July/August TAT Planning

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Jenn, May 26, 2010.

  1. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    This summer I realized I have the perfect job and perfect excuse to go do a cross country motorcycle trip. I'm currently a part-time consultant with a set number of hours per quarter and my manager is cool with letting me take time off and divvy the time among the remaining weeks. My mom has some antiques and other stuff stashed in my sister's Simi Valley garage - and we have discovered that shipping that stuff is not going to cost less than $2000.

    I looked into the cost of a one-way truck rental and figured gas and thought - why not get a visit and a nice trip out of it? So, the plan is to go down the coast in 2 days, spending one night with friends and another at Juncal Campground (can you say hot springs?) - then load up the DR650 into a 16' box truck (the one with a ramp) and pick up my mom's stuff at my sister's house. Head out just after LA rush hour traffic and drive to Las Vegas or wherever I get and head for Northeast Ohio.

    So far - it's me. My cousin lives in Memphis and he's intrigued but doesn't want to go part-way and have to return solo. My best motorcycle buddy wants to go but has to work out a LOA at work. My buddy also put a bug in the ear of his brother who lives in Pennsylvania. If his brother joins us, then that makes my cousin feel better about having company for the return and they can pick an alternate route. Plus, I have another friend who wants to join up in Utah...

    The team looks pretty good if it comes together - I manage logistics/planning/cooking and security (ha ha!), my cousin is an ER/trauma nurse (he has a KLR), my buddy (KLR) and his brother are pretty mechanically inclined.
    • 7/17 - Oakland to Goleta, overnight at friend's house
    • 7/18 - lunch with friends, drive through Los Padres National Forest to Juncal Campground to soak at Big/Little Caliente Hot Springs
    • 7/19 - short hop to Simi Valley - pick up truck, load motorcycles, put mom's stuff from sister's garage into truck and drive to Las Vegas area for first overnight
    • 7/20 - Leave Las Vegas - here's where the schedules vary depending on whether I am driving solo or have Scott with me - I figure 600-700 miles/day solo, more with two of us (maybe 900)
    • 7/22 - arrive Toledo and visit friends I haven't seen since 1992, overnight
    • 7/23 - Toledo to Mentor, unload, drop off truck - overnight
    • 7/25 - on the road to Memphis
    • 7/26 - arrive Memphis
    • 7/28 - leave Memphis and head out on the TAT
    • 8/8 - roll back into Oakland
    First, my mom is going to be hella pissed when we only spend two nights in Mentor but I'm hoping she'll get over it (afterall, I'm spending $1600 and lots of unpaid leave to bring her stuff to her and promised to take her to Italy next year if she gets a passport).

    Second, most importantly - I'm thinking I might have to take more time on the return. A lot of the trip reports look like folks complete the TAT in 1 week!

    I'm not planning to do the entire TAT - we'd probably head down to the Mississippi/Arkansas portions from Memphis instead of backtracking too much, and I would likely head home from Nevada instead of heading all the way up to Portland (which I did last summer anyway!).

    Looking for any thoughts, recommendations and lessons you all may have learned on your TAT planning/execution...
    #1
  2. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

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    One week to complete the whole TAT??? Who the hell is doing that? You would have to ride like a maniac and even then you would not see anything that make the trip worth it. At the min I would plan on 2 weeks
    #2
  3. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Well, here is a rough schedule for the TAT, at least by Sam's schedule...

    AR - 2 1/2 days
    OK - 3 1/2 days
    CO - 3 days
    UT - 3 days
    NV - 4 days
    CA/OR - 3 days

    You can pick up a 1/2 day here and there (AR,OK, CO/UT) but that's about it.

    If you're starting from Memphis, start in AR around I40 and skip the river delta.

    IF you run a long couple of days across northern AR then you can pick up 1/2 day carrying over into OK.

    Once you get past the Osage reservation much of OK becomes a blur.... as you speed across it. Can pick up a day here.

    In CO if you carry past Lake City to Silverton, then you position yourself to cut off Monticello and go straight to Moab.

    From Moab you can make it to Salina Ut in one day... a long day, but doable. Salina to Baker NV is doable in one day.

    Baker NV to Eureka is tough... haven't made it yet in two attempts. If you are camping, stop a couple of hours short of Eureka, from there you can make it to Battle Mt in one day.

    If you can, and are camping, camp between McDermitt and Denio Jct as the next stretch is really long - Denio Jct to Lakeview OR. If you are not camping, try to make it to Denio - it's 2-3 hours past McDermitt. No gas from Denio until Lakeview... longest stretch.
    #3
  4. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    When I rode it I got fouled up with a break down and a layover in Moab, but it really boiled down to 2 days per state for me. I was offtrack as I came into the TAT from Santa Fe near the Oklahoma border and only made it to Westcliffe that day. Made it to Dove Creek before dark the next day and didn't go into Monticello.

    Dove Creek to Moab was only a few hours with some looking around. Made Moab to Salina in one easy day, but had to call it early with a broken clutch cable and no spare. The next day I made it from Salina and into Nevada shooting for Eureka when I had to bail out to Ely with trashed wheel bearings. Got that fixed a couple of days later and had a short day to Eureka. Made Eureka to Denio Junction the next day.

    Then I went home to Sacramento thru the Black Rock Desert.
    #4
  5. juniorsktm

    juniorsktm Been here awhile

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    Did it from Jellico to Port Orford in 24 days including 1.5 days broke down in AR, 1 day if play riding in Moab and 1.5 day in CO.

    Haul ass, it can be done..........:D
    #5
  6. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Great tips, all!

    I am not planning to go all the way across Nevada - nor Northeast California or Oregon.

    I like the idea of just going across the Black Rock Desert - I can visit friends who are setting up for TTITD and camp a night by Bordello/Frog pond (wanted to show my riding buddy that desert anyway).

    So, here's a modified schedule - taking into consideration some of the feedback already (start in Arkansas from Memphis)

    • 7/17 - Oakland to Goleta
    • 7/18 - Los Padres National Forest to overnight at Juncal Campground to Big/Little Caliente Hot Springs
    • 7/19 - LPNF to Simi Valley - pick up truck, load motorcycles, put mom's stuff from sister's garage into truck and drive to Las Vegas area for first overnight
    • 7/20 - Leave NV and drive to NE Ohio - 600-700 miles/day solo, 900 w/two drivres
    • 7/22 - arrive Toledo in evening, dinner &overnight w/friends
    • 7/23 - arrive in Mentor
    • 7/24 - Mentor (at least 1 day with mom)
    • 7/25 - leave NE Ohio for Tennessee
    • 7/26 - TN
    • 7/27 - arrive Memphis (visit Graceland!)
    • 7/28 - leave Memphis for AK
    • 7/29 - AK
    • 7/30 - OK
    • 7/31 - OK
    • 8/1 - NM/CO
    • 8/2 - CO
    • 8/3 - CO
    • 8/4 - UT
    • 8/5 - UT
    • 8/6 - NV
    • 8/7 - NV
    • 8/8 - NV - Black Rock Desert to Bay Area
    ###

    I could definitely get more time off - it's just a matter of my friends getting the time off!

    I'm still interested in more feedback and would love to hear how your plans and actual schedules worked out!

    This is a work in progress. :)
    #6
  7. eral

    eral Adventurer

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    I don't know about Utah, but when we tried to go across Nevada off road, it took us a week, and we had to cheat. When I came here, my lesser dream was to ride the 66 on a noisy Harley. The 66 is a nice piece of history, but I would love to somehow leech in that trip.
    ~oSò
    Eric
    #7
  8. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Well - the other thing I was thinking about last night was - I really don't like riding 300+ miles/day. :)

    I did 150 miles/day on Sheetiron last weekend - could push it to 200-250 depending on the road conditions. Last year we did 300 miles/day on some freeway days... so I just have to get the guys to work out their time-off schedules and add a week to the TAT part of it.
    #8
  9. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Revision based on closer to reality mileages....

    == MOTO TO SOUTH CALIFORNIA ==
    * 7/17 - Oakland to Carpinteria (335 mi/fwy)
    * 7/18 - Carpinteria to Juncal Campground to Big/Little Caliente Hot Springs (35 mi)
    * 7/19 - LPNF to Simi Valley - (80 mi/dirt road/fwy) - load truck - drive truck Simi Valley to Las Vegas (300 mi/fwy truck)

    == MOVING TRUCK TO OHIO ==
    * 7/20 - A: Las Vegas to Barr Lake Campground (769 mi) http://www.coloradodirectory.com/barrlakecamp/
    B: Las Vegas to Big Springs NE (941 mi/fwy truck)
    - McGreer Camper park
    http://www.passport-america.com/Campgrounds/CampgroundDetails.aspx?CampgroundId=168
    * 7/22 - A: Big Springs NE to Davenport IA (650 mi/fwy truck) - camp
    B: Big Springs NE to Angola IN (950 mi fwy/truck) - camp or overnight w/Jana
    * 7/23 - A: Angola to Toledo (84 mi), Toledo to Mentor (137 mi) - lunch & dinner w/friends in Toledo, possibly Lorain
    B: Davenport to Angola (318 mi), lunch with Jana; Angola to Toledo (84 mi), visits in Toledo & dinner; Toledo to Lorain to Mentor (137 mi) (arriving in Mentor unless friends in Lorain convince us to stay over)
    * 7/24 - Mentor - unload, overnight

    == MOTO TO MEMPHIS ==
    * 7/25 - Mentor to Cincinnati (265 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/26 - Cincinnati to Nashville (275 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/27 - Nashville to Memphis (visit Graceland!) (212 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/28 - Memphis - visit Graceland - shakeout

    == TAT PORTION ==
    * 7/29 - Memphis to TAT in AK (~200 mi)
    * 7/30 - TAT in AK (~200 mi)
    * 7/31 - TAT in AK to OK (~200 mi)
    * 8/1 - TAT in OK (200+ mi)
    * 8/2 - TAT in OK (200+ mi)
    * 8/3 - TAT in OK (200+ mi)
    * 8/4 - TAT in OK to NM to CO (200 mi)
    * 8/5 - TAT in CO (200 mi)
    * 8/6 - TAT in CO (200 mi)
    * 8/7 - TAT in CO (200 mi)
    * 8/8 - TAT in CO to Utah (200 mi)
    * 8/9 - TAT in Utah (200 mi)
    * 8/10 - TAT in Utah (200 mi)
    * 8/11 - TAT in Nevada (200 mi)
    * 8/12 - TAT in Nevada (200 mi)
    * 8/13 - TAT in Nevada (200 mi)
    * 8/14 - TAT in Nevada to Black Rock Desert (200 mi)
    * 8/15 - BRD to Pyramid Lake - camp overnight decision....
    * 8/16 - return to Oakland/Bay Area

    ###

    NOTES:
    - CO - carry past Lake City to Silverton, to position to cut off Monticello and go straight to Moab.
    - Moab to Salina Ut in one day... a long day, but doable. Salina to Baker NV
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    An extra two weeks will do the trick!!

    I'd add 50 miles to other days here and there so that an extra day could be spent in Moab for the White Rim Trail.

    Camp at Pyramid Lake and get ready for civilization again...it feels very strange after all that nothingness. :deal

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Excellent suggestion - I just made it an average of 200 mi per day - I know we'll probably make time in OK given the pictures and reports I have read and there are probably other areas where we can zip along without much need or desire to stop much (ie, flatter/easier or not as breathtaking!).

    Exactly! I love swimming in that lake - and after checking out how badly the folks putting up That Thing In The Desert have muddied up the hot springs in the BRD, we can look for the hot springs on Pyramid Lake.

    I have to confess - I am tempted to just head down 395 but....

    If my friends cannot wrangle the time off - I will probably end up doing a solo, garden variety trip - like Ohio to Virginia to Memphis to New Orleans to Austin to Grand Canyon and home or something - just 6600 miles or so including the truck part. ;)
    #11
  12. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    I just got approved for another week Leave of Absence - I have never taken more than 18 days long trip in my life - and now I'll be traveling from 7/17 to 8/15 - trying to be home on 8/16 to return to work... w00t!!!
    #12
  13. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    ...and all three are now out. I've discussed meeting up with two friends in Moab - but that would be the first week of August and the weather would be less than ideal for maximum enjoyment of the area from what I gather from folks who have been there.

    Time to start developing backup plans...
    #13
  14. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Ride it solo, with your mileage goals you're well within a good comfort zone for solo travel. You'll never forget it and you can rub it in your friends faces when you get home. :lol3
    #14
  15. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    I don't feel like I have enough experience to ride it solo - I've been on a motorcycle about a year - and have had the DR650 for 11 months. I've done probably about 800-1000 miles of dual sport kind of rides but never solo.

    There are a few critical skills that I have yet to develop - such as how the hell to get the rear tire off (without a stand) and then how to change a tire (solo). At this point, it would take me about four hours to change at tire by myself.
    #15
  16. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Sounds like you know yourself well. Here's to a good alternate trip!!

    :beer
    #16
  17. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Several years ago, my mom moved from SoCal to NE Ohio - and left a buncha antiques and stuff in my sister's garage. I should have ponied up with the credit card for a moving truck five years ago and now I am going to just DO IT.

    The original idea was to go to my sister's on motorcycle - then moving truck to Ohio - then to my cousin's in Memphis to do the TransAm Trail - my cousin, my main riding buddy and his brother were all interested - and all dropped out due to time commitments.

    Plan B, was for my friend and another friend to meet me for some time in Moab - but in the first week of August? OK, we're crazy but not suicidal and we want to have FUN not a deathmarch. The up side is that now my riding buddy can house sit for me and spend some quality time with the cats. :)

    So, I offer Plan C!

    Now, I'll leave my mother's house, visit my cousin in Memphis, see Graceland, head to New Orleans to see friends (haven't been there since 2002!), visit friends in Austin, adult cousins with teenage children in West Texas who I haven't seen in 10+ years and then home, via Canyon de Chelly, a quick stop at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and then the Eastern Sierras.

    If you have done any of these sections - please chime in with recommendations. I'll also include a link to the map

    == MOTO TO SOUTH CALIFORNIA ==
    * 7/16 - Oakland to Big Sur (135 mi)
    * 7/17 - Big Sur to Carpinteria (200 mi/fwy)
    * 7/18 - Carpinteria to Juncal Campground to Big/Little Caliente Hot Springs (35 mi)
    * 7/19 - LPNF to Simi Valley - (80 mi/dirt road/fwy) - load truck - drive truck Simi Valley to Las Vegas (300 mi/fwy truck)

    == MOVING TRUCK TO OHIO ==
    * 7/20 - A: Las Vegas to Barr Lake Campground (769 mi)
    http://www.coloradodirectory.com/barrlakecamp/
    B: Las Vegas to Big Springs NE (941 mi/fwy truck)
    - McGreer Camper park
    http://www.passport-america.com/Camp...mpgroundId=168
    * 7/22 - A: Big Springs NE to Davenport IA (650 mi/fwy truck) - camp
    B: Big Springs NE to Angola IN (950 mi fwy/truck)
    * 7/23 - A: Angola to Toledo (84 mi), Toledo to Mentor (137 mi)
    - lunch & dinner w/friends in Toledo, possibly Lorain
    B: Davenport to Angola (318 mi), lunch with Jana; Angola to
    Toledo (84 mi), visits in Toledo & dinner; Toledo to Lorain
    to Mentor (137 mi)
    * 7/24 - Mentor - unload, overnight

    == MOTO TO MEMPHIS ==
    * 7/25 - Mentor to Cincinnati (265 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/26 - Cincinnati to Nashville (275 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/27 - Nashville to Memphis (212 mi fwy/moto)
    * 7/28 - Memphis - visit Graceland - shakeout/repack

    == PLAN C ==
    * 7/29 - Memphis
    * 7/30 - leave Memphis
    * 7/31 - to New Orleans (396 mi)
    * 8/1 - New Orleans
    * 8/2 - leave New Orleans to
    * 8/3 - to Austin (509 mi)
    * 8/4 - Austin
    * 8/5 - Austin to Lockney (400 mi)
    * 8/6 - Lockney/Plainview cousin visit
    * 8/7 - leave Lockney to
    * 8/8 - to Canyon de Chelly (600 mi)
    * 8/9 - Canyon de Chelly
    * 8/10 - Canyon de Chelly to Ten-X Campground, Kaibab Nat'l Forest (first come/first serve) 5 mi from park entrance (250 mi)
    * 8/11 - Grand Canyon
    * 8/12 - Ten-X Campground to Las Vegas (270 mi)
    * 8/13 - Las Vegas to Big Pine to Mammoth Lakes (300 mi)
    * 8/14 - Mammoth Lakes to Lee Vining to Yosemite walk-in camping
    * 8/15 - Yosemite walk-in camping to Oakland (225 mi)


    ###


    There is some flexibility here - obviously I'm planning a LOT of miles in the moving truck to push through to NE Ohio, and only 2 nights at my mom's house (she says she understands and expects me to take her Italy next year). Three nights at cousin's house in Memphis - and 2 nights in West Texas (the three cousins and their families are Lubbock, Lockney & Plainview)... but lots space for cushion and such.

    View map for return from Ohio here - cannot figure out how to embed the Google map like some other forums allow...
    #17
  18. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    8/13 - Las Vegas to Big Pine to Mammoth Lakes (300 mi)


    Depending on the route I'd do that stretch in the dark. Smoking hot thru there in August. Just looked at your google route, definitely do that at night..in fact I'd do most of your trip in the dark, but I hate the heat. Texas in August? urgh..same thing with Aridzona.
    #18
  19. Jenn

    Jenn praise seitan!

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    Yep, I know - it's going to be hot - plan to be up early and done early - that's why I'm planning to only do small chunks of mileage. And, of course - I will check local weather when I'm traveling and make changes based on that...

    West Texas - I know. My cousin was excited that I am going to visit and said "Let me know what you want to see when you get here..." - I said I just wanted to see family (I mean - it's West Texas, right? I don't know of any other reason to go there other than love or money).
    #19
  20. xcflyn

    xcflyn Long timer

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    I posted this in anther part of the forum and thought it would be o.k. to throw on here seeing how this thread seems a little more active.

    I plan to leave madison wisconsin july 8, My buddy is heading out to visit a friend in south indy, I offered my truck and cash to drop me and my XR down in Tenn. Was wondering if anyone needed a ride and transport of bike between wisconsin and Tenn ? I have room for 2 other people and we can pull an enclosed trailer if need be or two on a open trailer mine in the truck. Not looking to profit just help cover cost of fuel and his time. Also have a girlfriend picking me up where ever I end up about a week and a half to 2 weeks later and could provide return most of way back or all way back depending. Dont want to go too far out of way but willing to try to help out a fellow rider trying to run the TAT. I am also going it alone and wouldnt mind riding partners. Plan to camp and push some longer days, but Im an older guy so who knows how hard I will push.
    #20