Last week I completed the first week of the TAT. The "new" TAT starts in Ripley, WV. This starting point adds a lot of mileage to the Eastern part of the route. It will take 3 days to get through WV and VA at the recommended 200 miles/day. I finished the week in Tellico Plains, TN For the whole week in general but especially the first couple days you spend A LOT of time on pavement. The pavement is awesome as it is just one great twisty road after another. The main reason I mention it however is that this must be taken into consideration when selecting which tires to use. I had a Mitas E0-9 on the rear that had about 500 miles on it and a Pirelli MT-21 that had about 3500 miles on it. The Pirelli was looking a little rough but I figured it could make it a week in the gravel. Stupid mistake on my part. After 3 days the Pirelli was wiped out to the point it was dangerous. We were just outside of Boone, NC and I found a shop that had a Dunlop D605 in stock (and no other 21" DOT tires). Beggars can't be choosers. Although I'm not the biggest fan of the 605, it turned out to be an excellent choice for the rest of the trip. There is hardly any mud anywhere on the route. Even when it rained there really wasn't any mud. The dirt roads are very hard pack with some loose gravel. By the end of the week and 1262 miles later the 605 shows no signs of wear and the E0-9 is smoked. Roughly 1700 miles is all I got out of the E0-9. It worked well but wore out very fast. My point here is, at least for the eastern part of the TAT, DO NOT use knobbies. A good 50/50 tire is really all you need. My bike was a nicely set up '17 DR650 I pushed it a bit in the gravel and road it like a sport bike on the pavement. My final observation worth mentioning is that although I only went for a week this year (I'm picking back up next year and will do another 2 weeks), I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. I think if I were to do the TAT end to end in one shot, it would take away from the experience really. I think it's too easy to just start munching miles and take the beautiful scenery for granted. It started happening by the end of week 1 so I can see how that could be the case when completing the whole trip at once. Granted the scenery will differ as you move more west but I like the idea of breaking up the trip into chunks. It gives me something to look forward to as well. I'm glad for this perspective as I don't have a choice anyway!