Trans America Trail 2021

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Motochimp, Jun 23, 2021.

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  1. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
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    Bend OR
    After 35 years of working my ass off, raising 2 wonderful kids, and somehow keeping my beautiful wife's support through all of it, I've decided to do something for my soul. I'm not sure where it came from, or how, but it was screaming LETS GO! My story is very similar to most, been geeking out on YouTube videos, stumbling across informative, motivational forums like this one, torturing myself with what bike should I ride, am I skilled enough to cross Witt Rd creek without taking a swim, can I do Black Bear pass without passing out, should I use Kevin's or Sam's... it's been a long 8 months but it's go time. I'm not real tech savvy so I hope I can post updates with my cell phone along the way. I don't have a Facebook account so this will be the only way to update the journey. I'm going to try and "upload" a pic now just for a trail run, then I'm out of here to start my adventure.

    I've been riding small bikes for 25 years, 450's and 350's, this is my first adventure trip on an adventure sized bike. I've decided to leave my Husky FE350 at home and gonna roll with my new KTM 890 Adventure R. I was a little intimidated by the size at first, but after a few local loops I'm pretty sure it'll handle anything I can throw at it. I will leave Bend Oregon today with my bike loaded in a rental truck in route to Asheville NC hopefully arriving Saturday. I will load up and hit the TAT from there. Hopefully there will be others posting trip info here so I can follow along of those ahead of me, and I look forward to meeting others along the way. tempImageoZ6ZNX.jpg
    #1
  2. Critic

    Critic More or less!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,298
    Location:
    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    Beautiful machine, keep it safe and ride for fun!

    It has been some time since I rode the TAT; which was not hard, other than a few spot beyond Moab. Looking at recent ride reports, it looks to have less of those spots. Heat, sand, and rocks can wear you down, just ride your Pace. Contact me, if your route out passes through central IL.
    #2
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  3. brucemuzik

    brucemuzik Been here awhile

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    Planet Earth
    Awesome. Looking forward to seeing lots of pics and reading about your adventures.
    #3
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  4. Toe

    Toe Grab your gear

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    474
    Location:
    W London/Kent, UK
    Sounds like a very well deserved something for your soul!

    I look forward to seeing your progress and updates :thumb
    #4
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  5. flashbang

    flashbang Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Va. mts.
    Bring it on . If you leave now you'll be back by the time we're ready to leave . we're trucking the bikes to Portford and riding back to Va. end of July.
    #5
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  6. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Mar 11, 2012
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    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    Bend is a neat place. I used to visit there often when I was flying Columbia aircraft back to the east coast for the factory. That looks like a great choice for riding the TAT. We rode it in 2015 and I'm looking forward to riding it again vicariously with you.
    #6
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  7. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
    106
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    Bend OR
    Funny you jump in Pitts, yours was one of the first RR’s I read on this forum. Got me thinking… and here I am. Chilling at 12 Bones BBQ in Asheville after a 2600 mile drive from Oregon. I head out tomorrow, I’ll hopefully figure out how to keep this thread updated as I go . Thanks for the inspiration.
    #7
  8. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Bend OR
    Well I’ve had my first day on the TAT and not much to report. Left Asheville around 10am, and within 10 minutes it started to dump rain. Not really the way I wanted to start my trip but riding in the rain on a paved road wasn’t all bad. It cleared up and I took off the rain gear, that was my first mistake, 40 minutes later another black cloud and another dump of rain. Rain here is a little different than in Oregon, when it decides to rain, it rains for about 6 months. Today was a nice split of warm sunshine and pouring rain. I rode the Blue Ridge Pkwy which was as advertised, very cool, but I prlly would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t Sunday, it looks like that’s what people do from this region on Sunday, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was packed with people.

    I hit the Tail of the Dragon, lots of street bike racers doing what they do, looked pretty fun. Landed in Tellico Plains for a rest and set up camp. There’s a moto camp facility just west of downtown, very cool place, right of the main road. It’s called Smitty’s Lodge. Anyway, gonna have a snack and get some rest, tomorrow’s a new day. D8770708-1EF3-483E-9E3E-E8D74193A270.jpeg 1E06334C-DF72-43C0-A8D7-4D7A4EFF7BA5.jpeg 3BD36ADE-F47E-42ED-981E-77A496A2D3A8.jpeg
    #8
  9. 4StrokeStoke

    4StrokeStoke n00b

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    Jun 28, 2021
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    Colorado
    Enjoying the updates! Keep em coming. Good thoughts for dryer weather on your adventure but we’ll take all we can get out West.
    #9
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  10. Argyle

    Argyle Citrus freak Supporter

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    Apr 21, 2010
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    16
    Location:
    Holliston, MA
    so very subscribed. good job listening (and acting upon) the soul's calling.
    #10
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  11. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
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    Bend OR
    Tellico Plains to Pulaski
    First of all, the moto campground I stayed at in Tellico Plains was the perfect way to start my trip. I haven’t seen it or must have missed it on any of the forums but for you guys wanting to camp, this place is right on the trail and is specific to moto. It’s called Hunt’s Lodge. From there the infamous Witts Rd water crossing was only 5 miles away, I’ve been so stoked to hit this section, but there was a lot of anxiety about that last crossing, watched too many riders choke on that section. Anyway, for all you guys wanting the answer on Witts Rd, all 4 crossings are doable on any bike you’re comfortable on, but all are deeper than it looks. I kept my socks dry…until that last nasty one that I’ve seen on YouTube 100 times. That left side route is deep, I feel like I’ve had a gallon of water slushing in my boots all day. Other than that excitement this morning the day has been great, covered a lot of pavement, and although it wasn’t dirt, coming from the west coast I thought the scenery was amazing. The backroads that Sam picked out were incredible. I covered nearly 300 miles today and looking forward to getting out early tomorrow. 92D095E4-8EC2-4AC4-A883-BA288400D41F.jpeg E69ECFB5-2B67-422C-9DF5-77412FFF174D.jpeg 0413D7D5-21DF-45C7-A184-CD5B9EBF723A.jpeg
    #11
  12. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
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    Bend OR
    Oh ya… and I stopped in Lynchburg to check out the Jack Daniels distillery, very cool and only about 7 or miles off the trail. Whiles I was there I had lunch at a killer BBQ place next to Jack Daniels, it was called Barrelhouse BBQ.
    #12
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  13. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

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    Oct 6, 2016
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    I'm in! Really enjoying your first few updates, and glad you decided to share your soul-soothing trip with us. Looking forward to the rest! :thumb
    #13
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  14. BigBluKlr

    BigBluKlr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
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    Location:
    Pittstown NJ
    I'm following and I see you're following the ride ahead of you - on the Honda C125. Good to have a spotter. Seems like you may catch up to him soon. Good luck out there
    #14
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  15. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Making great time! Be careful in Mississippi if it's been wet. Flooded roads and dang near impassable slick mud can happen there. I liked the way Sam describes it in his maps:

    [​IMG]
    #15
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  16. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Bend OR
    Ya, not sure I can help with his flat tire but hoping to catch up and have a beer. Would be cool to chat it up with someone else on the trail.
    #16
  17. Motochimp

    Motochimp Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
    106
    Location:
    Bend OR
    Well, I’ve been racing a storm for the last 2 hours, it finally caught me in Ripley MS. I was getting hungry and I needed gas so filled up, and stopped at Bishops BBQ for some food and shelter. Gonna chill out for a few, hopefully by the time I’m done eating it’ll have blown through. Hoping to make it to Tillatoba, not sure with all the current rain what the trail will be like between here and there. Anyway, had a good day so far, been hitting more dirt road which is a nice change.
    I saw 2 snakes today, I haven’t seen a snake in 10 years and it was at the zoo. One of them was laying right in the middle of my lane, I ran straight across its back at 50 miles an hour. I looped back to check it out and it was gone. I figured he would be splattered but nope, gone. Then about 5 miles later, I started to freak myself out, “did that snake roll up and attach itself to my bike when I rolled over it?”
    Holy Shit! I’m not really sure of this snakes capabilities, but the more I thought about it, it seemed doable. So I pull over immediately to check it out and make sure that thing didn’t sneak it’s way into my boot. If I don’t see another snake on this trip I’ll be good. Also, there are ton of bugs here, all kinds, big, small, crawlers, flying, everywhere bugs. Can’t stop without being swarmed by mosquitos. Did I mention the humidity…
    #17
  18. Major Taylor

    Major Taylor Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2020
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    188
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Great report and adventure! Lots of folks don’t go adventuring for the very reasons you state in this last post; it’s raining, there’s snakes and to many bugs.
    Following with interest and some jealousy.
    #18
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  19. Vark

    Vark Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
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    1,221
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Great RR.

    Sorry to say, but I have a feeling you are going to see quite a few more snakes.
    #19
  20. T3/T4 Hybrid

    T3/T4 Hybrid Lone Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    K-Town NC (BSG-62)
    Hunt's Motorcycle Lodge is a great place to stay.

    Following your ride report and thanks for sharing! Hunt lodge.jpg
    #20
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