TAT the hard way - 2up on a 950

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BigWan, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    If you were following us to Preston, NV - You're welcome!
    If you were following us outside of Eureka, NV - A thousand apologies...
    #21
  2. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    KTMandu - of course we remember you guys! You looked pretty comfy, warm, and dry in that thing :D
    Hope you had a nice vacation - see you next time!
    #22
  3. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    Day 4 continued...


    After Slickrock, we headed into Moab and found a room. We wanted to check out Arches Nat'l Park, so we left the bags and grabbed a bite to eat.
    Here are a couple random shots of Moab. We didn't eat at McStiff's but probably should have.

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    On the way to Arches, we decided to go back to Slickrock and try the actual ATV trail this time.
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    I enjoyed the view while Matt played for a bit.
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    It was $5 per person to get into Arches and it was worth every penny.
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    This weird bug landed on Matt in the parking lot.
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    I thought this one looked like a dinosaur head. Matt thought it looked like a lioness. Who's right? (or are we both high?)
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    Arches was hot and packed wall to wall with tourists. We made the hike up to this arch, in all our gear (ATGATT), and got plenty of funny looks.
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    We went back to Moab and had overpriced Thai food for dinner. Afterwards, we spent the evening trying to decide if we wanted to do the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands, but by that point we were both feeling pretty rocked out.






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    #23
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  4. 911racer

    911racer dare to explore

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    :D nice report, love the pic's. Funny i was just thinking if this trail would be possible on the mighty 990 two up. Well you just answered my question. I live in Santa Cruz mtns maybe we can meet up some day for a little ride?
    #24
  5. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Trail Jester

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    Great pics and report. Thanks for posting :clap
    #25
  6. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    Hey there! The whole TAT is definitely doable two up. However...if you guys are serious about it, we need to talk! :D

    p.s a ride would be great!
    #26
  7. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    7/28/09 Day 5 of the TAT: Moab, UT to Salina, UT aprox. 270 miles



    Today was a doozy. We were skipping the second dual sport bypass and I was nervous about the upcoming "very deep sand, big rocks and a nasty uphill climb" in Sam's notes. :eek1

    Originally, we planned to spend another day in Moab to do the White Rim Trail. However, after going to the visitor's center and talking to the folks there, we weren't sure if we wanted to spend the 10 hrs it takes. Looking back, we realized that they meant it would take 10 hrs at the posted speed limit. So, we actually would have done it in 3-4 hrs. :lol2

    Regardless, neither one of us wanted to spend another night in Moab (not that there's anything wrong with Moab, we just wanted to keep moving). I saw an interesting 4x4 loop mentioned in a Moab tourist pamphlet and we decided to give it a whirl. It looked like the loop would fit right into the day's TAT ride.

    There were tons of these green bugs at the gas station - on the islands, pumps and all over the ground. They kind of look like edamame.
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    Had coffee, yogurt and terrible rolls for breakfast.
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    The ride out to Gemini Bridges was beautiful. Pretty rocks and red dirt everywhere. It was a fun little road.
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    After Gemini Bridges, we left the TAT and did the 4x4 loop. It worked out perfectly, without missing any of the TAT - at mile 124.74 where Sam says "RIGHT on #313," we made a left instead. Later, we would come back to this intersection and pick up exactly where we left off. We bought a 25 cent map of Canyonlands at the Moab visitor's center and it paid off - there's no info or maps available if you enter Canyonlands on this part of 313.

    If anyone is interested, the loop incorporates Long Canyon Rd, Potash Rd, and Shafer Trail Rd.


    Long Canyon was a fantastic road. Really pretty and a neat ride.
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    I shot a short video here. We had no idea there was going to be a rock to go under - that was a fun little surprise! At one point, I clunked Matt in the helmet with the camera, but he didn't seem to mind.







    I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what photos are from what road. I think this is still Long Canyon.
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    Took a little water break and watched the river rafters.
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    hello, cactus.
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    This silty section surprised us (I think this is on Potash Road). We were zooming along when the bike got all wiggly. Neither one of us can remember if we had a get-off or if Matt just put his foot down. This is looking back at the silt...
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    The loop goes on part of the White Rim Trail - here's Island in the Sky
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    Looking back on Shafer Trail Road
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    Lots of switchbacks.
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    So tiny compared to the rocks...
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    This was a great little loop. After the tourist overload at Arches yesterday, it was wonderful to have peace and quiet. All this fantastic scenery and no people! It gave us a nice taste of Canyonlands and only added 37-38 miles to our day.


    From Shafer Trail Road, we were able to get back onto 313 and mile 124.74. We reset the odometer and picked up the TAT right where we left off.




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    #27
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  8. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    Day 5 continued...


    We got back on the TAT and headed to Green River. The roads were mostly flat and boring so I didn't take any photos. Matt was on cruise control and we got there fast.

    We originally thought we were going to spend the night in Green River, but there was some confusion about the mileage (the day was 100 miles shorter than anticipated - Sam has you reset the odometer in Green River from 158.06 to 258.60). This really screwed us up, putting the most difficult riding of the day in the afternoon and not first thing in the morning as we had hoped. Oh well. It wasn't even noon yet and we both felt pretty good.


    There was some more boring, ugly riding along the powerlines and then,
    we were in Black Dragon Canyon.
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    The trail got rocky and sandy and pretty technical. It had been a while since we had done a lot of sand, 2up, so I was glad we had seen a tiny bit in Death Valley and at Slickrock. Still, I was pretty tense.

    I think this is still in Black Dragon Canyon
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    Beautiful arch.
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    At some point, we discovered that my foot pegs stick out further than Matt's do. We were going around a rock and his giant size 15 boot cleared, but my left ankle got whacked on a rock. Hard. Really hard. Matt felt the bike move when my foot got mushed. At first we were worried that it was broken, but eventually I could stand on it and take a couple of steps.

    We kept going on the trail and I quickly got used to bracing myself with just my right foot.


    We took the customary under-Interstate-70-bridges photo.
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    and the tunnel one.
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    Next came the dreaded Cat Canyon. Sam wasn't kidding when he said it was "very deep sand." We had done sand 2up in Baja (Laguna Hanson to Rancho Santa Veronica, etc.), with full camping gear and it was fine. But there was something about Cat Canyon - maybe the sand was finer and more powdery, maybe the trail was narrower...

    Either way, I had to get off and walk for the first time of the trip. It just wasn't working 2up. Fine with me! Sand freaks me out and even with my messed up ankle, I was happier walking that quarter mile...

    The colors in the photos are kind of weird. It was a HOT day and there was a lot of glare from the sand. I had to fiddle with the contrast to get the details of the photo to come out and it made the colors all funny and retro.
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    That little dust cloud in the top right is Matt, plowing his way through.
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    Even once we got out of the sand, the rest of the trail took forever. The washes were so monotonous. The same gravely sand and rocks and the same turns back and forth through the canyons. Over and over...
    Eventually, we got out of the canyons and it got better.

    Funny black rocks. I should have zoomed in.
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    Took a water break here. Did I mention that it was HOT?
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    At some point we thought we saw 3 bike tracks - maybe it was the guys (P, J and A)? We got on the gas and tried to catch them. Unfortunately, the thrill of the chase, plus the heat, plus total exhaustion led to this:
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    Yeah. Cool. We were totally FUBAR'd.
    It was a complete lapse of judgement on our part (one of several of the trip). Oh well.

    We tried to take a better look, but the mud was like quicksand - it was devouring the bike and trying to pull our boots off. It was deep and sticky and wet under a deceivingly thin crust. Hmmm...
    Matt was angry at himself and throughly frustrated, but I thought it was a great challenge. Trying to pull the bike out only made it sink in deeper. It was a mess.

    Eventually, we were able to break the suction on the front tire - a gooey slime (like concrete slurry) rushed to the surface. We had to lift the bike up and over to the side (where the mud was slightly drier) again and again. No easy task when the damn thing weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 lbs. I picked up rocks from the nearby wash and placed them around the bike so we had something besides more mud to fall into. It took a while, but we finally got the bike out by lifting and moving it a little at a time. It was exhausting work and the heat and the thick smoky air (something near Salina was on fire) didn't make it any easier.

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    The front wheel had been completly packed full of mud. We had to scrape it off/out with rocks and sticks. Wish I had thought to take a before photo!
    Oh well. Back to the trail...
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    We rode and rode and rode. Eventually, we got tired of the frontage road - it was so slow! We were tired, hungry and my ankle was on fire. So, when we had the chance, we got on the highway and slabbed the last 16 miles to Salina.

    The clerk at the Roadway Inn in Salina was so nice. He let us use their hose to wash off the bike. He didn't really get the off-road thing, but he showed polite interest and said nice things about the bike. Also, the hot tub was working, which made me happy.
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    Tomorrow - the Paiute Trail and more sand and single track! whoo hoo!






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    #28
    gregoblv likes this.
  9. kaia

    kaia team F5 ⌘R

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    it looks like you two are having a great adventure! maybe i should have my wife read your report, then the little day trip excursions won't be so daunting!

    quick question, when you get a second: how much experience do you two have riding offroad together 2up, and how much offroad experience does matt have? from your posts it seems like this trip is a somewhat common occurrence to you two...

    have a great time, keep the posts coming!

    :lurk
    #29
  10. Nina

    Nina Been here awhile

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    Great report. I want to do this next!
    #30
  11. sp4ce

    sp4ce Orange Invader

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    :rofl

    I've been trying to sell her on the TAT for years. Looks like your report finally got er done :thumb
    #31
  12. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Very Cool you two. :clap :clap :clap :clap Cant wait for more:deal
    #32
  13. katoom916

    katoom916 Been here awhile

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    Great report so far...:lurk
    #33
  14. contacterich

    contacterich Been here awhile

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    :clap - great report. You two are "crazy" (in a good way)! Looking forward to the rest of the trip...
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    #34
  15. themansfield

    themansfield Adventurer

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    I think we were about an hour ahead of you guys at this point. We had three bikes and we each took a different line through this. My XRR made it cleanly around that bush in the left of the frame, the XT got hung up on that sand dune in the right of the frame, and the KLR met the same fate as your KTM smack in the middle. Good times.
    #35
  16. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

    Joined:
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    hi kaia,
    we actually haven't done that much offroad stuff together - we did a nice baja trip (down to La Paz and back) that was about 85% offroad and we've done several offroad day trips, but that's about it. About a million years ago we did 3.5 months of touring 2up in europe and we've taken other slab trips together, so that helped a little.

    I give the credit to matt - he's been riding in the dirt for 30+ years (since he was 8 years old) and he LOVES it. He doesn't see any difference between riding in the dirt and riding on the street - other than he's happier in the dirt - and he feels extremely comfortable offroad.

    I'm a total chicken and I get scared in the car, but I enjoy riding in the dirt with matt. most of the time :D


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    #36
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  17. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    :D oh, great. Thanks, you guys - matt's been making noise about going to south america and I keep pretending I can't hear him...now he's all over your RR :D
    you should do the TAT - I'd love to see your photos of colorado!

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    #37
  18. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    An hour? seriously? way to rub it in - we were sooo close!


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    #38
  19. Schmittenhymer

    Schmittenhymer Adventure Tourer

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    Kagawong, Ontario
    Great RR you guys. Keep it upright!
    #39
  20. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    7/29/09 Day 6 of the TAT: Salina, UT to Ely, NV aprox 383 miles

    Woke up feeling refreshed and happy. My ankle was tender, but seemed fine. I was a little stressed out over the upcoming Paiute Trail, but I tried not to think about it.

    Everything was great until we were getting ready to pull out of the Rodeway Inn parking lot and Matt couldn't find his wallet. Crap. Hope he didn't leave it in the restaurant last night. We're usually pretty careful about checking motel rooms before we leave, so we start off by unpacking the bags. Nothing. It took three tries before the desk clerk could give me the right room key (she finally gave me the master key instead of a key card) and I searched the whole room. Nothing. I looked behind the giant dresser/sideboard thingy and didn't see anything, but when I took a hanger and dragged it along the back, I thought I felt something. His dark blue wallet had fallen behind, and almost completely under, the dresser. Whew. Disaster averted.


    We started off with some easy farm roads on the way to Richfield, UT. We had some confusion with the roll charts in the beginning and the numbers didn't make sense, but once we found the canals, it was okay.

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    Stopped in Richfield to get coffee and find 6mm screws (the ones for the fender have disappeared - guess we did have some screws loose :D). I tried to chat up this guy, but he was not amused. good doggie...

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    hi, cows.
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    Matt warned me that the Paiute Trail was supposed to be steep, narrow and rutted. I was nervous, as I always am.

    I like the Paiute Trail mascot guy.
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    We loved the Paiute! It was all cool and shady...there were nice trees (hi, trees!) and pretty overlooks...And there was dirt (not gravel)! We could have played in there all day.
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    I always get caught up in enjoying the ride and I forget to take photos. This was a steep-ish section, with small ruts. Matt wanted more.
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    It was bright and hot and glare-y once we got back in the gravel.
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    We flew through the gravel roads today. Once Matt gets into his groove, we just listen to the ipod and the miles click by. We have an intercom, but we don't talk all the time. We discuss the roll charts, if necessary, and point out wildlife to each other, but most of the time we're just listening to playlists and watching the stuff whizz by.


    At some point, we both notice what seem to be three bike tracks. They look fresh. Could it be themansfield (Andrew), Paul and Julian? Matt dials it up a notch and pretty soon we see three figures on the side of the road...

    I really wish I had a photo of them to insert here. I suck. :(:
    Guys, get going on that ride report!


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    I don't know how thrilled they were to see us, but I sure was excited to see them! We had a little chit chat about the TAT and did some catching up, and then it was time to ride. We're always riding alone so I was looking forward to having some company. Matt rides with people all the time and he had warned me that it might not be as fun as I thought it was going to be - mostly, it would be dusty.

    Man, he wasn't kidding. I had planned to take some action photos but the dust cloud from three bikes, riding in formation, was too much. I didn't think our crappy little camera could handle the grit (the lens protector had already started sticking in Moab) so I never even took it out. We enjoyed watching them ride, though, and they were really on the gas!

    Later on, we met up at State Line for refueling and more chit chat. Originally, Matt and I had planned to stay at State Line because the next part of the trail included the last bypass section - "5 miles of single track and deep sand" - and it seemed like it would make for a long day. But, as always, we had arrived ahead of schedule and we decided to press on. Matt and I shared a nutritious lunch of beef jerky, mountain dew and a prepackaged muffin. Yum. We were hoping to ride with the guys on more interesting terrain, but we got the feeling that maybe they wanted us to go on ahead. Not that we blamed them in the slightest...they were having a manly camping adventure and here we were, a boring old sightseeing couple on a Goldwing. :bore


    We said our goodbyes, hoping to meet up again down the line, and headed back out to the desert. We had had some two track earlier and Matt was able to zoom along. Sometimes the two track is fine and fast and sometimes it's slow and scary. Most of the trail today was fine and fast.

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    #40
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