TAT - Memphis TN to Trinidad CO

Discussion in 'Americas' started by VARider67, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    This past summer I rode a small portion of the TAT from Anderson NC to Pickwick TN. I am planning to ride from Memphis TN(Crenshaw MS) to Trinidad CO. When would be the best time to do this? Is there a good time to go that would beat the heat and rain/mud?

    My tentative itinerary:
    Day 1: Drive from home to Memphis with bike on trailer. ( 10 hr drive)
    Day 2 - 8: Catch TAT around Crenshaw MS and follow to Trinidad CO
    Day 9: Ride from Trinidad to Denver to have bike shipped home
    Day 10: Fly to Memphis TN
    Day 11: Drive home

    TAT average daily mileage is about 185mi. I figured this would give me some leeway to stop and smell the roses or if I have problems. If I still reach Trinidad early I can always continue further on the trail and still have an easy ride back to Denver. I also planned to start driving home on Day 10 after the flight but gave myself an extra day in case I wanted to stop and spend the night somewhere.

    I am open to suggestions and routes. Any nearby stops or side trips I should consider that are not far off the trail? My initial route is based on GPS Kevins routes but I will likely purchase Sam's before the trip and compare/combine the two like we did this past summer.
    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    There are a lot of TAT threads rotating in Trip Planning - Americas right now.

    Also this collection of TAT threads.

    Lots of information there.

    Some helpful folks will be along to share their insight as well.
    #2
  3. debaisley

    debaisley Long timer

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    Maybe try to add another 50 miles to your daily average and you would make the Colorado mountain passes before headed back to Denver

    Your trip is very similar to mine , I'll be picking up the TAT at Pickwick , going all the way to moab , then up to SLC to ship my bike home. Im heading out in July , yeah it will be hot , but I can take it.
    #3
  4. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    Yeah I was looking at the tracks today and it wouldn't take much more to make it to the passes. I am thinking about adding another day or two to the trip anyway. Also weighing the pro's and cons of slabbing it back to Memphis too. I don't know when I'll be going yet but if I do try and get to the passes in CO I'll need to plan accordingly so snow has melted.

    Pickwick is where we stopped last summer before heading back. Stayed at the Historic Botel.. what a dump! Was planning on staying in a room but it smelled like urine. When I asked for another room, I was told that was the only clean room they had. I slept in my tent out back. If I was to stay there again, I'd stay on the lake at the Pickwick Landing Hotel. We ate dinner and breakfast there. Very nice place and good buffet. It's just over and across the Dam from the Botel. I think it was Labor Day week when we were there.. it was hot then too. In the 90's every day.
    #4
  5. Mini Trail

    Mini Trail n°°b

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    Your itinerary is good.
    I can help you out in Memphis, store your car, take you to lunch etc.
    You are going to hate turning around at Trinidad after suffering Oklahoma. Take a few more days, ride further West and then take the highway to Denver.
    I prefer heat and dust to rain and mud. If you only go to Trinidad you won't have to worry about snowed-in passes and can go anytime after the rain quits in May. July is when the passes open and you don't have to worry about rain. I have ridden this section a couple of times around Labor day and was pleased with the temperatures but did hit some rain.
    #5
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  6. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    Thanks Mini Trail, I might take you up on lunch. I bought a 2016 Africa Twin this weekend, they just called and said everything was good to go, just need to finish paperwork and pick the bike up, so with the AT I am seriously thinking about slabbing it out to Memphis on the bike. This will give me at least one extra day on the trail and I may even try to add and additional 2-3 days to get me out to moab then fly home from either Salt Lake City or Denver. I too would rather deal with the heat instead of rain and mud so July is looking like a time to go. If I make it past Trinidad I would hopefully be able to hook up with a riding partner the rest of the way out to Maob. That would make my wife a lot happier if I was riding with someone.

    Oklahoma... I have read that it can be pretty boring. I am wondering if I might skip some of it just to make more time for CO and UT.
    #6
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    IMHO with that bike you might consider just riding it home. We did the eastern (backwards) and western TAT in separate years from New Mexico. Each time we just turned around and rode back home. It took us about 3 500 mile + days to do it each time.

    We were on KLRs with one KTM 640.

    It is probably going to take a day to get it shipped, most of another day to retrieve it, and a day flying anyway.

    We just winged it coming back from the eastern TAT. But for the western TAT we made a nice plan that got us back quickly on paved backroads and we still got to see plenty of interesting stuff.
    #7
  8. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    Congrats! Did you get the DCT clutch? I heard that lot of mags were raving about how much easier they could ride the bike in the technical stuff with DCT. I don't own one.

    Jon

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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  9. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    wbbnm: That is something to think about. I'll have to see how comfortable I am on the new bike. If I were to avoid major highways it would be a 2000 mile trip home from Moab... so 4 500 mile days.

    VStomNC: Yes I did get the DCT. I was torn on which one to get but I knew if I didn't try the DCT I'd always wonder how it was. I'll be picking it up this weekend. I have read good an bad on it for off-road riding. I am concerned about one situation... tricky downhills where I'd normally shut the bike off, leave it in gear and use the clutch as a brake so my legs were free for balance. I am not sure if this is possible on the AT unless the parking brake can be used to control the rear wheel. Hopefully I'll be smart enough on the new bike to avoid these situations.... probably not.
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  10. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    Not sure about DCT but I had the same issue with Rekluse clutch. I used to own a klx450r with Rekluse. Great setup other than if I stalled it halfway going up a hill. Would just freewheel regardless of if in gear. I guess that's why Rekluse sold an optional rear hand brake kit. After a while, it didn't really bother me as I got used to it.
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  11. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    I am wondering about skipping OK. I have ready many posts saying it can be very boring so I've layed out a possible alternate route from Adair OK to La Veta CO that would be asphalt. Probably a two day trip but I would gain a day or two to ride in CO and UT. If anyone has any opinions on skipping OK and the proposed alternate route please chime in. I have never been in the mid-west and don't know much about it so any input would be greatly appreciated. Any suggestion for a different route or sights to see along the way? Would I be missing much in the first part of CO? Is there anything to see in Rita Blanca National Grasslands or Carson National Forest? I am trying to gain more days on the back end of the trip for the passes and in and around Moab.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/v...ll=36.784000172664214,-100.47304000000003&z=7

    Alternate to Skip OK - Map.png
    #11
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Your pavement in New Mexico is a nice ride. But the TAT from the northwest corner of NM to Trinidad and La Veta is a very nice ride. I really enjoyed it. There used to be a challenging hill going into Colorado, Long Canyon. But I believe that road has been significantly improved.

    As Oklahoma, you could try the TAT for a while, and if you do find it boring, bail to pavement to save time. This makes for some uncertainty in your plan though.

    Actually, due to my limited attention span, I found boredom a problem with the whole eastern TAT. You get to a new region and it is nice to ride, but after a day or so I was ready for something new again, but still had another day in the same terrain. There is more variety out west because you are alternating between mountains and desert in going east to west.
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  13. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    Thanks wbbnm, that's what I wasn't sure of... if I get bored of OK and jump on pavement, when I should get back on the trail. Part of me wants to ride down to Albuquerque. I have never been to NM and Mom lived in Albuquerque for a few years about 60 some years ago. I guess I could play that part by ear. If I make better time than expected and get ahead of schedule I could dip further down into NM. I am thinking about adding 2-3 days to the trip so I can explore Moab and Canyonlands so skipping OK makes more sense the more I think about it so I can hit some of the other things.

    Will the scenery of OK be much different on dirt as opposed to pavement?

    I am back to thinking September might be the best time to go. Temps in Moab should be cooling off slightly then and it gives me more time to put miles on the new bike and get used to it before heading west.
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  14. JerryMac

    JerryMac Been here awhile

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    My experience was that the eastern part of Oklahoma has some neat old bridges and scenery, but the central part is either difficult mud if it rains (which you would want to bypass on an adventure bike) or can be kind of powdery. The western part and as it goes into New Mexico to Trinidad I found interesting with cacti, history, a quaint old ranch etc.
    #14
  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    If you decide you want to go to Albuquerque, I used to live there and have a lot of tracks for ways to get both to the 4 Corners area and to Clayton NM to meet up with the TAT in that area.

    This post has good tracks to get from Abq to Durango CO and on into Utah.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/grand-canyon-north-loop.981366/

    I have a lot of other tracks in the area also posted in the ADV Rockies GPS forum.
    #15
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  16. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Hi, I like your itinerary albeit it seems about a week too short, but if you skip OK and make better time getting to CO it's doable.
    I did a "get to know TAT" trip around last Labor Day and other than having my trip cut short by a week, I did make it to Moab, UT
    Those sections where I went off the TAT, I used Butler maps to choose some roads and it worked well for me.
    This was also a 'virgin' adv trip with my ATwin DCT which I acquired in June, 2016. By the time I started the trip,
    I had the first two oil changes done, put new shinko 705 front and rear and off I went via Telico Plains, TN.
    If you plan on doing the "easy" green route by Kevin's TAT routes shinkos or oe dunlops are sufficient.
    You will feel better in CO passes with knobbies.
    I've been riding DCT ever since I started riding MC. The trail going down from Engineer Pass towards Animas Forks will test
    the downhill scenario you describe. The ATwin had no problems with traction at all. I am not a beginner nor expert on off road/gravel
    but the DCT, IMO handles downhills better than all other transmissions.

    My plan is to revisit CO in AUG/SEP again this year to ride more of the TAT, west of BoiseCity, OK.
    Maybe continue on to Port Orford; not planning this part at all.
    Most of the TAT east of Oark, AR I can do via mini-trips from Atlanta.
    As you can see, I do like to ride some of the TAT, but have no mission
    either to do it end-to-end or hell bent on staying on it when it gets tedious/boring etc.
    One day, I may do the whole TAT, but not on a 530 lbs ADV bike.

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    So I got the new bike home yesterday. it was cold and raining out so I only rode it in the back yard.. never out of first gear. I can already tell I will not be taking this bike the same places I have taken the DR650.

    When I started the TAT last year I was dead set on following the trail from coast to coast, but now, I do want to make it to Port Orford but strictly staying on the TAT does not mean all that much to me. I'd rather see the sights and enjoy the scenery even if it means getting off the trail and hitting some pavement to get there. That's the beauty of the Africa Twin, it will take me off road to most places and still be comfortable on the road whereas the DR650 just is not any fun on the road if you are going any more than a few miles. I am also almost positive I will be taking two full weeks off work for this trip so that will give me up to 16 days to get back home.

    So this is how my itinerary looks like at the moment. It will likely change many times between now and when I leave I'm sure.

    Day 1: Slabbing it on bike out to Memphis - 650 miles
    Day 2 to 4: TAT to Adair OK - 625 miles
    Day 5 & 6: Pavement with dip down into NM and up to La Veta CO - 850 miles(Albuquerque if I am ahead of schedule)
    Day 7 to 9: TAT LaVeta Co to Moab UT
    Day 10 to 14: Ride Moab, Canyonlands, etc and potentially a loop down to Zion NP and back up to Salt Lake City UT
    Day 15: Drop bike off to be shipped in Salt Lake City
    Day 16: fly home

    wbbnm: I will be checking out your tracks that you have posted and see what fits into my plans. I'll also be reading more of the RR for those trips too. Thanks! I'll reach out to you once I have a more solid plan for other tracks. I do appreciate the offer.

    DCTFAN: It's good to hear from someone riding a DCT to know that there aren't any issues. If our trip overlaps maybe we can ride some of the trail together. I'll likely ride solo as far as CO but after that it might be good to be riding with someone over the harder stuff.

    IMG_20170122_171526883.jpg
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  18. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    My schedule and duration for the trip is flexible.
    Also, I am wide open, as far as logistics of the trip is concerned.
    Shipping the bike back from CO is my plan B. Working on plan A :)

    Regardless, It would be great to ride with a small group.
    My main goal this trip, is to ride more of CO, UT and NM.

    :beer
    #18
  19. VARider67

    VARider67 Been here awhile

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    DCTFAN. sounds like we are on the same page then. Do you have any rides planned that bring you up this way into western NC? I'll be doing some day rides and maybe even an overnighter that would take me down near Asheville before this summer trip. Maybe we can meet up to ride and discuss CO, UT and NM.
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  20. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Some campground north of Ash sounds good.
    Wanted to camp at High Country MC Campground near Boone.
    I have a few scheduled weekends in MAR, APR and MAY but can work around it.
    A meet to plan sounds good and hopefully others will chime in.
    How about a end of June or weekend b4 Independence Day, meet&greet?
    #20