MAD TATer 2019 - a Trans America Trail journey

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DragonJoe, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. rjnutt

    rjnutt Desert tortoise

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    That Joe is a tough bugger!!
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  2. rebel346

    rebel346 Adventurer

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    Wow, glad you are ok. Thanks for finishing this rr.
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  3. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    I’ll say it here and again, without my capable partner this episode of the TAT would likely have become a rescue event. Solo on trails like this invites a level of risk not for me. I was riding at the far end of my skill level. An hour or two when fresh is different than sustained physical and mental exertion in desert heat. Under those conditions, judgement and coordination diminishes and accidents happen.
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  4. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Here is the location and draw I dropped into. Dotted line is google attempt at the trail.
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  5. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Bill got the DR up and damage was limited to a busted liter of water, bent Barkbuster, a punctured fuel bottle and tweaked forks. Of course, my foot. The boot took a lot of the hit but I was feeling some pain and downed 400mg Advil.

    I straightened the forks best I could while he scouted down the dry wash for a way out then he rode the DR down, up and out to the trail above.
    Then a series of events started to unfold that tested our endurance, resourcefulness, and determination.
    Leaving the drop zone:
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  6. sperduton

    sperduton Been here awhile

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    That's the exact video I was thinking about when I saw the picture above.
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  7. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Time was slipping by and we were roughly only halfway to Moab with still about 30 miles to go.
    While I continued to rest in a tiny spot of shade Bill returned to get his bike. In his haste to help me the ignition was left on and the battery was dead. Then his battery pack was dead. More time as he recharged it from my bike. Then we are cautiously on our way. Another spill and a broken clutch handle. Bill fits a XR650L lever to the DR using a pivot pin cut from the DR’s speedometer cable guide....Then my windscreen fails an we remove that and bungee it to the back...I’m riding ahead and the trail keeps getting tougher with loose rock climbs to slick rock ledges and hairpin turns. Dusk is falling when I arrive at this spot shown below and my spirit bottoms. Below me is a very steep, boulder jammed canyon descent that I know I can not ride in my dehydrated exhausted condition. And then it’s dark.
    I wait for Bill and hear nothing. I grab my headlamp and start hobbling back up the trail. Still nothing. I yell his name into the canyon walls.....nothing. Fearful thoughts rush in. Has he gone over one of the many edges? Have I already passed him? I round one of the hairpin turns an see a headlamp and hear him call from further down the trail. He’s ok, but his bike is jammed between boulders and he is using precious energy extracting it. He yells for me to stay there and I collapse in place..he rides by and I tell him of the dilemma ahead then I plod in the moonlight 1,600 shuffling steps back.
    We both sip the last of our water and rest. I fall asleep with a lone mosquito that has journeyed all the way from the Colorado River below us just to feed on me..
    Bill shakes me awake...”Joe, we gotta roll. Wake up. “
    While I slept he had INCHED my bike down the canyon alone and now we needed to do the same with his. I gripped the tail rack best I could and eventually we were in sandy bottom land. Sand is difficult. In the dark, well...
    We are very, very dehydrated and I am getting cramps in my legs. Time drags on and on as we continue. My left saddle bag fails and the dry bag is relocated. My shift lever is pryed back into position.
    It’s after 3 am when we roll into a 7/11, purchase water and sit on the curb silently sipping. . . Then Bill eats a ice cream. Motel room is a mile away.


    Night befalls us at this spot described as expert section and still 20 miles from Moab and water. Some good YouTube videos of this very Canyon. Rains alter it a lot.
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    Bill jump starting the Honda
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    Taking some Advil and recovering.
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    Failed R80... photo the next day at motel.
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  8. FireDog45

    FireDog45 Knockin' on retirement's door

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    Damn!
  9. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Still cool as a cucumber.
    You need a cigar dangling from your mouth in your selfies :)
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  10. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    We arrived here at 3:30 Friday morning. Good family run place with good rates for Moab. Our keys are taped to the office door waiting for us. Friday we slept. Saturday, parking lot repairs. I realigned windscreen brackets and laced the R80 back together with zip ties. My foot is swollen and bruised. Possibly has fractures. Feels stabile in the boot and Advil manages discomfort so I decline x rays .

    John Wayne and others stayed here during various films
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  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    If I can find it, there’s a thread about reinforcing the 80 panniers with a drill and cable ties. Along with everything else, that sucks.

    Edit, 205
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  12. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Holy hell man, that's one heck of an ordeal @DragonJoe. Never would have guessed this took place when reading your posts here and there in @fjmartin's thread. I can't imagine trying to navigate that terrain in the frickin' dark, and dealing with sand...yikes.

    Really glad you made it to the 7/11 and then the hotel. I bet the bed felt wonderful. Dealing with the fallout of the spills afterward sucks, but you're a trooper for knocking on and keeping the girl pointed west.

    Not sure if typing "I enjoyed this update" is the right wording, pics are cool though :thumb
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  13. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Sunday August 11
    I’m up 5am ready to get the hell out of Moab. Bill is not ready so we have coffee and I lay out my plan. I’m hitting the pavement and going to lay down miles north into Idaho. If my foot worsens I’ll keep slabbing to my Daughters home near Portland. If not I’ll try to overtake @fjmartin, Tom , Joseph and Mike somewhere near Boise and ride on.
    I pull out into the cool morning air and never see Bill again till the 16th..
    I ride north through Salt Lake City on to Tremerton, ID where I take up Sams trail and head west on gravel into the setting sun.
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    As Yogi Berra said “when you come to a fork in the road,,,take it”.
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    378 miles from Moab I wild camp with the cows on BLM land... Moon, coyotes, and chilly. Didn’t pitch the tent. Up and rolled out at dawn.
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  14. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    That would b advisable for demanding sustained trail riding. I called Mosko Moto and they will replace the left side @ 50% of retail. Don’t know that price yet.
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  15. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer Supporter

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    That sounds reasonable, considering the fall you and the bike took.
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  16. scanda

    scanda Trooper

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    Wow...I would not want to ride Lockhart Basin on a loaded down bike and having a destination of Oregon in mind. It was barely manageable for me on my WR this past May. Hats off to you!
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  17. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Am I missing something? I did geyser pass twice on the TAT, once on a Dr 650 and once on a cb500x rr, both solo. Great trail, not difficult but there were a few opportunities to do some single track along it.
    Great ride to Moab.
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  18. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    Redo:
  19. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    I went forth with poor intel and that’s on me, led by the fact that gpsKevins Lockhart route is blue. How bad could it be?
  20. DragonJoe

    DragonJoe Don’t know whatcha don’t know

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    I could see @fjmartin and crew on Spotwalla working their way towards Boise and thought I could join them by days end so I did some slabbing and some back roads and caught up to them
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    At Farewell Bend State Park on the Snake River near Ontario, OR.
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