Trans AM in May... parts of it.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Slopez22, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    OK some of the trail, and more wanderings that were not. Atempting the trail early means you are going to see beautiful country, and sometimes see it twice as you back track to find a different way around closed FS roads!

    So I leave Paris May 1st with Steve Boatanchor in tow.
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    We stopped for gas somewhere in TN before we get to the start in MS.
    Mississippi is pretty nice in parts, I didnt know there were so many pine trees down here.
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    I didn't realize I looked like the Beverly HillBillys
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    But local scenery was nice.
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    nice creek crossings...
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    And here is Steve with a flair for the dramatic!
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    Well Steve had to head back home... so I went solo from there...
    until I found this guy near the MS river... I was lonely so I stopped to chat!
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    he wasn't much on talking so I just got a pic, and left him to himself.
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    If you all remember, the weather was all over the news... flooding.
    I camped outside of Helena, Ark the first night, and it was nice...
    until about 1 am when I decided the tent needed the rain fly on!
    It didnt stop raining for ... well after, long after I loaded the bike up.

    So here is the deal, Tim from NC, had planned on riding MS on Saturday, and being a day behind me. I called in Sat am to give him a heads up on a few places in MS. It had been raining in MS all night also, so he said he would load up and meet me at my campground. After a bit of discussion, the options were to ride in the flooding... or load my bike with his in his truck and head west, out of the weather. Now I was going west one way or the other... so I can load up, and get out of the rain.

    So we drove through to west Ark, went up in the Ozarks near Oark, but it was all so flooded, we got a hotel in clarksville for the night.
    The next morning after watching the news and hearing that Arkansas was flooded, we decided to drive to Trinidad, and start there.
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    So after tag team driving, with TIm at the wheel, we get the welcome from Oklahoma po po.
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    now they dont mind there pic taken, but he wanted to be able to see me.. no prob officer.
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    now here was something funny... I had my gps wired for the bike, and a cel charger wired also. No 110 chargers for me. My phone was now dead, and gps too. So we started the bike up, hooked everything up, and drove down the road. 15 minutes out of town we got stopped, and the cop goes... you know your motorcycle is running? Really??? Thanks!
    So he have dinner and get a room in CO, finally we are going to be able to ride! Monday morning starting off... here is TIm leaving the hotel
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    now to be honest... since everything got out of order on smugmug, these may not be consecutive.
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    saw some dear
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    somewhere between trinidad and Salida.
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    we dont see this much in TN, or eastern NC according to TIM
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    nice little homestead I am considering for retirement...
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    the roads were nice, just a tad tacky, lots of traction
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    it was just great to be riding again.
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    caught some cow elk running...
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    high speed = fun
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    we got sprinkled on a few times, it was always threatening rain...
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    some aspens, you can get published here.. and it stays forever.

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    there is still lots of snow...
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    and roads closed.
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    but I was having a good time.
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    it must suck to live around here.
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    we had to take the road over monarch, and skip alot of riding, but we still road.
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    I hear they got some snow this year.
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    I really enjoyed the riding... but I did notice... where ever we had to bypass around Sams route, if I looked for a route.. it was always a whole lot rougher than what we had been riding!
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    but who's complaining.
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    the old agency ranch...
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    I would have hated to do this on a wagon.
    One thing I have to say, it would be nice of the forest service to post at the beginning of a road, that the road is closed. Just a thought.
    We found a nice lake, and took a brake
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    backtracking is annoying, if you have a plan, but the riding is still fun.
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    sometimes pavement is ok too.
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    so we leapfrogged and took pics
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    until we got to Gunnison.
    We stopped to get gas, Tim was going to head back to trinidad the next morning, and I was headed west.
    At the gas station, we met the coolest charachter yet.
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    DC, my only description of him would be a cross between, Yosimite Sam, Jed Clampet, and Steve McQueen. He told us if we were here we would have to take Hwy 92 to Crawford.
    So towards Blue Mesa we go
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    and the Black Canyon.
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    It was about 5 in the afternoon, maybe 6, so we were riding into the sun. But it was such a great road, DC hit this one on the head. I was grinning the whole way!
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    waiting for Tim
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    finally getting the pic
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    headed into Crawford
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    we were riding through town, and saw this store/hote/baitshop


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    we had dinner at a nice little place down the road.
    The next morning Tim and I parted ways!
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    #1
  2. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    part 2

    so I head out...

    as I said before, if I make the route... I always pick roads that arent so nice. Here is a great example.
    I find a "road" that heads sw before you get to Grand Junction.
    Escalante Canyon RD.
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    Escalante canyon
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    creek crossings...
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    oh I will go the other way.. got to be better...
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    such beauty... did it rain here too??
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    yeah I think it did. So after about 6 crossings, the final one was up to my waist. I dont think the pig could have taken it. So back out I go... just a few hours lost.
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    But was it lost if it was still a great ride?
    I think not.
    So I headed back out, made it up to Grand Juntion, and decided to take 70 and get to MOAB.
    Well 70 is no fun. So I found another one of my great short cuts with Rabbit creek Rd, take that SW and you will get to Moab. No problemo.
    1 little exception. Somehow I got on a different trail. Expert navigational skills I suppose. Rock shelves, and tight trails with big rocks aren't my favorite on the BRP loaded down like the Clampets! I finally made it to water raft road, where I sighed a big relief.
    Now about my set up, ortlieb bags, turbo city rack. Personal experience, had nothing but trouble before(should have thought of that) and during my trip with the TurboCity rack, I had to have it welded before I left on the brackets, in moab, on different brackets, jb welded it in western utah, and nevada before it bought the farm. Back to the story. SO there I am wore slap out, riding down Hwy 128 towards Moab when and explosion occurs.
    My feet came off the pegs, I felt the explosion all through me, my heart sank. My motor.... crap. Grab the clutch, rev it... .nope still there. Swing the bars, tire maybe? Nope, still good. What in the world? I pull over, and where the racks had broken, my tool pouch had slid over in front of the pipe. C02 blew!!! wow.... ok move the tools!!... whats left of the pouch!
    ANyhow.. pics and the colorado river!
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    it was warm enough, I was wishing I was doing this!
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    so I found where Fred at Arrowhead was, then went back to get a campsite.
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    The next day, I got new tires, and my rack welded. I had planned on staying a few days, but there were sooo many people, I left moab at 3:30p.
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    The scenery was great, all by my lonesome, made me not be so aggressive... kinda!
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    but its hard to control yourself when its like this.
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    more later...
    #2
  3. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    part 3
    so here we go... I almost ran out of gas near fremont junction. I made it to Emery at 8:10, but the station was closed. Locals told me that the station in Ferron closed at 9. My last reserve came on between there.. and I coasted in on fumes. I stayed there that night.

    The next morning I headed back towards fremont Junction and the frontage road along 70.
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    found the tunnels and a greener day!
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    The canyons are great, the dirt roads are better!
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    the irrigation systems were working well!
    I dont have a pic, but I was riding along the canals down in this area, there had been frequent "dips" in the road. I saw a sign that said dip. Just a note... they were not exagerating. It was the mother of all dips. I had been just getting on the back and pegging it on the dips. I believe that is where my shock died. I hit that dip, next thing you know, I was looking at my bars from above not behind them. I road it out, but dont know how.

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    starting out of the valley..
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    as I headed up the pass, I hit mud, from snow run off.
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    now I am no mud expert, but I do have some experience wrecking in it. Which I honed my skills more! This is not just regular mud, its granite infused with gorilla glue. When I got to the next town, I spent 35 minutes washing and scraping, and I am not a washer, much less a scraper. I had to take the sprocket cover off and scrape the gunk out with a screw driver. It was that nice.
    I am not going to lie, that hill whooped me. It took 3 times to get up it, and getting the pig started huffing and puffing, I was wore out.
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    I was glad to get the snow behind me... for the time being.
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    when I finally get out of the hills I am treated with this...
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    now why is it that doing 70 on the interstate 70 is murder but I can do 80 for 50 miles on this?
    leading to this...


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    The thing I liked the best was that you went into the mountain, then you came to this
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    to then ride 50 or 60 miles just to hit another mountain.
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    mine is the only dust!!
    its lonely... I start to sing to myself
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    until my ears hurt!
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    and those of you that have been know what is coming...
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    almost to Nevada state line... here it is looking north!
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    and south
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    I have dinner at the 'Lectrolux cafe in Baker, then head on.
    I set up camp before big spring.
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    I left all books at home, so I looked at the pics I had taken so far...
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    the next morning was kinda chilly...
    so I got on the road... trail.
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    this is one of my favorite pics
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    #3
  4. threadkiller

    threadkiller Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,817
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Nice report!
    #4
  5. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Excellent - we're headed to Nevada on the 21st - thanks for the shots there!
    #5
  6. R1150gsadvrider

    R1150gsadvrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    211
    :D For a guy that didn't ride till in his twenties your making up for it. Great trip report and steller effort. Woulda looked better on a Beemer, but what the hey. Thanks for the call and invite for the ride to the lost coast, work rolled a rock in the way of that day, ha-ha. Stay in touch Brian, maybe we can camp at Haskins CC at Bucks Lake, you have such a way with words with the bears in camp. It seems they do understand "shoo bear" when uttered forcefully and unaffraid!!!!... You are my great hero, but still, since I have CCW authority, Ill be bringing the magnum, can't loose Rick and Marys little boy,:lol3
    #6
  7. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    I'll post up the rest I have of Nevada, and some Lost Coast stuff later. The "man" expects me to work.
    Ed try to brake some time away from retirement next year, and we can do the Bucks area, I have a bike out there now!
    Brian
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,030
    Awesome ride! Thanks for the report and pics.. looks like a good time and a great ride :thumb
    #8
  9. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    great ride. Keep it coming.
    #9
  10. threadkiller

    threadkiller Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,817
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    If you don't mind, offer up some advice on what you took, what you wish you'd taken, and what you wish you'd left at home. I'm toying with the idea of doing the entire TAT in September.
    #10
  11. Staxrider

    Staxrider dirt dauber

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,043
    Location:
    Fourth Chickasaw Bluffs
    More, please.

    :clap
    #11
  12. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    Well.... I don't have the bags, but I will get the GiantLoop bag, for the fact that there are no racks. That was the biggest dissapointment and concern of the trip. Umm... I took 2 spare HD tubes, next time, 2 21" regular tubes. I smaller tent would have be nice. Since I was staying in CA for a week once I got there I wouldn't have had to take a few extra clothes. I should have mailed them. Less tools. Thin the herd on those... can't think of much else I would have changed. The bags were the biggest issue.
    Keep me posted when you go, I might tag along for the Ark portion since I missed it.
    Brian
    #12
  13. BLINKER 152

    BLINKER 152 mudlover

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    ashevegas,wnc
    nice pics!:clap great report!:lurk cant take it any longer, i gotta get back out on the trail.leavin in about a month. i did jelico> moab last year, gonna go hit it again but damn those pics of nevada are killin me. how long did it take you from moab to the coast. looks like im gonna be tryin to add a few days to my "little" vacation.:deal :lol3 they seem like some pretty big states UT,NV,OR. do you think a week would get er done?:evil
    #13
  14. juniorsktm

    juniorsktm Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    823
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Wow Great report! I am leaving for the whole trial on the 1st of July........20 days!
    #14
  15. threadkiller

    threadkiller Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,817
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Thanks for the tips. I'll give you a shout when I firm up the dates.
    #15
  16. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    799
    Location:
    NC
    Hey Brian, great report. Here's a few more pics from the vault.

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    #16
  17. mrbighead

    mrbighead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
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    337
    Location:
    Just north of nowhere
    Wow Brian. I had no idea. Your da man! Mike
    #17
  18. huggybear

    huggybear Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Where was this first picture taken,if you had to cross thru all them snowy mts it must have been cold in May?



    #18
  19. Slopez22

    Slopez22 skooter rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Paris, tn
    <TABLE class=tborder cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=4 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR title="Post 11699138" vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 align=middle width=125>huggybear</TD><TD class=alt2>Where was this first picture taken,if you had to cross thru all them snowy mts it must have been cold in May?</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>I was eastern side of the rockies! And yes, at times it was cold, we had to take the highway over the passes
    #19