The Summer of Stupid: 7400+ miles of 2up - OBCDR, CDT, TAT West and more...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LittleWan, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    BigWan and I decided to celebrate our 13th anniversary with a little dirt. What better way to test the ol’' marriage vows than with some off road 2up? Our route incorporated 2 days of the Pacific Crest Quest, the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route (including Crane Mountain), most of the Continental Divide Trail (including Lava Mountain and Fleecer Ridge), and the Trans America Trail from Colorado to Oregon. We also threw in a couple bonus Colorado passes (including Black Bear Pass to Telluride) and Utah'’s White Rim Trail.

    10 states
    42 days
    7450 miles
    3 sets of knobbies
    And I finally remembered to take some food photos!


    Initially, I had been thinking that “"The Summer of Love and Dirt”" would be a cute title for a ride report. Cheesy, but with our love of dirt, our anniversary, and then the little good luck charms I planned to leave for other riders...it seemed fitting. But, after the first few days, it seemed like all we ever said was, “Oh my god. We are so f**king stupid!”
    So, there we were - enjoying the summer of stupid.

    “Wait a minute,” you’'re saying to yourself - “Wasn'’t that the theme of their last ride report ?” Haha, okay, it'’s not a theme, it’'s a lifestyle. :lol3

    In 2009 we wanted to ride the TAT west. Our goals were:

    1) ride as much of the trail as possible without taking any of the big bike bypasses
    2) navigate using just the roll charts and maps. Our crap GPS was only capable of finding major highways and showing compass headings
    3) ride hard. Ride like a single rider on a smaller bike, even though we were 2up on an overloaded schoolbus

    It worked out pretty well. We didn'’t take any bypasses and we made it from Trinidad to Port Orford in 12 days (including a rest day).

    Of course, we did have some issues:

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    The bike was totaled by the insurance company, Matt was exhausted, and it was 4.5 months before I could sleep on my left side, but it was all worth it.


    This time, our goals were:
    1) don'’t wreck the bike
    2) don'’t wreck the bike
    3) don't get hurt

    My mom said, "“Umm. Maybe you should make ‘'don’t get hurt'’ your first priority. You can get another bike. You can'’t get another you.”"

    Interesting idea. Okay - revised goals:
    1) don't get hurt
    2) don't wreck the bike
    3) have fun

    Originally, we were just going to do the OBCDR and maybe our favorite TAT sections (Colorado and Utah).
    Then, after reading larryboy'’s ride report , we saw how he used the CDT to connect the two trails. Brilliant!
    With larryboy'’s help, we were able to map out a fantastic route - thanks LB!
    Of course, once we started looking at maps and ride reports, the route just kept growing and growing...



    :wave EDIT november 2010 :wave
    This thing got pretty unwieldy, so I thought I should add a basic index:


    Pacific Crest Quest: starts further down on this page, and there's an update (PCQ days 6,7 and 8 without snow) here
    Oregon Back Country Discovery Route: starts here
    Continental Divide Trail: starts here
    Trans America Trail: starts here

    Lava Mountain/Fleecer Ridge: here
    Black Bear Pass: bottom of the page, here
    White Rim Trail: here




    Note for December 2015: that stupid xenforo (new ADVrider software) changeover did a number on our ride reports.
    Broke all the video links and either took out all the apostrophes and quote marks in the text or changed them into weird characters.
    I'm trying to fix all the reports but I'm getting pretty sick of it.
    This report is getting the quick n' dirty version, i'm just trying to make it readable again.
    Sorry if there are any typos, missing smilies or broken linkies or whatever,
    but it's the best I can do at this point.




    LittleWan

    :baldy


    #1
  2. kkug

    kkug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    979
    Location:
    Escondido Ca .USA
    :thumb
    #2
  3. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    Subscribed, I've been wondering when you 2 were going to test out the new(er) bike on a big trip. Can't wait to read this adventure. Stay safe!
    #3
  4. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
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    17,211
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    :lurk
    #4
  5. zeroblah

    zeroblah Snot nosed kid

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    392
    Location:
    NorthWest New Mexico
    WooHoo im watching this one. After seeing the photo of the frame im in, although hope everything goes better this time. Dont want to see anyone seriously injured.:ricky
    #5
  6. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Hi guys! Glad you found us. Thanks for reading :)
    A little note about comments - Matt gets super uptight if I get carried away responding to comments. He thinks it looks like I'm just bumping our RR. His thing is - "these are grown men [and women], it isn't F'ing Romper Room: "I see kkug, and bronco3738 and larryboy and zeroblah..." You don't have to acknowledge every single one. Just answer questions'
    Whatever. He doesn't take the time to sign in and type anything out, does he? :lol3



    At any rate, thanks for visiting and reading this nonsense :D
    I see you :waveHi!


    Okay, who's going on this ride?

    The Bike:
    [​IMG]

    2007 KTM 990S adventure
    Beautiful. Awesome. Bad Ass.
    Reliable? Eh. maybe? :dunno


    Us:

    [​IMG]

    LittleWan (kelly) BigWan (matt)
    Dumb. Dumb as a box of hammers.
    The only sense we have is a sense of adventure.


    The newest member of the family:
    [​IMG]

    Norman the Delorman
    Delorme PN-60
    He showed up about 4 days before we left. Totally untested and a complete wild card.


    Norm's best friend and the most hated member of the group:
    [​IMG]

    Frankenslime a.k.a. "that F'ing piece of sh*t&"
    Dell mini 10v
    Purchased on ebay to be turned into a hackintosh. Unfortunately, Norm will only converse with a Piece of Crap, so we were stuck turning Slime back into a PC. There wasn't a day when I didn't want to smash it against a wall (or throw it out a window or chuck it off a cliff), but we were lucky to have it when Norm was acting up.


    Oh yeah, one last guy:
    [​IMG]

    Coney the safety cone.
    So last year, we had a bunch of problems. It was probably because we didn't have some kind of good luck charm. Most likely. What else could it have been?
    So I made this guy. I had big plans to make more (on the road) and leave them along the trail. More about that when we get to the TAT section.



    I know some of you are really into maps. Me, not so much. Here's a compromise:
    [​IMG]

    I wanted to use a crayon but couldn't find one. I guess colored pencil is good enough :rofl




    Day 1: 7/7/10 SF Bay Area to Sierra City, CA 341 miles

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    We left home and made a beeline for the dirt. Unfortunately, in the Bay Area, that means starting the day in traffic. Took Hwy 80 to Foresthill and got onto Mosquito Ridge. I was looking forward to it - "600 curves in 36 miles," but it didn't seem very interesting or scenic. Maybe we didn't get to the good part, but the streetbikes can keep this one! We were only on Mosquito Ridge until we could get to the Pacific Crest Quest. Matt had downloaded the tracks for R-dubb's day 6 and we followed them the best we could...

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    Eventually, after more pavement, we got onto gorgeous dirt - river, falls, trees...

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    campground tee pee
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    We stopped at a campground to look around and this guy came blasting up.
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    He asked where we were going and said, "I was afraid of that..." It turns out that the road we wanted was snowed in. He was just there an hour ago and couldn't get past the big drifts. Shoot - if he couldn't get through on a 525, we didn't have a chance. He said all the other roads were dead ends and that our only choice was go back to Foresthill. crap! At least there was a dirt road that would take us there.

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    On our way down, we ran into a guy in a Nissan Pathfinder. He had a Garmin Oregon and couldn't find a single road - we told him about the snow and gave him directions as best we could (our GPS showed all the roads, but we didn't know which one he needed). Yay - way to go, Norman the Delorman!

    We took Hwy 80 to Truckee and hoped to get back on the PCQ.

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    The trail started up with some thick wiggly gravel. I didn't take any pics as I was too nervous - it's been a long time and it takes me a while to get used to the sliding. What a relief to get back to the dirt and rocks.

    [​IMG]


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    It was getting late and Matt wanted to keep our speed up. It was fine until we started seeing deer. Matt started honking the horn - yow! that's loud. It really echos through the new headsets. He asked if it was hurting me - heh, not as much as a deer would - keep honking!

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    We ran into a snow drift, but it was firm enough for Matt to ride on. Hmm. I thought July was late enough for the snow to melt. Hope this isn't going to be a problem (dum dum dum...)

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    looking back at the snow drift after walking across
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    After the snow we had some pretty trails
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    and a sketchy creek crossing. It doesn't look like much, but the rocks were so slippery they were like bowling balls coated with Crisco. i almost ate it just trying to cross on foot.
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    The trails were pretty overgrown and washed out. We got to one section and it was a real mess. Matt went around this tree and I climbed over it.
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    Everywhere we went, we found dead ends and washed out roads. It was getting old. Did I mention the huge cloud of mosquitos that enveloped us whenever we stopped? We came across a super creepy camp - I didn't think to take any photos, but it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Of course, this is where we got separated. We're so F'ing stupid!

    Matt needed to cross the creek again and I was going to walk to meet him. I knew that we had made a wrong turn up near the fallen tree. I thought he heard me say that I was going back to the tree (I wanted to get as far away from the zombie/axe murderer camp as soon as possible), but our helmet intercoms lost their bluetooth connection right at that moment. When he got to the other side and didn't see me, he thought I was lost and went to look. I could hear him riding further away. Sh*t. Wow, that's a horrible feeling: lost in the woods, listening to your ride take off...




    We wasted about 25 minutes (with him riding around and me yelling "matt!" every few minutes as I hiked up the hill) but eventually met up. I was tired and sweaty and covered in mosquito bites, but at least I had picked the right way. Just past the tree, we caught a great road that took us to the pavement.

    Made it to Wild Plum campground just before dark. Whew.
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    Oh, goody - the 4 tubs of coffee creamer that we stole from McDonalds blew up in the tank bag. Niiiiice.



    Here's the day's photo of Norm. It took about 3 days to get the hang of the GPS and to figure out which numbers we wanted to keep track of.
    [​IMG]

    It was not an auspicious first day, but we just knew tomorrow was going to be better...
    (we're so F'ing stupid).:lol3
    #6
    gregoblv likes this.
  7. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,211
    Location:
    Über Alles,California

    He's just the tour bus driver, tell him to shut up and ride, we'll talk about what we want. :lol3


    You're off to a great start, lost on foot and it's only the first day.:huh
    #7
  8. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    This is great - you guys are good nutty :lol3
    #8
  9. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,370
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    That damned Larryboy is a baaad influence!

    Congrats on surviving your anniversary!
    #9
  10. Super Suz

    Super Suz N00b with B00b

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,558
    Location:
    alrededor de la bahía
    :lurk!
    #10
  11. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    The narrarator makes the RR rules, doesn't he know that?

    :lurk
    #11
  12. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,340
    Location:
    Riding the US in search of writing manuals
    Let's all throw popcorn!!! :lurk :lurk :lurk

    :lol3

    You guys don't look wan at all. More hale and hearty (even if you're all bit up by the skeeters :uhoh).

    :lurk
    #12
  13. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    900
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    I am in. :freaky
    #13
  14. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    hee!
    thanks, larryboy :raabia


    yeah, and I forgot to mention - after that day, I got to carry the emergency whistle! :lol3



    Well, I guess it is F'ing Romper Room after all!
    I see wachs, and xymotic, and Super Suz, and jadedillusion, and Nixels, and redpillar...

    :amazon

    #14
    gregoblv likes this.
  15. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,370
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA
    This is where the cool kids hang out.:deal

    Did you guys get the spot part of the pn-60?
    #15
  16. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Day 2: 7/8/10 Sierra City, CA to Chester, CA 142 miles



    So, we trashed our old intercoms (by Motocom) last year. They just couldn'’t hold up to the wear and tear of day in, day out offroad use. Perhaps the forced disconnecting (i.e., the crashes/get offs) and yanking of the cords might have had something to do with it, but no one will ever know for sure. We decided to go wireless with the Interphone 4. The downside to these is having to charge the units every day (the Motocom used AA batteries). The 110 charger can do two units at once, but the 12volt charger can only do one at a time. Annoying.



    We stayed up as long as we could, trying to get both helmets charged, but only one got a full charge. What do we do? Screw it, let'’s leave the other one charging overnight.

    The next morning, the bike was completely dead. :doh



    Crap (did someone mention that we'’re not that bright?). The guy across from us was really nice. He had come over to talk about the bike and we turned him on to ADV rider. I'’m sure he would have been more than willing to give us a jump, but that would have been too embarrassing after we had just been raving about how great the 990 is. Instead, we played it off like we’re super-considerate camping neighbors. We didn’'t want to disturb our fellow campers that morning and that's why we walked the bike over to the campground entrance. I don'’t know if it fooled anyone, but that’'s our story and we'’re sticking to it. :rofl

    Matt remembered that we had gone up a pretty good hill when we came into the campground. Coasting down it, he was able to get up enough speed to bump start the bike. Whew. Close one. Okay, gotta remember not to do that again...

    Right away we got onto Sierra Buttes Road. Wow. What a stunner. Rocky with gorgeous views.

    [​IMG]

    We were following PCQ tracks, but Matt had found this trail on his own in 2008 (he rode it South but we were taking it North today).

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    It was such a pretty ride.
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    It would have been incredible (but cold) to camp up here.

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    Yesterday’'s destination was supposed to be Gold Lake, so we were already behind schedule. No time to dilly dally, even though the roads were fantastic.

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    Fun, interesting, dirt and rocks...
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    Then we started to hit snow.
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    It wasn’t bad at first - we felt pretty good about being able to work around the drifts.
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    The non-snowy roads were great.
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    But they didn’t last long.

    Then the snow patches got larger. There was no way to tell where the road was supposed to be and we were just winging it.

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    here's matt (in the middle of the frame) making his own road
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    Matt had to take longer and longer detours and I had to hike to catch up.

    Waiting for me to get down the hill
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    It was brutal - hiking in the snow, ATGATT. Most of the time I even kept my helmet on (these mosquitoes were even worse than yesterday’s).

    kelly: Should we turn around?
    matt: Nah, I don’t want to go back through all that snow again.
    kelly: (thinking about the hiking) Me neither.
    :stupid

    This incline was steep and muddy. Fun, fun, fun.
    I started off on the bike, but about halfway up we got squirrely in the mud and almost lost it. Matt saved it (yay) and I hiked the rest of the way up (boo).
    As always, this is steeper than it looks (he's almost at the top in this pic)!
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    Almost got stuck in this snow...it took a lot of pulling the bike while Matt gunned it.
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    We finally got to the summit - Norman the Delorman was telling us that there was a trail up at the top.
    Really, Norm? Really? There was nothing.
    [​IMG]

    Matt went to scout. We could see some lakes and some campers down below - maybe there was a horse trail or something. At this point, we would have taken a hiking trail.
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    He looked over the edge and said it went straight down. No go. He could barely get back up to where I was waiting.
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    We had no choice but to turn around and go back the way we came.
    Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.
    Up the rocks.
    [​IMG]

    Down the snow.

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    [​IMG]


    I was really loving this ATGATT snow hiking. It should be an Olympic sport. :becca


    We went back to a fork in the road and chose the left side this time.
    Y’know, it’s a lot easier going down the drifts...but if the road doesn’t go through at the bottom...we are SO screwed.
    We’ll be stuck here ‘til the snow melts.
    [​IMG]

    Yep. Screwed.
    Had to get over a monster drift.
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    It didn’t quite work.
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    Guess it’s not a BigWan/LittleWan report unless there’s a bike stuck in something. :lol3

    Do I even need to say it? No?
    (OMG, we are so F'ing stupid!)

    to be continued....
    (how's that for a cliffhanger?)



    #16
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  17. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,883
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Hi xymotic!

    Nope, too fancy for us. That would be the PN-60W (the regular PN-60 is red, like Norm. the PN-60W is black with a matchy-matchy black SPOT unit).
    It was too pricey (with a more expensive SPOT subscription also), unavailable even if we wanted one (didn't come out until we were already on the road), and neither one of us is a texter. I don't even have a cell phone!

    We do have a basic SPOT (the clunky orange version) to keep our moms happy.

    #17
  18. xymotic

    xymotic Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,370
    Location:
    Federal Way, WA

    AHHH Ha moment! I didn't know there was a non spotted one. If it's cheaper, That bad boy just jumped to the top of my list I think. Thanks for the info.

    :bow
    #18
  19. MN Yeti

    MN Yeti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Frozen Tundra, MN
    Kelly and Matt,
    I was great to ride with you in Colorado and Utah. We are all still in awe of Matt's ability to pilot the 990 two-up with full load of gear. He made us faux-adventurers look like spastic rookies. And you, a big smile while taking photos from the pillion in the rough sections earns you spouse of the year, we're all jealous.

    Come visit the frozen tundra sometime.
    #19
  20. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Cape Town,RSA
    Nice Pics you guys, from this side of the world its all looking wow, maybe just plant "Norm" there , either map or better gps unit, thanks for the read:wink:
    #20