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Old 05-22-2015, 09:40 AM   #1
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Mississippi's DeSoto NF - Anyone interested?

I do a lot of riding in the Desoto National Forest, Chicasawhay District, and am quite familiar with the southern section as well. Tons of forestry roads, some single track (fee), and free primitive camping just about anywhere.

I have led truck rides around here for years with http://mississippi-mud.com but have recently gotten back into dual sport.
I'm in the throws of rebuilding my off-road truck at the moment, and will be building that rig through the summer. But at the same time, I think I would like to spend some time out there on the bike.

I know the area like the back of my hand. I thought I would pop on here and extend an invite to others in the area who might like to get their tires dusty.

I have a running thread here, on my Mississippi site: http://mississippirides.com/thread-40.html I check there more often than I check here. But post up, and let's get something going.

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Old 05-22-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Thanks for the invite!

Many of us who attended the first couple of don't Fall Rallies are a little gun-shy about DeSoto after several run-ins with a motorcycle hating Ranger. I'm on my phone, so I'll let somebody else tell the long version if they want.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the invite!

Many of us who attended the first couple of don't Fall Rallies are a little gun-shy about DeSoto after several run-ins with a motorcycle hating Ranger. I'm on my phone, so I'll let somebody else tell the long version if they want.
I'm curious who what and where. They all know me in Chick with the truck. Although they don't encourage me and my group riding out there, they always agree that I have never caused them any grief.
I don't expect them to be any different about a highway-legal mortorcycle as long as I stick to the MVUMs.

We can gather as a group as large as 70 before needing a permit.

I've had as may as 26 trucks out there without incident. They sometimes check on us, ask who, what, and where, then move on. I respect them, and they are respectful to me. That's how it's been for the past ten years.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:37 PM   #4
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Short of the long... We started an impromptu MS Adventure Rider rally now know as the "(don't) Fall Rally." It was held in DeSoto NF the first 2 years and each year we were harassed and had attendees threatened and ticketed but Officer Friendly. The first year, he ticketed a rider who was on a demo bike brought out by a sponsor motorcycle shop for riding an unlicensed vehicle on a public road. He told us we couldn't do what we were doing, couldn't camp where the Ranger office had earlier told us we could, and pretty much harassed us. Second year, we had a rider from Atlanta go down hard and ended up getting EMT's and a helo flight to Forrest General. EMT's warned us as we carried him out that Officer Friendly heard the radio traffic and was waiting on us. As soon as the helo left, Officer Friendly shows up (most of our crew scattered after the warning) but 5 or 6 hung around to load up the bike and get his gear back to camp. He took pictures of out tags, our driver licenses, and told us were were on a closed road. Base commander had given us permission to ride on tank trails and through the base roads. This officer said the base commander did not have permission to give others access to HIS national forest. The officer then showed up at our camp a little latter and tried to make us Identify everyone that had been on that road to him. We played dumb.

A couple of weeks later, we all got expensive FEDERAL trespassing tickets for being on a dirt road in the national forest with no gates or signs. He said we were supposed to download a travel map from the website that told us what roads were open. (None of us carried a laptop and internet connection in our luggage). He even drove to the hospital and gave a ticket to the injured rider with a spiral leg fracture. My ticket was around $250. One of the riders that got away started a community fund and several generous inmates donated to help cover part of our fees. This is federal court. We would have to hire lawyers, take time off work, and try to go back and fight. Wasn't worth it.

So we enter and exit Desoto to pass through only. We tip-toe and don't get off the main wide roads. But ride your own ride... I can't afford to ride there anymore with me having a federal record for trespassing in the national forest!!! Is that short enough? We now hold our rally on private property...



Original Rally Thread from 2009: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=512027

Rally Thread from 2010: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=614351
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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I recall reading about that on another site. Might have been Mississippi-Mud.com One of our Admins lived down that way, and used to ride a DRZ befoe moving to Colorado. I remember that it made me ill to hear about it, because I was struggling at that time to get permission to ride in the places that I was used to.
In the end, I got nowhere with the forestry guys. But I adapted, I got over it, and I am having fun again.

Y'all were caught up in a volatile turf war between USDA and Camp Shelby. We used to go down that way with the trucks, until the MVUMs were finally published.
Since that time, I keep my groups on the legal roads, and just scout out the ones that are in terrible condition. Smooth roads are no fun in a truck, but they are way more fun on two wheels. They have a lot of roads that are listed as being for vehicles less than 50" wide, but with no practical way for a non-highway legal vehicle to get from one to the other. The Dual sport bike is the perfect solution.

Anywho, the offer stands. I figure if anyone is out this way, and wants the 10 cent tour, hit me up on MississippiRides, or PM me here.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:55 PM   #6
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I have posted about our experiences on the CMsJA forum when people asked about Jeeping there. I have passed through on the main roads going to the coast, but have not camped or explored since then. I heard that ranger was moved, but have not verified it.
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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officer "friendly" has moved on or up rather.. have seen zero issues or presence this year. at least on Sundays which is when I ride there.

full speed ahead. at least the big roads, dunno much about the trails..
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:49 PM   #8
backwoodsKLR
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officer "friendly" has moved on or up rather.. have seen zero issues or presence this year. at least on Sundays which is when I ride there.

full speed ahead. at least the big roads, dunno much about the trails..
He may have used us to up his career and be the head of Homeland Security by now...
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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He may have used us to up his career and be the head of Homeland Security by now...
started protecting dirt from tires ... moved on to protecting everything from nothing.
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:41 PM   #10
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started protecting dirt from tires ... moved on to protecting everything from nothing.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:59 AM   #11
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Man that's rough. Finding places to ride can be a bear
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:06 PM   #12
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Finding bears can be real rough.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:11 AM   #13
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Finding bears to ride can be a ....
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:13 AM   #14
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Finding bears to ride can be a ....
We just need to protect our right to bear arms.

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Old 06-11-2015, 02:10 PM   #15
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I live about 6 miles from Camp Shelby and the NF and ride several times a month there on my KLR and so far haven't even seen a ranger. I retired from Camp Shelby and have,trained, hunted and ridden the NF for over 60 years and no problems as to date. Long as you are obeying the regs and stay on the designated roads you shouldn't have a problem.

I have heard about the officer "friendly" from hunting friends of mine, along with some DS riders in my area. But so far haven't had the pleasure of meeting the man.

I got a copy of the Motor Vehicle Use Map from regional office in Wiggins and plan my routes according to it. U can also access the map on their web site www.fs.fed.us/r8/mississippi/desoto

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