Big Bike Solo on the Trans-Am Trail (TN-MS-AR-OK-NM)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    This is another great writeup about a great ride, Cannonshot. Your experience with people lines up with what I've found, that 99% of the people you meet (outside of urban areas) are kind, patient, helpful, and so on. It's a good thing Henry was there when you got your ankle caught under the bike. I'm sure you would have gotten out but it may have been quite an ordeal.

    I especially appreciate the detail you put into the report. Because of that, I was able to recognize a road you were on west of Highway 23 in Arkansas, roughly southwest of the village of St. Paul. I didn't realize we were on part of the TAT there...I'll have to check my pictures of that rest stop made out of stone to verify the location.

    Thanks again.:D
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Hi Steve! Good to hear from you. Wish we could have hooked up for a day down in Tennessee.

    Man, you guys hit that mud when it was a slurry. I only had a little greasy top layer stuff. Nonetheless, it was enough to turn me around (after multiple spills to convince me). Thanks for posting the pics - it is a better illustration of what that special kind of mud can be like than what I had.

    We need to talk more about finishing this thing off, with the right folks it could be a great trip. (We would need to work out a few transportation issues though.)

    See you sometime soon I hope.

    By the way, I sent Henry a CD with this thread on it along with a letter that highlights how people expressed their appreciation and respect for his willingness to be a helpful friend to a passing traveler. I'm sure I'll hear something from him and when I do I'll share it here.
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The experience I had with people along the way (from motel clerks, park rangers, gas station attendees, restaurant workers, and the many others I had a chance to meet) was that they probably thought I was doing something interesting in less than comfortable circumstances - usually just based on the appearance of me and the loaded bike. People would ask where I was from, remark that I was a long way from home, and then would go out of their way to do a little something to help things along. I guess they did what most everyone around here would do: make you feel welcome, share some helpful information, and give you a boost if you needed it. Made me feel good to realize how common it is for people to do good things instead of thinking about the awful exceptions.
  4. IXmas

    IXmas Adventurer

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    Hey Cannonshot, sounds like that trip had an enjoyable and enlightening trip. I stumbled upon this forum and thread just in time, I have been agonizing over what kind of bike to do some traveling on.. You sure put some hard miles on your bike, aside from some of the cosmetic faults how well did your DL1000 hold up?
    ...And to all those who help others who are in need, thank you. Even a little help can mean a lot.

    IChristmas

    EMT/SRT-1
  5. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Hey guy
    'Glad to see you did the trip just fine. And on that DLK. Heck I turned about on a loaded out DR350SE because of mud in Central Arkansas.
    That Oark store is something else huh? I remember the first time I ran across it hunting camping spots on my '95 R11GSA. Just had one long table and hot bisquits with gravey. One of the guys at the table used to work CCC building the campsites about that area so a very good map was drawn.
    Thanks for a great ride report and pics to enhance it.
    Andy > 85 miles south of the Louisiana coast ;-)..
  6. sallydog

    sallydog https://sallydog.smugmug.com/Pets/LD-Travel/

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    hey cannonshot. what time of the year did you start your trip?
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I left Wisconsin on 19 Apr 07.
    It was still a little cold at times throughout the trip.
  8. sallydog

    sallydog https://sallydog.smugmug.com/Pets/LD-Travel/

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    i was thinking of leaving in the begining of april. would you recomend bringing cold weather gear. i guess you wouldn't really need it untill you got west in the big altitudes. i cant wait to get this put together. any advice on gear or such is appreciated. i have a klr 650. do you think my wolfman soft saddlebags would survive?
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Better take a close look at climate data for early April for this route. If I had left two weeks earlier last year, I would have had some significant weather difficulty. Of course, it is always hard to predict what the weather might be . . .

    For sure bring cold weather gear. Obviously wind chill is a big factor when you are riding all day when it is cool. It was in the 40s in TN and much colder in western OK, NM, and CO when I went through. I also had some weather in the 70s, but it seems I was bundled up most of the trip.
  10. Secrest302

    Secrest302 Let's ride!

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    Hey Cannonshot,
    I grew up in Waynoka, OK. The little town you passed through with the rattlesanke hunt. Boy those photos sure made me proud. My parents still live there and I get back there once a year. I live in Colorado now. The train station was one of the early Harvey Houses that was set up for Charles Lindburg's TAT air/train trans america connection. It was one of the best in the country in it's heyday. My dad was a welder for the AT&SF railroad and worked out of that depot for over 20 years. I used to go play at those sand dunes outside of town (Little Sahara State Park) when I was a kid. Great memories. Thanks!!!!

    Dano
  11. Go-4-It

    Go-4-It Been here awhile

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    Cannonshot, thanks for sharing the ride & pics. I enjoyed the whole thing in one sitting. I can certainly appreciate your self confidence & skill. God bless! :thumbup

    Go-4-It
    _____________
    Stan
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    No problem at all in TN. It would be a scenic and entertaining ride for both of you! If you get into MS she might have to go around a water crossing but it is no big deal. Enjoy your trip!
  13. Red Zebra

    Red Zebra Signal 3

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    Did the MS portion this past fall in a truck. Here's our drive report:
    http://www.4wdtrips.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4830

    As Cannonshot said...may need to detour a water crossing or two....see what we did!

    The TN portion is a nice drive but mostly hard top. You shouldn't have any problems.

    BTW Cannonshot...enjoyed the report!!!!!!!! That slop in MS and AR was like being on roller skates...no doubt you had your hands full with the big pig!!
  14. Solo Gato

    Solo Gato long in the tooth Supporter

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  15. Mika Meyer

    Mika Meyer V-Strom gives you wiiings

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    Thanks Cannonshot for a fine report! Now you've got me thinking. Reverse TAT from here in Colorado to Oark, Arkansas, then a short link to Slapfest 08!! How can I not? Let the planning commence.
    Again, thanks :D
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    When you get to Arkansas, you might want to include a few other roads on your trip. Hwy 103 going south near Oark is a worthwhile detour. Also consider riding Hwy 7 (Scenic 7) when you turn back north. I'm sure that there are some folks here that have better insight than I do that could steer you onto some great Ouachita roads that you would really enjoy on your V-Strom. See you at SLAP!
  17. JBA111

    JBA111 n00b

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    Man I sure enjoyed reading this. I was wondering if you thought the lighter 650strom would be easier handling than the KStrom you rode? Or did the extra power and weight of the Kstrom work better?
    Thanks again JB
  18. KawDlr

    KawDlr Kawasaki GURU

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    I am planing on leaving Jellico Late June early July 2008 depending on Western thaw. There is two of us going to attempt to cover the entire trip to Port Orford OR. We are leaving out on specially prepared 2008 Kawasaki KLX450R's equipped with the necessary road legal goodies along with Hennessy Hammocks (lightest, tent camping at its finest), and the bare essentials to get us by. WE are not taking everything including the kitchen sink, just enough to travel and cover minor repairs(tubes, and the like). I have spent several days programing the entire Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and portions of the Oklahoma trail that have GPS cords. I will attempt to track draw the remaining with Mapsource described earlier in this thread. We are hopping to travel light and get the most out of the off road riding with machines that lean more towards real off road than good dual sports. I hope that we will be able to make good time like cannonshots so that we will be afforded extra time out west to take several side trips. We plan to disappear from our jobs for no less than 35 days with hopes of making it to the Rockies with good time to spare and lots of riding to be had.
    If you happen to be out on the trail or your planning to be out in the area of the TAT during those times, and you see a couple of Green Machines blazing the trail, throw up a hand, ride along side, or just let someone know you saw us, so if we fail to return to our jobs for better or worse, there will be accountability.
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I think there is only about 30 lbs difference between the two models. The problem for me was that I had the panniers on and that I had a bunch of gear with me making the bike heavy to pick up. The top box was probably the worst negative influence when it came to picking up the bike.

    I went with the DL1000 because I am a big guy and I figured I would have a significant load on the bike from time to time between me and the gear. The 1000 pulls that along effortlessly. As long as you are moving, there probably isn't much handling difference between the two models.
  20. stinkfinger

    stinkfinger Chickenfat dirtbiker

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    I am at about the middle of the Ms TAT, if ya run into any probs in Ms,
    dont hesitate to contact me. I have tools,torche,welder,stands,
    and a heap of leftover parts to do some Mcguyver'n.:evil

    Tony