TAT Sept 2017 'Fly and Drive' on 250 Rally - RR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TreblesAllRound, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Thanks for the call and update, I think the worst is behind you. Looking forward to the rest of the trip, if you make it back to Florida get in touch for sure.

    Got out for a ride over here with a couple buddys today before the rains came.

    image.jpg
    #81
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  2. advmoto66

    advmoto66 Ride On!

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    You are alive and well, kudos to you for your intestinal fortitude. CO has an unusual cold spell resulting in snow on the passes. Fortunately, it won't be around for too long the temps will warm up a bit and the first snows of the season will melt off. Utah is just ahead and since you have gained a ton of off-road experience in a short time things will be more manageable going forward. BTW thanks for sharing your RR in real-time. Ride On! Happy Trails to you Trebles.
    #82
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  3. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Thanks. What I lack in off road moto experience I think I'm just about making up for in gear/preparation/mountain experience from other winter sports, plus of course the friendly locals and people on here.

    In many ways the point of the trip was to push a bit beyond what I'm comfortable with. When you're doing that, it's always going to be a fine line between adventure an being an idiot. I hope I'm staying just on the right side.
    #83
  4. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    After a really helpful call with waybill last night I decided to go up to the top of ophir pass (which as he explained is a pretty straight forward dirt road from the east) and have a look down. The weather was good and there plenty of people around who I had a chat with about how it was. I decided to give it a crack as I knew it was a long way around on the roads and that the road route would likely get the bad weather approaching from the south sooner.

    After my last bit of hard riding on California on Monday evening in the snow, I just trundled down in first at 5-10mph. No falls and no real issues. Around 2/3 of the way down I stopped to ask a chap in a 4wd if the worst was over. He confirmed it was and we had a good chat. I set off down into Ophir.

    As I stopped at the t junction to decide whether I needed to go a bit off route to telluride to get fuel or just carry on, a man on a loaded up klr650 pulled up coming from the opposite direction. I don't even think we had to say anything to each other to know we were both doing the TAT.

    He was from Switzerland going east to west, perfect for both of us! Just as we were chatting, the Texan who I was talking to on ophir pulled up with his friend in another 4wd. He offered to take us both out to lunch in Telluride. How could we refuse!

    We then had a very pleasant few hours going up to Telluride town centre, going on the gondola to the ski area and a nice meal in the cafe. Thanks Russ!

    As we all parted ways in telluride, unfortunatly it just started raining. As I climbed out of telluride back up to 13k feet, it turned to sleet. Not good, still with 60 miles to get to Cortez. With poor forward visibility, having to wipe snow off my visor every minute, near freezing temps and 10hp all I could do was ride for an hour or so at 25-30 mph with the hazards on, waving past traffic where it was safe to do so.

    I knew there was an intermediate stop at Rico. I was very thankful for a half hour stop there to warm up with a coffee, use their Wi-Fi to check it was all downhill to Cortez and change to a dry pair of gloves. Bizzare that less than a week ago I was in 35c heat and now I feel like I'm on a skiing holiday!

    After that point the sleet turned to rain and I could pick up the pace for the last hour down to Cortez.

    I feel like I've reached another milestone today - crossing (just, if you count the fact that I walked, not rode, hurricane pass) the hardest part of the TAT Rockies. A rest day tomorrow where I can go down to the honda dealer here and double check a few things about the bike.
    #84
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  5. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    By the way, 68vette and his wife were great hosts. I've still got a load of thank yous to catch up with!

    I should be able to get to some of those tomorrow, along with some more pics and maybe video of the fiasco on Monday/Tuesday (afraid not really any photos from today as I was recharging everything from the bike on the way).
    #85
  6. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Great report Trebles, I thought today would be a good one. :thumb
    #86
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  7. jon01

    jon01 n00b

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    You and I are in about the same boat Treble.
    Some buddies and I got back from doing this very section of the TAT a couple of weeks ago (OK-UT, started Sept 9, hit Moab Sept 14).
    I decided early August that I needed to do this, they'd all been riding their whole lives...I'd never ridden a motorcycle let alone off road...so go buy a bike and get to riding I did...
    While my bone stock XR650L was grossly underpowered compared to their AT's/KTM690, slim pickings riding skill set, and fear of heights definitely all combined to put me at the back of the pack it was still one of my top 5 lifetime experiences.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is don't get down on yourself, you're doing a damn fine job of something that 99.99% of the rest of the world wouldn't dare attempt. Especially in a foreign country without a partner.
    I'm sure the excitement on Marshall then Engineer was unnerving but you're riding some of the most challenging trails around at probably one of the toughest times of the year.
    My buddies who like I said have been riding their whole lives decided to tackle Engineer during a down day, they said it was absolutely one of the hardest trails they've ever done and that I'd have hated my life had I decided to come along.

    Slow down and enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery you'll ever see between what you just did and Utah, if it takes you a couple more days so be it. :)
    You'll look back on ALL of these memories fondly from the office back home!
    #87
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  8. 10-96

    10-96 Adventurer

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    Trebles - If interested, you are very close to Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings (a few miles east of Cortez). There is one cliff dwelling that is free to see and would not take very long (you don't need to sign up for tour or anything). Also, depending on your route, if you find yourself going past Goosenecks State Park in Utah (west of Cortez) it's worth a stop as it is a quick stop (basically a pull-off) to see beautiful scenery. You could then head up to Moab from Goosenecks SP (by taking 163 to 191 north) if interested in pavement. If you go up 191, consider taking a brief detour off 191 to see the Needles Overlook at canyonlands (the turn off is located north of Monticello, about 15 miles or so...the Needles Overlook road is a turnoff to the west - Only take you 10 to 15 minutes to see a beautiful view and then you could return to 191 and go to Moab... As I stated earlier, from Moab, I would recommend seeing Dead Horse Point overlook and ride the Shafer Trail east to west. These are just a suggestion, because you never know if/when you might be back in this beautiful area of Utah. Good Travels!
    #88
  9. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG

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    Good suggestions, although I like Grandview better than Needles.
    #89
  10. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Many thanks. I ended up feeling pretty shattered today and so will have another day in Cortez tomorrow, leaving on Saturday. No point in rushing this part of the trip.

    I've got to do a bit of tarmac to get back into the TAT and from looking at the map, your suggestions about the cliff dwellings and GSP look ideal to add some interest.
    #90
  11. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I've got to say I think you were the braver one in a smaller boat on a bigger ocean not having ridden a bike at all before. That's pretty impressive.

    I think I corrected later posts but in my slightly breathless first description I mistakenly said it was engineer, when I was actually coming down California.

    There was about 75m of dirt road between ophir and dove creek that I missed yesterday due to the snow. I wasn't intending to go back and do that, instead taking a more direct road route to dove creek, with 10-96's suggested detours. Do you think I'm really missing something by doing that?

    There is more here than I could ever do in this trip. I think it's pretty likely I'll come back to this area (without doing the other 6k miles!) for a weeks holiday at some point, so I don't mind some things for next time :)
    #91
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  12. THRASHED

    THRASHED In your helmet, no-one can hear you sing, I hope.

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    After you finish the TAT, if you are staying in the states a bit, and you find your way out to California (the state, not the mountain peak) I've got a place for you to hold up for a few days, complete with garage and plenty of tools.
    #92
  13. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    Hey trebs, I'm in Moab... and I think you are to. We need beer. I rode from telluride to dive creek and to Moab... I'm buggered. The dove to Moab was long and the geyser pass was awesome. Cold and slippery in parts. Then coming down to Moab via slickroc k added more miles but stunning.

    Moab photos you would have missed. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    #93
  14. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Thanks, that's very kind. I was actually thinking about doing something like going down the coast, but it still seems like a long way away. Will let you know.
    #94
  15. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the lack of updates, the last few days have been very so so. The highlight was probably meeting up with vegeman.

    I've only been in the canyons part of Utah for a day, but I realised this morning that I'm not going to stay longer than the route neccesitates.

    Staying and doing other routes didn't quite sit right with me, and this is my stab at explaning why:

    1. I feel like I've been on the road for a long time now. When you've been riding a bike pretty much everyday for a month and still have 2.5k miles to go, I just don't want to add on extra days. I've got to admit I'm starting to look forward to the end where I can get back to other interests at home.

    2. This is probably heresy around here, but I just don't find the landscape interesting. It's impressive, but I don't really feel any attachment to it. On the way out of Moab this morning I went to dead horse point. I didn't have any preconceptions as I hadn't seen any pictures or read anything of it. I knew it was some kind of view point, but not even what of. I got off the bike at both viewing spots with all the tourists in the coaches. I walked up to the edge. Impressive view, but it didn't really have any appeal to me. I took a few photos and got back on the bike and went back to the park gate. I didn't even bother taking my helmet off. Dare I say that I even find the landscapes a bit ugly. Barren, dead lumps of rock with occasional grotty little shrubs covering some outcrops like pimples. It's all some tone of red with little variation or contrast. It either smells of dust or nothing. I can't say I'm keen on the way it has been turned into a gated 'park' with borders manned by people in costumes, collecting money from the queuing cars. It all seems a bit cartoonish, or Disney like. My 30 minutes there was only just worth the $10 entry fee. If they'd charged any more I'd have felt cheated.

    3. All the best points on this trip have been when I'm on the bike for a long day making progress on the route, either by covering lots of ground or going over difficult obstacles. That's what I've put all the work in for and that's where the sense of achievement is. I'm just not interested in hanging around being a tourist. Up until the last few days, I'd thought that feeling was the pressure the get too the Rockies before snow. Now I'm coming to think that whilst that may be part it of, a lot of it is that this is a journey and the point of the journey is to do coast to coast on dirt roads and get a sense of changing landscapes and people as I go. If you stop long in any one place you start to loose the sense of flow and distance between different climates, landscapes and people.

    I'm just not set up to move into a hotel room, point all my stuff in the drawers and become a tourist on holiday.

    On a trip like this, you go through lots of different emotions, and that's howI feel at the moment. I may find myself disagreeing with the above in a day or two!
    #95
  16. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Hey Trebs! Everyone's journey is their own so don't worry too much about what other people think. Fortunately for you there are opportunities to cover lots of ground every day for the next few weeks. Lots of long stretches you can make good time on coming up. Keep up the reports!
    #96
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  17. Buckee

    Buckee Ah, Grasshopper...

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    Trebles, wondering how much of an impact seeing all the tourists has made on your state of mind? I talked to my son yesterday, now in Wyoming on a cross-country back roads drive. He's been floored by the endless buses of foreign tourists (that term with all respect) queued up at most every point of interest, & has been told this is the prime season for bus tours. Of course all are welcome here, but it must be hard to keep an ADV mindset when one can't get a moment's solitude at the places you've worked so hard to reach.

    Definitely taking notes now, for next year's trip. Perhaps there's more to scheduling the optimal time window than just the snow. Great report - ride safe!
    #97
  18. joenuclear

    joenuclear Long timer

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    I can get system overload in the Rockies. A day indoors fixes it.
    #98
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  19. timl1641

    timl1641 livin large and in charge

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    Dead Horse is a blast mountain biking with a of combo black diamond and intermediate sections, about 3 hours to ride the various loops and routes. you can definitely get hurt out there, last time my son and I came across a couple, she was screaming and he was lying there with a severely broken leg, had to cut my ride short and go for help, not a good place to need help since the workers in the welcome center are 100% clueless, poor guy had to driven out in a John Deere gator. anyway, when standing on the look out there are roads way down there, been all through on my DR. Moab is a great place to visit, ride and enjoy but I definitely wouldn't call it home.
    Ride on dude
    #99
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  20. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG

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    I did a three week road trip last summer in Utah, Co. Etc. Had pretty much the same emotions. It was the ride not the arrival. I saw some sights, took photos, but the ride was the thing. I did get tired of the Mars landscape and was happy to get back to some green. I talked to one Aussie tourist and he stated he didn't want to see "one more bloody canyon."

    This is your ride, do it any way you want.
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