Hacking West by West: The TAT….

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Abenteuerfahrer, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    You have to love America for it's wide viriety of individuals. The pic of that sign reminds me of the Giant Spark Plug at S. Of the border.

    John
    #61
  2. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Last week I said good bye to my lovely wife in Wilmington, NC and rode my GS/sidecar to Knoxville, TN via Asheville, NC to Jellico. TN. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    On Thursday morning I rode away from the Days Inn in Jellico, TN and started the TAT in the early morning.

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    I was going deep into the heart of darkest, steamy Tennessee.........

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    When Sam mapped TN for the TAT it was mostly all gravel. In the last 7-10 years TN has spent a lot of tax dollars paving every road in the state thus many riders not taking TN too much for fear of wearing out their knobbies or just wanting to hit gravel right away. I don&#8217;t have Sam&#8217;s most recent newer updated maps of TN and understand that he&#8217;s back in finding/mapping gravely roads again for Tennessee.<o:p></o:p>
    After the first 20 gravely miles onto the TAT&#8230;., Tennessee indeed lived up to its reputation of being mostly paved and would best be served as a shake-down cruise for the rest of the TAT. By the end of the State your gear is probably better sorted, your bike might feel being in synch, your mind is distant from the day to day cares of the world and you are might feel ready for some serious Mississippi and Arkansas dirt?
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    The way I feel for those here, if you plan on riding the complete TAT and need to make time, you are probably better off cutting off a lot of the jogging around here and start in Arkansas. Those who don&#8217;t care in smelling some flowers nor immerse themselves in the local culture might not be missing much, but I decided then to snake around the Tennessee TAT ....immerse in their culture&#8230;savor their culinary delights if any and take pictures as not many TAT riders cover Tennessee in its entirety. They just zoom through. I wanted to blend in and use Sam&#8217;s maps to its fullest and most of all I have &#8230;&#8230; TIME!!
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    BUT&#8230;Oh, Lordy.. Oh, Lord&#8230;. BUT&#8230;
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    It is not to be&#8230;
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    As I write this from Sparta, TN, I hate to be a bearer of not so good news. I&#8217;ve come to the conclusion that I am throwing in the towel regarding hacking the TAT. Been in a funk since day 1 departure&#8230; my body and mind simply did not immerse themselves in getting to ride solo.
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    Done solo before&#8230;but this time it became a hindrance affecting my mind and physical well being whereas daily physical/mental oddities were starting to affect my thinking and performance. Not that the TAT via Hack was difficult..none of these&#8230;it&#8217;s easier than you think, especially the Eastern section. I stayed true to the TAT route all the way to Sparta, TN..&#8230;a distance of only 192 miles but at a timed run of 08:00 hrs.
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    It&#8217;s the &#8220;solo&#8221; thing that is affecting me personally. Yes, it could also be loneliness, with no one to share the scenery, eating, camping, Moteling, and trip planning.
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    With all that hype&#8230;of being there for you, giving you some Adventure&#8230;.and now ppfffffff&#8230;.it&#8217; not to be.
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    I sincerely, humbly apologize for getting you excited to no avail. I hope to again post another ride report someday but definitely un-solo!

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    Cheers&#8230;..<o:p></o:p>
    #62
  3. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    You'll feel better when you get home & give your wife a big hug & a sweet kiss.

    I, for one, will be standing by for another time w/ your best buddy along for the trip.

    Chin up.
    #63
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Ooooh, Elmer! Great disappointment!

    But you are the man in charge and no one can make the decision for you.

    Feelin yer pain, buddy. :nah
    #64
  5. Zachsv

    Zachsv SVhaver

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    Wow terrible to hear, but one of the things that would keep me from doing this is going solo. I'm in Wilmington nearly every other weekend (will be there this weekend, camping on Masonboro Island probably). In a year or so I hope that I can save money, sell of non essentials, quit my job and ride the TAT, but would absolutely need a partner for the trip. It would drive me into depression and madness to do the trip alone, two things I don't approve of! haha

    Safe travels back to town. If you see a naked blue SV650 with 40lbs of camping gear on the back, shoot me a honk haha

    Also, one of my biggest reasons for wanting to go is to photograph the country...something I've dreamed about...travel and shoot, travel and shoot. One thing I'm awful at is stopping to smell the roses and shoot some 'fine art'. Been trained my entire life to be a man and that men don't stop on a trip till we get there or we need gas lol. Thanks Dad. Would definitely want to partner up with someone who appreciated the sunsets, rolling hills and wandering cattle.
    #65
  6. OlyRider

    OlyRider Long timer

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    Disappointing news, indeed, but reasonable for you. I'm sure that Sharon (or some other riders) would have lifted your spirits, but it was not meant to be. A famous daytime television host said "You have to listen to the whispers before they advance into full-blown ramming you head through a brick wall". The whispers tell us we need to reassess our situation. Good for you for paying attention!! Not everyone does. Unfortunately.

    I'm looking forward to your next trip as much as any other you've ridden. Maybe it will include a stopover in the PNW?

    Safe travels, buddy! You're one of the good ones!!

    Paul
    #66
  7. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

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    HACK ATTACK THE TAT!!!

    I am so in. You are an inspiration, Good Sir. :beer
    #67
  8. deafPOPEYE

    deafPOPEYE Adventurer

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    Whoa! Wanna me bringing you some cans of Popeye spinach. Try not to detour for home yet but can understand how hard it is or can be! Try to mediate and give it a couple of hours. We all are with you. :lobby
    #68
  9. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    Tell you what Elmer, you come on over to Dayton the end of the month and we will sit down and discuss running the TAT next year. I personally prefer riding/traveling alone but I would be more than happy to meet you in TN and run the TAT back at least to Colorado with you.

    I will even trim my mustache before heading to Dayton.
    #69
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Long distance/time solo is a strange thing sometimes Its awesome, sometimes its dreadful. If it didn't feel right then there is no shame in abandoning the trip.
    #70
  11. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    i fully undertand, elmer
    it's ok....
    we all love you
    get home safely....
    this way i can come see you SOONER
    so... maybe i'm being selfish by saying that

    you need to be happy
    sharon will be both thrilled and a bit disappointed.... it'll all work out fine
    missing someone THAT much is a WONDERFUL THING

    thanks for the thread
    do something interesting on the way home
    #71
  12. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Hi All....

    Just to be fair to all who gave me encouragements and support. I got home safe last night. Not trying to prolong nor stretch this report into unnecessary bander.... this morning I saw that I definitely have a physical "ailment"...needs attention by a physican. I am sure that the "solo" part was part of the unfortunate mix regarding the unknown ailment!

    Thank you guys n' gals.:clap
    #72
  13. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    I am still keen in running the TAT after I am a bit more healthy and would welcome to tag along with you...two photographers would make an enourmous contribution to mapping the TAT in it's finest.
    #73
  14. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Get better!
    #74
  15. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Elmer,

    Sad it had to end so soon but glad to hear that you stopped when you did. A person really has to listen to that inner voice and heed what it is saying. I have learned over the many years I have been doing long distance trips that sometimes you just have to STOP even if its only for a day or two to regroup and get your stuff :wink: together.

    Again only speaking for myself at my age I would love to someday hack the TAT but I would want to do it with a good dependable riding partner, you never know when things could go bad in a hurry, having someone you can depend on riding with you in desolate terrain is for me a must. Hold your head up, you have lived to ride another day. :deal
    #75
  16. CODArider

    CODArider n00b

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    I have been keeping up with your post and am sad to hear that you will be making the trek back home - completely understandable. I wish that I had the ability to take time off work and make the ride with you as it is something I would love to do. You have the uncanny ability to find the coolest places to see and things to do. I always enjoyed that growing up. We will catch up on VP when you get back home. Have a safe ride back! xoxoxo
    #76
  17. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    Elmer, sad to hear about you cancelling your trip but I think you've done the sensible thing. If you're not comfortable, dont' do it. Sometimes it's good to go outside your comfort zone and sometimes it's just down right dangerous.

    Take care.
    #77
  18. KHJPHOTO

    KHJPHOTO Old Man and the Road

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    Here for now; but leaving soon
    Ohhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnnn

    Buy a puppy! :D
    #78
  19. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Lust for dust.

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    Damn.

    I can understand a bit of the loneliness / doubt / etc. that you were experiencing. I'm by no means a social person, and expected the solo TAT to be a gratifying, soul-searching experience that I could handle with ease. Rather, there were times (probably for several days in a row) that I just felt this sinking depression and loneliness. If I had coupled that with a real physical ailment making it painful to ride over bumps, I'd probably be in your situation too. Sorry it ended this way.

    Here's to a better experience next time.:freaky
    #79
  20. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    Lots of us like to be alone, but nobody wants to be lonely. The line between the 2 varies day by day.


    I have said for years that i could be a hermit for 1 week out of every month. But i never have. I spent 4 day alone on my Goldwing last summer and loved it. Longest I've ever been alone in my life. But out of site of people is different from the highway.
    Those of us old enough to remember when It was a big deal to ride all day off road and not have something break are very wary of getting into a situation that you can't get out of. Fear can bring on its own kind of loneliness. And this fear needs to be listened to. Get off trail 100 yards and break a bone between Battle Mountain and Denio and your body may never be found. And then there is the guilt of leaving family home while you go have fun. That also has its own kind of loneliness.


    I am always jealous of people who ride the TAT alone. I have some of the best riding buddies a guy could ask for, but I would love to do the TAT (again) by myself someday. But probably never will.

    Besides the fear of injuries/breakdowns ( I've had plenty of both) there is the fact that when you stop and say "WOW, LOOK AT THAT" it is better if someone is there to share it with.
    #80