Nova Scotia or Bust!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Keithag65, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    235
    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    Hello y'all!
    I have decided to try my hand at a ride report.
    I'm going for lots of pictures and small paragraphs.

    In April 2017 I decided to take some time and do some extended trips. I wanted more than just the week ride then hurry back to work.

    I had lived in Nashville, TN for 10 years and that was long enough. Being there was a great way to explore the Eastern US, but I was ready for something different. I wanted to go to Alaska. That was going to take more than a week vacation. I decided to take 2 years and get this out of my system.

    My mother has 2 houses on her farm in Prineville, OR, so I used one as a base to keep my things and plan my rides.

    In 2017, I went to Alaska on the Tiger 800xc, and Arizona, Baja, and Death Valley on the WR250R.

    2018 was going to be my big trip all the way from Oregon to Nova Scotia and back.

    This is the story of my journey.

    -----The Route------

    I would be going through Nashville on the way there and back. I charted 10,745 miles in Basecamp and loaded that into the GPS's.

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    Nova Scotia Section

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    -----The Bike-----

    2014 Tiger 800xc
    About 20,000 miles odometer.
    I had so much life left on the rear Mitas E07 after 9000 miles to Alaska and back that I left it on and carried a new Mitas E07 Plus to Nashville. I didn't think the E07 Plus would last the entire trip. I wasn't happy about Mitas discontinuing the E07 original.

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    #1
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  2. jhark44405

    jhark44405 Beantown

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    I'm in.:D
    #2
  3. jeepman63

    jeepman63 daplumber

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    all in and waiting for more.
    #3
  4. interceptor1972

    interceptor1972 Been here awhile

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    In as well!!
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  5. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    235
    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    The trip began on August 8th. I spent 68 days out there. Some of that time was spent in Nashville relaxing, doing maintenance, and waiting out bad weather.
    The GPS showed 13,400 miles when I was finished.
    My route was mostly back roads, however in the Northeast I was happy to hit some freeways to get away from all the traffic and lights.

    I camped about 45 nights. I paid for two campgrounds, and two nights in a cabin in Torrey, UT waiting out snow and rain. The other nights I spent in yards, behind churches, one cemetery, barns, or fields.

    I had a pretty good crash in New Mexico.

    There are a lot of nice people out there and sometimes all you have to do is ask. More on that later.

    This trip would be marked by smoke and heat in the west, excruciating heat and humidity from Oklahoma to Maine, and horrible infestations of mosquitoes almost everywhere east of the Rockies.

    At times the mosquitoes made it so miserable trying to cook and eat outside the tent that I'd have to eat inside the tent and deal with the humidity. I wasn't getting many showers so I tried to avoid the bug spray. You just become a dirty sticky mess trying to sleep with that stuff.

    I was wearing a Klim Overland jacket and pants on this trip. Great jacket, but just doesn't breathe that well.
    My boots were Alpinestar Toucan. I didn't really notice any discomfort from the heat with them, but my socks smelled bad. I will only bring calf length wool socks on these long trips from now on.
    Shoei Quest helmet. I wished I had a tinted shield. It seemed like I was always riding into the sun.

    Here we go, Day One.
    Aug 8th

    I left Prineville, OR under a heavy cloud of smoke and suffocating heat. That smoke would be with me all the way to Colorado.
    My destination was Jerome, ID to spend the night with a friend.
    I didn't take many pictures in the beginning and several of the ones I did got lost somehow when I was backing them up.

    Day Two
    Aug 9th

    Back roads from Jerome, ID to a river near Mirror Lake, UT.


    Most of the trip was pavement. I didn't feel like getting the bike trashed like I did on the Alaska trip. Here is some gravel on the Wyoming border with Utah.
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    Looking south into Utah
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    Great first night camping off the side of the road at about 8000 feet. Turned out to be very comfortable all night.
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    #5
  6. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    N! :lurk
    #6
  7. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    Heres's a shot of day one in the red.
    About 450 miles. One of the longer riding days.
    The riding didn't get interesting until east of Salt Lake.
    I wasn't in a hurry, but with all the heat out west it was better to keep moving.
    I stopped often and soaked my shirt to keep cool.

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    Day 2
    340 miles

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    #7
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  8. boilse

    boilse n00b

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    SW MN
    Diggin the campsites already! I'm in!
    #8
  9. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    Day 3
    August 10th
    424 miles
    Wasatch Mountains to Telluride, CO.

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    Stopped at a liquor store to get a cold beer, and get out of the riding gear for awhile. So Hot!!!
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    Beautiful riding through Gateway, CO and the canyons on my way to Telluride.
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    Some big fires out there in Colorado.
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    #9
  10. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 3 Cont'd

    It was late in the evening as I was nearing Telluride. As I was climbing a hill, I looked over my right shoulder and saw what might be a good camping spot. It turned out to be a great free place to camp. It's in the middle, that little circle.
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    Great spot, and beautiful evening. I've been looking forward to coming to this area for so long.
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    After a good nights rest, I was so looking forward to finally making it to Telluride.
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    #10
  11. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Prineville, OR
    Day 4
    August 11th
    291 Miles
    Telluride to Hotchkiss, CO.

    People were always asking me, "Where is your destination today?"
    I didn't have a destination on this trip. I had a route.
    I would just take my time and start looking for a camp spot a couple hours before dark.
    On this day, I started looking to late and I got caught out.

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    I mentioned earlier that I had lost a lot of pictures on the ride from Oregon to Nashville. I sure wish I had them back.

    I spent the morning relaxing in Telluride.
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    Looking up at Black Bear Pass. Not great light for a picture.
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    I love these kind of places. Cold beer in Rico, CO.
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    #11
  12. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 4 Cont'd

    I did take a look at Ophir Pass, but those pics are gone.
    I wasn't going to ride any of the pass this trip on a heavy bike.
    I will come back with my dirt bike and thoroughly explore CO.

    I made the ride south to Durango, then north up the Million Dollar Highway. This picture is looking down at Silverton.
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    I didn't take many pictures of the Million Dollar Highway because pictures just wouldn't do it justice. It has to be seen with the human eye. I do regret not taking a picture before I dropped into Ouray. Wow, that was beautiful.
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    After Ouray, the ride to Montrose was flat and boring compared to what I just rode through. My route had me taking a right at Montrose, however because the GPS was rerouting me I kept going straight. It was getting late and I just wasn't finding a good place to camp.

    It was getting very dark now as I neared a little town and this train held me up for quite awhile. Its really hard to find a good bush camp after dark, and I didn't know of any campgrounds close.
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    I've been in some somewhat desperate situations over the years trying to find a place to camp, however things always seem to work out. In a lot of cases, I've had some of my best experiences meeting people when this happens.
    There just happen to be a little campground in Hotchkiss, CO. Everyone was at the rodeo in town, and one of the guest let me stay next to her. I was able to get a shower and a fresh start the next morning.
    There wouldn't be many more showers on this trip.
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    #12
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  13. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 5
    August 12th
    Hotchkiss, CO to Monument Park/Lake south of Cuchara, CO.
    360 miles

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    Bike art on the way to Aspen
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    On the way up to Independence Pass.
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    Very nice ride up to Independence Pass.
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    #13
  14. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Great so far!
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  15. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 5 Cont'd

    I had a nice ride down to Alamosa. A lot of flat desert. I got a beer to cool off then headed east towards La Veta. Then south on the 12 toward Cuchara. That's a neat little area down there.

    A trip up a gravel road toward a lake to camp turned out to be a bust.

    I just kept going south hoping to find something. I stopped at a house and asked to put up in his field, but he directed me across the road. That wasn't a good spot either.

    I came across a lake and decided to make it my stop.

    It was a little spooky in there by myself. There was an animal messing with me all night. I got out of the tent twice with the pistol ready to shoot something.

    After Alaska, I've had enough of camping in bear country.
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    #15
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  16. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 6
    August 13th
    492 miles
    Monument Lake in CO to Nash, OK

    This was a long day, but I enjoyed it. A lot of new country for me.

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    Who hasn't been here! Somewhere in New Mexico
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    It would be interesting to see places like this when they were in the hey day. Folsom, NM.
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    Gas finally got reasonable in Oklahoma.
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    #16
  17. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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  18. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 6 Cont'd

    Entering New Mexico on very back roads.
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    Hundreds of thousands of miles like this in Oklahoma.
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    I was going to take a little detour and go to Pond Creek, OK. My dad and his family are from there. They moved to Vancouver, WA when he was a boy.

    It was getting near dark and I rolled into a tiny little town called Nash, OK. It used to be Nashville, but the name was changed when their mail kept getting mixed up with Nashville, KS. I didn't realize there were so many Nashville's.

    I was looking for a big lawn where I could ask to put up a tent for the night.
    I saw an older lady mowing her lawn and stopped in to ask.

    She was so nice. She went in to run it by her husband. They told me it was going to rain and offered me the barn. It was perfect. By the time she went in for the evening she was offering me the garage and the bathroom in the house. I told her I was more than fine out in the barn. Such nice people!!
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    They also offered me the quad to ride into the store. I picked up a couple beers for later.
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    I cooked up some dinner, drank a couple beers and just really enjoyed the peace and quiet.
    #18
  19. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Day 6 Cont'd

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    The rain showed up the next morning. I was thankful to have cover.
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    I forget their names now, but that's the main house.
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    The rains on their way.
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    #19
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  20. Keithag65

    Keithag65 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 7
    August 14th
    369 miles
    Nash, Ok to somewhere in AR

    Pond Creek, OK. It was really good to see where my family on my dads side were from.
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    I didn't take many pictures this day. It was just hot and humid and felt better to just keep moving. I don't think I even got a beer either. That's just wrong.

    I hit a toll road going into Tulsa. I thought it odd there'd be toll roads in Oklahoma. I thought I'd save some money and go around. Big mistake that was.

    For a brief time I was an Okie in Muskogee.
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    It was just so miserable going through this are with all the traffic and congestion. I've got to do a better job planning next time.

    There was some ok riding between Muskogee and Fayetteville. It was cool to see Razorback Stadium.

    Once I got east of Fayetteville I really enjoyed the riding. It was getting around that time to find a camp spot.

    I almost camped at a church, but didn't feel comfortable without asking first.

    I kept riding and had a race with a couple of fawns. One of them thought it'd be safer on the other side of the road and cut right in front of me. I was prepared to run it over, but thankfully it was quick and just missed my front tire.

    It was getting near dark and no luck so far. I then came upon an outbuilding below what looked like a mill of some kind. There wasn't anyone around, so I went to the back of the building. There was a flat bed trailer there. It was a good spot.
    I decided to put up the tent on the trailer and leave early.
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    I forgot to get a picture of the tent on the trailer.
    Some workers showed up really early. Nobody noticed me and I'm sure it would have been fine to be there, but I wanted get going.
    I got my gear packed up inside the tent, then it started raining hard. I laid there for an hour in all my gear waiting for it to stop. Ugh!!
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    #20