Best Part of the T.A.T.?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by opium89, May 18, 2012.

  1. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    Looking to plan a T.A.T. ride next Spring, come to realize that the entire length would be more vacation than we can afford, so I am going to have narrow it down some. If you've done the trip, please tell me what were your favorite parts and why? I am in Texas, so I am going to have to decide whether we want to go east or west from Oklahoma, and try it narrow it down to about two weeks or so.
    #1
  2. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    wow, thats a tough one. For me being from NJ, it was Okla-Colo-Utah. Huge contrast between each of them and all contrasting against NJ of course. That would be my pic, Okl-Colo-Ut.
    #2
  3. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    I've read alot of ride reports, seems there is good stuff to see both east and west of me. This is going to be tough, then again I would be perfectly happy to do either =) Keep it coming!
    #3
  4. justlookin

    justlookin Been here awhile Supporter

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    Rode it complete, solo in 2010 and if I were only able to choose one half to do over it would be from the Oklahoma/New Mexico border and head west. I loved the colors and scenery the rockies were amazing for a flat lander. I was on a WR250R - bone stock - and Nevada was the toughest part because of the horsepower robbing sand on a horsepower and range limited bike - made it long but enjoyable. In Oregon I saw a big Black Bear and a Elk - it pays to be solo on a quiet bike.

    I know you have heard this advice before but I will repeat because some of it had a large impact on my trip. Be sure your bike is capable of 250 miles - on short sections, if you should miss a gas stop or a long stretch where there is little fuel you don't want to have the constant worry. Stock WRR will not make it without extra fuel across Nevada and there is a long stretch also in Colorado. It would have been nice to only focus on the ride and not constantly worry about fuel.

    I want to go back and explore around Moab. I had intended to do the White Rim trail but a landslide about 3/4 of the way around meant I would have to turn around so I skipped it - really spectacular area. I think there is a entire vacation in this area.

    My background is dirt riding so I loved Black Dragon and Eagle. These are a couple of places you want a light good handling bike - if you are interested there are petroglyphs in the Dragon. Be sure you have plenty of water in these areas because they can be HOT and you will be working pretty hard - but oh so worth it.

    One day I would like to do the western section over and take an entire month to do - slow down and explore .- so much beauty to see. You are in for a hellova ride, good luck.
    #4
    tommybelvedere likes this.
  5. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

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    Colorado!
    It's beautiful and the riding is fantastic.

    [​IMG]


    Utah!
    Also beautiful...

    [​IMG]


    And the riding is also fantastic.

    [​IMG]



    To be fair, we haven't done the eastern part. I'm sure there are good aspects to that section.
    But, the TAT west is amazing.
    (okay, Oregon is less than amazing if you're following the TAT roll charts, but I hear that it's better now)


    We've done the western TAT twice. Would consider it a third time.
    At the very least - colorado (focused on the san juans) and utah (black dragon, eagle canyon, cat canyon).
    Probably nevada, too.

    Edit - uh oh. Just noticed the "SPRING" part. Scratch Colorado (the good stuff won't be open til summer).
    Okay - Utah. Do Utah.
    #5
  6. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    Well, lots of votes for Colorado, I might just have to wait until June. I'll see if I can strech a loop as far as Moab and find a different way back from there. I just bought 2 DR650's for the trip. Their going to need to work, but with the IMS tanks and some suspension upgrades, I do believe they are the right tool for this particular job.

    If you wouldn't mind, I drew up a quick sketch..Maybe you folks wouldn't mind marking some good places to visit in the vicinity of this path? We would head west to Big Bend, North through NM, jog west to Grand Canyon, Northeast to Moab and pick up the TAT East bound from there towards Tulsa, and home. Straight lines are coming out at around 2500 miles. Do-able in two weeks give or take?
    #6
  7. chasbo

    chasbo Long timer Supporter

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    How long would it take to do the entire trail?
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  8. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    Most reports indicate 3 - 4 weeks. That usually includes travel from your starting location, and slabbing it home. Some have done it much quicker, but I imagine the entire thing is just a blur at that point.
    #8
  9. chasbo

    chasbo Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks. I was thinking this would be the perfect ride for me next year. Just starting to do the research. Hope you have a great ride man!
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  10. Tompound

    Tompound M.M.S. Tommy

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    I would have to say from NM to OR, Colorado, and Utah being the highlights of the trip
    but just got the new TN maps, doing it tuesday-?
    #10
  11. nathan8315

    nathan8315 Adventurer

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    I actually just finished the Colorado portion of the TAT 5/16/12 (2 days ago) and where the TAT comes into 149 from the east is closed until May 30. There was a sign on a closed gate and it appeared that May 30 was a permanent date so I would not try before then if you don't want to detour. California Pass has some snow on it still and was the only part with snow (pictured below). I did not do corkscrew, but if next year is anything like this year it will be a very dry ride with little snow until after you get past Animas Forks. California Gulch was the first place with any snow, then California Pass had more.

    [​IMG]

    This is Animas Forks on the 5/16/12. It is a little further then the previous picture looking down on Animas Forks and at the Frisco Mines off in the distance.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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  13. chipbl

    chipbl Been here awhile

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    We did Jellico to Moab in 2010 - if you dropped me off on the trail I would pick OK and go west, no question. Ok maybe the middle of OK, after 350 miles you get the idea. But awesome riding.
    #13
  14. Pomo

    Pomo gonzo

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    I found the eastern part of the TAT to be... maybe not "boring" but "mediocre". To be fair I lived in West Virginia for a long time so the scenery was nothing new to me. The old TN TAT also had a LOT of navigation, 99% of which was paved, which made for a very mind numbing ride. Maybe the revisions Sam made have corrected this, though.

    The other thing that sets the west (OK/CO/UT) apart from the east (TN/MS/AR) is the visibility. In the western states you can see the mountain you're about to climb for so long that by the time you finally get there you almost lose your sense of self as the terrain just swallows you up (figuratively, of course; but watch for sand holes just the same :evil). In the east it can be difficult just figuring out which way is North through the thick of the forest and twisty mountain roads.

    In short: the east is still scenic, but in a less grandiose way than the west is. I can picture parts of the eastern TAT, but for the most part the moments that will make you say "WOW" are few and far between. The western portion will often and repeatedly burn picturesque images into your brain that you will never forget. :deal
    #14
  15. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    Thanks for the input folks! We've pretty much decided it's going to be West this time, starting with Big Bend and making our way West to AZ. I found some maps for the GWT that I can incorporate, should be very exciting. Now I just need to figure out what gear I should plan on bringing. I think I'll start a new thread for that. BTW, please use that map link and pin for me your favorite locations/stops/must-see's. It should be public and editable. Here it is again...
    #15
  16. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Looks like a fun trip. We have done a lot of DS loops in your proposed area south of the TAT mainly out of Albuquerque but also down to about Cloudcroft NM.

    I have posted a lot of tracks on dualsportmaps.com and GPSXchange.com of our trips. They might be helpful in planning the southern portion of your loop.
    #16
  17. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    I've done the TAT twice, along with the CDR and the SOR.

    You could hit Big Bend (been there too!)(1-2 days) then pick up SOR just east of El Paso. Ride that up to Salida, CO (SOR and TAT are the same from NE NM up to Salida)(4 days) then follow the TAT westward to Richfield UT(4 days).

    From there, look at Dr. Rocks tracks down to Flagstaff - he catches the north Rim of the Grand Canyon(3-4 days). From there jog east and catch the CDR in northern NM heading south(2-3 days to I-10 - skip down to the border).

    You'll have some patching together to do, but it will give you a taste of the TAT, CDR, and SOR. It's all good!
    #17
  18. opium89

    opium89 Long timer

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    Thanks folks! Big Bend is definitely on the list, and I will seek out those tracks you mentioned. SOR is a new acronym for me, but I am sure I can figure it out. :D
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  19. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    SOR is Shadow of the Rockies I believe. I think it is another product by Sam Corerro who created the TAT, but may not be complete yet.
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  20. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Sorry, yeah, SOR is Sam's Shadow of the Rockies.

    He's only finished NM and CO, but it's enough in this case.

    The first day in Colorado on the SOR is exactly the same as the TAT... actually, it's the same from Long Canyon in northeast NM all the way to Salida Colorado.

    So, if you need to buy it, only buy the New Mexico section of SOR, and the Colorado and Utah sections of the TAT.
    #20