Trans Am Trail From TN to Nevada on a KLR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by olegmc66, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    I started from Eastern North Carolina to Jellico TN., the start of the trail.

    Here is the the turn of Bicycle route #4 off the Blue Ridge Parkway
    towards Jellico, about 1/2 days ride from here.
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    Originally, I was just planning on doing Tennessee, but I called Sam and had him mail me maps twice along the way. Just tell him to mail them general delivery to the town you expect to be in in a couple days.
    I ended up in San Francisco at my daugher's home.

    The KLR was great on the road, a little heavy on some parts of the trail.
    But a good compromise. I sold it to a Chips out there and flew home.
    I plan to do it again this year with a lighter bike. Any suggestions?

    This time I think I will ride to the coast here first so I can say I went coast to coast.
    Or I might get a 4 wheel drive and take my wife along.
    Anyone going in late April let me know if you want someone to ride along.
    You will have to go around alot of Colorado because of snow unless you
    do it in late summer.

    Here are the pics on the first day of the trip from NC to Jellico TN.

    End of Bike Route #4, Crossing into Virginia to go up and back down into Tenessee into Jellico.
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    Here the shiny new KLR looks down over the Blue Ridge. I have not bought my tent or sleeping bag yet.
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    Here it is getting dark on me and I still have to cross the mountain ahead to get to Jellico.
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    The first night I pulled the bike in the room. That would be the last time for that.
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    I will post the rest of the trip later.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    61,697
    Sounds good! be sure to load your pics on an external pic hosting site, as pics cannot be uploaded as an attachment on this site.

    :lurk
    #2
  3. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    I rode around Jellico the first night and checked out the first turn. First time I had ever done a long trail like this (I have ridden the Shenandoah 200 up in Harrisburg Va. and some other local runs but nothing like this.)
    I was excited!


    Here is the Jellico in the daylignt. I was supposed to start at 7AM??
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    Here is the first turn off the paved road outside Jellico. Finally, some dirt!
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    What a Klutz. I broke the plastic cover on the roll chart, the first day?!!.
    And this spider got in. He would be my companion for the next 2 days.
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    Like Sam says on the map in the pic above, Tennessee has paved alot of his roads, but they are still scenic and fun on your motorcycle.
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    Some Longhorns in Tennessee!
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    Back on Dirt for awhile. What a day for a ride!
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    Thats progress, I guess?
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    Headed up a Tennessee foothill, heading west on the TAT.
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    Coming up on one of the many bridges in Tennessee. This one is dry. Lots of slippery ones later as everyone has advised in their reports.
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    Cruising by a river, I met up with Frank from Wisconsin, pulled over to have a cigar.
    He had ridden down with a buddy on a Goldwing and was headed out on the trail
    to Colorado, then turn back for home. We crossed paths several times in the next
    few days. Then he was out ahead of me because I stopped over at my brothers in
    Columbia (the layover for day 2 of the trail). We both had just bought the KLRs for this trip.
    He had added front guards, which I would come to see why later.
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    Westward Ho!
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    I dont think I saw the same type bridge twice on the entire trip.
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    Thru the valley.
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    Around the bend.
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    By some Silos
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    Up a hill - not real exciting I guess, but just laid back fun with the thumper thumping under me
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    Time to check the roll chart.
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    Coming up on an old truck. I love old trucks in their natural habitat. There were hundreds on the trip.
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    The Bridges of Tenessee counties.
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    Here's one of those water crossings I read about. This one looks harmless, maybe.
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    Good Food.
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    I like old barns too. One of thousands.
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    Some roadwork.
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    This looks interesting. I remember the slime reports and get thru okay, very slowly with feet down.
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    Finally make it to my brother's farm in Columbia near end of 2nd day. That's my 48 Farmall, haven't seen in over a year.
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    The trusty KLR above Pumpkin Creek, Columbia, Tennessee. All is OK with the world.
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    Take a day off to putt around the farm and go kayaking on the Duck river, another first for me. This couple was keeping an eye out for me.
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    Well that was it for the first 2 days, Jellico to Sparta, then Sparta to Columbia. I will come back soon with day 3.

    Bill
    #3
  4. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

    Joined:
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    :lurk
    #4
  5. yrfuneralmytrial

    yrfuneralmytrial Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    "Here is the first turn off the paved road outside Jellico. Finally, some dirt!"

    -And that's when I said "the hell with it" and turned back:wink: . Just kidding, looking forward to more.
    #5
  6. bmc1025

    bmc1025 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Big Bone, KY
    Looking good so far I love old trucks too even when they are "retired" for awhile sure beats the junkyard
    #6
  7. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Great photos!!! This is gonna be good! :clap



    Kenny
    #7
  8. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    After a few days at brother Bruce's farm on the banks of the Duck River
    and Pumpkin Creek in Columbia TN, I had an idea.
    Why not call Sam and get him to send me some more maps and keep going
    for awhile till I got tired? (Ain't retirement great).

    I figured I would ride thru Mississippi and Ark in the few days it would take the mail,
    so I ask him where the nearest town in Oklahoma was.
    He said that would be Westville, OK.
    So I asked him to send the rest of the maps there, to general delivery.
    Neither Sam or I had ever done this before, but we guessed it would work??

    So onward, westward, into the unknown without maps.


    A pic outside of Columbia TN on the trip 3rd day (my 5th day).
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    A great little country store with great apple and peach fritters made
    right there in front of you.
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    Another beautiful day on the Trail.
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    1 Horsepower.
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    Enjoying the shade along the trail.
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    What a laid back day.
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    More trucks and horses by the trail.
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    I think I have seen this water crossing in many reports on the TN TAT.
    Here's my version :).
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    They must have had a contest to see who could come up with the most different types of bridges, then tried out each one. I'm glad they did.
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    I hope anyone looking at this is not getting bored looking at pictures of roads, I just wanted to show what the trail looked like to me on my
    ride and maybe encourage you. I guess to the younger sport bike set it ain't very exciting.
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    Getting close to Mississippi now, the trail is turning a little redder.
    Tennessee in the Spring is nice.
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    Has anyone else taken a pic of this? Only on the TAT,
    30 feet off the trail an old international bus with a 15
    year old tree growing out of the motor well.

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    OK here I am at the first crossroads in Mississippi, with no map and no idea which way to turn.
    Feel like Tom Hanks at the last of the movie Castaway, when he is deciding which way to go.

    But there is no good looking girl coming along in a pickup to help me make up my mind.
    Actually I did ride on straight for a couple miles and found a guy in a pickup that was
    just as lost as I was, but he had a map, and I followed him out to the main road.

    And he told me how to get to Arkansas. Sorry no more pics of Mississippi since I rode into Memphis and across the river there.
    I later found out that the trail goes south and accross the river at Helena.

    [​IMG]



    Hope to post the following days pics soon.

    Bill
    #8
  9. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,483
    Location:
    Lower US 48
    Subscribing!

    After all the anal retentive planning, scheming, plotting, and number crunching I've either read about or done myself in trip prep, this is kind of refreshing... :clap

    Whouuda drempt you could successfully ride a dirt road without all that pre-trip anxiety and periodic progress checking!
    #9
  10. J Banning

    J Banning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    I've subscribed too!
    #10
  11. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,121
    Location:
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    :lurk:

    I'm in... loving the scenery! Maybe when I muster up enough kahonas and skill, I'll try this ride!
    #11
  12. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    You know I was thinking the 400 Suzuki might be perfect for this ride if I do it again. The KLR was great on the paved and dirt roads but just a little much on the sands and mud in OK and the washouts in Colorado and Utah and the desert in Nevada. One thing I know I will take next time is an air pump to pump up the tires for the pavement and let it out for the washboard sections on the gravel.
    #12
  13. SAFETYFIFTH

    SAFETYFIFTH Let's Rip Lip!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
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    Location:
    Arkansas
    awesome. im loving the pictures
    #13
  14. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    great photos and report - keep it coming
    #14
  15. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    Well I rode over the Mississippi river in Memphis on the interstate. That was probably the worst part of the whole trip, trying to keep up with all the traffic on my little one banger, tho it did not let me down.

    As soon as I got accross, I bought a map and looked for some dirt.
    I had an idea of how the trail went but not sure, so just winged it for about 4 days since the Ozarks were so nice I just wandered around for a while.


    Arkansas Red Dirt.
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    AK has some nice state parks, so I bought a tent and sleeping bag and started camping out when I wanted to.
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    I saw alot of no jake brake signs, no two the same.
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    This guy must have had every year of ole Chevy trucks.
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    Here was one for sale. Just another dirt road in the Ozarks.
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    I spent a couple days camping in Devil's Den State Park. I later learned it is very close to the trail. Highly Recommend it for a stopover.

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    Then on to Westville OK to pick up my maps from Sam.
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    Ok later will add Oklahoma.
    #15
  16. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    NC
    Got my maps from Sam in Westville, OK. I borrowed a pair of scissors and tape from the clerk
    at the post office and did my first day roll chart right there in the post office.
    The customers thought it was neat.
    Took off back to the OK/ARK border to pick up the trail. That was not as easy as I thought.
    I think Sam is right about not riding the trail backwards, at least not till you have ridden
    it East to West.

    OK, back in the saddle on the trail again in OK.
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    Lovin OK so far.
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    Okie Bridge.
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    Share the Road.
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    OK has some slick looking crossings, but they were not as slick as TN.
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    And you thought they raised cows in Oklahoma.
    I said before, only on the TAT do you ride by Camels 10 feet away.
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    This way to Bartlesville, OK.
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    Well, maybe not quite this way. Time to ck out Sam's map to
    find a go around.
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    End of the first day in OK.
    Lucked out and got the Bartlesville in time to catch an old car
    show and stayed in the motel with a bunch of them. Real nice guys.
    Little did we know a tornado was going to come about 2 miles away
    tonight. We were all in the rooms cking out the TV and planning
    what to do. I was going to go down under the stairs by the soda
    machine. Luckily it missed us.
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    OK, will post OK Day 2 tomorrow.

    Bill
    #16
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    This is really neat----you are just winging it as you go. No big plan---no time reatraints---no job.

    And you are adapting your riding gear and equipment as you go.

    Nice to ride alone with no time restraints----when I rode it I didn't have any time restraints either---nice pictures. This is going to be fun to read for everybody all trapped in with cold, snow and ice.

    I'm glad you waited to tell you tale-:D
    #17
  18. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Hi! Enjoying your RR! I've rode the TAT from Jellico to McDerermitt, NV in fout different sections. had the rear shock rebuilt with all the goddies before the last section and could not believe the improvent in its capabilities. Waiting for more!
    #18
  19. Ramage

    Ramage needs improvement

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Gone Coastal
    :lurk Subscribed! Some of my buds & I are contemplating the same trip this summer. Thanks for the RR.
    #19
  20. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
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    Niiice:lurk
    #20