TransAmerica Trail: West - East

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jbb13, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile

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    Georgia
    The glamorous life of an ADV rider... :-)
    #41
  2. lgb

    lgb lgb

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    Southern California
    What he said... :1drink
    #42
  3. PsammonOfDoubt

    PsammonOfDoubt Adventurer

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    A very good read, great pics
    #43
    i4bikes likes this.
  4. Beardoge

    Beardoge Been here awhile

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    By the twin bridges
    I was thinking of doing this ride west to east back to Michigan but ....... starting to look like it isn't worth doing
    #44
  5. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Why? seems his issues are GPSkevins tracks. Nothing more. :dunno:dunno
    #45
  6. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

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    Following...
    #46
  7. DooSki

    DooSki Adventurer

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    New Brunswick, CAN
    Well, sometimes adventure riding isn't for everybody.

    Otherwise, great report so far!
    #47
    Yinzer Moto and i4bikes like this.
  8. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Been here awhile

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    N California
    N :beer
    #48
  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    :lurk
    #49
  10. jbb13

    jbb13 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Joined:
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    Pittsburgh, PA
    Day 7: Fields to Battle Mountain


    I actually got up early for once. It was going to be a big day; I needed to do 230 miles of trail, two legs, to get down to Battle Mountain, NV. The first leg was 82 miles to McDermitt, NV where I would fill up, followed by the larger 149 mile leg down to Battle Mountain, NV.

    I once again decided to change in the porta-crapper and use the facility while I was in there. I will say, the 8 remaining squares of paper did have me a tad worried… but it was all good.

    After that the morning went flawlessly. On the road by 7:45 am and rolled into the gas station in McDermitt by 10:15.

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    I ran into this guy riding the TAT on a 70’s Honda CL350 in McDermitt. While I’d slept in a parking lot in Fields after hearing how terrible the motel in McDermitt was said to be; he’d just stayed there and confirmed it. If I recall, I believe he said he’d pitched his tent in the middle of the room… He asked me who’s tracks I was following; we were both following GPS Kevin’s. He said he’d actually met Kevin back in Sargents, CO; sitting at the head of a table of advriders, wearing his “Official TAT Route Inspector” shirt. For the sake of not sounding like a complete a-hole in this RR I'm going to give you the high level version of our discussion, which lasted about 45 minutes. Basically, he shared his interaction with him, he’d posed several questions about the tracks and he also shared Kevin’s reply; which he said left him dumbfounded. I laughed and rolled my eyes; we painted a picture of what lay ahead for each of us and wished each other luck. Neither of us thought it sounded promising and we both left feeling less than optimistic.

    I didn’t grab my own pic during our encounter; but I wanted to include one because the dude was awesome. I lifted this off of a RR by a group that met him few weeks prior to our encounter back in Colorado. Apologies for copying the pic…hit me up if you want it removed from this RR.


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    I headed off down the road a few miles before making another random left into the desert; again winding past the same scenery I’d seen the last couple of days. The trail ultimately dumped out into a ghost town.

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    I rode out of the town and met back up with the trail, where the tracks decided to get messy again. Weird turns, dead ends; you know, the usual.

    Here’s one of the major problems with this. The track would make a 45 degree left hander off the main dirt road and into open country. Usually this isn’t an issue except, many of these areas had signs prohibiting cross country travel because of the significant fire risk. My bike has a spark arrestor in the exhaust but I’m not particularly keen on potentially causing a wildfire. I decided to stick to the existing trail and just try to work my way back to the track when I could. Over the last week I had seen the damage of such fires and I didn’t want to chance it.

    These reroutes continued to happen all afternoon. A turn into no man’s land, a 3-mile work around; another turn into the bush, this time a 10-mile work around, followed by another and on and on and on. Finally, I dumped out onto a paved road but I wasn’t on it long. It took a turn back off-road shortly there after.

    I got about 1/2 mile down the track and a guy pulled up on a brand new Honda Africa Twin. They’d just released these in the USA the past summer (2016); the bike was spectacular.

    He was from New Zealand and had bought the bike from a dealer in North Carolina June 1st. He’d been sort of been riding the TAT ever since with his wife 2-up; except they’d taken a “small” detour up to Alaska in the middle. He’d left her in Boise, Idaho with friends while he went back down to where they had left the TAT and was trying to finish it before summer was gone. He was actually heading to Boise that day to pick his wife up. He said the road ahead turned to talcum powder again, proceeded to run right into a cow pasture and then through an area that had recently been burned. He’d picked up the Africa Twin no less than 8 times in the section he’d guessed was maybe only 10 miles long.

    I went off down the track and no more that 1/4 mile down the path I was into the talcum powder sand. Miserable, absolutely miserable. The track made its way down a couple mile section of desert then approached a fence. It was difficult to tell from the GPS track which side of the fence I needed to be on, but it looked like I didn’t need to go through the gate. I hung a left and went off into more talcum powder sand, which was twice as deep as before. I got about 100 yards down this track and it became obvious that I was on the wrong side of the gate. I backtracked to the gate, opened it and went through only to ride a mile or so down the track right into a herd of cattle. The sand disappeared and I was now riding through cow shit. There are not many times in life were you wish for the deep sand to return; this is one. I made my way through the herd and then through a puddle; I’ll let your imaginations run wild over what the puddle smelled like. I guarantee you it was worse than what you're thinking…

    I made it through the puddle and sure enough I was headed the wrong way! I turned around, went back through the puddle, back into the cattle herd, made the turn I’d missed and went right through a second unspeakable puddle. Three cow puddles in a row…

    I headed down the track, which was still powdered sand, up over a crest and into the area that had recently been burned. It was a completely different world. I followed that another 5 miles until it dumped me onto another washboard road. The last few hundred yards had some abandoned cars that looked like they didn’t make it out before the fire.

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    I rode the last 30 miles of washboard road into Battle Mountain, NV; major civilization by comparison. I decided to grab a hotel and take the next day off. Time to just relax.

    I stopped at a Royal Inn that was conveniently located next to a pizza place. I ordered a large pepperoni and a six pack of beers. I didn’t bring a bottle opener though…

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    Total mileage: 250ish.

    I think I'll wrap some Christmas presents now. Merry Christmas if that's your thing. If its not, have a happy Monday, hope you at least got the day off.


    ..
    #50
  11. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Been here awhile

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    Dec 10, 2012
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    800
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    N California
    Merry Christmas to you as well!
    #51
  12. WYO George

    WYO George Long timer

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    Good report, I'm in for the remainder.
    #52
  13. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    Great style, jbb13, thinking of doing some variation of this route next year. Really enjoying your report.

    Although I have to say I'm puzzled about changing clothes in a porta potty. Twice! Couldn't pay me to do that. Maybe it was growing up surfing...I'm not worried about changing clothes in public, way more sanitary. :photog
    #53
    AT Blizzard likes this.
  14. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Providence, RI
    You running for office??? Give us the low level version:lol3 I mean, this guy Kevin sounds like a real winner. I'll have his 2016 tracks loaded up running next to Sams this summer, and that's ok since I got them when they were still free, but he's charging people now. He should really be outed.

    Sorry for going off the rails a tad. I'm really enjoying your RR. Thanks for taking the time!
    #54
  15. jbb13

    jbb13 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Joined:
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    In due time my friend, in due time... I've been slowly compiling my notes and thoughts for a nice rant, I mean analysis on these guy's non-sense...I mean routes...
    #55
  16. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

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    I have used Kevin's tracks for the TAT, CDR, and other routes. I found many errors like you have pointed out. I have found similar errors in other people's similar offerings. I think that is part of the adventure. His tracks are worth much more than what I paid for them. Sams routes may be more reliable but I don't like that it caters to larger bikes. I enjoy the red routes on Kevin's maps. If I had paid for Kevin's maps, I may be upset about the unreliable info.
    #56
    disconnected and Fat Chance like this.
  17. AT Blizzard

    AT Blizzard Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
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    Georgia
    I’m grateful for both Sam’s and Kevin’s Tracks.

    Once I started my TransContinental Adventure at Folly Beach (“Edge of America”) near historic Charleston, SC instead of Andrews, Cape Hatteras, or New York City (???) — I pushed aside any notion that these canned routes were sacred.

    I paid for both and they served their purpose — BUT the fact that they aren’t properly certified to be up-to-date or correct are their defects and not that of the ADV Rider.

    However, I didn’t run the TAT to be angry either (that comes naturally), so I “cured” the various defects with a GPS, maps, and decisive action.

    I’ve traveled and navigated on air, land, and sea in many places on the globe. I also tend to be a free-range adventure rider, so I have no problem being decisive and resourceful like the OP. I deal with the frustration by enjoying the freedom of solving the challenges as a committee of one. :D
    #57
    DooSki, BLucare, tbird649 and 3 others like this.
  18. jbb13

    jbb13 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I mean don't get me wrong here, these were more frustrations experienced at time; a year plus on from the trip I look back at it and I'd say I'm grateful for having them. Certainly, parts of a route are going to be a pain in the ass and completely fall apart just when you really need them not to; as its been said, that's part of the adventure. As I've mentioned, most of these were written within a day of them happening so those frustrations were still fresh. It's kind of what's made revisiting them fun but also cringeworthy; that moment before you click "Post Reply" you wonder if you really want to reveal your embarrassing level of inexperience to this community. I've just decided to go with it because I think we've all been there on our first big trip; there's value in learning to deal. Plus I don't really know any of you so it's whatever.

    I'd agree with this. I don't believe any of the available tracks out there are perfect; things change. I hope I'm not putting off the vibe that I actually expected perfection. I haven't pointed out the small things because I don't really see the point. I do think the larger things that you've read and heard from people about the route that seem to come up year over year should be addressed if you're providing an updated version every year. If you're not making an updated GPX file available on your site then there's no expectation. I do also agree the tracks are worth far than what I paid for them.

    Also fun fact, trailer Rails, the bike featured in this RR is the 2002 DR you used to own. The one featured here, in you avatar:

    Screen Shot 2017-12-25 at 8.40.51 PM.png


    I didn't get to anything today and tomorrow looks kind of bad. I'll try and get a few updates on Wednesday.

    ..
    #58
  19. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

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    Good point about that your are quoting directly from the time that it happened and the frustration was fresh. I have been there. You get home and you laugh about the frustration that you had back then. It is what really makes a great story.

    I thought that might be the same bike. @disconnected on here had it before I did.
    #59
    disconnected and jbb13 like this.
  20. Fat Chance

    Fat Chance Adventurer

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    Nov 15, 2016
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    95
    Really enjoying your RR, it is bringing back memories of my western TAT ride this summer.
    #60