SouthEast Adventure Trail (SEAT) 4/21

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DCTFAN, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    upload_2021-4-19_8-59-32.png

    ADV Riding in the SE United States is better than most people presume.
    Admittedly, not as epic as some trails out West, but nonetheless you can have a great time.
    A good, example of such a trip is the SEAT.
    I have one important, personal mission on this trip: Learn to ride in deep sand: miles of it.

    My nemesis was the sand riding past Green River UT where my TAT trip was defeated by it
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/planned-a-solo-trip-west-and-ended-up-riding-the-tat.1254049/

    AT in sand.jpg
    Not my bike, but illustrates what happened years ago and how I felt, after my first attempt at sand riding in Moab.

    Starting my trip near Chatsworth GA, going in a CCW direction.
    My riding buddy is on a KTM790 and I will ride my 2016 Africa Twin.

    I have no idea how the sandy parts on the SEAT compare to what I had encountered in the San Raphael Swell UT but any input or local knowledge will be appreciated.

    My resolve is high and expectations set low as to what will be the outcome.

    Most likely, the ride report updates will be sporadic, as I will be posting whenever data is available.
    But eventually, I will complete this report and motivate some riders to take this trip.
    #1
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  2. txmxrider

    txmxrider Been here awhile

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    Ironically my buddy and I just finished the SEAT last week so I can offer a few tips. First, I've ridden sand in UT and NV and there's nothing like that in the SEAT. My buddy hates sand and at first he was really sucking at it but after a while he got the hang of it and had no problems the rest of the trip. The worst sand is in Southeast GA and it's not the deep, sugar sand that you might be expecting. It's mostly just a few inches of loose sand on top of a hardpack dirt road. You'll be fine even on big ADV bikes. Just keep your weight neutral and stay on the gas and let the bike move around under you. Things to do: stand up on the pegs, grip the tank with your knees, stay relaxed, keep your hands light on the controls. Things NOT to do: get tense and hit the brakes or chop the throttle. That said there are a few places I should warn you about, especially since you're riding bigger bikes. The Tallulah River crossing and Charlie Creek Rd in N. GA (between Hiawassee and Dillard) is pretty gnarly right now where the Jeeps have it all tore up. It's doable on a big bike but you might consider taking Persimmon Rd as a bypass. And there is one section of sand south of Hortense GA, located between highways 301 and 82, that is worth mentioning. I hesitate to even call it sand because it's a weird, wet mix of clay and sand that has the consistency of Play-doh. It's about a half mile long stretch of gunk 12"-14" deep and although I'm sure Toby Price would wheelie through the whole thing the only way we could figure out to ride it was to slow down and waddle through it. There are so many cross ruts that even if you find a good line it'll only last a few feet then it becomes a not-so-good line and you have to move over into a different rut. Fortunately if you stick with it you'll get through it soon enough and won't have to worry about it again. In Northeast and East GA there were several bridges under construction but all had easy detours. Well, all but one. There is one bridge where the detour is a loooong way out of the way. It just so happens that there is a hike/bike trail right beside it with a perfectly good foot bridge. Now I wouldn't suggest that anyone actually ride across that but it can be done if no one is around. Just sayin'. And lastly, if it rains in the area between Bristol FL and highway 84 (south of Columbia AL) it makes the dirt roads really hard to ride. Its a red clay that gets slick as snot when it's saturated wet but the good news is that it dries out pretty quick.

    It took us 7 days, riding between 200-250 miles per day. I rode a Yamaha WR 250R and my buddy was riding a KTM 500. We stayed in motels and did not camp. It was a good ride and I'm glad we did it.

    PM me if you have any questions and if you're interested I can also send you my route notes with motels and approximate mileage between gas stops.

    Good luck!
    #2
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  3. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Very helpful.
    Thank you for the tips.
    Most of N. GA is practically within a few hours from me and I am quite familiar with how the trail deteriorates month to month :)
    With some rain forecast for the weekend (riding across FL), we may decide to go in a clockwise direction to let the GA mud/clay roads dry out.
    #3
  4. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    A good start, I'd say

    Spent the nite in the only motel in Chatsworth GA about an hour N of SE04 (section 4)
    Brrrr.... 20210422_051910.jpg
    #4
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  5. pro69ss

    pro69ss Been here awhile Supporter

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    In .., thanks for sharing the ride
    #5
  6. SwampyDeadHead

    SwampyDeadHead Ride, Rage, Rinse, Repeat Supporter

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    The Talullah river crossing itself is no big deal. There’s a new entry/exit point north of the torn up spot on the east side of the river. However The section of Charlie’s creek road west of the river crossing is real nasty. Ruts and downhill sections with large loose rocks. I’d by pass honestly and I rode it this morning. Theres another water crossing after the main river one you want to stay to the left if going east to west. It’s deceivingly deep in the center and right.
    #6
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  7. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Day1
    Camping near Cheaha.
    Turnipseed campground.
    $5/nite
    Only 3 other sites taken

    Cold morning coffee.
    All's good 20210423_062852.jpg
    #7
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  8. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    End off Day2
    Cleared SE06 and half of SE07
    Just crossed into FL and greeted by sandy tails. Nothing worthy of the Motoz Desert H/T
    Most FL campgrounds were closed.
    20210423_195550.jpg 20210423_175759.jpg
    #8
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  9. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    We're riding not stopping much for pics. But eat we must
    I was so hungry almost forgot to take a pic off the best Gyro plate in GA
    Landmark Family Restaurant
    (706) 234-1370
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/tKphUSn32dGxRt9c8
    Dinner was the usual Mtn Hse gumbo at camp.
    We're trying for 300 miles per day.
    So far exceeded our mileage goals. 20210422_150229.jpg
    #9
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  10. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Probably nothing like this
    #10
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  11. UncleFappy

    UncleFappy Been here awhile Supporter

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    Ok, ok, ok, oh shit!..uh...nope nope nope....please god please god please god!...it's cool, no prob!
    #11
  12. txmxrider

    txmxrider Been here awhile

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    I've been following your story with interest. At 300 miles per day you'll probably knock this out in 6 days, maybe even 5. Enjoy the FL run. I thought the stretch between Bristol and St. George was one of the best sections on the SEAT. Which route are you taking through Tate's Hell...the east (blue) route or the western (green) route? We took the west (green) route because it was raining hard and I heard the blue route is susceptible to flooding so we took the easier path. Looked like about the same mileage either way.

    Looking forward to your next post.
    Good luck!
    #12
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  13. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    My riding partner led us through the east trail unknowingly and even after the rain it was passable but you didn't miss much. The water holes were too deep and we just rode between the trees.
    But, kudos to you for riding SEC08 in the rain. I bailed half way thru. Weird slushy, wet sand is only fun for a few miles
    #13
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  14. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    End of Day3
    We hit the Appalachee SF and then Tates Hell, the latter which was a bit disappointing.
    Riding in sand, trying different speeds and trying to drift the corners made my day
    Lunch at the beach and a taste of slushy sand for dessert.
    Glamping tonite. 20210424_200508.jpg 20210424_191850.jpg
    #14
  15. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Day 3 was my last day on the SEAT and it was the best riding.
    I was glad the FL sand started out mellow and not deep at all.
    Just enough to think about drifting the corners!
    drift.jpg
    But the first deep sand corner caused the front tire to kick out and had a short nap :)
    A reminder to me not to underestimate the sand- hard to tell how deep it is until your bike tells you, lol.
    The swampy section in the Apalachicola NF was dark and refreshing at the same time


    I decided to call it a trip near Ashville FL about halfway into SE08. The storm had preceded us on the trail and made it all wet and muddy.
    There was this weird slushy mud that caused anything with wheels to slide side-to-side.


    The county crew came shortly after I took the video and cleared the trail. We had both taken out our saws to go at it but
    was spared the ordeal. I got talking to the super and was informed the tornado swept east in the direction we were heading.
    And that was enough to persuade me to quit the adventure and save the rest for another day.

    I was happy with 3 solid days of riding and got what I was looking for: lots of sand practice.
    Also glad to have experienced Florida from a new perspective- it was so different from what I knew, having only visited by car.
    GOPR0981-2.jpg
    GP020986.jpg
    #15
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  16. txmxrider

    txmxrider Been here awhile

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    Too bad about the weather but looks like it was still a good ride. Thanks for taking us along.
    #16