My first adventure ride - the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PittsDriver, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    You're not kidding. If you've got a couple of other guys that you enjoy riding with you've got something precious. There's a backstory to this group and I'll try to weave it in to the RR before I'm done.
    #21
  2. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I rode up to this one and sat there thinking "I've read about this one and which way to go and this is probably not it..." as I gassed it to cross :D
    #22
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  3. Tommyturtle

    Tommyturtle Been here awhile

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    Nice report! Hope the mud clears up before I set out in 3 weeks...
    #23
  4. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    That statement about says it all, you're in the adventure zone, when/where don't matter...looks to be a very memorable adventure

    keep the great RR coming...
    #24
  5. treefrog

    treefrog Too stupid to know when to quit.

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    Subscribed.
    #25
  6. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Pointed west with nowhere to be and all day to get there.
    #26
  7. Hondalee

    Hondalee Adventurer

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    Great report, I'm I injoying it very much if you need a place to get out of the rain or shower let me know I am in Lebanon Missouri
    #27
  8. Kawi-Mike

    Kawi-Mike Been here awhile

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    Really enjoying the RR so far. Keep it coming and thanks for he pics and vids. What software are you using to edit video? Keep it coming.
    #28
  9. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Thanks rainman for this RR , we are all enjoying your adventure.

    There will be mud as in 'gumbo' that may test your balance and those selected tires to throw off the sticky stuff as you closer to this part of the ride.

    Keep smiling, sierra alpha, and see you if you get close.
    #29
  10. NavyF4

    NavyF4 'Nam X 3 Supporter

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    So in.

    Pitts, I'm thinking your RR might inspire me to do something, finally, with the TAT package I bought about five years ago.

    Do you remember any places in the eastern TAT that were too narrow (single track-ish) for a hack rig with a 58" track?
    #30
  11. LumpyOne

    LumpyOne Been here awhile

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    IN!

    Love the TAT reports and great story telling so far.

    Thanks
    #31
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  12. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Hey, I stopped in there one time and toured the barrel factory. That's a cool thing to see.
    #32
  13. Tsilatipac

    Tsilatipac Go Adventure

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    That is about the best endorsement and sales pitch that I have ever read for a motorcycle. Makes me want one. Sorry, posting before I read the rest of the thread...this may have been discussed...
    #33
    Shadowed_Stranger and Jedi2Rider like this.
  14. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    We left the Oark Cafe with full bellies and climbed back up into the Ozarks for a day of navigating gravel, dirt roads across the top of Arkansas.

    [​IMG]

    We came upon this sign and locked gate blocking the road:

    [​IMG]

    ...and of course ignored it and went around it on the left. Nothing too exciting going across the mountains this way other than a couple of downed trees in the road. One was easy to go around and the other was easy to go over. So, when we came to the next road closed sign we didn't even slow down. Unfortunately, three miles later, we came to this in the road:

    [​IMG]

    It's a little hard to tell from looking at the photo but this was a steep muddy crater in the road and just beyond the mess of piled up dirt and sticks is a deep well of water that had formed from the man-made dam in the middle of the road. A couple of the guys got off and looked around in the woods on the high side to see if we could go around it and it might have been possible on unladened 250s but not KLR pack mules. We re-routed around it pretty easily and carried on to finish out Arkansas and make our way into Oklahoma. We ended up falling into a hotel on the west side of Tulsa instead of camping.

    I'd now like to offer up another sidebar perspective on our adventure. We had been talking for the past couple of days mulling over how important it was to ride as much of the TAT as possible or do we make convenient choices to make some time. There are quite a few places on the TAT we came to call "gratuitous gravel." For example, these might be places where we might emerge from a dirt road to cross a highway and continue on the dirt road. But a closer inspection of the maps would show that we're going to wind around for several miles in a gratuitous manner to stay on dirt and come right back to that same highway just a few miles down the way. We made the collective decision to skip a number of these loops of unpaved road that seemed to be added for no other purpose than to add dirt miles without adding any new scenery or adventure. Did we miss anything exciting? We'll never know but I'm happy with our decision to approach the TAT in this manner.

    I suppose this would be the moment in this ride report when I must reveal and confess that we considered nearly all of Oklahoma gratuitous gravel. We hit the highway leaving Tulsa and didn't get back on a dirt road again until we were nearly through the panhandle:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is me taking a 20 minute nap in No Man's Land:

    [​IMG]

    We rode something like 380 miles of straight two-lane until we got to Boise City Oklahoma to stay in the Longhorn Hotel. Now, before you pelt me with all your cries of "foul!" and revoke my TAT-card, let me offer up these factors that went into our reasoning behind this decision to skip something like 400 miles of laser straight dusty dirt road:

    - It was 400 miles of laser straight dusty dirt road.

    Ah, that's about it - look at it on a map. We saved at least a day of riding and did have a logistical/scheduling matter that put an expiration date on our journey. And we were all looking forward to spending our time in Colorado and ultimately making it to Moab before our kitchen passes expired. But honestly, even if I'd had another month free to ride, I probably would have skipped Oklahoma. We saw it from the road. A KLR, even on knobbies, will do 75-80 on the highway no problem. And well, that's about it - we skipped it.

    I'm going to guess that some the readers of this ride report will snort down their noses and say "those sissy pants didn't ride the TAT." Some readers, perhaps some who have ridden the Oklahoma section can chime in with all the glorious riding we missed. But I'm going to guess that there will be a few that will smack their forehead and say "#%^#, I wish I'd done that too."

    We did our chain and air filter maintenance right outside the door of our rooms at the Longhorn, walked to the Pizza Hut, and called it a day.
    #34
  15. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    OK sucked, you'll love New Mexico.
    #35
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  16. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Thanks for the kind words Mike. I just use iMovie - the free software that comes on the Mac. I carried my MacBook Air with me on the trip and downloaded video to keep the cameras ready to rock when needed. I've got a lot of video but haven't had a chance to cull through it yet except for a few highlights. I'll have more as the report goes on....
    #36
  17. Bug Dr.

    Bug Dr. Extroverted Loner

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    I'd skip Oklahoma too. Enjoying the RR.
    Mike
    #37
  18. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Joe, we did love New Mexico even when one of gpsKevin's "red" challenging routes was blocked. We were ready for some real adventure after pounding out all those miles across OK. I had both Sam's and Kevin's tracks loaded up and when the red track came up we took it. It was a pretty great ride and at one point I came upon an entire herd of horses in the road. I apparently spooked them and they ran ahead of me for several seconds before diverting off the road:



    We eventually came to a heavily barred and locked gate blocking our path with the red track continuing beyond. There was a side path down to where some folks were working on the fences and when we rode down there were met by the rancher that owned the land. He told us that the road beyond was impassable and hadn't been maintained by the County for over 30 years and it was all on his ranch. He mentioned that a couple of guys got through that gate on motorcycles a few days ago but he's pretty sure they couldn't have made it through and never saw them come back out. Then, in the most matter of fact manner, like if you told me that you stopped by the post office before coming home, he simply said, "The bears likely got 'em."

    We rode back up the way we came to route around it to Trinidad CO but were wondering all the while if those two guys from the UK on KTM 690s became bear scat.

    Before we left OK, we run up through Black Mesa Park and found some dinosaur footprints in the rocks. Nothing much to look at but it was a nice side trip except for one thing. We gassed up in Boise City, took a side trip to the park, then went a long way down a dead end on the TAT before having to reverse to Trinidad. It was about that time that I started doing the some gas mileage math and it wasn't looking good to make it to Trinidad without switching the tanks to reserve. Not a problem if there were no further wanderings. Luckily, there weren't and there was a new gas station not in my GPS database 20 miles south of Trinidad on the expressway. No worries.

    Here's a few photos from Black Mesa and our side trip there:

    Looking at dinosaur tracks:
    [​IMG]

    KLR photobombing a "Black Mesa"
    [​IMG]

    This one is on the dead end down to the locked gate and determined rancher:

    [​IMG]

    We made it to Trinidad with no more re-routes or gas problems and stopped in a Walmart for our much needed oil/filter changes. We started an assembly line and did all four bikes with T6 Rotella and new filters in 30 minutes flat and left the cast off oil with the Walmart service center.

    [​IMG]

    3,000 miles on dino oil in a KLR is too long and the bikes seemed to appreciate it by encouraging us to haul ass right in to this:

    [​IMG]

    Actually, I came over a rise in the road with a cattle guard going fast enough to get a little bit of air followed by two of my three friends. We stopped to wait on the last guy when the Statie pulled up. She was a nice woman who rolled down her window and asked us where we were headed. We replied "Oregon." She looked at us the way your dog does when it's trying to figure you out and said "Down THIS road?" We had a nice chat with her about the TAT but quickly set up with her to flip on her lights and hassle our remaining buddy when he arrived - and she was game. He came over the cattle guard in the air and just about the time he was making the turn she flipped on her lights and hopped out of the car with her hand on her gun. She proceeded to ask him if he'd like to see the inside of her jail tonight ... that kind of stuff before she finally confessed that we'd put her up to it and it was all just a joke. She turned around and said to us before getting back in her car "I really wanted to strip search him though...." and rode off down the dusty road. And off we continued now that we'd gotten our Colorado segment off to a good start.
    #38
  19. FBR

    FBR Long timer

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    :rofl What are friends for?
    Good call on Oklahoma. I think I took 4 pictures through the entire state.
    #39
  20. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    Great start to this report - keep it coming :lurk
    #40