The "TART"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TRZ Charlie, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    The "TART" or the Trans Arkansas Trail

    UPDATED TART TRACKS ARE INCLUDED BELOW - THANKS TO BIGDOG, DEVRODIRT AND DISCO FOR NEW INFORMATION ON ROAD CLOSINGS

    PLEASE NOTE* IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING RIDING THE TART PLEASE READ THE REPORT FOR VALUABLE INSIGHT.

    ALSO BE AWARE THAT THESE TRACKS ARE ALWAYS BEING UPDATED. PLEASE CHECK THE DATES OF THE TRACKS AND CHECK AT THE END OF THE THREAD FOR FURTHER CHANGES.

    Since first hearing of the TAT I've been intrigued about the idea of riding it. All of it! But life has a way of changing what you want to do. For a variety of reasons it seems the universe is working against my going on the TAT in the near future. So, I set about devising a route closer to home and perhaps easier on the check book. We are calling this route the "Trans Arkansas Trail" or the "TART". The TART is a 524 +/- mile south to north route across Arkansas . It is mostly gravel, unimproved dirt and forest road route. I've nearly worn Google Earth out viewing the route to maximize dirt.

    The TART begins in Junction City, Arkansas on the Arkansas side of the Louisiana border and ends in Blue Eye, Missouri on the Missouri side of the Arkansas border.

    Planning the TART has been fun. I think I've done my homework but I guess the actual trip will tells us more about that. Now the route is laid out, fuel stops planned, food stops checked on, campgrounds located and friends to ride the route with have committed (or should be), poker change is rolled, my new whiskey flask is ready to be filled. All that remains is reading the the bikes and heading to the departure point.

    The TART will take us from the Arkansas/Louisiana Border to the Arkansas/Missouri border. Our departure point is located in the "Timberlands Region" of Arkansas. It's a region with vast natural resources first discovered by pioneers from the eastern United States in the early 1800s.

    These newcomers, who were impressed with the regions dense woods of pine and cypress, decided to settle. In the 1920s, belief in their homeland paid off handsomely when oil was discovered in the El Dorado, Arkansas area.

    The abundant natural resources of the timberlands are still attracting people today. Each year, thousands of sportsmen descend upon Southern Arkansas to hunt deer in what is considered the best deer hunting region in the state. They also come in search of the lunker bass that reside in the area's legendary lakes and rivers.

    Now days visitors enjoy the legacy of those pioneers by visiting sites ranging from 1800s log cabins and restored Victorian homes to local museums and colorful murals that tell the history of this land.

    As the TART winds its way from the Louisiana border to the Missouri border we expect a three day journey averaging 160 +/- miles each day. We will be following some of the best gravel and forest roads in Arkansas. The plan is to trail to the start destination and stay in a motel the first night so we are fresh and ready to ride.

    The next evenings we will camp. Our first night will be at DeGrays Lake State Park and as we wind our way north we will stay our second night at the Choctaw Recreation Area at Greers Ferry Lake before continuing to the Missouri border.

    We will finish the "TART" in the lazy Missouri border town of Blue Eye where hopefully we will be on the square in time for dinner and the short blast to our homes.


    [​IMG]

    THE RIDERS & MY FRIENDS
    (in no particular order):


    10Cup
    (left) (Friend, riding buddy, Gps Guru and WRR Expert, the Dr's tell us he is reverting to his childhood, wink, wink, nod, nod )

    [​IMG]

    DrLewall
    (Friend and riding buddy who has graciously agreed to trail us to the departure point, the man can't hold his liquor!)

    [​IMG]

    JoeNuclear
    (left) (Friend & riding buddy. Barterer extraordinaire)

    [​IMG]

    O'leary
    (right) (Friend, riding buddy and WRR fanatic)

    DRZ Charlie
    (left) (Old Fat Guy)

    [​IMG]

    MossyCreek
    (second from the left) (Friend, riding buddy and the best bike mechanic in NWA) & his son (not pictured)

    [​IMG]

    We leave for the TART on October 8th, Stay tuned for more!

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Bring on the TAT reports :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Hey Gadget Boy, pssstttttt, It's the "TART" the "Trans Arkansas Trail"
    #3
  4. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Given the characters involved I forsee there will be a bit of gloom and doom in this endeavor. Fortunately I'll be a couple of hunderd miles north when the event transpires.
    Jim
    #4
  5. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    You could be right. Ah, but I have taken precautions. My truck has nearly new tires on it so they should be Doc proof. Doc is bringing my truck back to NW Arkansas so I won't have to worry about it.

    My bike will have a new stator in it so I should at least get me back to NW Arkansas. 10Cup is one hell of a navigator so we should be able to figure out where we're going. JoeNuclear can negotiate or barter for just about anything. MossyCreek is an awesome bike mechanic so we should be prepared for most anything. O'leary is full of enthusiasm is a great photographer and should keep our morale up.

    And most important I've got plenty of change for Poker...so I think were good.
    #5
  6. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

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    :evil

    [​IMG]

    gpx. :drif
    #6
  7. Stromdog

    Stromdog Howl at the Moon

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    I'm in. :super
    #7
  8. YnotJP?

    YnotJP? Long timer

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    "Change for Poker?" Make it more interesting, play for Pink Slips.

    Have fun, and good luck.
    #8
  9. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Hell I'm still paying off this bike...If I loose it I won't ride again for at least two years.
    #9
  10. YnotJP?

    YnotJP? Long timer

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    But, if you win...
    #10
  11. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    The bike if paid off financially. But...I'm married so I'm sure you understand....just sayin
    #11
  12. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Well we leave tomorrow morning at "Oh Dark Thirty" I'm retired! are you supposed to get up at 4:45 am when you're retired?

    The maps have been checked and loaded onto the gps. My gear is mostly ready except loading a few meds and the bike is finally back from the dead. I fried a stator two weeks ago and got all of the parts I needed yesterday. They are installed and checked for proper voltages and everything is good to go.

    We have had some change in plans and three of us are leaving tomorrow and meeting the other three en-route.

    The cards and poker change are ready. The flask has cognac in it. The oil and filters have been changed and cleaned. All that's left is to load the bikes onto the trailer and get outta dodge.
    #12
  13. BackRoadNomad

    BackRoadNomad Wandering around

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    :lurk subscribed
    #13
  14. ADVHawg

    ADVHawg Been here awhile

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    Sounds like fun. You guys have a good time!!!
    #14
  15. Bell47Pilot

    Bell47Pilot MonkeyButt

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    Wish I was going with you guys! I could provide comic relief in the form of ditch parking my bike. I'm getting real good at that manuver!

    If it works out I'd like a copy of the gpx file. I'll take my bro on that ride!

    Be safe....no, have fun!
    #15
  16. Red Leader

    Red Leader It's The Wide Open Spaces

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    I'm in! you guys fun and ride safe:lurk
    #16
  17. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. tslaw

    tslaw aged n00b

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    Ya'll have fun. :rofl
    #18
  19. Bell47Pilot

    Bell47Pilot MonkeyButt

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    :jive
    #19
  20. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Well we made it back! We lost one rider due to severe allergies and what Bull dust did to them. Also, due to my reluctance to share the lead. My bad on the lead but we've since talked and everything is cool.

    The dust was incredible! I have never seen dust like this! On the third day we lost another rider due to a holing his tire on a high speed gravel road run. The hole was the size of a very large guys thumb! 10 tire plugs on the hole weren't enough to hold it! (TubeLess system)

    Overall all the bikes ran good!

    So, is the TART worth the ride? Does a bear crap in the woods?

    I clocked just a tad under 649 miles from Eldorado, AR to Blue Eye, Mo..

    Part of the TART still needs ridden. I soloed from Gilbert, AR to Blue Eye. I ran out of time and energy so I will check out the last 60 or so miles in a couple of weeks. The tracks reside for the moment in my GPS and I will download them tomorrow and make the necessary changes.

    What a ride. Right off the bat into 10" deep bull dust in the pine barrens, from there into the Weyhauser Forests, hunting leases, closed gates, re-routes, should of been re-routes, glad we didn't re-routes, washed out roads with 2-3 foot cravasses ready to swallow you and your bike up, berms, fences, poker, good friends and a little whiskey.

    In short it was great! Some of the most technical riding I have done in many years and absolutely loved it!

    Everyone I rode with were outstanding riders! There is one particular section around Lake Winona, AR that was absolutely exceptional! Joe and I came down off that mountain track and saw a guy sitting on the main road by his pick up (he was a check in station for a triathalon) I pulled up to him to ask if there was anyplace to eat in the vicinity. Before I spoke he said: "Did you guys just come off that mountain on your bikes?"

    I told him we had. He shook his head and then said "You fuckers are out of your mind! You got a death wish?" that is the worst trail in miles.

    Man was it fun!

    More to follow.
    #20