TAT Bound or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Riding my Bike

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by blisske, May 19, 2016.

  1. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Some pics from yesterday's (Day 21) ride:

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    Hands down, Oregon wins the award for most vicious washboards.


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    Camped last night under the stars. Great view of Milky Way before the moon rose and spoiled things.

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  2. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    TAT Day 22
    Paulina Lake Campground, OR to Canyonville, OR
    Total Mileage: 5294
    Daily mileage: 220
    Wildlife Observed: deer and a black bear!
    Lodging/Camping Anxiety Level (1-10): 0 (I was just so glad to have found gas that I didn't even think to worry about lodging.)
    Gas Station Anxiety Level (1-10): 11 (I didn't plan this section out very well and it sure seems like a long stretch between gas stops. All day long in the back of my mind I was wondering what I would do if I got to an impassible section...and then I did.)
    Motorcycle Condition: not too bad considering it took out a two inch diameter pine tree.
    Rider Condition: glad I'm in a motel and not stuck out in the boonies of Oregon. This is remote country!
    Trail Difficulty: had to turn back after I got in over my head on a section past a dead end.
    Trail Condition: the section where I turned around is getting very overgrown with young pine trees that are so thick my bike's panniers were getting hung up on the trees.
    Other Riders Spotted: none
    Notable Events: My first warning was the road closed sign, but I've learned that in most cases it is still possible to get around a "road closed" issue on the TAT. Sure enough, they were replacing a large culvert and I was able to sail on past. Then came the dead end sign. The dead end sign is a more severe warning. I've seen this in Arkansas and, while an adventure, I was able to get through. Today's dead end sign came late in a tank of gas on a road with very few reroute options in a very remote part of Oregon. At first I didn't even see a way forward, but after getting off the bike and scouting, there was a faint rugged trail on an overgrown road bed that appeared to have had steep ditches cut across it at various intervals, perhaps to aid in drainage or possibly dissuade use.

    Seeing no other option, I committed to the "trail". The entrance was a pretty serious commitment; a steep hill with a nasty notched bottom about a foot wide and deep filled with large rocks, followed by a short but steep hill on the other side. Considering I was alone, with no cell coverage, low on gas and on terrain that might make for a challenge if I end up spilling the bike, I was hesitant to say the least. So I gassed it.

    I made the entrance just fine but found the trail condition to get no better as I traveled down it. In fact, it continued to be extremely rough with rocks ranging in size from that of a baseball to a toaster mixed in overgrown trees that didn't even allow clearance for my panniers. The trail got fainter as I went in, but my GPS verified it was my route and there were no other options.

    Eventually, on one of the many ditches, as I was descending into it, my pannier caught a tree and spun the bike off the trail at the bottom of the ditch. Hmmm, now how am I going to get the bike out of there. At this point, I got off the bike. It was stuck to a tree and didn't even require a kickstand to stay upright. At least I had that going for me. The question now was to decide if forward or back was the best option. Back did not sound appealing, but after 5 minutes of hiking the trail ahead, back was looking pretty good. Back it is was.

    Now I won't go into all the details of how I got back out of there, but suffice it to say that an adventure bike, because of its weight, is a momentum machine. Point, twist throttle and pray.

    Now for the issue of getting back on the TAT. After consulting my GPS, it looked as if I would have to backtrack quite a few miles and then I could make my way to the town of Tiller down a paved road, which sounded pretty good at this point, and gas up. At 182 miles into my 200 mile tank I arrived at Tiller and a nice lady told me that the nearest gas was in a town 20 miles to the West.

    It was there just like she said and it was closed. Fortunately, the next town was just 7 miles further and they happened to be open and I happened to have ample gas to get there and that's how I arrived in Canyonville and no, Canyonville is not on the TAT, but it is where I am staying tonight.

    Weather: chilly in morning and then warm and sunny.
  3. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    I love these big trees!

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    You can see the tree behind my bike that my pannier yanked right out of the ground.

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    Not a dead end, just some fallen trees that had to be negotiated.

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  4. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    Location:
    CT exile now in NH
    Way out there only the trees can hear you scream...
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  5. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Location:
    Mid Wet Or A Gun
    The big trees are "P-Pines", short for Ponderosa Pines.
    They are more common on the dry side of Oregon and you will leave them b-hind as you travel over the Cascade Mountain Range.
    Then the big trees to be found will be Doug Fir. (Douglas Fir)
    Was thinking you might have had a adventurous day when you did not post up.
    Yep on Oregon being remote, and it's a big state.
  6. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Location:
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    Not sure of TAT route you are on but knowing Oregon like I do I suggest you hang out more on the Castcade Mountain Range, instead of making a bee line to the Ocean.
    Hang as close to the PCT, (Pacific Crest Trail) as you can.
    Go south to pick up Crater Lake. I like to spend a full day on the rim drive, 17 miles, the views are very nice and it's a good way to chill out.
    Not a whole lot more south of Crater Lake, so head north as time allows, plenty to see.
    Mt. Hood is stellar. Hood River too. The Columbia Gorge is breathtaking.
    You can back track to Bend / Sisters area....take 242 thru the Lava fields west to the wet side of Oregon heading to the coast.
    Enjoy !
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  7. trypod-AL

    trypod-AL Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
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    That water crossing is where I went down last summer. There was only about 2 or 3 in. of water at that time but green slime. I was traveling about 50mph and could not stop in time.
  8. trypod-AL

    trypod-AL Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    You can do it! I am 68yrs. and I have riddin the TAT from end to end and back for the last 2 yrs. Great life time adventure!
  9. trypod-AL

    trypod-AL Adventurer

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  10. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Denver
    TAT Day 23 A
    Canyonville, OR to Canyonville, OR
    Total Mileage: 5375
    Daily mileage: 81
    Wildlife Observed: deer and grouse
    Lodging/Camping Anxiety Level (1-10): 0
    Gas Station Anxiety Level (1-10): 0
    Motorcycle Condition: golden.
    Rider Condition: confused.
    Trail Difficulty: steep steep hill (up and then down).
    Trail Condition: good.
    Other Riders Spotted: none.
    Notable Events: well, where to start? Last night I considered my options for today, after turning back at the dead end trail yesterday. Option one was to head back to Tiller and pick up the trail at the nearest point I could after the impassible section and option 2 was to head due South out of Canyonville and pick up the trail there further West. I decided to opt for option 2 which would reduce my mileage and probably avoid a real steep and loose section of trail I had read about on the forums.

    So I headed South on the I-5 out of Canyonville and found the trail about 10 miles South. I looked down at my GPS and started following the trail. About an hour and a half into the morning I came upon a really steep and loose section. I gassed it and managed to hit every big rock and washed out section on the way up, yet somehow managed to keep it together. Hmm, I guess I was wrong about big hill being back near Tiller.

    So I continued on. After some time, I came to a fork in the trail and saw a forest service sign pointing the way to Tiller. Tiller? Tiller? Holy crap! I had been going the wrong direction all morning!! Well, there was no way I was turning around and going two hours back and over that hill again, so I continued on to Tiller and then back to Canyonville to start my day all over again. And that's how I ended up in Canyonville, which is not on the TAT, a second time.

    Weather: sunny and cool.
  11. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Hard to capture in a photo, but this was one of the steepest sections on the TAT(just West of Tiller):


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  12. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    TAT Day 23 B
    Canyonville, OR to Port Orford, OR
    Total Mileage: 5513
    Daily mileage: 138
    Wildlife Observed: deer and grouse.
    Lodging/Camping Anxiety Level (1-10): 0
    Gas Station Anxiety Level (1-10): 0
    Motorcycle Condition: golden.
    Rider Condition: nervous.
    Trail Difficulty: a couple nearly impassable sections that, if a rider was forced to turn around, would make for an unpleasant day.
    Trail Condition: locked gate and tree fall.
    Other Riders Spotted: none
    Notable Events: had to drag, yes drag, my bike under a gate and under a tree fall.
    Weather: cool and pleasant.
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  13. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Awesome, the gate is unlocked!

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  14. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Miles and miles go by...
  15. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    ..and the gate on the other end is locked!


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  16. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Unsavory, but I was able to drag the bike under the gate:

    image.jpeg
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  17. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Some times no means yes on the TAT, so warnings like these must be investigated:

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    However, sometimes no means no on the TAT:

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  18. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Or does it?

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  19. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    I guess no means yes!

    image.jpeg
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  20. blisske

    blisske Been here awhile

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    Ran out of trail...

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