Lappin' the KAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by d.c., Nov 20, 2016.

  1. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    I met a couple guys from the "Adventure in Ohio?" thread last spring. B-Mac and oldgezzer. We rode a bit, mostly in the Wayne National Forest over the summer. Even did a weekend trip to the Tellico Plains area this early fall. Good time.

    When B-Mac suggested a run at the Kentucky Adventure Tour, I jumped at the chance. Check it out here.

    My son and I met B-Mac outside of Athens, Ohio, on the morning of Nov. 5. It was pretty chilly. We planned to ride down to Slade Ky., about 4 hours away, where we were supposed to meet up with B-Mac's buddy Pat from Michigan and geezer, who were transporting their bikes down.

    Did I mention that it was a bit nippy? We stopped in Ironton, on the Ohio River and had some coffee at the McDonalds.

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    B-Mac was pretty cold, :vardy and my boy Caleb had quickly discovered that only the clutch side heated grip was working on my XR, which I let him ride for the trip. It wasn't too bad for me, my heated jacket liner did pretty well. :ksteve

    We continued on and made it to Slade by around noon thirty or so.

    Here is a video, choose high def if you have the speed.



    Pat was there when we arrived, and geezer pulled in soon after. Perfect. We had planned on running the section of the KAT that runs north of Slade that afternoon, then ride the route clockwise for the next 5 days. B-Mac will chime in and can fill us in on the stats, I'm hoping.

    So we had B-Mac on his bad-ass V-strom 1000

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    Pat on an Africa Twin DCT

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    Geezer on his KLR

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    Caleb on the mighty XR 650R. He'd get pretty good at starting it by the end of the trip.



    And I was riding my 990.

    The section that we did that day was the muddiest that we would see the whole trip. We went through the Nada Tunnel, eventually hit some gravel, then onto one of my favorite sections of the trip, Spaas Creek Road I think it's called.



    When we got back to Slade we went over to Miguels and had some pizza. Its real good. I ordered four slices and saved one for lunch the next day. We had previously decided to eat lunch quickly along the trail, as we wouldn't have a whole lot of daylight, it being so late in the year. Miguels is also a rock climbers campground, so Caleb felt at home sporting a man-bun, I'm sure. :lol3 I think most everyone had an Ale-8-One. If you make it to Kentucky you should try one.

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    We went back to the Lil Abner Motel and went to bed. What a great place. They've been letting people riding the KAT park their rigs there free of charge. :thumb

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  2. B-Mac

    B-Mac Aged Beef

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    What a great start by our Editor in Chief, D.C. I will throw my trash here and get it over with and just add comments as the report goes.

    On September 12th I put out a feeler to some local friends to join me on a KAT ride around November 5th or 6th with a longtime friend from Michigan who had just picked up a Honda AT with DCT.
    I put on a fresh set of Mitas E07’s and recommended the same to my Honda friend Pat, along with a skid plate, engine guards, bark busters and of course heated grips for his new ride. It’s been almost 20 years since he has done any off-road but he is an old school MX’er & Ice racer from the 70/80’s. All bikes had a fresh set of E07’s except the KLR. Everyone seemed to like the tires and had no problems or flats.
    Everyone met at Li’l Abners in Slade and rode the Slade Loop before dusk and then went for Pizza.
    On Saturday the 5th it was a 217 mile ride from Hocking Hills, Ohio to Slade. The Slade loop was 35.6 miles of sloppy mud. Good Stuff.
    On Sunday the 6th we ran the first leg clockwise to Williams, 177 miles with no issues other than me being unable to keep a stationary bike upright during trail stops. We arrived early in Williams early so we canceled our hotel reservations and jumped over to Matewan for the evening. KLR Geezer used his charm to secure logging at a B&B in town. Mexican food was the only choice of cuisine.
    On Monday the 7th we rode Leg 2 to Harlan 194 miles with a slight detour due to the Little Shepherd Trail was closed and it was getting dark. Comfort Inn and “The Portal Restaurant” were great.
    Next day leg 3 completed with more smoke and fires in the area. Pine Mountain Gate was locked so another deviation around the lodge area due to smoke. We arrived at Jamestown with 174 miles showing on the clock. Lite rain overnight will knock the dust down and make the trails interesting. We stayed at the only motel in Jamestown that is located at the edge of town. Jamestown will definitely NOT be an overnight stay on my next KAT trip.
    Next Day 4, Jamestown to London, KY. 186.1 miles 6.14hrs move time
    The last day we departed London, KY on the last leg to Slade. . We ended with a total of 925.5 miles completed and a KAT Lap in the Bag. Thank you Jeff for the route and the updates you provide. Enjoy the Crap videos, Crap Music. Enjoy, Brian




    #2
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  3. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Great videos!!!

    Where was that section that you turned around? I don't recognize it.
    #3
  4. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    Thanks for a great report. The pics are great and including the gpx , that put it over the top
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  5. B-Mac

    B-Mac Aged Beef

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    D.C. Dave will have to provide us with that information. He was primary navigator and lead at that time. I think it was after Jamestown and before London. I dont know for sure where we were.
    #5
  6. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    Thank you.

    In my opinion, the tracks that Jeff@TheQuadShop has put together, maintains, and shares freely is way over the top. :beer
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  7. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    I've got some pictures and will explain, but it will have to wait till tonight.
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  8. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    Jeff, I assume you are asking about the turn around in B-Mac's clip 4 video. Yes, that was on the 4th day of our trip, Jamestown to London. I was confused about where the creek crossing was that everyone talks about, where you need to cross a bit downstream instead of straight across next to the rocks.

    This one:

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    I thought that this crossing was along the hard 3 section. I don't know why I thought that, but I did. :dunno

    So, after you make the creek crossing where you have to ride down the creek a bit, that road continues, finally meeting a proper gravel road, The Narrows Road I think? There are a bunch of hunting cabins at that intersection. Traveling the route clockwise, you would take a right to stay on the main track. That would lead you to the natural bridge/arch alongside the road. A left at that intersection would take you onto the hard 3 track. I suggested that we take the hard section as far as we felt comfortable, in search of said water crossing. :loco

    A mile or so down the road, my track took a right into the woods. I think this is part of the Sheltowee Trace Trail. There was concern among our group that this was not a legal trail. No mention on the signage regarding motorized vehicles, no tire tracks. It was looking a lot like singletrack, and I didn't want to get us in over our heads, especially since it was getting late in the day, so we sent the young boy down into the woods, he reported that the condition of that trail stayed about the same as far as he took it. I looked at my map and determined that we could meet up with the track again, by continuing down the road. Pond Ridge Road at that point. So we did. A few miles later we were back on the track, and we continued to follow it clockwise. We came to the spot in B-Macs video where he and geezer turned around.

    Right at this sign. There's an old cemetery there.

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    I went a bit further, and there was a gate, with tire tracks leading around it.

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    So we turned around, rode back up to where the hard 3 track went back into the woods, and followed it counterclockwise for a mile or so. It was getting pretty rocky with heavy leaf cover and a bit steep , and like I said, late in the day, so we turned back around. That's when in B-macs video, he points at a sign that indicates that motorcycles are indeed allowed on that section of trail. We rode back to the point where the sign and gate was, to have another look, and it was decided that we would proceed no further. We continued to London.

    More on day two in a bit.
    #8
  9. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    Oh I see now, it was a good call turning around. That section is really long and very rocky! It is indeed part of the Sheltowee that is open to motorcycle but nothing larger.
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  10. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    Day two was our first full day on the KAT. Again, we ate at Miguels with the hippie rock climbers. They've got a good breakfast there. There is a lot of pavement going east, but that's ok because Kentucky roads are awesome. :deal


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    I think that we started to see some abandoned coal mines on this section, I can't remember if it was this day or the next.

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    Sorry for the smudge on my camera lens. :bluduh

    We got to ride through a reclaimed strip mine area, that was really cool. There are wild horses hanging around up there. It's my understanding that at some point the bottom dropped out of the horse market in Kentucky and as a result, people started to release unwanted horses in these types of areas.

    This may be our most successful group shot of the trip. :lol3

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    Here's a video of that area



    More great paved roads and a rest stop

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    and we made it to Williams early. We decided to continue to Matewan. We blew past Matewan, but realized it in the town of Freeburn. We hopped back up to Matewan via rte.49. Once there, we found it to be a pretty sleepy little town. There were a couple lodging choices, but no one seemed to be home. Like B-Mac said, geezer secured us a room at the Matewan Bed and Breakfast by using his charm on the nice ladies at the tourist info center. Turns out that one of the nice ladies was the owner. And also a Hatfield. The owners of the motel across the street are McCoys. Nice people and an interesting little town.


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    About 25 or 30 feet from the back wall of our rooms was this super active railroad line. :lol3

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    more tomorrow.
    #10
  11. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    :lurk
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  12. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    That looks like fun and it's in my backyard!...good report........
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  13. B-Mac

    B-Mac Aged Beef

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    Jeff, We had a Question. Looking for Deep Creek 3. Pond Ridge rd. and Sheltowee Trace trail. Is this trail for Bikes also?
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  14. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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  15. B-Mac

    B-Mac Aged Beef

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    Thanks Jeff. I am sorry D.C. for refusing to enter that trail under your guidance and leadership. You were right, no motorcycle sign needed. I am now barred from carrying or operating any and all navigational systems on the bike for one year and shall remain in line quietly. :D
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  16. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    LOL
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  17. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Nice report, this is likely the route I'll try to do next season. Nice video too.
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  18. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Nice report, this is likely the route I'll try to do next season. Nice video too.
    #18
  19. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    So the trains rolling by all night didn't bother us too much really. Before eating a satisfying breakfast, I got a quick history of the Hatfield and McCoy feud from Dave Hatfield.

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    It was cold and foggy, as we made it back to the main loop of the KAT. Then the sun came out.



    More great twisties, and we were soon onto a narrow switchback dirt road that was a lot of fun. B-Mac called that section "The Staircase". We sent the boy up ahead to film us coming up. Excellent road.

    We made our way towards Elkhorn City.

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    We had seen some smoke in the distance the previous day but it was around Elkhorn City that it started to get heavier if I remember correctly. Lots of wildfires in the area.

    Between Elkhorn City and The Breaks Interstate Park.

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    There were some excellent twisty paved back roads came after The Breaks. I think we saw a fire up close somewhere in this section, closer to Pound.

    We had some snacks at a gas station in Pound, then eventually made our way up and over a mountaintop removal site. Pretty wild scene up there, there's active mining up there, coal trucks rolling around. And we're riding our bikes right through it all. Long views and smoke in the distance. It was up there that I'd have my first get off of the trip. We had passed up a good vantage point, turned around and went back for a photo op. I was getting excited and not really looking where I was going. I saw a rut coming up and tried to adjust too late. Bif.

    Looking pretty bummed.

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    Geezer helped me pick it up, he's real nice. I wasn't really bummed though, I was laughing as soon as I hit the ground.



    Some pictures

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    We rode down the other side of the mountain, and quickly got onto an oil or gas well access road. Up here is where we ran into B-Macs mud hole. :muutt It's really too bad that I didn't have my camera running cause it was epic. :lol3 He wasn't too happy at the moment though because the hole was deep and wet and stinky. I'm not moving as fast as I used to so I told Caleb to run and help him up. He jumped right in almost knee deep to help, and I immediately realized that his boots were nowhere near waterproof. He lined his boots with motel room trash bags for the next 2 days. :nod

    So B-Mac gets out of the hole, geezer dumped it too, but not till he just made it to the other side, Pat was steady as a rock as usual, and I would have to cut Caleb off later in the trip to get him to fall down.

    That section is great in my opinion, and we finally made it out to the town of Appalachia I think it is.



    It was getting late in the day but we decided to push on and try to get through Black Mountain Ridge Road before dark. The switchback paved road leading up to it is a whole lotta fun. B-Mac was gone, and Caleb got sick of riding behind my slow ass and roared by me. We regrouped at the top of the mountain, and continued on. This is an excellent section, the road just keeps degrading. It was dusty, the sun was in our eyes a lot of the way, and the rocks just kept getting bigger. It was especially challenging because of the leaves on the road which hid a lot of the rocks. I had a blast.

    Here's a video of "The Staircase" and Black Mountain Ridge Road



    When we got out to the highway near Cumberland, it was dusk. The Little Shepard Trail would be next, I think, but it was looking really smoky up there, and getting dark quick so we slabbed it into Harlan. The Comfort Inn there was nice, and we ate at a real good Italian place in town. I was told the next morning by a firefighter that the Little Shepard Trail was closed due to the wildfires.

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    :wave
    #19
  20. d.c.

    d.c. Been here awhile

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    Thank you and I can't recommend this ride enough. :thumb
    #20