TAT: parts to skip?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by B.E. Coyote, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. B.E. Coyote

    B.E. Coyote (Super-Genius)

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    Looking at the maps it looks like there are plenty of places where you go around your ass to get to your elbow in the Eastern sections.

    Are there parts that wish you would have taken a shortcut so that you would have had more time to explore out West?

    If I had my choice between extra days of gravel in Arkansas and Mississippi or extra time out West, I'd pick time out West.

    That being said I don't want to miss anything fun. :D
    #1
  2. 3DChief

    3DChief "Moto therapist"

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    After the first 100 miles of Oklahoma, get on the highway and haul ass to Boise City and pick the trail back up there. Oklahoma ended up being our trip-ender, too many spills in the silt for Write2ride and she injured her wrists. If I had it to do over again, we would have skipped all the dirt in OK and saved a lot of misery and frustration. All you will miss is a ton of silt, flat tires from nails everywhere, and crazy oil rig traffic.

    I wouldn't skip any of MS or Arkansas, but there was some stuff in TN I could have skipped and it wouldn't have hurt my feelings.

    Tim
    #2
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I remember a few sections back east, probably TN, where it seemed like we were going two miles south then two miles north just to get to a mile of east/west dirt road. It seemed really WTF dumb at the time.

    There was a similar section I think south of Bartlesville OK.

    One would almost certainly not miss anything by planning a more direct route thru such sections.

    In general I found that after about a day or two in any one area I was getting tired and wanted a change of scenery. Thus if someone were on a time budget, one could choose to slab a few hundred miles to get to the next area.
    #3
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    As wbbnm said, the original TN route starting in Jellico seemed to spend a lot time in the middle of the state not making much forward progress just trying to include short sections of dirt roads. There were definitely places I could have skipped there.

    However, The re-mapped TN section from 2012 that starts in Tellico makes much better progress across TN and was much more enjoyable. I didn't really run into anything that we wished we had skipped. Even the paved roads on the new TN section were much more enjoyable and scenic and fun to ride. The new MS section is also much better overall I've only been as far as the AR/OK border and only did AR in 2009, but I found AR a lot of fun.
    #4
  5. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    all but the last west 50 miles on TN.....Its like a Sumo track.

    I only rode from NC to just above Little Rock.

    TN sucked
    #5
  6. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Just curious? What map of TN? The Jellico Map or the Tellico Plains, TN. They share nothing in common between the two.
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  7. tomski74

    tomski74 Silesian American

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    Whatever you do, don't skip Western Arkansas. Eastern part is flat and many dirt roads have been covered with deep fresh gravel by oil companies.

    The west is a different story. It takes you through the beautiful Ozarks - the location of out 9th Annual Squeal Like a Pig Rally (see here)

    As far as Oklahoma goes, well I live here and I haven't done it :evil.
    It's flat and dirty. If it rains it's slicker than snot and if it's hot and dry it's hotter than hell. NM is so short I wouldn't skip any of it. Eastern Colorado is pretty boring and I would definitely try to find some shortcuts. Once you hit the Rockies the real fun begins.

    I have only done a short part of Utah, but I want to finish the Western portion of TAT real bad.

    That's just my 2 cents. Good luck with your trip.
    #7
  8. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    old maps.....circa 2008/2009
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  9. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Okay, yeah then I would agree with you that the old TN really was pretty crappy, but since it was just remapped in 2012, its not too bad.
    #9
  10. Steez

    Steez USMC Infantry

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    Apparently I'm the only one, but Oklahoma was one of my favorite sections of the tat. You literally cross sooooooo many interesting environments it's unreal. Granted I grew up in Wisconsin, Tennessee, and was just stationed in California... But the fact of the matter is I loved it! The second best place, in my perception, would be the shooooooort section of New Mexico. Simply beautiful!

    All in all, if you're new to the Oklahoma area, give it a shot! I was certainly not disappointed!
    #10
  11. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I'd head out and just do what feels right eh... The tat is in my future, and one of the allures for me is the diversity of the terrain.
    #11
  12. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    Like Tomski, I live in Ok but haven't done the Ok section. We hauled our bikes to the end of the panhandle and went west from there. BUT, we started at the end of August when it is 105 degrees, windy and brown. Some day I will (maybe) ride the OK section, but it will be earlier in the year when their is more green out, but then you risk hitting sticky gooey clay mud. I am not interested in that either.

    Yes Oklahoma does have a lot of diversity, but i live here and have traveled through the panhandle many many many times and feel like I probably wouldn't see much new. I really liked the Utah and nevada sections. But, a lot of People who live there probably don't have much desire to ride those sections.

    We all like to see something new and different.
    #12
  13. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Nah, skip NONE....make the TAT complete the way Sam intended it to be. Challenge your mind, body and spirit....you'd be glad that you sloughed through thick n' thin, something to tell your grandkids!

    cheers...
    #13
  14. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    If you've got the time don't skip any of it. All sections have something to offer in terms or scenery. I didn't mind OK, wide open long runs, some sand and gravel to look out for. If you're short on time then just start in NM, that's where it gets fun and challenging. Well NV is where it get challenging, and parts of Utah.

    Have to agree the last 50 on TN is nice, up until then it pretty easy, but still nice to see.
    #14
  15. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    judging from the ride reports, most "TAT" riders don't follow the route. i read a bunch of reports, and i encountered certain road conditions rarely, if ever, mentioned in the reports. i'm pretty sure they would have been mentioned if riders had been there.
    #15
  16. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    What????
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  17. AKASY

    AKASY Noob

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    Link to your trip report on the whole TAT?:ear
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  18. Blaise W

    Blaise W Been here awhile

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    I've read quite a few TAT reports, especially before riding it, and a few since. I think that road/trail conditions change from year to year, and there is quite a range of rider ability. Also, not all reports are day to day on the trail and get post reported. Everything doesn't get mentioned. I personally experienced many sections that were very enjoyable and or challenging that had never been mentioned in any report, but I'm sure that they had been ridden. With over 4000 miles of trail all of it just can't get described in the reports. If you did this ride 5 times you would have 5 different experiences. I will do it again and make sure I cover any sections bypassed earlier due to weather or just being tired at the end of the day. A number of riders were obviously time constrained and had to make bypasses for various reasons. One guy did in 19 days as I recall, while we dawdled and took 36! The latter was a lot more enjoyable IMHO.

    Do it all if you have time; if not, start in NM; that's where it starts to get fun.
    #18
  19. 3DChief

    3DChief "Moto therapist"

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    I would say the conditions change constantly. The first 10 miles in MS was a nightmare of deep sand for us that took about 5 hours to get through, but no none else reported any problems there. When we got to eastern OK, riders there the week before had some difficulties with deep mud. A week later when we rode the same road, it was all dried out and we cruised right through, although we could see the deep ruts where they had ridden through. I regret even trying the western half of OK because of the silt, although we were enjoying the scenery. Maybe a week earlier or later, it would have been fine, but for us it was a trip-ender when Write2ride injured her wrists from dumping one too many times in the silt. We'll go back and start at the NM/OK border and finish the western half. The only parts we didn't follow the tracks exactly were once in AR when the road was closed for a landslide, once for a tree across the trail we had to bypass, and then western OK when we re-routed for a bridge out and then to pavement to get to Boise City because of the silt.

    Tim
    #19
  20. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Likewise I skipped some of TN's paved trails during a rainstorm, then really intentionally skipped the climb in NM as it would be too taxing for the hack rig to ascend that hill..."Long Canyonl"...was forewarned by a scout rider....so went straight from Boise, OK..to Branson, Colo. Was told later that I got bs/exaggerated advise :eek1. It really was a road not too much of a trail...eh!!

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    Long Canyon is indeed fine for you and should have been fine for me..:baldy

    cheers...
    #20