Western TAT: 12 dirt naps

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MaverickChick, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    The name is Mav. The experience is limited. And the Bike is a DRZ400 E.

    In August I left for the Western TAT. I was going to go with my Father and some guys we met off the internet. The following will be the story of our journey, presented solely from my perspective.
    #1
  2. kkug

    kkug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Escondido Ca .USA
    :lurk
    #2
  3. SRMN8R

    SRMN8R Down & Out

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,026
    Location:
    Powhatan, VA
    Bring it on!

    :lurk
    #3
  4. one2many

    one2many Ghetto Superstar

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    106
    Location:
    Mississippi
    :lurk
    #4
  5. Mtnjohn

    Mtnjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    786
    Location:
    SW Montana
    Should be fun.
    #5
  6. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,953
    Location:
    Tumalo, Oregon
    Hey - Looking forward to hearing about this one!
    #6
  7. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    My mom and my grandparents were all convinced that this was some idea from my crazy father. But the thing is, I happen to be just as crazy as he is. In fact, I was convinced I was going to make this journey before I had a dirt bike.

    My first dirt bike was a CR85. Not because my dad wanted me to have something small, but because I am vertically challenged. Not a single dirt bike was made with myself in mind. I am going to take these next few lines and talk about how not small that bike was.

    Not only had I never ridden in the dirt. I never had experienced a power band. And let me tell you..that CR hits hard. My first day ever on that beast my dad told me " Whatever you do, don't stall it at the bottom of this little hill."

    Well at least he can't say that I don't listen. I freakin pinned it to win, and well, I high sided. I also learned that my little stunt shouldn't be repeated. After I caught my breath I stood up and smiled, dirt bikes were for me.

    Here is the little red rocket.

    [​IMG]

    After that I transitioned to a KTM 400 EXC. That thing was awesome, and I got some good use out of it. We got rid of it 3 months later because it was due for a rebuild. It was during riding this bike that I found out about my 1st gear problem. I like to start in 2nd...whoops!

    The orange machine at the car wash.

    [​IMG]

    Then came the dark times, I went 6 weeks without riding a dirt bike. I did have a DRZ 400 SM that I rode daily :evil




    [​IMG]


    This thing is AMAZING. And after loving it so much, I chose started to look for a DRZ 400E. After looking and looking we finally came across this bad boy. It already had the Yosh as well as the Kouba links :D


    Don't worry folks, I only got two rides on these tires. I got some more aggressive ones for the TAT :rofl


    And what happened to my SM? Well, lets just say my dad borrowed it...and made some changes!

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Warning: After watching these video's you may question my preparedness to go on the tat :rofl


    <object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3jphd-X4EQ4&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3jphd-X4EQ4&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object>



    <object width="640" height="505"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/l49ArsrzU3U&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/l49ArsrzU3U&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="505"></embed></object>
    #8
  9. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Now that the nitty gritty background info is done with, I can start with the real TAT. Well, Tomorrow is the journey to GET to the start of the TAT. Stay tuned! Many more pictures to come! :D
    #9
  10. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    I would like to point out the very essencial fact that I don't see many dirt bikes driving around from a different state. Maybe this is because they aren't touring bikes...Maybe.

    Before we had started our TAT plans I read up on some peoples RR. They all said that the seat hurt. What a bunch of wussies. I had ridden my DRZ and never had any problems. One day my dad showed up with an ATV pad. It raised the bike a quarter inch it seemed. This tip toe on one foot thing was getting pretty complicated.

    I loaded up all of my gear onto my bike and viola! It was perfect. Well, perfect with the exception that I kinda couldn't get on. So at 5am when we were about to leave I managed to get on via the kickstand. A pure adrenaline rush every time I had to switch to the right foot to put up the kickstand.

    Bret, the guy going with us on his XT225 shows up and we hit the road! But not before my father gives me some advice! Put your jacket on! Whatever, it just going to get hot and I don't want to deal with it.

    We started the climb out of the Salt Lake Valley and BURR! I couldn't feel my hands. At least now I was awake. 60 MPH was a sweet spot, anything above and it was like I was riding on a thumper or something. I missed my SM with its tires and higher gearing!

    We stopped for breakfast and gas. I thought I was bad but Bret was literally shaking from the cold. It took him a good 20 minutes to be able to get back on a go!

    [​IMG]

    Our bikes were only getting about 40 MPG.


    We really should have taken more pictures this day! But I guess we were all just too excited to be getting started!

    Hours and Hours and Hours later we hit the welcome to Colorado sign! And what happens next? We get tracked down by our first ADV guy. Disconnected is rocking his new bike and headed back home :D I was only slightly jealous!

    [​IMG]

    We were supposed to stop in Montrose, But we pressed onwards to Gunnison. I was super excited, this is one of my favorite places in Colorado. Sadly we had no time to raft the Taylor. Which kinda sucked, but after 400 miles I'm pretty sure I would have drown!

    We stayed at the Days Inn, and I managed to get an employee discount. The best thing is I don't work there :D
    #10
  11. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,113
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    This is going to be good.

    Subscribed. :lurk
    #11
  12. windburn

    windburn Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,194
    Location:
    The Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Mav,
    very good, the face plant vidio was fun. Your writing style is good. I'm enjoying your report.
    :clap
    #12
  13. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    34,948
    Location:
    Some of the best roads in the east..
    Good read ...
    Can't wait for more :clap
    :lurk
    #13
  14. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    I wake up to a pillow in the face. I was having the best dream ever, it was that I didnt have to wash my clothes in the sink. Oh, it gets better, I also didnt have to hang them to dry for everyone to see. For the sake of being cheap we were sharing rooms. I wasn't sure how much I liked this yet. On the bright side, to be literal--we got to stuff our loops in the daylight. Hmm someone had wrapped my clean clothes to keep the loop safe....and my clothes dirty. Dads these days :D

    Today we get to meet our riding companions. Was I nervous? Of couse! What fun would the TAT be if I had to spend all my time with jerks. My dad said that they were cool, So I was crossing my fingers. But before I get ahead of myself we still had to drive to meet them. Getting to check out a suspension bridge? Score.

    Fresh and clean mountain air

    [​IMG]


    Taking a break--because just like popular belief touring on dirt bikes freakin sucks. Come on guys, get your heads out of the GPS and phone!

    I was so sick of taking pictures already that out came the faces! I know I didnt take a serious picture unti we hit the ocean.


    [​IMG]

    My dad was telling me about a T shirt shop owned by a fellow ADV'er. We take a pit stop in salida to support.

    [​IMG]

    Not only was Hayduke super awesome, his shop had some amazing T's, and stickers. It did not take me long to find the perfect addition for Sunshine, my yellow DRZ.

    [​IMG]

    Salida was really one of the coolest towns that we got to go through! The downtown was amazing! So of course we gotta show a picture!


    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Do you know what twenty dollars can buy you? Well I can name a couple of things. But at twenty dollars a person we were able to bargain our way into the park. Freakin' 20 bucks to meet the rest of our party at the other side. Well, you can say that it serves us right for falling into a tourist trap. We were running late so we had to bust a move!

    [​IMG]

    The sting of the twenty bucks was instantly lessened when I saw my dad head for a bridge filled with people. The looks on their faces, this was one of the many times that I had wished I had my helmet camera on.

    [​IMG]




    After making our way through the crowd of people, we reach the other side of the park, and what do we see? Our companions for the trip! Well..almost.

    [​IMG]

    Bummer! Where were the guys!? Finally we come across this rather safe looking contraption... And what do we see? Our guys are in line!

    [​IMG]

    You see I am totally okay with flying over my handle bars and taking the risk of possibly breaking my neck. One thing I am not okay with is falling to my death packed in a red sardine can with a million other people...

    [​IMG]

    They must get a lot of loving couples that come through here to visit.

    [​IMG]

    Finally we get out of the box and get a chance to meet our new friends! The day is young, and we still get to meet a crazy man!
    #15
  16. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    When we were staying in Gunnison, we had heard a lot of people talking about a castle built by a single man. I was thinking, yeah sounds pretty cool. But I wasn't super intent on seeing it. Bret however, wanted to see it really bad.

    After we met up with the guys at Royal Gorge, we make the trip on the slab to Trinidad. All of a sudden Bret stops, he was lucky. All I can see is there are a bunch of cars pulled off the side of the road. That's odd, all of these people in the middle of nowhere.

    We had found our way to Bishop Castle. Now I had a general idea that this guys was going to be crazy. I mean he has spent 40 or so years building this castle all by himself. All that rock stacking and time to yourself has got to make him go crazy. And judging by the signs my assumption wasn't that far off.

    [​IMG]

    I guess he has had some problem from the government about him building it and taking the rock from the land.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently he has been harassed to the point where he is really really pissed off. There were several other signs. His crazy ideas were good for one thing. The sheer beauty of Bishop Castle.

    We came out of the tree's and I was finally able to get a good look at the caste. It was much bigger then I thought it was going to be. And I am dead serious when I say that my jaw almost hit the floor.

    [​IMG]

    There is no way that my little camera would be able to capture the sheer size of this place.

    [​IMG]

    I saw people way way up at the top of the castle. Now I am not really a fan of heights, but what the hey. It would make for some really good pictures. And Since Notar was doing GPS stuff, I just had to take some pictures for him.

    The stairs started out fine. Well, as fine as they could be in MX boots.

    [​IMG]

    And then they got really pretty in the main room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But then they started to get really sketchy towards the top...


    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Here are some random shots of my adventures in the castle.

    [​IMG]

    If you go back and look at the picture of the outside, you can tell that I was pretty up there!

    [​IMG]

    These balconies were super sketchy, you could feel the metal giving under your feet! Not very comfortable. But hey, if i did fall I was well prepared! :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The stained glass that had been put up was beautiful. Some people had donated parts and they had been placed in the window.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See look how high that Dragon is that I was above!

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Finally we all start to slowly move towards our bikes. My father and I encounter Jim Bishop, the castle builder. We talk--well it was my dad really, about how cool the castle is. Now, to be fair I do not remember what it was that triggered the switch from how cool the castle was to politics. Well, he had a lot to say ranging from how 9-11 was an inside job, to the cops just randomly coming up and harassing him. I tried to walk away slowly but he just kept ranting on. My father nor myself are very rude people, so it seemed we were stuck. Luckily for us, Ghilly was already at his bike and yelled to my dad that he had a phone call. Phew we were out alive. That is, until Bret decides that he really wants a picture with the crazy. Well, good thing Ghilly was there. And that we get a lot of phone calls...

    The group dynamic obviously hasn't been ironed out yet. We don't know when we stop to take pictures. And obviously there are speed issues, even on the street. We normally drove with Paramedicrogers out front on the road, earning him the nickname of the Pace Car. Well, we finally are getting our grove on, traveling at speeds all of our bikes can live with. And then something hits me in the face. A bug? Eww, I really wish that I would have had my full face for the small parts of slab. But no, that was not a bug...It was a rain drop.

    [​IMG]

    We all pull over and start to break out the rain gear. Digging through my loop I find out something very very bad. I seem to have misplaced my jacket. Looking back, I don't even think that I packed that thing! Oh man. I suck it up and play the hardcore card " The rain will stop soon." Luckily for me -- it did.

    Well after a very long long day we manage to roll into Trinidad. We had reservations at the Super 8, using my employee discount. Apparently, they really needed that extra 30 bucks. They canceled our reservation, and had filled up. What jerks, not even a call to us. It's not like I hadn't pre-paid with my credit card or anything. The guy said that we could come back for breakfast the next morning because of the mistake. Yeah, that apologetic act really made me feel better.

    Luckily for us we found our way to the Trails End. My dad was saying that a lot of TAT people stay here. I really hate to stereotype, but all those bikers on harleys were making me nervous. One of them wanted to race the person in our group with the fastest bike. Well, this is one of those times that I am glad I have brain mouth control.



    [​IMG]

    Our tires were getting killed on the asphalt, KTM Ben and XT225 Bret were going to do some tire switching. This is when I seriously confirmed my suspicion that the Kentucky boys were comedians.

    [​IMG]


    Now when I found out that the group needed some tires changed I was worried. My dad is pretty hardcore, so much so in fact that he used to paraglide. Well, there was a little incident in which he fell from the sky and kinda broke his back. Changing tires straight up kills him. Making it really hard for him to walk the next day. So I told him, Dad you can let them change their own tires, just show them how and give them advice. But don't do it.

    Well I was first to shower so I go and leave the boys to wrench. When I come out of the hotel I see what I knew was going to happen and I am not pleased...

    [​IMG]

    The Harley guys were drunk as skunks, but were helping with the tire change. My dad got up after he was done, looking stiff as ever. KTM Ben looks at him and says

    " Do you have back problems?"

    And my poppa being oh so clever at deflecting responds

    "Now I do.."

    Guys being macho, well I can tell you one thing. My dad did pay for his good service in the morning.

    Now that we were done getting all the tires ready, it was time for dinner. The awesome steak house that ghilly talked about was closed. So we find ourselves a diner within walking distance.

    [​IMG]



    Grilled cheese beats steak any day. :D


    Our rooms were pretty cool, with the exception of smelling like a freshly made hamster cage. The owners were super nice. And the room was dirt cheap. No bugs or rats to report. A lot of people stay here for a reason.

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Hang in there folks! All the posts from here on out are sheer TAT goodness :D
    #19
  20. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    470
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    We woke up, and I was awake as I had ever been. For what reason? Today was our first day on the official TAT. I love riding on the street, but in the dirt. I love that you don't have to worry about a car slamming into you. And there are no speed limits on dirt roads :evil But for the most part I just love the seclusion. The smell of the tree's as you whip past them. And of course there is the element of danger, and the pride that comes with a recovery. Yes, today was going to be awesome.

    We had planned to start that morning bright and early. Well, we found out that some people had different definitions of out by 7...The Kentucky boys were freezing that morning.


    [​IMG]


    Hang in there guys! It will warm up.

    And then of course I had to get the cool shots of my bike. We were going to get some helmet camera time in! :clap

    [​IMG]

    And then this seemingly innocent picture becomes very important to my story, later on in this post. Here is my giant loop, which has been awesome so far. I can't even tell that I have bags.

    [​IMG]

    Finally everyoneis ready, and I can stop taking random pictures. My dad had spent forever researching the TAT. He said that today would be a pretty easy day. I know that I should take advantage of it, because tomorrow were the long dreaded passes.

    It wasnt long that after we hit the dirt that two groups were established. I like to call them group A and group B. I was pretty pissed. Yes I have a girl complex. Where I think that everyone in the group thinks that I am the slowest and weakest. Perhaps even that my dad was crazy for taking me.

    So of course I was mad when I was classified as being in the slow group. Fuming in fact. WTF. We liked to take pictures. Mike didnt want to trash his KLR. So freakin what. Besides that, is there really a reason to travel 50 on a dirt road? Whatever so be it.

    My dad knew that I was pissed, so next time we stopped he said I should ride with the A group. Thats me, mav, tearing down one stereotype at a time. I took off like a rocket smiling like a crazy lady.

    As I lay on the ground I thought to myself, when you ride like you have somethting to prove, you always prove their point. I was up in an instant. I had gotten some good distance from my bike, I did a quick body check and I was unharmed. I might have scratched by elbows, but I was fine.

    Bret gets off of his XT and is in full freak out mode! " You passed me doing like 50, what were you thinking? You lost your helmet camera! Are you okay? Oh my gosh,"

    I smiled. Okay, so I hadn't been able to negotiate a loose corner. However, the dirt told my story. I was passing Bret in a corner, because all this road was it seemed were corners. Yes, I could have taken the corner slower, but hey my name is Mav.

    There was a line where I had slipped out my back tire. Success!!:D And then a long drag mark where my peg had hit. And then the imprint of my body, rolling away from my bike. 8 times...I had rolled 8 times. And honestly, I didnt feel a thing. Only later did I find out that I had broken the LCD screen of my camera, and runined a memory card. Walking back to my bike I had also lost my tank bag the one pictured above.

    My giant loop help up like a champ, the fabric still in tact, even as it had slid 30 feet across a dirt road.

    [​IMG]



    My thor compression suit, also held up pretty well. It had certainly done its job. I did manage to put some minor scratches onto it, as well as rip out some of the mesh part around the elbow.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #20