Trans-Eastern Trail Florida section

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by John65, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    I've never done a ride report, but since no one else seems to want to do one on the TET-S (Trans-Eastern-Trail, south), I decided to give it a try
    The TET begins West of Roanoke VA, and runs down to Dillard GA, then starts a loop, going across north GA through Chattahoochee NF and into Alabama, through Talladega NF, continuing down east side of AL, into Florida (Jackson county), down to Carabelle FL, across north FL through Osceola NF, into SE Georgia, up to Augusta, into SC, back into GA, up to North Carolina, back into GA, where the loop is ended. The loop around GA is a little over 1300 miles, but we covered more like 1800, since we did it in 3 different rides.
    In comparison to the first 800 miles of TAT (old route), This is overall the best ride, by far...

    In August 2012, Larry (LJHRider) and I rode the Florida section. We had ridden the Alabama section earlier in the year on the way to Lynville TN to ride the 2nd 400 miles of the TAT. The Alabama portion of the route is mostly graded county roads except for the NF 500 which goes through the Taladega NF and I didn't get much video of that ride.

    A few weeks after this Florida ride, we continued the TET loop around Georgia. Depending on how hard this report is, I may try one on the Georgia portion later.
    #1
  2. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    I took very few photos on this ride, but have many hours of video, so most all of the shots will be video-capture. The quality is not as good as still photos, and the first half day has raindrops on the lense, but they're good enough to see what the route was like.

    My route (not the TET) covered on this ride (starts and ends at my house)
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    Complete TET route (excluding Dillard to Virginia portion)
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    #2
  3. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Larry and I met and started the route in Jackson county Florida, which is about 15 miles from my house. The roads through Jackson county are 90% graded county roads, and then you cross the Chattahoochee River and turn down towards the Apalachicola National forest on paved roads. My photos begin where we turned off county road 67 about 7 miles south of Bristol Fl.

    This road, ( I think) is on private land, but there was no gate or posted signs where we turned of the county road, so we rode on
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    It started off like a typical wet day on NF roads
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    But, That only lasted about 200 yards and then this
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    In the beginning, we tried to ride the rim of these holes, but after 4-5 of them we said WTF and stayed in the tracks
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    All of these vidcaps are before we get to the National Forest roads
    #3
  4. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Photobucket has scrambled my uploaded photos, so when I get them sorted again, I'll continue the report
    #4
  5. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    This is where the national forest begins. The other end of the road is open, but only bikes can get through on this end
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    continuing on FR 121, 105, 112, 111, and on and on
    My apologies for these shots, but the rain has started again and drying the camera lense only lasts a few seconds

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  6. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Then, when we get to cr22 which is part County maintained and part forest road
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    but we see these occasionally, and maybe it won't be something we can't cross,
    so on we go

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    Now we're not crossing ponds of water as much, but the entire road is a sand soup,
    and SLICK. I never rode on slick sand before. It definetly keeps your attention.
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    Some of it is 2 track with grass in middle and sides.
    Not too bad in these sections
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    #6
  7. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    But we're not thru with the ponds yet..
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    The easiest riding was in the sections where the water was standing. The ground was hard
    and had pretty good traction. Much easier than the sections where the sand absorbed all the
    water
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    Getting in the grass on side of road had better traction

    We thought we had seen reasons for the road being closed, but now we see the REAL reason
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    We stopped to see if it could be crossed,, (I sure didn't want to turn around).
    It turned out to be a pretty easy crossing. Only 16-18 inches at deepest point.
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    #7
  8. Unclescar

    Unclescar Refried Bean

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bartlett, TN
    :lurk

    Hope you had some good rain gear on!!!
    #8
  9. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    The route was supposed to turn off this road into Tate's Hell State Forest, but the road connecting
    to Tates Hell is not in garmin maps, so we missed it. I knew it wasn't on the map and tried to find it,
    but failed, When I reviewed the video, I saw it, (camera's got better eyes than I do)

    This is where we should have turned south
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    But I missed it, so we continued on this road to cr67, then headed south to re-enter the route from east side of Tate's Hell
    That was also a failure. We rode about 1 mile in 12 inch deep mud before giving up, doing an
    about-face back to pavement and slabbing it on into Carabelle. (didn't have camera on at this time)

    We filled the bikes and ate lunch in Carabelle before continuing on through the eastern half of
    Tate's Hell.
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    #9
  10. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    This is the map of the next section
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    The riding in this section was really easy, except for not knowing how deep the water is going to be
    in the next pond we cross

    These vidcaps tell the story better than I can...
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    Except for a few small holes, the deepest water we've crossed so far is only 12-14 inches deep.
    The small holes weren't a problem either, since both wheels weren't in them at the same time
    Front wheel was out of hole before back wheel dropped in.
    #10
  11. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    This is a Spring we stopped at on Old Plank Road south of Tallahassee. I looked it up on the internet, and it is called a “Spring”, but I've never seen a spring with black water coming out of it.
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    continuing on, we're somewhere East of Tallahassee and south of I-10.
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    There's water as far as I can see out into the woods
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    Here's an unusual site. Cattle gaps on a county maintained road.
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    #11
  12. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Photos tell the whole story
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    #12
  13. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Now we're on north side of I-10 and out of the really wet stuff
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    Great scenery and beautiful country, but it's getting late. We have been riding over 12 hrs and tired,

    so we leave the route and find a motel about 6 miles off the route near Lake Park GA.
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    #13
  14. toolguy1

    toolguy1 Adventurer

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    Heart o' Dixie
    :lurk :clap
    #14
  15. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Next morning, back on route for a few more miles of good scenery
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    Now, we're on a road named NE 38th Drive. I thought we had been through some tough stuff, but it's like the old saying “You ain't seen nuthing yet”
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    Looks like a typical Florida sand road don't it.


    This is the most deceiving road I ever got on. Every time I relaxed my grip on the bars, I'd lose the front end,
    so, for what seemed like a couple hundred miles, I was hanging on, and even that wasn't enough a couple of times.
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    #15
  16. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    These next 4 shots are less than 2 seconds from beginning to end
    I lost it, saved it, lost it, saved it, but the last save was in the ditch..
    Guess you can't call anything a save when it ends up on the ground..
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    Think I'll just lay here and rest a couple minutes..

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    I lost it again about a mile later, but didn't get any shots of that one. I couldn't even blame it on the ditch the 2nd time. It all happened in the middle of the road.
    I had been dreading the deep sugar sand on some of these roads, but believe me, sugar sand is a walk in the park compared to this stuff.
    #16
  17. FAW3

    FAW3 Old wanderer

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    No.VA.
    Nice report - Thanks!

    You never know what you will see while riding...I found a neat metorite once while laying on my side under my KLR.
    #17
  18. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    Now we're in the Osceola NF on NF road 234 which is just north of I-10 and about 15 miles east of I-75.
    Grass gets slick too
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    Turning onto Molino rd
    Now it starts getting' really good
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    Looks like it had been closed, but someone moved the barracade

    Then a little further down
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    Probably another washed out culvert

    Yep, this could be why it's closed
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    It just keeps getting better and better
    Now we're on NE Gum Swamp Road
    I renamed this road.but there's too many 4 letter words to print
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    When we started this road, we saw lots of bike tracks, but they're getting fewer and fewer
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    This is probably why the road is closed

    We discussed turning around, just in case the other bikers knew what they were doing, but we didn't want to ride back thru what we had come thru, so,,,
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    This ain't gonna be good!!!!
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    Larry, who is usually the cautious one, comes barreling thru....
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    I couldn't even walk thru it. Try to pick up your foot to take a step and it won't come out of the MUCK
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    but back to Larry
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    It was lots of fun getting that bike out. He had to dig down to find the shifter to put it in neutral.

    Now my turn, I ain't going where he went. I finally got my bike into the rut and made it thru.
    Notice how he's standing by to help me if I get stuck.
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    After resting a few minutes, we continue
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    #18
  19. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    If there's anything good to say about Florida Mud,
    it's that 1 trip thru 12" deep water cleans the bike up just fine
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    #19
  20. John65

    John65 D Ol Man

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    After a few more miles of that road, we get back to some easy ridin'
    hard packed with standing water
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    We finally get thru all these ponds, and while sittin' still looking on GPS for a place to rest and get some food
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    And Larry says he's not tired!!
    #20