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Old 01-10-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
olegmc66 OP
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Trans Am Trail From TN to California on a KLR

I started from Eastern North Carolina to Jellico TN., the start of the trail.

Here is the the turn of Bicycle route #4 off the Blue Ridge Parkway
towards Jellico, about 1/2 days ride from here.

Originally, I was just planning on doing Tennessee, but I called Sam and had him mail me maps twice along the way. Just tell him to mail them general delivery to the town you expect to be in in a couple days.
I ended up in San Francisco at my daugher's home.

The KLR was great on the road, a little heavy on some parts of the trail.
But a good compromise. I sold it to a Chips out there and flew home.
I plan to do it again this year with a lighter bike. Any suggestions?

This time I think I will ride to the coast here first so I can say I went coast to coast.
Or I might get a 4 wheel drive and take my wife along.
Anyone going in late April let me know if you want someone to ride along.
You will have to go around alot of Colorado because of snow unless you
do it in late summer.

Here are the pics on the first day of the trip from NC to Jellico TN.

End of Bike Route #4, Crossing into Virginia to go up and back down into Tenessee into Jellico.

Here the shiny new KLR looks down over the Blue Ridge. I have not bought my tent or sleeping bag yet.

Here it is getting dark on me and I still have to cross the mountain ahead to get to Jellico.

The first night I pulled the bike in the room. That would be the last time for that.

I will post the rest of the trip later.

olegmc66 screwed with this post 01-28-2009 at 02:26 PM Reason: change title
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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Sounds good! be sure to load your pics on an external pic hosting site, as pics cannot be uploaded as an attachment on this site.

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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I rode around Jellico the first night and checked out the first turn. First time I had ever done a long trail like this (I have ridden the Shenandoah 200 up in Harrisburg Va. and some other local runs but nothing like this.)
I was excited!

Here is the Jellico in the daylignt. I was supposed to start at 7AM??

Here is the first turn off the paved road outside Jellico. Finally, some dirt!

What a Klutz. I broke the plastic cover on the roll chart, the first day?!!.
And this spider got in. He would be my companion for the next 2 days.

Like Sam says on the map in the pic above, Tennessee has paved alot of his roads, but they are still scenic and fun on your motorcycle.

Some Longhorns in Tennessee!

Back on Dirt for awhile. What a day for a ride!

Thats progress, I guess?

Headed up a Tennessee foothill, heading west on the TAT.

Coming up on one of the many bridges in Tennessee. This one is dry. Lots of slippery ones later as everyone has advised in their reports.

Cruising by a river, I met up with Frank from Wisconsin, pulled over to have a cigar.
He had ridden down with a buddy on a Goldwing and was headed out on the trail
to Colorado, then turn back for home. We crossed paths several times in the next
few days. Then he was out ahead of me because I stopped over at my brothers in
Columbia (the layover for day 2 of the trail). We both had just bought the KLRs for this trip.
He had added front guards, which I would come to see why later.

Westward Ho!

I dont think I saw the same type bridge twice on the entire trip.

Thru the valley.

Around the bend.

By some Silos

Up a hill - not real exciting I guess, but just laid back fun with the thumper thumping under me

Time to check the roll chart.

Coming up on an old truck. I love old trucks in their natural habitat. There were hundreds on the trip.

The Bridges of Tenessee counties.

Here's one of those water crossings I read about. This one looks harmless, maybe.

Good Food.

I like old barns too. One of thousands.

Some roadwork.

This looks interesting. I remember the slime reports and get thru okay, very slowly with feet down.

Finally make it to my brother's farm in Columbia near end of 2nd day. That's my 48 Farmall, haven't seen in over a year.

The trusty KLR above Pumpkin Creek, Columbia, Tennessee. All is OK with the world.

Take a day off to putt around the farm and go kayaking on the Duck river, another first for me. This couple was keeping an eye out for me.

Well that was it for the first 2 days, Jellico to Sparta, then Sparta to Columbia. I will come back soon with day 3.


olegmc66 screwed with this post 01-28-2009 at 02:39 PM Reason: add pic
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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"Here is the first turn off the paved road outside Jellico. Finally, some dirt!"

-And that's when I said "the hell with it" and turned back . Just kidding, looking forward to more.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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Looking good so far I love old trucks too even when they are "retired" for awhile sure beats the junkyard

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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Great photos!!! This is gonna be good!

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Old 01-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
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Day 3 on the trail, from Columbia, TN to Mississippi

After a few days at brother Bruce's farm on the banks of the Duck River
and Pumpkin Creek in Columbia TN, I had an idea.
Why not call Sam and get him to send me some more maps and keep going
for awhile till I got tired? (Ain't retirement great).

I figured I would ride thru Mississippi and Ark in the few days it would take the mail,
so I ask him where the nearest town in Oklahoma was.
He said that would be Westville, OK.
So I asked him to send the rest of the maps there, to general delivery.
Neither Sam or I had ever done this before, but we guessed it would work??

So onward, westward, into the unknown without maps.

A pic outside of Columbia TN on the trip 3rd day (my 5th day).

A great little country store with great apple and peach fritters made
right there in front of you.

Another beautiful day on the Trail.

1 Horsepower.

Enjoying the shade along the trail.

What a laid back day.

More trucks and horses by the trail.

I think I have seen this water crossing in many reports on the TN TAT.
Here's my version :).

They must have had a contest to see who could come up with the most different types of bridges, then tried out each one. I'm glad they did.

I hope anyone looking at this is not getting bored looking at pictures of roads, I just wanted to show what the trail looked like to me on my
ride and maybe encourage you. I guess to the younger sport bike set it ain't very exciting.

Getting close to Mississippi now, the trail is turning a little redder.
Tennessee in the Spring is nice.

Has anyone else taken a pic of this? Only on the TAT,
30 feet off the trail an old international bus with a 15
year old tree growing out of the motor well.

OK here I am at the first crossroads in Mississippi, with no map and no idea which way to turn.
Feel like Tom Hanks at the last of the movie Castaway, when he is deciding which way to go.

But there is no good looking girl coming along in a pickup to help me make up my mind.
Actually I did ride on straight for a couple miles and found a guy in a pickup that was
just as lost as I was, but he had a map, and I followed him out to the main road.

And he told me how to get to Arkansas. Sorry no more pics of Mississippi since I rode into Memphis and across the river there.
I later found out that the trail goes south and accross the river at Helena.

Hope to post the following days pics soon.


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Old 01-11-2009, 08:05 PM   #9
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After all the anal retentive planning, scheming, plotting, and number crunching I've either read about or done myself in trip prep, this is kind of refreshing...

Whouuda drempt you could successfully ride a dirt road without all that pre-trip anxiety and periodic progress checking!
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #10
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I've subscribed too!
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:51 PM   #11
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I'm in... loving the scenery! Maybe when I muster up enough kahonas and skill, I'll try this ride!
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:33 PM   #12
olegmc66 OP
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maybe the 400 next time

You know I was thinking the 400 Suzuki might be perfect for this ride if I do it again. The KLR was great on the paved and dirt roads but just a little much on the sands and mud in OK and the washouts in Colorado and Utah and the desert in Nevada. One thing I know I will take next time is an air pump to pump up the tires for the pavement and let it out for the washboard sections on the gravel.

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Old 01-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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awesome. im loving the pictures
Its not to be explained. Its to be experienced.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:06 PM   #14
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great photos and report - keep it coming
These are the best days
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:34 PM   #15
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Well I rode over the Mississippi river in Memphis on the interstate. That was probably the worst part of the whole trip, trying to keep up with all the traffic on my little one banger, tho it did not let me down.

As soon as I got accross, I bought a map and looked for some dirt.
I had an idea of how the trail went but not sure, so just winged it for about 4 days since the Ozarks were so nice I just wandered around for a while.

Arkansas Red Dirt.

AK has some nice state parks, so I bought a tent and sleeping bag and started camping out when I wanted to.

I saw alot of no jake brake signs, no two the same.

This guy must have had every year of ole Chevy trucks.

Here was one for sale. Just another dirt road in the Ozarks.

I spent a couple days camping in Devil's Den State Park. I later learned it is very close to the trail. Highly Recommend it for a stopover.

Then on to Westville OK to pick up my maps from Sam.

Ok later will add Oklahoma.
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