2020 Retirement and the TAT Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by T3/T4 Hybrid, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Looking back on 2020, I thought about sharing something positive which happened this summer with my little group.

    Giving some background on our group. On Jan 1st of 2020 myself and Eric finished our 30 year careers in Law Enforcement. Eric is a former Command Staff member of our Department and myself, I was a property crimes Detective along with being a Motors Officer at one time. For 5 plus years I was paid to ride a DRZ-400 :). We started talking about the TAT a couple years before retirement and decided that we both needed a long motorcycle trip like this to unwind. We talked with a few friends in our riding group so Mike, who is a former Honda Motorcycle mechanic and service manager, was in for the trip. With life's obligations he would only be able to ride the first half of the TAT.

    All three of us have different bikes and setups.

    The sponsor "John" has a 2015 Honda XR650L with a few modifications. I used Mosko Moto Reckless 80L luggage. I have had this luggage for a few years and it has worked flawlessly. I did use a larger top bag from Dry Spec.
    Eric has a Husqvarna TE610, I cant remember if it's a 05 or 06 year. He used the new Mosko Moto Reckless 80L Revolver luggage.
    Mike has a Honda CB500X with a Rally Raid stage 3 kit. He had the SW Motech luggage racks along with Nelson-Rigg Deluxe Adventure bags.

    I carried the following items on my XR.

    Two changes of clothing to go with the one pair which I was wearing. All clothing was of wicking material which did not have any cotton. Bogi wash cloth and towel.
    Marmot 45 degree sleeping bag, Nemo Astro XL sleeping pad, sleeping bag liner along with an inflatable pillow.
    Kelty Salida 2 person tent with a double vestibule. I used a floor liner for the tents floor protection. I feel with us camping 3 of the 4 weeks it was a good call.
    Cooking kit was contained in a Kelty mid size cache box. MSR stove, Camp soap, lighter, long spoon and normal spork, towel, fire starter, collapsible cup, titanium cup and coffee!
    I know these items were a luxury but the fold up chair, chromebook, and solar powered portible charger were nice to have.
    I had a first aid kit along with an active SPOT membership.
    I carried a tool kit incase any repairs were needed. (Sockets, wrenches, plyers screwdrivers, loctite, gorilla super glue, electrical tape, sandpaper, oil change kit, air filter cleaning and filter oil.) I also carried a tire repair kit along with a high pressure hand pump.

    Reading all of the trips people have made on AdvRidider I was hoping to be prepared for most possible break downs.

    Navigation was using OsmAnd App on two Kyocera Duraforce Pro waterproof cellphones.

    Here are some of the prep trip pictures. Tomorrow I will post more on our beginning. If things go well I should be able to post daily.
    Prep.jpg prep7.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. BigStu

    BigStu Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2020
    Oddometer:
    105
    Location:
    Brookhaven MS
    Ok, waiting for the next installment. Hope you have lots of trip pics.
    #2
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  3. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Florida
    Love the TAT, I did it in 2018 solo. Thanks for your service, 8-10 more years for me.
    #3
  4. Yella DR

    Yella DR Let's go! Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    Toronto
    Enjoy the adventure, smell the flowers, you've earned it.
    Looks well prep'd too...
    I retired this past March and had similar plans for a gravel trip, but ummm, perhaps next season.
    Luckily had a 2 week ride down California's west coast in January with my son on some GSs so 2020 does have a highlight for me...
    On the auxiliary lights, they cast great coverage- but I only got a few commuting hours from one of my amber set last year - the warranty expired before I even got them installed. An anomaly I hope....
    Reading many inmates adventures has kept me sane and focused for the past while and look forward to yours.
    Giddy up
    #4
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  5. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Saturday, June 13th 2020

    This was our official starting date. I couldn't believe the journey we were getting ready to embark on after three years of talking, text messages, and emails which the point of departure was here.

    I got up early that morning and said the goodbyes to my family. The biggest reaction to me leaving was from my shepherd. It could tell I was going to be gone for a while and was all over me that morning. Dogs really do have some of the best insights.

    I rode over to Mike's house in Huntersville NC which was our meeting point. The three of us took a photo together. Eric's girlfriend wanted to ride with us to the NC mountains which wasn't any issue. So four dual sports start the long slab ride to Robbinsville NC (258 miles away). We had reservations for Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge. We have stayed here many times for the Eastern V-Strom Rally's along with our previous Western NC trips. The dinner that night along with the breakfast the following morning was spot on.

    Prep8.jpg prep9.jpg prep10.jpg prep11.jpg

    There is always a diverse group of motorcyclist which stay at Iron Horse. We met this couple from Florida which was traveling with a parrot. They had inherited it from a family member and wouldn't leave it home while they traveled. So they trailered their motorcycle and would set up a large tent for themselves along with the parrot. He really seemed to enjoy the attention we were giving it. prep12.jpg
    #5
  6. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Stay Safe!!
    #6
  7. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,609
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Hope to do the TAT after saying goodbye to the daily rat race, look forward to following along for your report @T3/T4 Hybrid!
    #7
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  8. mpusms

    mpusms Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Saint Simons Island GA
    Retired LEO too. IN!
    #8
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  9. Mike1436

    Mike1436 n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    washington state
    I'm hoping to ride the TAT when i retire in 3 years.
    #9
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  10. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    426
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    :lurk
    good times ahead!
    #10
    T3/T4 Hybrid likes this.
  11. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,925
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Following along. I get interested in the TAT, then not so much. Would need to downsize a bike. Retired and planning trips. Thanks for your service.
    #11
  12. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    36
    Location:
    Lake Norman
    Can’t wait to read all about it !!! 64C541B2-FA2B-492C-8A4C-DC640A929CE0.jpeg
    #12
  13. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Sunday, June 14th 2020


    After breakfast along with a few extra cups of coffee we were ready to start on the journey and leave our home state of North Carolina. It was only a short ride to our first section of dirt roads which we call the Dirt Cherohala it runs close to parallel with the Skyway. We exited just north of the Bald River Falls and made a left turn on HWY-165 heading into the small town of Tellico Plains. There we stopped at the Charles Hall Museum to look over the bikes along with the luggage to make sure nothing had come unattached. Everything looked good so we went inside of the gift shop and grabbed a few sodas. The curator who I think was named Grace came outside and talked with us. She gave us the back story about her father who had setup the museum along with some information on the dirt roads we had just ridden on. It was originally a wagon trail to cross over the mountains and have access into the Tellico River basin area. When she asked about our destination and we told her Oregon there was some surprise so we explained the TAT route to her. I found out this was going to be a common chat for the next month. LOL

    It wasn't long before we were back on dirt by of Witt RD. Seeing pictures of this road posted here on AdvRider is what got me interested in the TAT. Plus the endless reading of everyone's ride reports I have been hooked for a while. The road didn't let us down either on enjoyment. The area had a lot of rain over the last week before our trip so all of the water crossings were interesting. Mike had water coming over the windshield of the CB and Eric went down in the last water crossing. Luckily nothing was damaged and there was a good laugh watching Mike's GoPro recording of my lacking of proper dual-sport dismount. I really learned something from this trip if you can't laugh at yourself then this trip might not be for you. I have the video of our water crossing below. It's only about six minutes long, no crazy music or real editing. pict1.jpg pict2.jpg pict7.jpg pict8.jpg pict3.jpg pict5.jpg pict6.png


    Water crossings video.





    We were having a lot of fun until the clouds started to darken up along with having a serious look. A scramble for the rain jackets and coverings on our tank bags were next. I don't know who did the rain dance on us but it lasted for the next few hours and we were all soaked. The light weight ARC Rain Jacket I had packet did not work very well! I would not recommend it! We were on the TN and GA border a few miles from the town of Blue Ridge. Eric has family close to there so he made a telephone call and they told us to come on! It was a great call because it would have been miserable setting up tents in that storm. Mike was able to record some of the rain.



    Only a 180 miles were traveled this day but the fun meter was topped out!
    #13
  14. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,568
    Location:
    Endicott, NY
    In
    #14
  15. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)

    If you see anything that I leave out please add on to it.
    #15
    cidi likes this.
  16. jredford

    jredford Ninja Racer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,503
    Location:
    H town...
    Nice - in.:lurk
    #16
  17. redog1

    redog1 KTM 690R

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,908
    Location:
    Magalia, CA./ Butte & Siskiyou C.
    Nice, rode the western half with a buddy in 2010, he was on a 2010 Husky TE610 I was on a 2009 KLR 650. Fantastic ride. Enjoy. He's now on a KTM 1290r and I'm on a 2014 KTM 690r. I'm in
    #17
    larryboy likes this.
  18. Aces&8s

    Aces&8s Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    North Carolina
    IN!! Always up for a TAT report.
    #18
  19. Podman

    Podman Rocketman Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    564
    Location:
    Dublin, Ohio
    I just love new adventures. Keep it going.
    #19
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,609
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Nice! 180 miles is a good day of riding. Enjoyed the water crossing vid, having taken a plunge myself, I feel for Eric. I did learn a valuable lesson - don't be the last guy of the group to cross as the water's all churned up and you can't see a damn thing. Like a rock in the track that deflects your front and you find yourself cross rutted before capsizing and finding your bike on top of you. All the while your friends are laughing and filming...lol. Damn boots never did dry out on that trip.

    Don't know the TAT tracks that well, but remember reading a report awhile back where the rider started from some beach on the Atlantic. Since NC's already on the coast, did you guys skip that and jump on the tracks heading west where you could pick 'em up?

    Look forward to the next update. Damn, I really need to get out for a ride.
    #20