tearing it up:


I'll be honest, at this point in the trip we were very... knackered. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life, but after almost 3 weeks of riding hard from sunrise to sunset, we were both starting to get beat. With the coast so close, it was hard not to focus on just getting done. As a result, we don't have a lot of good pictures from Oregon. However, if you look at the two pictures above, and multiply that by about 400 miles, that is Oregon.

We had to stop to fix the shifter on my KLR, which had been "problematic" for almost the whole trip, as it was slipping around on the splined shaft badly enough to make shifting almost impossible. This would be a recurring theme.

We rode into camp at Diamond Lake around sunset, stopped at the camp store to grab a 6-pack and relaxed next to the fire with beers and some food. We had about 300 miles of Oregon left, and we planned on riding it all the next day.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #53
NOTAR_520
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Great report and Pictures, keep them coming.

The TAT is a game of surviving every day, and then stringing days together for 3 weeks. You guys have done a great job.

Thanks for taking the time to post up a report of your trip.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:48 AM   #54
kpt4321 OP
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Day 19: Diamond Lake, OR to Eden Valley Campground, OR. 290 miles.

We woke up with the end in sight. About 300 miles to the west, the waves of the Pacific were crashing on a beach in Port Orford, the end of our journey. We set out from the campground on some great forest service roads, and saw the sun coming up into a haze in the mountains (seen from somewhere coming up Quartz Mountain):




I wish we had more pictures from this part of the ride, it was simply fantastic. The roads in this area were great, with a great surface, lots of altitude changes and twists, and we were hauling ass. In hindsight, we were hauling too much ass (as usual).

Coming over the top of the mountain, Owen was probably the standard half-mile or so ahead of me; we rode anywhere from one-quarter to one mile apart for much of the trip, to minimize riding in dust, and Oregon was DUSTY. We were both navigating from the same GPS tracks, so thus far we didn't have any issues, and we could usually see the dust cloud of the guy in front anyway. In this case, this wasn't true. At one of Oregon's seven million intersections, Owen went right and I went left. Down at the bottom (maybe 5-10 minutes later), I came to the junction where the roads rejoined, and I stopped to wait for him. I wated for quite a while, worked on my broken shifter (again), and had a snack. At this point I figured he had either beat me down, or he was dead on the mountain somewhere. To make sure it wasn't the latter, I rode back up the trail he came down, looking down into all the ravines and various drop-offs to make sure he hadn't slid down into a gully. Not seeing any sign of him, I figured he was actually ahead of me, and rode back down. At the junction I left a big note in the dirt, saying "Owen, go to gas" (we both had the same gas waypoints, and one was close by, so it would be obvious what this meant. I think proceeded down the trail, absolutely hauling ass, potentially riding harder than a KLR should ever be ridden, with the intent of catching Owen. After riding about 40 trail miles (about one hour), I hit a completely impassable detour, and the only way out was the way I had come in. Well shit, Owen must not be down here, back to the mountain.

At this point, I'm getting a little bit worried. Owen's probably off the trail with broken limbs, and if I don't find him, nobody will. I ride back 40 miles (another hour), back to where I left the note (it's still there, nothing from Owen). I ride up the mountain, again looking for skidmarks off the road. At the top, at the intersection where we got separated, Owen had left a similar note for me, only more brilliant. He made a 4-foot diameter ring of sticks, planted a small tree in the middle, and then wrote "Kyle go to tiller gas" in the dirt.

So, I ride into Tiller, where Owen's been waiting at the gas station (which has no fuel) for several hours. It turns out, he had ridden back up the trail when I was looking for him the first time, then left his note and rode straight to Tiller while I was out riding a hundred miles of the TAT. What a day. We get some hot burgers for lunch, and then ride 20 more miles (of pavement :() to canyonville for gas, and to bypass the roadblock I ran into earlier.

We rode out of Canyonville and tried to take a little connector onto the trail. After a couple rocky hillclimbs and gullies that were borderline unnavigable, we hit a pretty nasty climb with some rock ledges. Owen's greater skill and the XRR made it up, but I didn't, laying my KLR down hard, finishing off one of my handguards, tweaking the bars, and breaking who knows what else. So, we turned around it went back out. Great.

We spent the next 3-4 hours literally riding in circles. We were in a recently logged area, and the roads on our GPS no longer existed, or had been moved, or now interescted one hundred new roads. We did our best to go the right general direction, but after numerous dead ends, roadblocks, and missing roads, we found that we had ridden in a giant 2-hour circle. Owen was pissed.

We were so frustrated that we gave up and rode pavement to the campground. It turns out that the road we took (which I might not be able to find on a map if I tried, somewhere near Powers, OR) was amazing; it was like the dual sport version of the tail of the dragon, 1.5 lanes wide, bumpy pavement, and constant twists and turns with a big drop to the river below. It's worth mentioning that at this point, we haven't seen another human being in probably 4-6 hours, since we were getting gas in Canyonville. We made it to the campground around dark, spending the last 20 minutes or so riding with no depth perception and a great fear of wildlife or falling to our death; just another day on the TAT.

We pulled into the campground, a great primitive camping area with no power and clean pit toilets, with no other campers anywhere to be seen. While setting up our tents and cooking dinner in the dark, we heard an odd noise, and turned to the road just as a car went by, dimly lighting the road ahead with his headlights. This was a very surreal experience, because whoever was driving that car had at least an hour to the nearest home, and if he/she had been 15 minutes earlier (or we had been 15 minutes later), it's likely that one of us would have become a hood ornament.

Another oddity was was the scent, and the black dust that was lightly raining down from above; Oregon was having some forest fires, and while we had not been close enough to see any sign of them, we were apparently within range of the winds, which were blowing ash and spreading it over our tents. Time to sleep, getting close now...

Day 20: PORT ORFORD! 70 miles.

This is it. We got up the next morning with the end in our sights. We had less than 100 miles to the coast, and we were determined. Every mountain or ridge we went over I was craning my neck to catch a glimpse of the Pacific; sadly, I was let down every time, with more mountains always blocking the view. Then we ran into this:





Shit, time for another detour. Later, after returning home, Owen pointed me to a ride report where someone rode over this; amazing. There was no chance I was capable of that.

We kept riding, the urge to get to the end stronger than the greatness of the roads we were on:


With less than an hour to go, my shifter started acting up again. I rode as long as I could, shifting the least bit possible, but in the end we had to stop, so close that I wanted to run the rest of the way. We ended up taking a good 30 minutes to incease the width of the slot in the shift lever with a hacksaw blade. Trailside repairs are never easy, but with the huge tookits both of us carried, we were able to fix pretty much any problem we came across.

Finally, we made it here:




The final tally:


There is a little bit more to our adventure, but that's it for now.
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"Both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it." -Oppenheimer
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #55
Giddy Up
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Great RR

Thanks for the RR and the pictures!
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