Planned a solo trip west and ended up riding the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DCTFAN, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    We met near the beginning of Section 21 Adair to Dewey, OK
    and made it to Newkirk by dinner time which is the end of Section 22 on GPSKevin's route.
    We had to make several detours around flooded areas near Hulah Reservoir.
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    IMG_20190725_153146577.jpg

    Next morning, as we were ready to roll out of the motel, I notice some green slime
    oozing out of the rear tire of the DR650 which leads to this:
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    IMG_20190726_094012666.jpg

    As we made progress, but were slowed down by this type of obstacle:
    IMG_20190726_111539476.jpg

    My riding buddy proved to be quite adept at ride arounds and figuring out the trails.
    All I had to do was follow and weather-wise it was dry but not too hot.
    #21
  2. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    We make it to Buffalo, OK to end section 24
    TGIF It was Friday July 26, 2019
    T-6 days to the start of my Rally in Gunnison. Stoked to be on schedule.
    Stayed at Wheatland Inn which is about the best in town:
    This unit had a small yard behind the fence where the bikes stayed.
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    IMG_20190726_171000597.jpg
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    #22
  3. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    That stretch from Moab to Green River on the TAT gets mighty impossible when it rains. Dry and deep sand is by far the preferable obstacle
    #23
  4. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Saturday, we make it to the Great Plains Bunkhouse. Nothing to see in Boise, OK.
    Over dinner, the owner of the bunkhouse told us a story from his riding days involving being tossed into the air,
    which may help explain this: (one of my fav trip photo)
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    #24
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  5. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Our group decided to ride some of the UTBDR to Onion Creek to Green River and were glad we did.
    #25
  6. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Sunday, we start Section27 towards Trinidad, CO
    We ride with some anticipation of mud as the good peeps at the Bunkhouse had to go out and rescue
    another TAT'er who got stuck somewhere near the NM section a few days ago; where we'll be passing thru.
    But all was passable with no more than a few wet puddles. The short NM section is not to be missed.
    We made it to Trinidad Lake State CG in good time to set up tents and get some R&R.
    .
    I call 911 at 10:30PM from the campground.
    This is what happened:
    It was dark as I was coming out of the bathhouse; the dude opens the door of his parked car and starts yelling at me for nothing.
    When he grabbed my head torch and threw it over my head, I quit trying to talk to this guy and make my way back to my tent site.
    The car is still in front of the bathhouse. What is he doing? I don't feel comfortable with a deranged guy watching the bathhouse at night- I make the call.
    The cops came; the ranger came; in the end they let the creepy fella go back to the other campground which has no bathhouse.
    Turns out I was overly cautious and the guy just came over from the other campground to do his laundry; and got high on weed or something.
    At midnite I finally get some ZZZ's.
    .
    Weird camping experience #1- check.
    #26
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  7. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Monday, AUG 1st we start with some fresh tires here
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    IMG_0570.jpg
    and finish Sections 28 &29 and get a cabin at the Wet Mountain RV park in Westcliff.
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    20190916_160732-COLLAGE.jpg
    #27
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  8. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Something I forgot to note is that we actually rode the whole part of Oklahoma that many skip due to conditions.
    One feature of the TAT east to west is that the trail gets tougher and more challenging for riders especially those on big bikes.
    IMO, getting to CO on the TAT is the start of the good stuff and the end of what I call 'prep' time.
    We had good weather and there was no excuse to slab it to Colorado as tempting as it was.
    In Oklahoma, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of trail sections where you'd have to ride through sand.
    How does that 'prep' you, you ask? Go back to the start of this thread and that's what happens.
    No prep, no success :)

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    img_20170901_103914607_hdr_36982693095_o.jpg

    The sand in OK is not as bad but the very first sand hole still got me tho'- comes at you out of nowhere!
    I don't seek out sandy areas to ride or have sought to train on it but on this trip, I got free lessons as
    there was enough of it to figure things out on my own.
    .
    The Great Plains Bunkhouse is very close to the OK border and a great place to rest and recoup for TAT riders:
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    IMG_20190728_070345779_HDR.jpg
    #28
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  9. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    On Tuesday and the next day, we bunk at the Raven's Rest Hostel in Lake City.
    We made good time and rode through some scenic trails and small towns that all contribute
    to what Colorado has to offer as a motorcycle-riding heaven. The last bit of trail into Lake City is
    Slumgullion, a very twisty and scenic ride into town. We also passed the famous Alfred Packer site but
    did not stop.
    Once settled in, we are able to declare one day of zero miles in LC.
    a good place to relax for a day or two!

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    IMG_20190731_151012618_HDR.jpg
    #29
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  10. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    As far as day to day planning goes, Lake City offers some interesting choices as to which trail you take, as you can see:
    [​IMG]
    .
    As far as GPSK route goes, you have three to choose from:
    1. The northern loop to Ouray labeled "Alpine Trail" is in red meaning to suggest an 'expert only' route.
    2. The blue has you going over Engineer Pass onto Ouray and is the shortest.
    3. The southern route bypasses Ouray and goes over Ophir Pass (this is the same as Sam's track)

    I am curious as to the Alpine Trail as I only rode the part west of Silver Jack Reservoir via Owl Creek Pass. I suspect it is red
    due to trail conditions on the eastern portion. Appreciate any feedback and/or photos if you have any.
    #30
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  11. Sckill

    Sckill Been here awhile

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    Glad to hear you were able to finish the TAT. Hope all is well.
    #31
  12. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Hey! All good here.
    Sure miss our Gymkhana sessions.
    Hope your family is doing well upstate.
    #32
  13. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    We decide to take the easy Green route over Cinnamon Pass to Ouray and then to Gunnison and save Engineer Pass for later.
    Cinnamon Pass is easy even for big bikes to go over but doesn't mean things don't go wrong.
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    IMG_20190801_115955333.jpg
    Later I find out someone has captured the post incident on video FFWD to 8:03 for it:
    #33
  14. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    It started to drizzle and we take shelter in Animas Forks.
    Once the rain passes, we decide to switch over to the blue route and head to Ouray.
    Continuing on the green route is easier but goes south into Silverton which is in the opposite direction to where we were going.
    This short section of blue (known as Mineral Creek Rd) is deceitful in that it should really be red.
    I manage to hit my alternator cover on a rock and see some oil leaking.
    But we make it to Ouray for some repairs with JB Weld.
    Overall, the scenery is great.
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    IMG_20190801_140450079_HDR.jpg
    #34
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  15. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    I make it to the RMAR Rally and it is one of the best:
    We both take time to repair and recoup for the next few days where a new plan was hatched for me:
    Keep riding the TAT to the finish!
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    20190916_161049-COLLAGE.jpg
    #35
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  16. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    #36
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  17. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    During the Rally I rode some local roads solo while my buddy was replacing his clutch pack on the DR650.
    .
    This was at Owl Creek Pass on the red trail labeled "Alpine Trail" in the midpoint of section32 I posted before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    On the last day of the Rally, we explored some good trails north of Gunnison all the way up to Crystal and Crested Butte, CO
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    [​IMG]
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    On Sunday we're back in Lake City to resume the TAT with our 2 new compadres.
    Now there were four in our group.
    #37
  18. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    So it begins:
    We take Engineer Pass to Ouray and over Imogene Pass into Telluride where we meetup for lunch.
    One of the best day of riding. Imogene kicked me off my bike several times but it was worth it on top.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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    20190916_160945-COLLAGE.jpg
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    20190805_163113.jpg
    #38
  19. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    [​IMG]
    Tom gets a few bars on the phone and checks where we meet for lunch.
    His bike is the orange kind but he sure knows how to ride.
    #39
  20. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    #40