Trans America Trail / TAT 2021: HONDA TRAIL CT125 Edition

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by anelog272, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,669
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    "Watch out for the sting in the tail." .......................... :hmmmmm
    Hmmmm, pretty cryptic stuff.
    Simon is definitely issuing a warning to to our intrepid adventurers.
    But just WHAT is he trying to tell them? :scratch

    I've got it! :wings
    "Beware of Murder Hornets!" :amazon

    No wait! ........ NOT hornets ................. BUT COWS!!
    "Beware of MURDER COWS!!!"
    THAT MUST BE IT!
    MURDER COWS !
    MURDER COWS !!!

    [​IMG]
  2. PDarnall

    PDarnall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    You went from 3 flat tires per day to 0 for the rest of the trip?
    dp064 likes this.
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,229
    Location:
    California
    Ah, that is interesting - as Simi says, the original route goes off to the right (when heading west) on a narrow trail just after you hit pavement at Goolaway Gap - it's probably the 'best' section of trail in the area, but is also pretty technical in places, being a long uphill climb on the side of a hill, followed by a sharp 90° right turn straight up the fall line to the top of Cedar Springs Mountain.

    It's worth doing, but equally, on a larger/heavier bike, loaded with luggage, and after you've been on the trail for what is likely the best part of a month already, a lot of people either a) struggle with it, or b) miss it out all together as it's easy to miss the turn off the pavement at Goolaway Gap, and they end up working their way back to the TAT a bit further west - as per the revised route in your photo above - or skip this section completely and continue west along Upper Cow Creek Road (all paved) towards Azalea, earlier in the route...

    It's a shame to miss it - but equally, I can see why Sam has revised his route this year... trust me, you'll know it when/if you ride it.

    Have fun!

    Jenny x

    ps. whatever you do, stop at the Morning Star Coffee House in Glendale after you cross over I5 - crazy place and great coffee/smoothies/buns...

    [​IMG]
  4. 12bridn

    12bridn I need throttle therapy

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,046
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
  5. simi.d

    simi.d Enthusiastic Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Sorry guys. Didn't what to hijack your thread with links and things. It's as per Jenny's info. The 2018 TAT (Blue on my image) got pretty tough. Our track (Red) shows our turn around point before Cedar Springs mountain and re-route north on snow creek road.

    It was the only point on the trip that we had to re-route due to trail difficulty. Probably could have made it.. but as Jenny said.. after 44 days riding and so close to the end we didn't want to risk it. It felt like Ophir.. but going up! I now regret not having had a really good go at it... c’est la vie

    Our blog has some info and the GPS track here or you can catch the action in our video here
    Give it a go.. You'll make it :clap

    20180913_SiFDR03.jpg-nggid03832-ngg0dyn-0x0x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010.jpg
  6. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    DAY 23 July 15, 2021
    FROM: John Day, OR to West of Paulina Lake, OR
    MILES: 262
    HOURS: 11:36

    Well this day was long. Long I tell you. Packed out of the hotel at about 7:30a, fueled the bikes and the extra containers and hit the road. Our plan was to head West toward Port Orford. Isn’t it always? By 8:30 or so we were back on the dirt and climbing into the Aldrich Mountains. The first hour or so was great hard packed fast dirt. Lovely forest and it was chilly.

    [​IMG]

    We were traveling fast (for us) at a steady rate of 30 or 35mph. This was a really fun morning. All the roads were with us. The scenery didn’t change much - but we were concentrating on the riding. Hit a good bit of technical stuff to keep us on our toes.

    [​IMG]


    Then we came across this small murder of cows. Most of them scurried off to the side. But there was a gang of 5 or 6 of them who decided they were going to make it to Port Orford before us. They galloped along in a way that I didn’t know cows galloped. A couple of them peeled off and this was our view for the next 20 minutes. They wouldn’t budge.

    [​IMG]

    What I can’t show you in photos is the amount of steady cow shit coming out their cow assholes. I mean - just constant. Honestly, I was a bit impressed. I also can’t convey the smell. It smelled like they’d been on a steady diet of beets and day old Taco Bell Chalupa's topped with gefilte fish and jack fruit. I stopped to take a stool sample to send to the lab. Finally they mooved it on over.

    [​IMG]

    The entire morning was just some really fun riding. We enjoyed it thoughouly.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We ALMOST made it to Prinevile on our tanks of gas. So close. 155 miles on a tank of gas. Nicely done Little Ugly Homefry. Unfortunately we were just 5 miles from the gas station. So we had to get out the spare. Made it into town and fueled up. A guy at the gas station come over to talk about the bikes and gave us a lunch tip. So we went to Sons Of Beer, biker hangout down the way. There was nothing on the menu for a hippy vegan, but the nice woman running the place completely hooked me up with the best veggie wrap of all time. We had a great lunch and a beer and sat there for longer than we should of. We were both pretty beat already. Finally we headed off (toward Port Orford).

    [​IMG]

    Followed a little river and crossed the dam. And that’s when the day went to shit. By day, I mean the roads. First there was terrorist gravel. I believe that all gravel should be rounded up and shot.

    [​IMG]

    Then there was this Mars Rover stuff. Thick and unpleasant like the cafeteria lady who would never give you an extra scoop of instant mashed potatoes. (Yes you cafeteria lady. I will never forget. Never. You are on a list you do not want to be on.)

    [​IMG]

    Then we got on this road with a ton of whoopties. (I don’t know the official spelling for that word.) Now this was fun.

    [​IMG]

    Until this happened.

    [​IMG]

    Laying on the ground beside the bike, the first thing I thought was, “I’ll bet I broke the GoPro and the Media Mod.” Then I felt a drizzle of blood drip down out of my mouth and onto the ground. No, nevermind. That was just a little bit of Gatorade. Then I tried to move my legs to see if they were broken and I heard this gut wrenching crunch that sounded like bone scraping against bone. Crap. Nevermind, it was just a pile of dry twigs I was resting on. So I got up and walked toward my only concern: the GoPro and Media Mod. But my left arm was dangling in a funny way. Oh no. It’s broken. No. Wait. I’d just decided to dangle my arm in a funny way at the moment for some reason. So with my good arm (both were good) I picked up the GoPro and Media Mod and held my breath. I pressed the button. IT WORKED! Then I checked to see if I really was hurt (I wasn’t) or if there was any damage to the bike (there wasn’t.)

    [​IMG]

    Here’s what happened. Or, here is my version of what happened. I was hitting all these whooptie’s with the glee of a five year old painting the kitchen with pickle juice and Nutella. I belive I actually said, “weeeeee!” I was having a blast. Then I hit maybe three or four in short order, and this started the pack on the back of my bike bouncing at a certain frequency that was detrimental to operating the motorcycle in a correct fashion. All that stuf is strapped down with Rok Straps (which I love) which means that part of the strap is bungie material, which means it has play. The pack had room to jump up and down and side to side willy nilly. The weight and motion of the pack pulled the back of the bike left and sent the front of the bike right - and there you see the result above. It had nothing to do with me being preocuppied with yelling “Weeeeee!”. As long as the GoPro and Media Mod are safe… that’s all that matters. What’s funny is that this was the last of the whoopties. There were no more. Had I made it, I would have made it.

    From the start of this trip I’ve thought about it as me (and then Johnny Pow and I) against the Universe. My goal was to ride from Asheville, NC to Port Orford, OR. The Universe’s goal was to put obstacles in the way to stop me. The obstacles are what make it interesting and fun. No one wants to watch a movie where the main character wants something and then just gets it. That’s a boring and extremely short ass movie right there. But what I’m coming to understand is that there’s also a sort of funnel effect that happens. The closer you get to what you want the more the funnel narrows and the more the Universe is going focus on trying to mess you up. Of course the Universe doesn’t care about any of us specifically - it just throws out obstacles like carpet bombs and hopes it hits someone. But I do believe there’s some sort of forumla at play that makes you more likely to get hit the closer you get to reaching your goal. So for the next couple of days, I’m going to be careful and I’m going to try not to talk shit about the stupid dumbass Universe.

    We started looking for a place to camp around Paullina Lake and the campgrounds were full. We figured we’d just keep going until we got back into the National Forest and pitch a tent somewhere. Then JP saw something on Gaia and we headed up a narrow dusty road and came to a campground with a free spot. Snagged it, setup camp. And that’s about it for today. We hope to do some miles tomorrow and hit the beach Saturday. Unless the Universe is in a bad mood.
  7. Star Rider Chuck

    Star Rider Chuck n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2021
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'm sad to say (sad as a reflection on me), reading your story is one of the highlights of my day. Hope there is a movie/documentary forthcoming!
  8. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,713
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    -------------
    The Universe’s goal was to put obstacles in the way to stop me. The obstacles are what make it interesting and fun. No one wants to watch a movie where the main character wants something and then just gets it. That’s a boring and extremely short ass movie right there. But what I’m coming to understand is that there’s also a sort of funnel effect that happens.

    The closer you get to what you want the more the funnel narrows and the more the Universe is going focus on trying to mess you up. Of course the Universe doesn’t care about any of us specifically - it just throws out obstacles like carpet bombs and hopes it hits someone. But I do believe there’s some sort of formula at play that makes you more likely to get hit the closer you get to reaching your (goal).
    ------------

    You've got something there...
    anelog272, klaviator, r80rt and 4 others like this.
  9. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I feel like we’ve seen 5X as many cows as people on the TAT. And more cyclists than motorcyclists.
  10. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    DAY 24 July 16, 2021
    FROM: West of Paulina Lake, OR to Canyonville, OR
    MILES: 183
    HOURS: 8.5

    Brrr. It was cold last night and it was cold this morning. I woke up and visited the pit toilet to see what kind of monsters were living down there. You can never see them and they never make any noise. But I know they’re there. I can’t be around one of those without thinking about that scene from Slum Dog Millionaire.



    There’s usually a sign somewhere around these contraptions that says, “Don’t place garbage in the pit toilet. It’s extremely difficult to remove.” Yes. I’m absolutely sure it is. And who does that job? And are they paid the ten million dollars they deserve? And where do you put the garbage that has been removed? I would absolutely watch a documentary on this subject. Ken Burns, are you listening? This is right up your alley.

    I made a cup of coffee and had a fig bar. This is what they look like after over 4k miles. Yes sicko, yes they do look like flattened miniature horse penis. I was thinking the same thing. You and I have so much in common. We should both be concerned.

    [​IMG]

    Johny Pow calls this photo, "Old Man in a Small Tent riding a Tiny Motorcycle".
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got on the road (washboard dickhead road) soon after 8am and headed to La Pine for some fuel. Johnny Pow decided last night to forgo his trip to visit his brother in San Fran. He booked his flight home last night somehow. I didn’t have enough cell, so I booked mine at the gas station. It’s for 10:30am Monday and I hope that works. I don’t know what time the place opens where we ship the bikes. Could be a nightmare. I think Johnny Pow’s decision had more to do with his ass pain than anything else. I completely understand.

    Got back on the dirt soon after and it was squirrelly from the start. A nice hard-packed road that made you want to go fast, except there were constant patches or stretches of loose sand that wanted to murder us.

    [​IMG]

    Then it was just plain sand. I hate sand. Sand and gravel. I decided today that if I ever become an evil dictator that my first order of business will be to have my special forces round up all of the gravel and sand in my kingdom and bring them to me. After a stern talking to, I will have my people shoot all the sand and gravel right in the face. I realize there are some logistical and reality problems with this scenario. But if I’m the dictator then you will need to do as I say or join the sand and gravel. Which reminds me. There was supposedly a photo of my Grandfather graduating from medical school and shaking Musulinni’s hand at the ceremony. When the war broke out, my family buried that photo in the yard and he was a surgeon in the US Army. I want that photograph. I have no idea if any of this is true, but I still want that photograph. There was also something about ten thousand dollars in a coffee can. I’m getting off track.

    The scenery was the same and the roads sucked for the next ten thousand hours or so. The scenery was really pretty, but monotonous and boring. You know the type.

    [​IMG]


    We knew today was going to be “wildfire day”. And we had some contingency plans. By we, I of course mean Johnny Pow. But none of the contingency plans which may have consisted of 65 miles of high-speed roads were that appealing. Of course, riding a motorcycle with a bladder full of gasoline under a tree that was on fire dropping embers wasn’t all that appealing either. But after riding a CT125 this much - the choice between 65 miles of hell and going out in a literal blaze of glory was a tough one. The skies were so blue that we could hardly believe there were any fires anywhere.

    Then we hit a series of active logging roads which were of no better quality. While we trudged through it I thought about how god damned excited I was going to be to see my family again. And not too far behind was the excitement about a place to sleep every night, a daily shower, and a normal toilet always within reach that you didn’t have to squint into to check to see what was going to jump up and bite your ass.

    [​IMG]

    We finally made it to Route 138. Johnny Pow had stopped to talk to some riders who were doing Kevin’s routes West to East. Don’t get me started on GPS Kevin. I don’t know why and I have zero reasons for this - but I don’t like him and I firmly believe that everyone should buy from the OG Sam. Again - I don’t know the history of the two routes or anything much about either of the guys involved. It’s just a gut feeling. I definitely don’t want to start any trouble! Or do I? Anyway - the riders told Johnny P that 138 was close because of fires. But then I got a text from Steve who was ahead of us saying he made it a ways down the TAT, but then if it didn’t work out - there was really nothing to do but turn around and head back the way he came.

    We went down to actually look at the road-closed sign to see if that would sway us one way or the other. We hemmed and hawed for a bit. Then we decided to go forward on the TAT. And then to give us confidence in our decision, a Forest Service guy drove up in a truck to clear the closure signs. The road was back open. I showed him our route on the phone and he seemed to think we’d be okay. “Seemed to think” is like 99% sure in statistical measures… right? Anyway - forward ho.

    [​IMG]

    We felt good about it - at least until the TAT turned south. It ran sort of parallel to 138 for a while until then, and we knew we were fine for at least that far. Then it turned south. And the smoke started getting a bit more smokey if you know what I mean. The blue sky completely went away. Things felt a bit ominous. But not enough to turn around - god forbid. Turn around is the same as bend over.

    The roads got a bit better but the scenery stayed the same (except for the smoke).

    [​IMG]

    Johnny Pow saw a bear in the road but it headed up a bank before he could get some photographic evidence. It may have been an ass pain hallucination.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got to the top of a mountain and the road we’d been on was closed from the other side. It wasn’t closed coming up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We hoped not to be a part of the latest version of this.

    [​IMG]

    We topped another mountain and things seemed to be clearing up a bit as we went down.

    [​IMG]

    I yelled “thank you!” as I rode by.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I stopped for a quick chat and to make sure we weren’t headed into somewhere we shouldn’t head into. They said all good. They were just prepping for some upcoming possibilities with the fire's movement. They were taking out all the underbrush. This looks like a grueling and endless job. Kudos to these folks. What must have been a water helicopter of some kind choppered by now and then. I could never get a good glimpse of it through the canopy.

    The views throughout were fantastic even with the haze. I can’t imagine what it must be like when it’s clear.

    [​IMG]

    We finally came out of the mountains and ended up at Tiller where we tried to get some cell service to try to figure out what to do for sleep tonight. No service. But we did see that the Tiller Trail Highway went over to Canyonville which we knew was our best shot at a motel. So we hopped off the TAT and took it over. Found a little motel and made some camp food in the room and Johnny Pow got some beers from the gas station.

    With a little time to kill, we tried to find a place to stay near Port Orford. There’s nothing. Every motel is booked. We had imagined getting to the end, driving the bikes down to the beach, getting a few photos, and then riding to a sweet motel with a bar where we could drink cocktails overlooking the ocean and celebrate our finale. Instead - we might have to ride all the way back to Medford which will be miserable. Not what we’d hoped for on the last day - but… we’ll figure something out! I’m really excited for the last bit of the TAT and seeing that ocean. It’s been a long time coming…
  11. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    BTW - if anyone has any suggestions for a place to stay near PO - let us know! Evey single thing is booked. What is going on out there?
  12. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Yes. Switched to
    shinko 244s in Little Rock thanks to Bret w
    dogjaw likes this.
  13. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    As long as the footage survives another few days - yes! Subscribe to the Some Guy Rides YouTube channel - that's where they'll be. https://linktr.ee/teamct125
  14. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    South Carolina
    After a while I started feeling like my ass was sore after, like 6 or 8 hours riding. Then I started to feel like my ass hurt all day. Now I know I’ve got full on saddle sore, monkey butt, whatever you call it. Today was pretty tough, and now I’m looking at 150 miles to the coast and back to Medford, then 9 or 10 hours sitting on a plane. This is the most stressful part of the trip for me besides forgetting the key to my bike.

    I decided all of this is too much to tack on a visit to see my brother right now. If I rode the Honda down there (500 miles) then I’d have to turn around and go right home. Better to visit another time, and concentrate on finishing out the TAT and head home.

    I already know I’m going to research a seat upgrade for the REH, though. Going to do a SM500 trip on it pretty soon.
    ChicoProf, DC950, klaviator and 10 others like this.
  15. modiorne

    modiorne Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2020
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    North Carolina, Charlotte-ish
    Understandable. I put the Seat Concepts Tall on my REH, and added a sheepskin fleece (folded the extra up front under so it keeps the delicates off the tank) and that has made all the difference. Just completed the MABDR and the slab ride back home to Charlotte, with barely any discomfort and zero monkey butt. Really enjoying your trip reports!
    anelog272 and trialstech like this.
  16. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,713
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    When it's hot inland... everybody and their mother heads to be beach.
    Everything up and down the coast is booked.
    trialstech and anelog272 like this.
  17. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    12,210
    Location:
    Oceanside CA
    Love this ride report! Trips on inappropriate bikes are always good.

    p.s. I’m with you on the Kevin vs Sam thing
    trialstech, r80rt and anelog272 like this.
  18. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    THE FINAL DAY!

    DAY 25 July 18, 2021
    FROM: Canyonville, OR to Port MF Orford, OR to Crescent City CA
    MILES: 220
    HOURS: 10.5

    Here’s what you might see if you happen to be outside of an unnamed motel in Canyonville, OR at 6am on a Saturday morning. First, a young lady who was dressed in a way that was a bit surprising for 6am came out of the lobby door, nodded a good morning, and walked to her compact car. I expected her to drive away but she just sat in the driver’s seat looking at her phone. Then another similarly clad woman came out saying, “Where are you baby? I’ll meet you for breakfast.” into her phone. She got in the passenger seat. Then out came an enormous guy wearing a baseball cap and trying to explode out of a tee-shirt. Think the McDonald’s Grimace character meets Lurch from The Munsters. He was carrying three grocery bags and a boom box. I could make out a capped bottle of champagne sticking out of one of the bags. He got into the back seat of the tiny car and filled up the entire back window. The three of them pulled out of the parking lot. I, of course, took this small scene and played out a hundred different scenarios of what went on in this quaint family-oriented motel last night. I went mostly with a David Lynch/Jm Jarmusch storyline.

    I saw Steve’s bike parked close to ours and I thought it would be really funny to cover it with our remaining TEAM CT125 decals. Then I thought about which tool he’d pull from his tool roll to murder me with if I did that. So I set the idea aside to run by Johnny Pow when he woke up. When he did, he thought it was an excellent idea in theory but not in practice. You’re welcome Steve.

    We got packed up and on the road at about 8:00am. Soon after we were on dirt, but it wasn’t TAT dirt. This was a hair-brained Johnny Pow route made to keep us off the 5 Freeway. And I am all about staying off the Freeway. On a side note., when I moved to Los Angeles from South Caroline in 1998, the fact that they put a “The” in front of the freeway names freaked me out. I was used to getting on hwy 26. They would get on The 26. Why is there a difference between the east and west coast? I fought it for years. I’d say, “Yeah, get on highway 10 and head down to highway 405.” This did not fly in California. You get on the 10 and then head down the 405. WHY!? After living there for 7 years I finally succumbed. But I succumbed with bitterness and hatred. “Get on hwy 10 you asshole! The 10 is for idiots born on the west coast!” This didn’t encourage anyone to like me on the west coast. Which actually was fine by me. Off-track? Yes. So we traveled on what I will call The Johnny Pow highway for a couple of hours trying to get to Glendale in a way that wouldn’t be too too dangerous. So we headed down this insane series of dirt roads. I looked on Gaia - it was a maze. I just followed Johnny Pow as is my habit. If he jumped into a lava pit, I would be right behind him. Thirty minutes in - we came to the first Universe’s Narrowing Funnel of the day. A big yellow gate I named “Assface”.

    [​IMG]

    The logging company had stacked giant rocks on either side. There was no going around even if we were the type of people who would disobey a giant sign that said, “This Land Owned By Complete Douchebags and WE WILL PROSECUTE!?” Because of this sign and my need to be thought of as a moral person, I’m not going to go into detail about what happened next. Suffice to say, we somehow completely legally made it through to the other side of a very similar gate. When you’re on one side of a gate they want to keep you out. But just on the other side, they want to keep you in. It’s confusing. Signs signs everywhere signs. I’m not paid enough to keep track. Who’s to say which side you’re on at any particular moment. And with this three-card monte logic, we endured.

    What we endured was a fabulous ride through what some might refer to as a logging operation but what others would refer to as the land of the free. It was gorgeous. Then the view opened up to this monstrosity of loveliness.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I am decidedly not pro clear-cutting. But. Well. Sometimes it’s awesome. I mean - I use toilet paper and paper towels and I live in a wood-framed house. Who am I to throw twigs. If cutting down a few zillion trees gets me even 5 likes on Instagram… I mean…
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And this didn’t get me five likes on Instagram, so. What I will say is that we saw a zillion acres of freshly planted pine. So maybe there are laws keeping this shit in check. I don’t really know. That’s the problem with all American’s. We don’t really know and we don’t bother finding out. I feel myself getting off track again. Let’s stick to the subject at hand.

    Then we went down a few roads that were absolutely wrong. You could tell they were wrong just by looking at them. But we had to ride them a bit too just to make sure. Yup. Wrong. Finally, we headed down a steep grade that seemed to be taking us out of something - which is all we wanted. All of these roads seemed totally like TAT roads but they weren’t. They were fun. Finally back on the pavement.

    [​IMG]

    I love each and every transition. Every time the road surface changes, whether for good or bad, I get excited. FINALLY, after 1.5 hours we made it to Glendale where we hopped back on the TAT. This was much longer than we thought it would be. But - we ran into some issues. So whatever, back on the TAT!

    Then soon after we hit the TAT - oh my Jesus. The start of the Snow White Golf Cart Path of Heaven. This is what you would find in a Disney ride for motorcyclists. I. Loved. This. Road. So did Johnny Pow. Love. Love. Love. Let me make sure you understand. LOVE!

    [​IMG]

    Sam. Take off your shirt.

    [​IMG]

    Sam. Lose the socks and shoes.

    [​IMG]

    Sam. Undies.

    [​IMG]

    Sam! Why are you naked man?! Well, since you are, let me tell you that you have created a thing of beauty here. I mean, from the start. But this last section is a masterpiece. I love you man. But, I think we went too far. Just put your clothes back on. We can talk about this with you in shorts and a tee-shirt just as easily. But naked or not - I love you, dude.

    [​IMG]

    These photos don’t explain it well. After five thousand miles of fuck all, this is what I needed. Pavement but not normal pavement. Sort of a private pavement. Curvy and fast. Oh man - the BEST! Heaven. I tried to take an arty video shot of Johnny Pow and a daisy. It didn’t work. This was the last I'd see of him for awhile.

    [​IMG]
    Then Sam diverted us to a bit of dirt. Now we were in Oregon with a capital O. Hude trees, hard pack with a layer of pine needles. The smell! Again, the photos don’t do justice to the amount of Lord of the Rings you feel riding down this road. If a hobbit jumped out and killed me with whatever hobbits kill with, I wouldn’t have been surprised and I wouldn’t have held a grudge.


    [​IMG]

    You can’t explain the feeling of riding down a road with photos or words. There’s too much going on. It’s the air, the temperature, it’s all the shit you’re seeing that you can’t record, it’s the feel of it. My advice is - go ride this road.

    I knew Johnny Pow was ahead of me because I’d just taken the arty shot with the daisy. His helmet com had died so we couldn’t communicate. But I kept coming to these intersections where in normal times, he’d be sitting there waiting on my slow ass just to make sure I didn’t head off to Canada. He wasn’t at any of these spots. WTF? I didn’t pass him. He didn’t pass me going the other way. What is going on here? I kept going thinking that he was in a zone of enjoyment just like I was and he was just in a bombing kind of mood. But still. Every intersection I thought… hmmm… something is up. So I stopped and took a look at Gaia - and when I cut off of the magic Snow White Golf path to hit the dirt following the track - I could see how he might have blown right past the turn-off. Maybe he kept going on the pavement. Hmmm. So I stopped and drank a bit of Gatorade and then realized that maybe we had cell service. We did. I texted Johnny Pow, “Where the fuck are you?” He called and we discovered that he had been on the side of the road just beyond the dirt turn off waiting for me to come by to take a shot with his GoPro. When I never rode by, he turned around to go find me thinking I’d flown off the side of the road into a tree or something. He rode back the way we came. I told him where I was and he headed back to hit the dirt that I’d taken. I was way down the line at this point. While I waited I heard this screeching from the trees. Some animal was either having a vicious argument or they were having the best sex of all time. I’m going with the latter. I felt like a perv listing, but Jesus. Get a freaking room birds! It made me a little horny, to be honest. Luckily Johnny Pow pulled up before I ran off into the woods to see if there were such thing as a bird/human threesome.

    This is me taking a picture of the sounds of bird sex. I realize that this is not an effective portrayal of sound. But if you squint really hard you may hear it. It was something to behold.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily Johnny Pow showed up to negate all feelings of horniness I’d built up. This was another instance of the Universe trying to tighten the funnel. But she’d been kind enough all day so far to let us find a way through. Thanks, Universe. You bitch.

    [​IMG]

    After that, the Snow White Golf Path went on forever. I could have happily ridden this road back to Asheville. It was so nice to have clear blue skies and clean air after our wildfire days.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Okay - enough photos of this road. You’ll get it when you ride it. It was glorious. I know a good ride reporter would list where they were, where the road was, and coordinates etc… But I honestly have never known exactly where I was from the moment I left Asheville. Just drive the TAT from Glendale man! Stop hassling me.

    Then Sam deposited us on the last dirt we’d see on the TAT. It was great. It’s what you need after almost 5k miles of riding. Not too technical, but with some spots to keep you on your toes and make you feel like you’re an ADV Rider.

    [​IMG]


    BTW. Oregon, you are a beautiful state. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Because if someone is telling you otherwise they’re probably a meth head who has lost their glasses. Holy shit, OR.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then we were back on the Snow White Golf Path. And we were getting close to the coast. You could feel it.

    And this is when I started to feel an equal mixture of depression and glee. I want to go home to my people so fucking bad. I also feel like I could ride every day for 10 hours a day for another year. How can I fit my family on a motorcycle? There has to be a way. I want them to experience what I’ve experienced, but without the pain and suffering. There’s no way to reconcile. It can’t happen. But I can see a version of this with my wife maybe. Five hours a day? Four? Maybe she’d put up with that. Maybe on a Harley Ultra Glide. I’d be fine with that scenario. We could stay out of the sand, Mars Rover dirt, and gravel. Right? But it was hitting me. This was about to be over. I don’t know how to feel about it.

    Mostly what I thought about in the last hour or two was the thank yous I owe. First and foremost to my funny, smart, incredible wife Jen. (She’s also super hot btw.) She’s the one who put this all in motion. I told this story early on. But I was sitting in bed watching Ed March and I was dripping with hero worship and envy. And she said, “You should go do that. You’d better do it while you still can.” Fuck. That’s not a wife. That’s a diety. No words. And then my daughters who took on so much of the things I usually do when I’m home. The family business. All the stuff at the house. I’m lucky in so many ways.

    And then I thought about Sam Correro. Without this madman, no one would be doing the Trans America Trail. I was so bummed out that I went by his house at 7am on a Sunday morning. I really wanted to meet this guy. I feel like I’ve come to know him really well over this trip. “No this can’t be right, Sam wouldn’t put me on this road.” or “Sam, why the fuck did you put me on this road?!” I said this in the post when I rode by his house- and I emailed him something along these lines. It’s truer than anything.

    Dear Sam,

    You have written the Greatest American Novel using roads.

    And he has. His accomplishment with this route is to be admired and marveled at like the piece of art it is. It is a breathtaking work of staggering genius. I love Sam Correro with all my heart and I always will. Thank you Sam. That doesn’t cover it, but thank you.

    And then all the gracious and kind people. Holy shit. Where do I start? I know where. Bret W who rescued me in the middle of nowhere outside of Little Rock. He hooked up his trailer and drove an hour and back to come save a dusty old guy in very much need of help. Talk about a guy who’d give you the shirt off his back. He gave me the tire off his bike. And then gave me a front tire too. And an MSR bottle. And a full tank of gas. And his time. And his wife Jo Ann too. So welcoming and so empathetic. They let me stay at their house (Casa del Whackos). Bret took me to Cycle Gear the next day to get some things done to the bike. I mean - a full 24 hours of his life was given over to me. A stranger. A complete stranger. I will never forget any of this and I feel like Bret is already a dear old friend that I hope to never lose touch with.

    [​IMG]

    And Mat from Little Rock who came to Bret’s on his lunch break to donate some much-needed tubes to me. And on top of that gave me his inlaws number and said they were ahead on the TAT and would be happy to let me stay for a night. Thankful.

    [​IMG]

    Then I met Pete from the TAT Shak. He set up a little cottage for TAT riders to stay in right on the route. For no reason at all other than coolness. Did I mention the cottage is stocked with PBR? What a freaking legend.

    [​IMG]

    And then all the cycle shops who bent over backward to help me and then us once Johnny Pow joined. Tom at Cycle Gear Little Rock. Synergy Motor Sports in Tulsa who got my bike right in and cut a chain and installed it and gave me an oil change right then and there. Brilliant. Then Tony at Topar Racing. Legend! My side rack had been broken for a week and I’d had it tied together with paracord. Tony hooked it right up and gave me a couple of hours of excellent conversation in the bargain. And then he charged me about 1/500th of what it should have cost.

    [​IMG]

    And what about Steve! I can’t even remember where or how we met up with Steve. But we did the passes and beyond together. And we couldn't have gotten over without him. He push-started me at least three times up Engineer and California Pass. And then he went on a wild goose chase to find our packs. Oh man. He’s sorry he ever came across us. We texted him just a minute ago to congratulate each other on making it through.

    [​IMG]

    And our other angels of the Passes. First Kevin (at least we think his name was Kevin) and his partner in the Blue Truck. (we’re sure it was a blue truck.) We couldn't make it over with the weight and they took our luggage over the mountain for us. Love!

    [​IMG]

    And Debin and Daniel who found my sidebag on the decline of California Pass and took it all the way down the mountain for me even though they weren’t really headed down the mountain. LOVE!

    [​IMG]


    Joel in Boise! Helped out Johnny Pow and wouldn't take a dime!

    [​IMG]

    My sister who stalked us on ADV Rider who helped us with motel logistics and who became a member to do so (one of my crowning achievements). My mom who unfortunately found our ride report and reigned in her worry anyway.

    And of course, thanks to Ed March and Kiwi Groms for the small bike inspiration.

    And everyone else who waved, gave a thumbs up, didn’t mind us slowing them down, or who came up at a gas station to shake their heads at our folly. Fuck. Thank you.

    But wait. We’re still on the TAT, aren’t we? We haven’t made it to the Pacific. Do we make it to the Pacific?

    Fucking mother fucker hell yes we do. And it felt pretty good. We rolled into Port Orford after a fantastic ride along a river and I don’t know what to tell you. Port Orford becomes a Mecca for TAT riders. It’s what Mount Katahdin is for Appalachian Trail hikers. It’s the goal you set however long ago. And even though it’s just an arbitrary spot on a map - it takes on meaning. And here we were after all this time. Dipping the tires. Touching the rock. Drinking a celebratory beer. Dancing a jig. Yes. All the stuff. It was all worth it for no other reason than we decided that this dumb arbitrary made-up goal was all worth it. And it was.

    In a past life, I was in a band and I made a tee-shirt for the band that said, “Life is Pointless, Be Happy”. And what that means to me is, we only get one and there’s no reason or making to it. And there doesn't need to be. There’s no meaning to anything at all unless we make it meaningful. You just have to find a few things in life that make you happy and then you need to do those things to make you happy. This made me happy. There’s no real meaning to it. It’s just one guy being happy for a minute because of a made-up imaginary goal that happened to get met. That’s all we can do, right? Keep making up imaginary goals and trying to get to them. Repeat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A friend of Johnny Pow’s sent him $40 and some coordinates as a celebration gift. So we drove to the coordinates and spent the $40. Thanks J Bradley!

    [​IMG]

    Then, unfortunately, we had to slog it 80 miles to Crescent City to hit the closest motel we could find. When we walked out of the lobby after checking in there was this ancient gentleman oggling the bikes. We told him our story and he more than approved. He was all smiles. We started up and pulled to the room and heard him say, “Oh yeah…. Smoooooooth….” I think that was meant for the bikes, but I took it as a comment on our ultimate coolness. When an ancient gentlemen is the only place you can get cool points - you take them and give thanks.

    We cleaned up and walked next door to a Mexican Restaurant with a lounge. Luckily the lounge had everything we wanted. A dancefloor and a drumset. You often get one or the other in a Mexican Restaurant Lounge, but to get both seemed like an incredible sign that the Universe had given up the funnel and we’d have clear sailing from then on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Neither one of us was sure which to start with first. The drumset or the dancefloor. So while we decided we had four shots of Petron and more beers than I can count on my left hand which now seems to have 8 blurry fingers. What’s the point of reaching a meaningless made-up goal if you can’t celebrate? Here’s Johnny Pow and I at this point.

    [​IMG]

    And now - I must say a few words about Little Ugly Homefry and all Honda Trail CT125’s around the world. You are all beasts. For real. I already had great respect for Honda as a maker of un-killable machines. But I wasn’t 100% sure when I drove out of the driveway in Asheville, NC. I’m sure now. You can do absolutely anything you want to these little tractors and they will not flinch. We beat the living crap out of these bikes. And they don’t care. They are ready to go another 5,000 miles and I have no doubt they could do 50,000. I rode mine an average of 9 hours a day for 25 days. Rode it hard and without skill. I tried to pulverize the gears in the transmission over and over again. The bike said “whatever” every time. These bikes can not be killed. I tried. We tried. They are immortal. Everything non-Honda made? That’s a different story. All my racks rattled to death. The bolts jumped ship. The tires blew - which I don’t blame on Little Ugly Homefry. She is a mighty unflinching elephant in a 240-pound champion body. Are her skinny bicycle tires suited for every terrain? No. Is her low end grunt grunty? Not at all. Is her top speed a top speed? Jesus Christ not even close. But if I was inside the Alamo fearing for my life with General López de Santa Anna breathing down our necks, would I want her by my side? Yes. And had she been there - things might have been different. THE HONDA TRAIL CT125 IS SUPERIOR TO YOUR BIKE. There. I said it. Comment as needed.

    Johnny Pow was just saying that someone posted that he should keep his beard going. I was seriously thinking the same thing earlier today. He says it never grows out much more than it is now. I told him to keep it going for another couple of weeks. But I also told him that yeah, he’s in the stage now where he looks like a homeless guy who’s out on the street asking young people for chapstick. I have no idea why I find that so hilarious - but I do. And I do know why. It’s because he looks exactly like a homeless guy who might ask a young person for a donation of chapstick. I’m rolling on the ground laughing right now and I know there is no good reason for it. But I also have this deep deep desire to convince Johnny Pow, while he is more than slightly inebriated, to go out and walk around and to please, please. PLEASE ask some young person for chapstick while I film it. This would make my day. Make my year. Make my life. But now he’s passed out and the moment has passed.

    I’m going to miss this. This ride report has given me the chance and a reason to write again which is something I once did religiously every day. It’s something I really enjoy and I thank you for giving me the opportunity. To all of you who offered suggestions, help, support, and cheered us on - we thank you. I’m also 4 tequilas and however many beers in right now - so take all of this with a grain of salt… mmm.. Salt… salt goes with tequila.

    So this is it. I’ll be back for some postmortem and a wrap-up at some point. But this is the last ride report. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read it. Hope to have some videos for you soon.

    WE MADE IT!

    TEAM CT125 LINKTREE
    https://linktr.ee/teamct125

    Attached Files:

  19. Mister D

    Mister D Violating community standards

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Somewhere
    I've enjoyed following your journey. This has been an epic ride report, on a par with the stuff metaljockey used to post. Being from Arkansas, I'm proud to know and have ridden with some of the folks who helped you. I only regret missing seeing you in person here. Have a safe trip home and I'll try to meet you the next time you come through here, on your REH.
  20. Mister D

    Mister D Violating community standards

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Ever seen this? Your trip brought it to mind.
    red clay, DC950, rudy4pl and 8 others like this.