2020 Retirement and the TAT Trip

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

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Great updates @T3/T4 Hybrid! Man, the pictures of the scenery and passes are awesome. The ice pellets hitting your tent - caused by a passing storm that cleared out pretty quickly? I know the mountains create their own weather pattern - is that typical for the Rockies in June (that you know)? Did everything get soaked when that rolled through, or was it just some hail type stuff that hit but didn't drench?

    I know other reports of folks riding the passes mention a ton of traffic going up and down - did you encounter that? Any issue getting around or past folks who were going slower? I know the Jeep crowd is generally pretty cool about that, but it's not always the case with other folks out enjoying it.

    Supposed to get rain the next 7 days here and it's been raining non-stop since yesterday afternoon...seeing these pics and reading your report is such a nice break from all that damn gloom...lol.
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  2. BigStu

    BigStu Been here awhile

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    Brookhaven MS
    The camera will lie to you about how steep a trail is, that's one reason I like to hear the motorcycle in the video. On a steep trail you can hear the motor lugging and get a better appreciation of the terrain.
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  3. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    It was quick passing and didn't leave any evidence the following morning. I was camping out in the Rocky Mountain National Forest 20 years ago also in June but after we left from our backpacking spot it dropped a foot of snow the following day. I was staying in Denver CO with a friend but we only had heavy rain. The weather can be unpredictable in those mountain passes.

    We had some traffic from a few Jeeps and Pickup Trucks but we saw more of the side by side ATVs than anything else. In Lake City and Silverton there are a lot of rental companies for those machines. Almost everyone we ran into were very respectful towards each other. There is a video of a Jeep crashing off of Black Bear Pass a few months after we passed through so anytime you are in that type of area always keep your head on a swivel.

    https://www.motor1.com/news/450412/jeep-wrangler-rolls-black-bear-pass/


    I'm really glad the report is helping with that gloomy weather pattern.
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  4. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
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    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Wednesday, July 1st 2020


    We got up this morning feeling rested and thought while we were actually in a town it would be nice to have a warm breakfast along with some real coffee. We walked through the main drag of Silverton and found the Coffee Bear Restaurant in the W.C Rogers building. After ordering our food at the counter we found out it had a roof top dinning area so we climbed up the stairs and enjoyed our breakfast there. I haven't found a bad view in Colorado yet! While in town the evening before I picked up a few items for the family back home in NC. I went by the local post office and mailed the items back instead of carrying it with me. The XR was already heavily loaded and I didn't want to add anything else to it. We left town around 9:30 AM.
    pict.jpg

    It wasn't long before we were back on the dirt roads and ascending Ophir Pass. The views were outstanding like the day before. Once we reached the summit of the pass the elevation was 11789 FT. We met a few gentleman from Utah who were riding part of the TAT from a West to East direction. They were only riding to the New Mexico boarder with Colorado. They warned us about how slippery the road was ahead due to the rocks. There was an avalanche at some time recently and the repair crew cut away a new road for the mountain pass and used the same rocks from the hillside. One of the riders was on a Royal Enfield Himalayan and he told us that his center stand had gotten caught on the rocks at one point. We proceeded with caution and found that those guys were not exaggerating. The rocks were loose and would shift around easily with the motors weight. I kept my man card in the back pocket for this area and stayed very close to the inside edge of the road. Good news we all three made it through without any real problems.

    Pict2.jpg pict3.jpg Pict1.jpg

    After the pass we made it into the actual town of Ophir which didn't have that tourist trap feel. There were a lot of signs posted for ATVs and the side by sides were not allowed on the city streets. I guess they wanted to keep that small community image. We ran across a couple kids with a lemonade stand so a stop was in order to help the young entrepreneurs. :) We made good time on the dirt roads all the way up to Groundhog Lake. We had given this location as a possible camping spot the day before but we couldn't have reached it before night fall. One issue we ran into through most of the trip was determining how far we could travel per day on the maps. With the constant changing road conditions it was real pain. We got into a good routine at about 3 PM each day we started looking at the GPS or maps on our phones to find our stopping location for the evening. It wasn't perfect but it was flexible.

    After leaving the Groundhog Lake area the mountain range landscape changed over to a more high desert look. It wasn't long before we were crossing the state line entering Utah. We picked up some needed supplies in the town of Monticello UT and online searched for a camping site. We located the Dalton Springs Campground just a few miles outside of town in the Manti-Lasal NF which had plenty of spots available. The camp hosts were very friendly and when they found out how far we had been traveling for our trip offered us some free fire wood. We didn't say no and for only the second time on our trip we had a campfire for the night.

    In all we had traveled 150 miles for the day.

    pict5.jpg pict15.jpg pict6.jpg pict16.jpg pict10.jpg


    Video Link to us on Ophir Pass.

  5. Ohiodeere

    Ohiodeere Adventurer

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    NorthWest Ohio
    Enjoying these reports. Great trip!
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  6. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area

    A few questions....

    Are all the Colorado passes on Sam's route that you were using? Or did you add some in? So far I think you've done, Marshall, Cinnamon, and now Ophir. I've read a few TAT RR, some with Sam's, some with Kevin's, and I'm curious if both included the same passes, or if folks add passes.

    Looks like you're using Klim jacket and pants...which model? What boots did you use?

    Thanks for taking the time to create this.
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  7. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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

    All of the Colorado Pass we traveled were on Sam's route and that is the route we stuck pretty close to. We did make a few deviations here and there. JW had Kevin's route which had a few more of the Colorado passes on it. JW did mention that some of the Eastern parts were out of date and he found some closed roads.

    The jacket I am using is an Alpinestar Cape Town Drystar Air Jacket. I have taken the standard elbow protection out and upgraded it with Alpinestar's Sequence elbow protectors. This is a personal choice due to a bad elbow injury I suffered from a previous motorcycle crash. The pants are the previous style Klim Tranverse and get two thumbs up from me. The boots are Forma Adventure Boots which has performed well for a middle of the pack boot. Helmet is the Scorpion EXO Modular.

    I'm glad you are enjoying the report. It's therapy for me while waiting for the next riding adventure.
  8. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
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    677
    Thanks for keeping the RR going. It's therapeutic for me to read.
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  9. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
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    Lake Norman
    Some additional photos
    83050F15-7533-444F-A353-24D467666490.jpeg 04EF9584-F3D1-4B61-85AD-BFBA95A8938B.jpeg DE18C9D6-647A-4261-8BD1-E0B894D6069E.jpeg A3F751FE-0A1F-4BC1-BC2A-E3422C93546D.jpeg AD1A9C2C-F70D-4C05-BFD9-59778677BC04.jpeg 92012640-39D7-4731-8C1E-043120771347.jpeg 021A7E86-A866-4682-B0B6-94F9AF7F0896.jpeg 0A25AAA0-1603-46FF-8839-7E49FA3C1194.jpeg
  10. Bill Dirt

    Bill Dirt Trooper

    Joined:
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    Florida
    Too bad you skipped 3 Step Hideaway in La Sal, pretty much a must stop destination if your in the area. Great report, makes me want to ride the TAT again.
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  11. mjurchak

    mjurchak n00b Supporter

    Joined:
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    SE MA
    Great RR. Thanks for all of the pics, vids and color commentary. I've had enough of Covid self quarantining (and work) and am planning on riding the TAT June/July 2021 solo. Based on your experiences, it seems like there's a lot of people riding the CO passes so if I need assistance I wouldn't have to wait long, correct? I also plan on carrying a Spot locator as the ultimate contingency. Looking forward to the rest of your RR.
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  12. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info! For the Forma boots, did you go with the low or regular version?
  13. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)

    There were a good amount of people in Colorado but when we were in Utah not nearly as much.

    I carried a SPOT also with us just in case. It's good insurance.


    Walter the Forma boots were the regular version.
  14. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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

    I have another friend that is retiring in the three years and he wants me to ride the TAT with him so I will add it onto our route.

    Thanks for the information.
  15. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    708
    Location:
    Eastern Vermont
    Great shots of the big XR in it's natural habitat in the mountains. Loving the RR and good to see another well-sorted XR tackle the TAT.
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Excellent @T3/T4 Hybrid! Enjoyed the video of you thumping up Ophir pass; every time I see one of the CO passes like that, I want to get there and capture aerial footage of riding up or down. I know pictures don't do it justice, but really like what you captured - stating that it's magnificent doesn't seem enough.

    Totally unrelated, but have wondered about your screen name. Tell me to piss off if it's none of my business, wondering if it's a back injury or possibly something else.

    @eb1562 - like the pics you captured too man. Really cool you guys stopped to be patrons of that girl's lemonade stand - that type of behavior sets good karma for the rest of us riders.

    Have been running the Forma boots for the last several years - they've been great boots. A bit on the hot side when the weather's warm, but the only time they've let water in is when I went for a swim with my WR during a failed crossing a couple years ago...lol.

    Appreciate the report continuing fellas, look forward to seeing updates each time I check the forum.
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  17. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

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

    I'm glad to see that your Forma Boots are doing well like mine. The only time mine have gotten wet inside like yours is when water has gone over the top.

    As for my sign in it's from a different time in life when I use to dabble with older Mopar turbo cars. The T3/T4 Hybrid Turbo was my favorite!

    Attached Files:

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  18. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Thursday, July 2nd 2020


    We were up early this morning and was able to get the campsite broken down and packed away pretty quickly. This day was number 21 for us being on the road away from NC. Before leaving town we stopped in at a Subway/Gas Station combo for a quick breakfast plus some drinks to put on the bikes for later in the day. Sam's route had us turning back east of HWY-191 and we could see the Colorado Rocky Mountains off in the distance. I wish we would have stopped in the 3 Step Hideaway for a quick look now that Bill-Dirt had me look it up on Google. I will stop in there the next time! We continued traveling North and it wasn't to long before we entered into the Mant-La Sal NF and crossing over the Geysler Mountain Pass at a height of 10,500 FT it was a welcomed surprise. Another great spot with wonderful views.

    Pict.jpg pict3.jpg pict4.jpg

    Once we descended out of the mountain pass we entered into the desert area traveling towards the city of Moab. We had to make an unexpecting stop when JW picked up a large nail in the rear tire of his DR so we helped him get the tube replaced out. This was the first time we had real tire troubles on the trip. It amazes me how a nail of that size can find its way into a small motorcycle tire.

    pict2.jpg

    Sorry selfless shot of the XR.
    Pict1.jpg

    The ride through the desert was a first for me and the views were stunning. Before entering MOAB we stopped for a few minutes to take in the views.
    pict5.jpg pict6.jpg pict12.jpg pict7.jpg


    We were looking on the GPS and noticed that Moab had a few motorcycle shops so we were in luck for JW to find another inner tube for his DR. That nail had ripped the tube badly so it couldn't be repaired and he needed a replacement. Plus Evan Yonkers was in Moab with his broken down DRZ-400. He was having electrical issues and was there waiting for more parts to arrive. Evan had made a trip to Rocky Mountain ATV Sales in Payson, UT getting parts for his DRZ and while there he had also picked up JW a set of soft panniers. JW had had enough with the hard panniers on his DR so he was going to change it out this evening. With everything going on we decided to look for a place to set up camp. I made a telephone call to Moab RV Park which was close to our TAT Route and spoke with the office person. The campground had open tent camping spaces so we were in luck. When the office person found out we were on motorcycles they warned me that the camping area was gravel which made me laugh. She told me later this was for the Harley Riders because in the past they had quite a few complain. Once we set up camp Eric and I decided to stay at the campground ordering a pizza along with enjoying a few adult beverages which were for sale at the RV Office. JW instead went and had dinner with Evan. The campground had a lot of good amenities but had one negative; road noise! I had to sleep with ear plugs to shut out the noise. Just a warning if anyone else decides to stay there.
    pict10.jpg
  19. eb1562

    eb1562 Lone Wolf

    Joined:
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    Lake Norman
    Some related pics
    4A93CAC5-9D77-4233-909B-B3505F4F30D5.jpeg D90801EA-7399-4897-B7B7-ABB89D79D95B.jpeg AF323661-1F6F-46C2-83F5-9A09A8D56988.jpeg 70CFFA49-CC4D-4964-9A80-ED836BE8A511.jpeg BFDA877D-06E4-4F3E-90F4-243DA8BE2EBB.jpeg 3F0AA7C3-C8C2-42A3-9220-513995865A90.jpeg 7069458D-24D5-4F20-AC8C-1484821FBBA1.jpeg A977FB7F-CB67-401A-A240-2BDBB3F59D60.jpeg
  20. Motochimp

    Motochimp Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Bend OR
    Great points! thanks again, I'll keep you updated on my adventure!
    Good stuff, thanks for taking the time. I'll keep you all in the loop as I go.
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