2012 Summer Ride TET & TAT Part I

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Trailace, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Day 7 Pickwick Dam, TN to the MS/AR border 317 miles
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    Day 7 was a high mileage day for a good reason. On previous nights our ritual was to make a plan for the next day. Because the weather forecast for Mississippi the next few days called for rain, and because there are few camping opportunities in Mississippi, our goal was to complete Mississippi in one day. As an incentive, I told Cam that if we made it thru today, we would stay in a hotel tonight.


    Cam
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    Sam had remapped the Mississippi part of the TAT so all the riding would be new to me.

    Mississippi State line
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    Most of the roads were rough red gravel that would have been a mess if they had been wet. As luck would have it, we had a dry day so we made good time.
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    The section of road before this bridge was about a 100 yards of deep sand.
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    Sand
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    Many of the roads were rutted and washed out because of all the rain. We traveled thru a lot of farmland so there wasn’t much to comment on.
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    We made it to the Isle of Capri Casino across the Mississippi River from Helena, AR. We ate at the free buffet, did laundry gambled a little the slept in a real bed.
    View from room
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    Cam
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    Stats
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    Elevation
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    Day 8 Helena, AR to Long Pool campground, AR 264 miles
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    When we got up, it was pouring rain so the decision to get out of the Mississippi mud was a wise one.
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    Crossing the Mississippi River, welcome to AR
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    The rain in Arkansas turned out to be a blessing. It kept the dust down and provided good traction on the gravel roads.
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    Abandoned store
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    We made good time even though we were riding thru bands of thunder storms.
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    There were a few sections of muddy road; one of them tried to throw me off but I managed to stay upright.
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    Once we crossed US 167 the skies cleared up and we were in an area hit by severe drought.
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    The roads were very dusty so we had to keep our spacing. Cam ate a lot of dust on this day.
    This road grader didn’t help
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    Cam in the shade. More dead foliage in the background
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    We could tell that we were getting close to the Ozarks because we were seeing an elevation gain.
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    We camped at the Long Pool Campground.
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    We rode into Dover, AR for dinner and ate at Dewayne’s Bar B Q and grill. The food was great
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    We returned to camp, took showers and turned in.

    Stats
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    Elevation
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    #21
  2. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Day 9 Longpool Campground, AR to Snowdale State Park, OK 258 miles
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    The plan for today was to complete Arkansas and make it to Oklahoma.

    Cam and Rick ready to start the day
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    We started early because we planned to cover a lot of ground. The East side of Arkansas was flat farmland. Today we go to enjoy the scenery and elevation changes. There were many signs of the recent drought and forest fires.
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    The roads were very dusty as you can see in this pic
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    Just east of Oark, we were stopped by a road crew. We were stopped for about 20 minutes. You can see how dry it was in these pics. Last time I was here these were flowing streams.
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    I don’t think the road crew had a clue about what they were doing. After all that time waiting, all we saw was one small patch of black top.
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    Oark General Store is mandatory stop on the TAT.
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    The store is under new management by a great young, conservative couple. I don’t remember their names but here is there picture.
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    Cam and I in front of the store
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    After breakfast it was back to dirt and more road construction. We went thru and around road closed signs.
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    We saw a few workers who didn’t seem to mind that we weren’t obeying the signs. The road was washed out but it was passable to motorcycles.
    Soon after this we were on War Loop Road. No pics, we were too busy riding.
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    Arkansas is a great state for adventure riding. We enjoyed very mile.
    Welcome to Oklahoma
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    The eastern side of Oklahoma is a continuation of the great riding in Arkansas. After about 50 miles though, it turns into the flat dusty gravel roads that I remember.
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    We set up camp and then went looking for a place to get oil for the Yamaha. Prior had an Auto Zone so we change the oil in the parking lot.
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    Immediately after we had finished with the oil change, you guessed it, it started to rain. We weathered the storm at the all you could eat buffet at the Pizza Hut. No one complained about the rain because of the drought Arkansas had been dealing with. Back at camp we were treated to a beautiful sunset.
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    While doing our nightly maintenance on the bikes, we noticed that the tires were looking pretty worn. We had to decide whether or not to buy tires and push one or start for home. We decided to sleep on that decision.
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    Stat
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    Elevation
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    #22
  3. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Day 10 Snowdale State Park to home 751 miles
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    This was the last day on the TAT. We decided that due to tire wear, we would do 200 more miles on the TAT then head for home when we hit Highway 35.

    Cam packed and ready to go
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    Most of the roads in Oklahoma are flat and gravelly but there were some cool areas along the way. You have to be careful on these long straight aways because there are cross streets with no stop signs. We were lucky and had no close calls.
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    We came across another road closed sign. This time it was truly closed. The detour was only ½ mile down the road.
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    How’s this for a long stretch of road.
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    There were a few areas with cows blocking the road.
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    We crossed many old wooden bridges
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    Since Cameron had never ridden in Kansas we crossed the border into Elgin, KS. There were some houses but no stores or gas stations.
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    Lunch was in Newkirk, OK at the Sonic.
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    Back on dirt and heading west, we came to a road closed bridge out sign. A bull dozer was blocking the road but we went around it. The bridge was completed but the road up to was not.
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    We improvised by using 2x6s left by the road crew to make a ramp up onto the bridge.
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    Two years ago when I road this section, this same bridge was out. At that time we had to go down the bank and thru the water to get across.
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    We made it to 35 at about 1:30 stopping point of the ride for this trip.
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    Decision time, find a campground now or keep heading for home. I was so hot last night that we decided to keep riding towards home.

    Mandatory stop to get fried pies for my wife
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    Crossing the Red River into TX.
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    It was a long hot ride home. After sunset it cooled down some. I have to give Cameron credit, he rode 750 miles on a Yamaha 250.
    We arrived home at about 1:30 a.m.
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    We had a great time and we are looking forward to finishing the TAT in the near future.
    Stats
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    Elevation
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    Total Ride mileage 3,539
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    #23
  4. Buddy_Holly

    Buddy_Holly Imminent Train Wreck

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,145
    Location:
    Tohatchi, NM
    Nice report! :thumb:thumb:thumb
    #24
  5. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    The Big Mitten
    Glad you liked my TET-S.

    I figured it would take 3 days to get from Tybee to Tellico Plains... you sure pushed it!
    I based that on reasonable mileages for an extended ride... 150-200 miles a day.

    How'd you like the 'Post Apocalyptic Highway'? FS7xx something in North Carolina.

    That bit from Dillard onward slowed you down a bit I would think....
    #25
  6. Trailace

    Trailace Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,153
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Hey thanks for the help on my planning.

    We both enjoyed the TET-s so much we might go back and do more of it later. We did cover some ground but we don't stop a lot we like riding.

    North Carolina tried to kill us with all the rain.

    Now to start planning the west side of the TAT. Not sure if there has been any changes since I did it back in 2009. :ear
    #26