Going for Broke: TAT 2011

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by simonpig, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    I'm on a roll. Post #152 update with pictures.
  2. bikepharmer

    bikepharmer Baja is on the way

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    Looks awesome. The desert is calling!
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Cool, I never go back for added info in ride reports, but that is good stuff!!

    Thanks for the updates!!

    :beer
  4. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Post #166 updated with pictures.
  5. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    9/8/11 (Thursday)
    Daily mileage: 288 miles
    Overall average: 26.8 mph

    I'm really really super proud of myself for waking up at 6:30. Arising from within my tent, I step out to sound of birds chirping throughout the canyon. The sun would come up any minute now. Immediately, I started packing and had a granola bar and some water for breakfast. When the sun peeked its ugly mug over the canyon, I quickly and efficiently struck poses and snapped away.

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    After said photos were taken, i got on the bike and set my sights on getting out of this canyon. Looking at my gps tracks, I was a little bit off the track, and that was how i happened on this fantastic site. The ride up and out was pretty steep, but nothing a wrr can't handle.

    Immediately, The first section after that was deep sugar sand, a rude awakening. In retrospect, I am happy to have made the decision to go with my gut and set up camp where i did. That sand would have been an absolute nightmare last evening. I hadn't got my rhythm yet so I was riding all stiff and looking at my front fender when I shoulda been looking 10 to 15 feet ahead. Went down twice and the second time, my leg got caught between the berm and the bike. I had no leverage whatsoever and it took me 10 minutes and a lot of sweat to get out from under there. Bad things went through my mind as I was laying there and struggling -- felt like a mouse caught on those gluetraps, weak from struggling to get free. Finally, I took the wolfman duffle off and used the other free leg to push the bike up and off my other leg. What an effort. After loosening up I was able to flow and ride more smoothly and outta there and proceed to emery, Utah for gas. From here on out, I get gas whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    Just a note, for those that the TAT is all easy, that's not necessarily true. If you only ride the eastern part then yes, but Colorado and Utah have some challenging sections. I reserve judgement on Nevada and Oregon till I ride them.

    The next big section happens after salina which takes me to an atv double track when goes up and down, through the mountain. Some of the trails are pretty tight and claustrophobia inducing. These tracks seem to go on forever and there some pretty steep downhills.

    Finally, I get through that section to kanosh, ut for gas. the sections after that consist of wide fast sweeping gravel that takes you through valleys that, in the past, were burn sites. The valley was full of dead trees.

    Some pictures I like from today:

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    There was a part of the day where the trail run and jigsaws under the interstate. It takes you through another TAT staple and that is the unfinished train tunnels cut through a mountian.

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    After more sweeping fast gravel, the trail takes me through the Paiute Indian reservation and from there it opens up into a vast horizon. The road is pointed into infinity and I just go and go and new object appear as I reach monuments which at an earlier point appeared as tiny shapes dotting the horizon.

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    Nothing is close to me. Just the road. Eventually, desert vegetation starts to appear and i know Nevada is close. The trail that leads to the highway before the bordertown hotel is especially nice. From the main gravel track, you makes a right onto a faint double track that goes straight into the desert. And then at some point you make a left into another faint track. Too cool. This is the first time, I feel like I'm part of the landscape and not on the trail looking out at it.

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    At around 6:30 I make it to bordertown motel, check in and was able to gain access to their monitor and mouse. I've now uploaded all of nevada and the first 3 Oregon maps.

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    Had a fried chicken dinner and then I crash. Until tomorrow.

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  6. Callahan

    Callahan Long timer

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    Nice job on the updates and the many great photos added to previous posts.

    I think you may have posted previously as to what camera you are using for all tho great photos. But, could you shout out again, what is the camera you are using ?
  7. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Panasonic Lumix ts-3. Great camera. Rugged. Waterproof. Has a GPS for geotagging. Easy to use -- click on. Push to take a picture, click off. Great 28m lens by Leica. This is the perfect dualsport camera.

  8. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    Good stuff. Glad you are able to get the pictures back in now. :clap
  9. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Those are great little cameras, I have the TS10.

    Just a note, you're in the west now...camp where you want. :deal
  10. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    9/9/11 (Friday)
    Daily mileage 227 miles
    Overall average: 24 mph

    Go on the road this morning from the Border Inn with both anxiety and excitement. Nevada and Oregon are the two “lets wing it” states.

    Border Inn

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    Breakfast

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    I was able to find the set of tracks that lead into the fields but after awhile the tracks disappear and I was just going in a general direction doing my best to avoid low lying desert foliage. The mornings ride was crazy (for me, anyways, I've never ridden into the wilderness without some sort of tracks leading my way). In Nevada, I'm thinking this will be sort've a norm.

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    I approach a fence and take a guess at going right along the gate… I was rewarded with a gate to open to take me into the next field, and a more defined trail.

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    The actual riding was really fun and more so than any of the other states I've passed through. I could really get aggressive through these fields, though I had to be careful because the track would sometimes curve and go down into a steep washout area and aggressively come up again to continue the trail. On more than one occasion, I would g-out these drops really hard.

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    As others have noted theres a ton of fences to open and close. It gets old when you’re running behind.

    Some scenes along the way

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    Optimus prime

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    Love the fuzzy soft warm color field grass

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    After riding long sections of these open grazing fields sectioned off by fences, the next really great section is the single track up and through the mountain.

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    There were parts where I would be riding on the edge of the knobs since the track was off camber. Afterawhile this turns into a double track going through Sawmill canyon. This sections really interesting cause I felt like I was in Europe. There were interesting rock formations up there. I also saw a wolf (I think) on the side of the trail. The ride down was winding and rocky and lots of fun. The WRR is a fun little adventure bike on this type of trali because you can throw it around and ride it aggressively if packed lightly.

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    The view of the mountain before going up on through the single track

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    Through Sawmill Canyon.. Cool rock formations

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    A wolf, I think, hanging out up there

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    Riding up there

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    Coming down

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    At the bottom, it ends at a highway which leads to a gas and lunch stop in Lund, NV. Ordered a burger and chatted with the employees as I ate my lunch. Little boys and girls would stare when they came into the convenience store. I didn’t mind.

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    After lunch, I had problems picking up the trail, since there was farmland where the trail use to be. I did see a hawk and spent the next 10 minutes just watching and photographing the best I could. Birds of prey are kewl.

    The mountain range and Lund, NV below

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    Birds of prey are kewl

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    Continuing on the trail, the riding was winding up and down hills. Overall, I’m really liking Nevada for its diversity. The whole day has been pretty interesting the different terrain I’ve been hitting.

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    Flying around the curves and hills, the bike started feeling weird. I wasn’t sure if the gravel had changed, but the rear felt spongy and squirmy--never had that sensation before.

    I stopped looked down and saw the my rear was flat. Hmmm. This is my first flat tire ever. I reached down and felt the tire was super hot, because I was riding on it for close to 10 minutes on flat before stopping. Made sure the tubliss was still holding air and confirmed it with a 95psi. I then inflated the main tire with my trusty compressor and listened for the hiss, which I found. It was a small hole probably cause by a sharp rock on the trail. Pull out my slime tire plug kit and fix it. That’s what I love about tubliss. Inflate the tire and no more hiss. Easy peesy, though I burned about 25 minutes diagnosing and repairing the flat.

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    It was about 6:00 and I still had about 40 miles to go. I would loose the trail a couple of times which would lose me more time and at 7:15, the gps screen goes into sundown mode and at that point, I start picking up my speed. At this point the winding trail is now fast sweeping open gravel through farmlands and more fences.

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    At some point there is a turn on the gps that I am just not seeing, so I decide to head on the same big road onto the main highway. Instead of finishing out the remaining 13 miles of trail in the dark, I turn onto the freeway and head to Eureka. As I'm flying down this road at dusk, there are certain birds that like to hang out standing on the road and then fly off when you're riding by... I can't be sure but I might've run over one of them. Whats up with that.

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    Heading into town, it turns out the whole place is booked. I ask the Best Western Hotel clerk if there is anyplace I can pitch a tent and she tells me the public park allows it. So that’s where I lay my head. Not ideal, but it wasn’t bad. There was clean bathroom on the premises and the grass was thick and green.

    Not ideal, but it’ll have to do.
  11. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Those birds were probably chukar(pronounced chucker) and that was a coyote(Wile E. Coyote).
  12. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    9/10/11 (Saturday)
    From Eureka to Battle Mountain

    Today to was a short day. After reviewing the maps, there really isn’t any hotels after Eureka until Denio Junction. OK by me, since I wouldn’t mind enjoying my evening in a hotel. I love camping but only when its ideal and not an necessity. Last night was a necessity.

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    Got up and out of the park, at around 8:30 and proceeded to have the trail closed due to mining, I tried several close reroutes, but all roads led to a fence. I found a southern way around which took me back on trail. Looking back I could see the mining operation that shut the trail down.

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    After rerouting I could see the big mining operation that closed down the trail leading out of town.

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    Just like that as soon as I found it I lost it again after going through a field and up into the hills into some double track. I had to blaze my own trail through small brushes going up and then down the hill. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it. A eventually saw the trail I was suppose to take which came down the hill next to a powerline. Oh well, there are many ways to skin a cat.

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    After getting down from the hill, the trail opened up a bit and there was a great expanse separating me and a low mountain range in the distance. The roads leading to those mountain were winding and I slid out and lowsided going into corner too hot. It wasn’t bad and the landing was actually pretty cushy.

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    After reaching those hill and lifting a gate or two, the trail takes me back down to the desert.

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    There was point where I lose the trail again and just ride into the desert in a general direction and pickup the trail after awhile. The trails here are what one inmate called “SLR” or shitty little roads – I think these are the ones. Its about 1:30 and I’m making good time to Battle Mountain. I’m thinking I’ll check in early and have a lot of time to catch up on my post.

    Nope… didn’t happen. I was going at a decent clip through this hot dry desert on this shitty little road and all of a sudden, I see mud! WTF… I slow up to and hit it at around 30, and the rear just slides out.

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    Next thing I know, I’m on my right side. My right boot is trapped under my bike and my I try to right my self, but the leg is in a position where that is just not possible. The only comfortable position is on my side. The mud is just sticky an gooey and immediately, my right glove is stuck in the mud. I’m struggling for a bit try to get out and start to freak out for a bit. I pull up the handlebars and that eases some pressure of the leg, but I just am not in the position to have leverage to lift. I immediate stay in crawl position and start to pull my leg from under the bike. I can feel my feet sliding through the boot and it hurts for a little bit as my ankles slide out of the buckled boot, but as soon as I am free, a sigh of relief comes over me.

    Click for video documentation

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    Immediately, I get up take some pictures and then pick the bike up. Looking ahead, I can see that the mud continues for the next 100 to 200 feet. I can see the source of the water… It is a water purification station that is next to the puddle. Someone needs to report a leak. I feel like the swamp thing now. Mud is all over me and I’m annoyed but happy to have made it without bodily harm.

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    To the left I can see a gravel access road and with no hesitation, ride it. Looking at my GPS, I can see it runs parallel to the shitty little road. Looks like this plant was newly built, but not sure. The road takes me out to the main highway and I ride into Battle Mountain, and look for a car wash. Found one and spent the next 2 hours hosing everything off. The clay mud is very tenacious and sticks to everything.

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    After rinsing off, my outlook is greatly improve and I finally look presentable enough to walk into a hotel and check myself in.

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    A short day, but what a trying day.
  13. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Assuming you're in Battle Mtn right now, take your time today if you want to...there is a motel in McDermitt.
  14. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    If I would've known that Eureka was completely booked, I probably would've just rode into the fields and pitched a tent.

    Being on the TAT, its easy to lose track what day it is. On this occasion and the one at Lake City, both were on Friday and Saturdays, when the weekend warriors come out to play. Book in advance for those who like the comfort of hotels.
  15. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    We to had a hard time finding the trail getting out if Eureka. Eureka is a little gold mining town and Barrick which is one of if not the largest gold mining company in the world. You'll see signs all throughout Nevada for Barrick. We stayed in Eureka for an extra day, well worth the stay.

    You wouldn't believe it after staying there but Eureka is in the richest Co of Nevada. The state tried to get their hands on some of the money, but the head accountant put the money where the State can't get any of it. Not sure of the exact details have to be an accountant to understand. Did you see the huge Fire Department!! The is a public swim facility which had washers and dryers which which we used.

    Neat thing about NV is all the old mines (holes in the earth) you'll see later on.
  16. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Oh yeah, since you're back live on the report...don't drink the water in McDermitt until you ask if it's okay or just don't drink it. By the time I found out it was bad I had drank a gallon and got sick the next day...bad sick.
  17. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Wow. Who would've thought. Thanks for that tip.
  18. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    That fire department is so money. I think it was the nicest building in town.

  19. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    Really enjoying your RR. Love your writing style and posting semi-live really adds to the enjoyment for those of us sitting in the comfy arm chair. Your observations of all the little things is what makes this trip really special for the memory book. Stay safe and enjoy the moment.

    Fyi, Denio Jct has a few rooms but with hunting season in force may be a crap shoot to get one. Fields OR, just to the north has a few as well, great people I might add, but also a crap shoot this time of year. All else fails you should find a shower and bed in Cinderville CA (south of Fort Bidwell) or Lakeview. There's no offical lodging (or gas) in Ft Bidwell, but some riders have been put up after a good meet and greet.

    Will send you a PM with emergency contact info in case you need any help while in OR
  20. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Fort Bidwell-If I remember right gas is just 10-15 miles up the road via interstate.