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. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Unnamed intelligence sources indicate that the WR didn't always cross so smoothly . . .:D

    [​IMG]

    Great picture by the way. I really enjoyed your report when I was doing IPB (intelligence preparation of the battlefield).
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Some folks in Georgia could easily gin up a route to Jellico, follow the TN TAT, and then ride back home for a nice 3-4 day weekend ride. Very worthwhile trip.
  3. R.Markus

    R.Markus Damage Addict

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,289
    Location:
    Northwest, IN
    Yeah, those shallow crossings that look easy will get you.:lol3
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Sometimes those GPSs can help a lot.:D
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    It means a lot to have folks along the route that are part of this community and are willing to help. Thanks for stepping up! (And thanks for the background info! I really like that kind of stuff.)
  6. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,201
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Gidday from Down Under!

    Just wanted to pass on my best wishes for a fabulous ride and a super ride report! Awesome!

    Shaggie :clap :clap :clap
  7. hez

    hez no longer rational

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    Boise
    :lurk

    * * * * * !!!
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Took off early and headed out through the Ozarks. It really wasn't that dark, just a little dim in the forest in the early morning.
    [​IMG]

    Lots of good riding in the area - both on and off pavement.
    [​IMG]

    Rocks often emerge through road surfaces in these hills. Some are flat (and slippery) and some have shelf edges or a more pronounced protrusion. Something to look out for.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nice ride up high.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Nice view from way up on top. You can see a little of the road working its way up there.
    [​IMG]

    Blind corners.
    [​IMG]

    Looking back on a ridge road.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    A featured stop in this area - the Oark General Store.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hardware department.
    [​IMG]

    Dining area.
    [​IMG]

    Menu
    [​IMG]

    Even after a fine meal, there is still more fat to be chewed.
    [​IMG]
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Some Ozark road riding.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This job training center has between 200 and 300 students and teaches hard skills. Not sure, but it might be for at-risk young people.
    [​IMG]

    It is quite a campus with dorms and classrooms, etc.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Back into the woods again.
    [​IMG]

    I had to push this big sumbitch outta the way so I could squeeze through with my panniers. . .
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hadn't really had any bug problem until I stopped at this wayside. Within a few minutes I was swarmed with mosquitos. It was so bad it reminded me a lot of being swarmed up in the Northwest Territories. I quickly got moving again.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    NOT a tar snake.
    [​IMG]

    Nice curves.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I read a few stories about Warloop Road. It is about a five mile run to the next road and I read about some mud and steep rock. I wasn't sure I was going to run it. A guy was out in his yard at the corner so I stopped and talked to him about it. He said that he thought I could make it on the DL but that I might be unhappy for a few minutes on some rocks. When he said he had made it in his Blazer before, I knew I had to do it.
    [​IMG]

    The road looks normal enough starting out, but soon chokes down to something more primitive.
    [​IMG]

    DON'T go in this mudhole. Take the trail in the trees to the right.
    [​IMG]

    This incline is steeper than it looks. It is rocky with shelf rock steps and other little annoyances. It continues down around a corner to the right. I don't like to go down anything I can't get back out of so I was surveying a return route on the way down. I probably could have made it back up the hill, but it would have really beat the bike to do so. Glad I didn't have to find out. After I passed this it was clear sailing. On one hand I was disappointed that there wasn't more to it, but on the other hand I was probably secretly relieved too.
    [​IMG]

    Big earthen dam for Fort Smith water reservoir and flood control.
    [​IMG]

    This thing was pretty tall.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There must be a lot of salvage pipe available around this area.
    [​IMG]

    I saw a lot of expensive looking fence like this around.
    [​IMG]
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I stopped close to this utility pole because it looked like someone had put one of those "Cannonshot Was Here" cards on it.:evil When I went to pull out, the wheel slipped in the ditch and the bike hung up on an angle on the panniers. Hmmm. I wrestled with it a little bit but it was hung up on an angle on too many points of contact. Damn.
    [​IMG]

    No problemmo. Within a few minutes this guy showed up. Drop the blade, doze the bike out of there, and we are on our way.
    [​IMG]

    Well, we didn't really doze it out. Between us we were able to move it.
    Many thanks to this guy for the help.
    [​IMG]

    Within a few minutes these two other guys showed up to see if I needed help. These guys were a couple of good fellows. I was taking a break so this was the perfect time to sit a spell and talk motorcycles. The guy with the grey shirt had quite a stable of bikes. After a while, it was time to go. I hit the starter and nothing happened. Damn. Must have bent the safety switch on the kickstand when I was hung up. I crawled under the bike and poked around. After all, we were perfectly equipped for your typical three man job: one guy to do the work, one guy to give advice, and a third guy to watch. All we were lacking was the beer usually involved in something like this. The switch looked good and I was stumped. Finally checked the kill switch. When I set my helmet on the mirror/bars, I inadvertantly flipped the switch. I had to post myself two demerits for getting stuck and two more for the kill switch problem. This pretty much wiped out any merits I earned gliding side saddle through Warloop Road. :lol3
    [​IMG]
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I was *shocked* to find this crew working on a back road.
    [​IMG]

    After a minute or so, I discovered that it was not nearly as *electrifying* as I thought it might be. I was going to send my iPod up for a quick recharge, but it turned out I didn't have the right adaptor.
    [​IMG]

    There is always something that needs discussing.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Grading the route. The operator says it needs it about every six weeks.
    [​IMG]

    Meet Ronnie. Good fellow. Moved up from Texas to Arkansas. Says that when he gets done with some remodeling and landscaping he is going to buy himself a Harley. He has a good plan to haul it places on a trailer and then tour around the area with his wife on the back. We talked about the weather a little which reminded Ronnie of the time he was riding a motorcycle and got caught in a hail storm. Grade on Ronnie and enjoy the heck out of the bike when you get it!
    [​IMG]
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    The Oklahoma border was just up the road and I got there *sooner* than I expected. (OK, no more puns, I promise.)

    Politely kept my distance until this herd got across the road.
    [​IMG]

    I had been seeing turkey vultures all along the route but they are so jumpy I could never get a picture. I rolled past these and they didn't jump so I turned to take a picture. As soon as I turned, off they went. Big ugly birds.
    [​IMG]

    Eastern Oklahoma is still a good ride.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This looks like one of those dogs they raise with the herd of goats to bond with them and keep the coyotes off of them. He was on the job.
    [​IMG]

    A nice ride along a riverway.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  17. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,469
    Location:
    Andover, N.J.
    :1drink
    more
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Off camber down hill turn on loose gravel. Hit a big rock on the side of the road. Yes that is my tire print on the rock. Bash plate took a hit but probably saved the oil cooler, oil filter, pipe, and case. Money well spent. On a DL those parts are vulnerable.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Often photographed location.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When the roads started to straighten out and configure into a standard grid system, things started to get boring.
    It was even a little annoying to deal with intersections every mile.
    [​IMG]

    Time to look around a little.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What is this, Jurassic Park?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Something for the good idea file. Corner posts.
    [​IMG]
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    38,873
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Severe weather was forecast so I opted for a motel in Bartlesville instead of camping.

    Day 4 Hector, AR to Bartlesville, OK About 370 miles
    [​IMG]
  20. LoriKTM

    LoriKTM Wrecking Ball

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,529
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Loving the report, Cannonshot!!

    :lurk