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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Trailace, Oct 2, 2008.
I will edit this later but wanted to post a teaser video.
Thanks for the teaser video..
Me too! Especially after seeing the pics Trailace posted under the 'Best Fall Pics' thread. Wow.
Let's hear and see it
TAT Fall 2008
When Chief and I were in Mexico last May we decided to do the TAT together. We picked the end of September so it would be cooler and not as busy at work. I purchased the maps from Sam for AR, OK and CO. I loaded every turn with a waypoint into map source; it ended up being a little over 750 of them. Others have said that map source routing would not work but I did not have one issue with any of the routes I had made. There is a section in CO just west of Delagua that is no longer accurate but more on that later. I posted the ride on a few web sites to see if anyone wanted to join us. At one point there were 7 riders. However when it came time to go there would just be three of us.
and myself Trailace (Rick).
I wanted to pack as light as possible so I downsized everything that I could. The rear bag weighed less then 30 ponds, the tank bag 9 ponds and my spare tubes on the front fender. I also brought a new smaller camera but sure wish I had some way to bring a better camera on the X Challenge. I will work on this for the next ride.
Everything was going to plan until Ike came to town and created a few issues for Chief and myself. Chief had 5 feet of bay water in his house and was not sure if he would be able to make it but if he could he would be delayed for a few days. I found out the night before I was to leave that there had been no power at the ranch for the last week and I would need to go there and clean out a freezer and refrigerator. So I loaded the X Challenge in the truck and headed there with my wife.
Getting to the meeting place.
We were all going to meet September 20th at St Francis NP ($4) just north of Helens AR and start the TAT on Sunday September 21st. I took mostly back roads to cover the 400 plus miles and I had a few issues that I would need to fix.
First I lost the yellow valve part of my camelback and the GPS kept going on and off. I had just added a new on off switch for the GPS so that I could kill the power with out having to unplug it every night and the waterproof cover was to tight causing it to go on and off. I removed the cover and all seemed to be working ok. However I had this issue with the switch a few more times and will be replacing it soon. When going through Shreveport there was a Bass Pro-shop so I made a quick stop and the valve on the camelback was replaced.
New bridge over the Mississippi.
I made it to St Francis NP and set up my tent.
Not long after that Guy showed up.
He was there earlier and did some riding in the area to kill time. After we were done setting up we started a fire and talked about the TAT and how we would communicate with each other while riding. The weather was perfect for camping and before long I was in a deep sleep.
TAT Day 1
We were both up and packed early, ready for the excitement that awaited us on the TAT. We had waited so long and the time was finally here.
The eastern side of AR was mostly gravel and dusty roads.
Guy was eating a lot of dust.
There was this road that had a sign and was just mowed.
We did have a few water crossings but nothing difficult.
Then we climbed a little and came to this nice overlook.
It was getting late so we decided to find a place to eat dinner and camp. It was just 15 miles to Russellville so we headed there for dinner. However we found a little café in Pleasant Valley that had great food and was a lot closer to our camping destination. Oh I forgot Chief called and left me a message that he would be leaving to meet us Monday. I called him back and told him we should be in Devils Den State Park Monday night. After dinner we headed back to the trail and stopped at Long Pool campground ($7).
We were looking at the map and decided that at the pace we were going we would be past Devils Den SP by lunch and would need to call Chief and let him know a new meeting place. There is no cell phone signal at Long Pool so we called him the next morning first chance we got. The new-planned destination would be Wah-Sha-She SP OK. We had a great first day and could not wait for the next.
TAT Day 2
We woke to another cool morning and were on the road in no time.
Sure wanted to get a hold of Chief before he got too far east and just 5 miles from camp we stopped on a ridge and left Chief our new destination.
Then back to the dirt.
Of course we had to stop at Oark to eat. I was hoping to get a Chicken Fried Steak, but since it was still too early I had breakfast and it was great.
It was not long after we ate, the roads became more entertaining with lots of woods and elevation changes. Than came Warloop road. Im not sure if Guy enjoyed it but it was fun to me. There looked to be a bypass on the right near the hardness part but that was not for us.
Passed a few of these.
I was so close to these horses I could smell them.
This was cool.
We realized that we would never make Wah-Sha-She State Park before dark so we called Chief and let him know our new meeting place would be Snowdale State Park ($30 We think the guy running over charged us but what can you do.). We felt bad about the change and knew that we had Chief zigzag across OK. A few hours later when we pulled into camp Chief was there waiting. He left Houston, TX, at 4:00 in the morning and covered over 700 miles. It was great having him with us and after setting up we were off to eat.
Found this nice little Diner in Pryor just West of camp.
It's kinda wierd to see myself in a ride report on ADV.
Cool anyway, Guy
TAT Day 3
There was now a third compadre of the TAT in camp last night and even though I camped a hundred yards away his snoring still woke me a few times. It was another cool morning and we were already on the dirt when the sun rose above the horizon.
There would be lots of this today.
However the team of three just kept pushing on.
We dropped down off the TAT to Bartlesville for something to eat and gas.
Then it was back on the road. Not a lot to see but was beautiful in its own way.
The grassy plains of Oklahoma are a sight to see and seemed to go on forever in all directions. This is where I started thinking how hard it must have been for the settlers to pass over this hard land. What took us minutes would take them days.
When youre out on the plains its hard to pass up shade.
As we were coming into NewKirk the route took us right by a casino and the temptation to stop was high but we knew they would not want our dusty butts in their nice clean building. We did stop in town for a drink and a snack. This is where Guy decided to end his ride and head for home. We hated to see him go and would miss him. Now I would be stuck with only Chief the rest of the ride.
Once past NewKirk the roads went from gravel to dirt and if it had been raining these roads would have been a real mess. There was no rain today so its fun fast riding as we pushed on. On this section the road changes a lot so you have to make sure you stay on your game. It would be a perfect smooth road and right over the next hill it would be 10-inch ruts and holes. We could see bike tracks on the right and left of this area telling us there must have been deep water on the road, again we were lucky, high and dry. We dropped down off the trail about 20 miles so we could camp at Great Salt Plains State Park. (Free no where to pay) As we galloped through town on our trusty steeds we could feel all the eyes on us. The park was on the south side of town and we quickly found a site. Chief with great wisdom said why dont we go back to town and see what there is to eat before setting up. That was a great call because as we turned into the only store in town the lady was just locking up. She was nice enough to reopen or it would have been a 30+ mile ride to the next town. There was not a lot to choose from but who cared at that point. Dinner would be Dinty Moore beef stew, chips and beer.
TAT Day 4
Last night while eating we heard on the Red Cross weather radio that a cold front was moving into the mid and west side of OK. This would bring rain and thunderstorms into our planned route.
With a beautiful morning like this how could it rain?
As we headed north we can see the clouds in front of us, however our luck still held and all we had to deal with was drizzle and this rainbow.
Since we were still in OK there would be lots of this today.
We wanted to make Black Mesa State Park so it would be a long day with lots of miles. Riding into the small town of Gate we decided to stop for a bite to eat, after all dinner last night was not the best.
I believe these two ladies were checking us out as we dismounted.
Lauries Café was the only eatery in town so that where we ate.
The food hit the spot and the service was excellent. The lady who ran the café was also a rider and her husband would be leaving in the morning for a ride. We asked about gas and found out you needed a special card to pump it. Since we did not have one there was no gas. The lady said she would have her husband meet us and we could use his card and just pay him cash. That was a great help and now we could make it all the way to Boies City without stopping.
Just blazing down the trail without a care in the world.
Then we ran into a little sand and Chiefs horse took a break.
The roads before you come into Boies City.
You have to get gas in Boise City, no other gas stations for 200 miles, so we did and we also filled our own tanks. When we came out of the diner we could see that Chief had picked up a nail and was in need of a new shoe. We replaced the tube and headed to Black Mesa State Park.
The park was really cool and I will be taking my SO back someday. We took showers and cleaned our clothes and hung them to dry in the stiff west wind. We would not be using our rain flys tonight and I fell asleep looking at the stars. They were truly amazing.
Lots of miles today
Starting to climb.
Great report! Looks like you guys are having fun! That is a neat graph at the end of each day. How are you generating that?
I'm in!! That sand will sneak up on you at around 65-70 mph.
I'm getting that off the GPS tracks for each day.
Brent we were not going that fast but it would sneak up ya. Buy the way your RR was great.
Please keep it coming, enjoy your ride.
good job so far guys!
TAT Day 5
You could feel the excitement in the air this morning more than any other so far. Not only was the weather cool and dry but also we would be in CO by days end. Im not knocking AR and OK but we were glad to be done with them. Another beautiful morning awaited us and our trusted mounts.
Black Mesa State Park ($10) was nice but it was time to hit the trail.
We would cross the Santa Fe Trail a few times today.
Then it was welcome to New Mexico.
Stopped to check out this old house.
Long walk back to the bikes.
I marked it for yall with this nice little rock stack.
The trail would become a little more difficult for the next few miles but it was still early and as you can see, nowhere near high noon.
Someone made and posted a sign to help us along our way.
Right after this turn was a steep climb with lots of rocks but it was fun. Then more of this.
Mandatory picture of the Jail.
Just a few more miles of this and we would be in Trinidad.
Once in Trinidad we stopped at the Trinidad dinner for lunch. We were asked a bunch of
questions about our ride. After we finished eating we would go find Valcom motorcycle shop and have them install a new tire on Chiefs ride.
It took a little while to find but they sure were a lot of help and they had us back on the trail in under an hour.
However we decided to just call it a day and start fresh in the morning. We camped at Trinidad State Park ($26) and just enjoyed the weather and sights.
I know the feeling of finally leaving OK behind. We spent two agonizing days there and NM was a breath of fresh air after those long days in the saddle. Can't wait to see your pics from the next few days.
nice report. brings back memorys of my tat trip earlier this year!