The TAT Preparation Thread-the logistical side of it

Discussion in 'Americas' started by leftystrat62, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. RememberTheFallen

    RememberTheFallen Been here awhile

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    Pretty good adventure you had in the Tacoma there Nate! Run thru most of it quickly and it looked fun. I liked the take it as it comes attitude that you two seemed to have.

    Interested in your Georgia part. There isn't too much as far as riding down towards the coast of GA. I would think starting at the NC coast would be more scenic. Either way, make sure you document the journey well for all of us. If you do decide to route thru GA and for some reason go thru Cartersville north of Atlanta then you will have a back yard to camp in or spare bedroom to sleep in.
  2. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    As usual lots of folks gearing up for the TAT this year.
    I've seen some very good prep work going on.

    One thing about going in June is-----chances are almost 100%------you will not get over some of the high passes-----not just in Colorado----but Oregon also.

    There are 3 stories on my website of me riding the TAT----one long ago riding the Eastern TAT------2 last year riding newer routes in Mississippi and Teneesee.

    But I think the most informative and entertaining one is when me and a buddy rode the Western TAT.

    For you all planning I would read it------lot's of snow---lot's of by-passing.

    The story is Here: http://www.bigdogadventures.com/TATWest01.htm

    And for those asking when the snow will be off the passes--------I must repeat-----------nobody knows-----it is never the same. The weather man doesn't know------I don't know---people that have ridden may tell you ----but they really don't know----god doesn't even know-------only you will know when you get there.

    Better chances of not getting stopped by snow after the middle of July---then again it can snow on those passes any time of the year.

    [​IMG]



    We followed in this wall of snow for miles near California pass and finally had to turn back when we ran into the snow machine that was plowing the pass----as he wasn't quite finished yet. We were riding on wet ice we we finally had to turn back and I was afraid the water would re-freeze before we could re-treat and we'd be camping out here.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    This was Indigo pass in Oregon-------it got much worse further up the trail and we had to retreat and go around the pass
    which was almost a blessing-------as we got to see crater lake-----which by the way had just been plowed to the lake about 2 days before we got there.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    And finally the Pacific ocean.

    [​IMG]

    BigDog
  3. Blaise W

    Blaise W Been here awhile

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    BigDog's pic of Indigo Pass in OR is exactly what it looked like in late July of 2011, but in our case, all the way across the pass. We made it. A week or so earlier, maybe not. Same for California pass, but plowed all the way across (very recently) in mid July. Going over Indigo I thought of Mark and his having to turn around. The snow was about a foot deep over the road but we could forge thru or dodge it along the edge. Long way back down for a go around! That was a very nice section to ride though; the forests in Oregon are spectacular.

    As to camping, the only really good reason to not do it is to lighten the load for some of the more challenging sections. If you pack really light, and you have to work at it, keeping any top duffel minimized, you have the optimal way to do it. I'm looking at replacing my 5 pound two man tent with a one man that is just over two pounds, 16" long instead of 22", and going with a much lighter and smaller packing air mattress for this year's rides. Consider hanging out on Ebay or ADVR flea market to find some cheap used stuff. You will be well rewarded, and your bike will thank you. If you want to make miles every day, you absolutely must camp when the day runs out and you are out there somewhere on the trail.
  4. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    It is a crap shoot like Mark said. Last year everything was open by the end of May. The year before, not so much. You can start watching the passes here: http://bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm

    We are planning for an early June trip starting in Clayton, NM. The date is tentative on the passes being open.
  5. Mtn Man

    Mtn Man Been here awhile

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    Made all of the passes in Colorado last June with no problems. But as has been said by others, it is simply a crap shoot. I would always try to make those places late June to early July when planning this far out. Just my thought.
  6. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

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    As of today the Northern and Central Sierras are at 130% +/- of of normal snow pack. While this has no direct bearing on the TAT, it usually corresponds with snow pack the Cascades and runoff in Northern Nevada. If I was a betting man I'd say June may be a tough go this year
  7. Mtn Man

    Mtn Man Been here awhile

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    Wow, sounds like it! Maybe shoot for July ... But don't skip them.
  8. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    Another site I like to look at is: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ There are certain places that have snow monitoring equipment and you can see what the depth is on any given day. Historical data is also available. There is one site in OR where on 5/1/12 the snow depth was 43". 3 weeks later, it was all gone. Plans are just that. Plans. Subject to change. Being retired means that I can go at the drop of a hat or change my plans at the last minute if the need arises.
  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

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    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/earth/

    download the .kmz file, open in google earth, select the snow depth overlay. Export your route from BaseCamp as a track. Open that in google earth. Trace along your route, and see in real time where there's still snow.

    Example here.

    And another here.
  10. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    Oooh, I like that! Thanks for the heads up.

    John
  11. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Aug 25-Sept 10 is your friendly date bracket west of the frontal range in regards to weather and trail conditions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. LateNate

    LateNate Been here awhile

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    Hey, thanks man!

    I got some tracks off the website for the GA part. It was part of the Trans East Coast Run or something? I haven't looked at them in a bit.
  13. Sludminger

    Sludminger Show me the dirt

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    Time for us to chime in as well - 2 bros from Vermont heading out for the TAT June 1. We're riding KLRs ('09, '11), currently in the process of setting them up, collecting gear, tools, etc. Big remaining issue there is suspension. Not to get off topic, but if anyone has any recommendations on what to do, I'm all ears. I've read a lot of stuff, and its pretty unclear on what the RIGHT thing to do is. At this point, I'm thinking of replacing the front and rear springs with Race Techs with the proper spring rate (we're both around 210, 6'4", early 40s, experienced off road riders).

    My other big question is around navigation. We will be purchasing the scroll charts in the next couple weeks. I've done many route sheeted rides so I'm totally comfortable following the paper, but I like having GPS as I'm expecting to deal with re-routs, wrong turns, etc. and figure that will help us to better get back on track, and I also like the redundancy. First question - what is the ideal KLR style (cheap) GPS set up? I have a Garmin Nuvi 550 which I don't think will work. Second question - with proof of purchase for the paper sheets, is there a way to obtain GPS tracks from somewhere?
  14. marc11

    marc11 Been here awhile

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    You should also think about adding emulators or intimidators while you are in the forks; a fork brace will help too. What have you done to the rear shock, you may want to beef up the spring at least back there, if you want to keep the stock shock you could also add a raising link to stiffen it up a bit and gives a bit more ride height. Cheap upgrades but not near as good as a new MOAB or Ricor shock.

    As for navigation, a Nuvi 550 will work perfectly, I have used it on my KLR and prior bikes, eventually I moved up to a Zumo because I wanted BT integration but the Nuvi was solid.

    As for the tracks, aren't you buying them with the roll chart routes?
  15. Sludminger

    Sludminger Show me the dirt

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    Thanks for the reply. I was considering the gold valve cartridge emulators that Race Tech offers. Front springs, rear spring, emulators, looks like it would run me a little shy of $400. I currently have only the Eagle Mike raising link in the back, no other suspension changes.

    I didn't think so, I just checked the TAT website and I don't see GPS files offered anywhere. Maybe I should contact this Sam guy...
  16. marc11

    marc11 Been here awhile

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    Don't forget fork oil too. I'd up your stock spring with your weight and gear in the rear. I am pretty sure the charts and gpx files are a package deal.


    Odd grammar, words and spelling brought to you by my iPhone's autocorrect.
  17. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

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    Think your out of luck there partner. Sam doesn't sell GPS tracks-nor are they available any where. If you want to transfer the roll chart waypoints to make a track for your gps, you'll have to do it yourself. Fair warning- it takes many many hours so don't wait. I started transfering mine last year and I'm still in Navada:lol3
  18. Sludminger

    Sludminger Show me the dirt

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    Hey Lefty!

    I sent Sam an e-mail last night inquiring about the GPS tracks. He got back to me pretty quickly to let me know that yes, GPS tracks are available. $20/state. That adds a big chunk to the routing expense, but it did sound like the process you were going through took a ton of time so I think we'll get the more critical states.
  19. dashmoto

    dashmoto Serial Tinkerer

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    I'm heading out there late April, planning on doing the full length plus some other stuff (I'm in the US for 12 weeks).


    I decided against turning the rollcharts into tracks, for two reasons:

    - I've got a 60CSX, and there's no way the whole thing would fit, and I'm not taking a PC, only an android tablet, so can't run Garmin software to switch routes in and out of the internal memory.

    - It would have taken an enormously long time.

    What I have done is type all the waypoint coordinates in (which still took ages - maybe a couple of weeks at a couple of hours a night), and I'll have these in the GPS as Points of Interest, labelled with state and mileage. I'll be primarily navigating off the rollchart, but I've then got a double check that I'm at the junction I think I'm at.

    I'll have the track logging on and some sort of map in there (do be decided, what's people's opinions of OSM in the states?) which will take care of any backtracking, etc.

    Time will tell whether this works or I get horribly lost :rofl
  20. oldtrucks

    oldtrucks Been here awhile

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    That's really early, there will still be a chance of snowfall as late as June and no telling what the rest of the winter will add to the existing snow pack in the Rockies.

    Docking Pilot made the comment earlier......