Trans America Trail / TAT 2021: HONDA TRAIL CT125 Edition

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

  1. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    DAY 3 June 25, 2021
    FROM: Lafayette, GA to Iron city, TN
    MILES: 251
    HOURS: 9:21


    Woke up at 4am for some reason and thought, “hell yes, I’m going to get a super early start and murder today.” I made a cup of Aeropress coffee and held off my urges to jump in the Jacuzzi and ate a fig bar. Then I goofed off for three hours and left at 7. No clue what happened there. I’d found a possible sleep spot last night called David Crocket campground. When I went on the site though it said full. I figured I’d head that way anyway and beg them to let me pitch a tent behind a dumpster or something. I couldn’t come up with anything else. I figured I’d try to call them on the road somewhere.

    It took about 20 minutes to get back on the TAT and I didn’t get on where I got off so I think I missed a section. I stopped for about 10 minutes at the intersection of that TAT to make quintuple sure that I was getting on headed the right way. I stopped again in 30 minutes to make damn sure. Jesus. I’ll never let myself live that down.

    Turns out - I could have made it to Jasper last night no problem. There was no dirt (that I can remember) between Lafayette and there. Could have gotten another hour or two in. Oh well. I stopped in Jasper and filled up with gas and then got pre-made grocery store salad for second breakfast at about 9a. It was nice to have something that wasn’t processed for a change.

    Somewhere before the Tennessee River I came to a spot where there was this weird thing in the GPS where it went through what seemed like a neighborhood and then right back to where I was. Maybe a mile. I skipped it. Ten minutes later it occurred to me that this may have been a test. Maybe Sam put a box on a post on that little stretch with a TAT logo on it. And if you opened the box, you’d find a golden ticket that said, “You have proven your mettle. Due to your steadfast loyalty to Sam’s vision, you have earned the inheritance to all of Sam’s TAT kingdom.” I figured there’s be a QR code you could scan to get instructions on how to collect your inheritance. I’m positive that’s what the deal was there. I hope the next person passing through will check for me. And split the inheritance if I’m right.

    [​IMG]

    The riding was so different today. Where yesterday was all dirt all the time, today was country road after country road mixed with some sprinkles of mellow dirt for good measure. It was gorgeous farmland for miles and miles and miles. Really nice riding. I needed some pavement after yesterday. I stopped for a fig bar lunch in the middle of some dirt road. I saw a billion deer and huge birds along the way.

    I popped my first wheelie on the CT125

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    I got through to the campground and as expected, they were full. Shit. Finding a place to sleep is going to be the bane of my existence on this trip unless I figure it out. Johnny Pow sent me a text that if I needed help to let him know. I let him know! He came up with the same David Crocket campground I’d looked at. But then he found Sycamore Campground & Taco Shack. That sounded promising right way. He said it looked “hemp friendly.” I tried calling them but got nothing but a busy signal. It was about 15 minutes off the TAT on 242 so I figured I’d give it a try.

    Not a ton of action to report for the day. I just rode and rode and rode. I think I got to the campground at around 3:30p or so. I immediately texted Johnny Pow, “You’re a genius.” What a great spot. The guys welcomed me and showed me around and I set up camp.

    [​IMG]


    I went down to the river and sat there for awhile doing nothing.

    [​IMG]

    Then it occurred to me that they might sell cold beer. Which I’m drinking right now in their air conditioned restaurant/bar/entertainment spot.

    [​IMG]

    I also had an incredible veggie taco. So glad I didn’t have to deal with the ostrich stomach gruel tonight.

    No service here so not sure how I’ll upload this. It’s on my laptop because I can’t type more than a line on my phone at a time.That’s about it. I’m psyched to be camping and I hope I can figure out how to keep finding a spot each night (without driving Johnny Pow crazy). I think there are some big water crossing tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them - unless I go in. Then I’m not. Pow texted that I needed to get a drone shot of the big one. If I fly the drone - there is no doubt in my mind I’ll go in. No doubt at all. So we’ll see.



    #61
  2. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    I got you mate
    #62
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  3. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    I was hoping there was some kind of wild hippy music happening for you to partake in
    #63
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  4. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

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    513
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    Ashland, Oregon
    Sounds like real science for this laddy!
    Who could argue the numbers we are all so different.
    Roll on.
    #64
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  5. antipode

    antipode Wanderer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Somerset County, NJ
    Loving it, subscribed for the ride.
    Have fun!
    #65
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  6. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    I can't for the life of me figure out how to size the photos down so they're not so massive. If anyone has some tips - lmk... I know it's annoying...

    DAY 4 June 26, 2021
    FROM: Iron city, TN to Counce, TN
    MILES: 180
    HOURS: 9:48

    Holy crap what a day. Got up around 6 and had a cup of coffee. Left the campground around 7a. Took about 15 to get back on to Sam’s TN 15. Soon enough I was at the Knob Creek crossing. I was a little worried about that one but other than the loose gravel it wasn’t so bad.

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    After that it was lots of dusty dirt and lose gravel mixed with country roads. There was one steep rocky climb with a sign that said TIE Camp WMA (i think) that was fun.

    Then at some point after a long time on a dusty road I came to this locked gate. FYI it’s on TN 19 and 35.23183, -87.69907. Don’t quote me on those coordinates. I couldn’t find a way to ride around - so I leaned the bike way over and scootched through. It wasn’t too bad. But couldn’t have done it on a larger bike without some help probably. It was odd - because there was a country road right on the other side - so they weren’t trying to keep me from there - they were trying to keep folks from there to where I was. I really had no idea what else to do - it was way to far to backtrack...

    [​IMG]

    Lots and lots of logging roads. A bunch of clear cutting but the clear sections created some nice views. And then this happened.

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    I had been worried about my front tire yesterday and all day today. I don’t really know why. But my back tire blew. Wasn’t a big deal - felt a wobble and pulled over. Thank goodness. I’ve never in my life changed a motorcycle tube before - and I was plenty nervous about not being able to do it. It took me almost two long hours. I just took my time - obviously. It wasn’t at all fun and I really wish it hadn’t happened. But - now I sort of know how to change one. Getting the tire off the rim wasn’t a problem. Getting the tire back on the rim wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I was trying to be super careful not to pinch the tube, because I really didn’t want to have to do it over again. Just took a bunch fo time.

    [​IMG]

    I was extremely thankful to have good spoons (can’t remember what they are right now) and the slime compressor. I almost dumped that because it’s a bit bulky. I am so glad I didn’t. That thing is worth its weight in gold. Two guys stopped to make sure I was okay which was extremely nice. The last guy was an old timer on a 650 something or other with big knobbie tires. He told me I was in Alabama which I’d had no idea. He asked me where I was going and I told him I was trying to make it to Mississippi and he said, “That’s just six miles across the river.” I thought to myself, “You don’t know Sam.”

    Once the tire was back on I rode it up the road with no pack just to make sure the brakes were working and nothing was weird. I loaded up and went to Waterloo to sit down for a minute and fill up on gas. I have to admit I was a little freaked out by the flat. I rode overly cautiously for the next while. I probably would have enjoyed the TN Switchbacks a bit more if the flat hadn’t happened. But eventually it seemed that all was well and I got back into the riding. Hit some nice soggy roads with lots of little water crossing and lots of gravel. Then hit some farm roads with great scenery

    [​IMG]

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    The camping situation hasn’t gotten much better. I’d planned on camping at Pickwick State Park campground but they were full. So was every other campground I called. So I’m at another motel. I made a point today to be on the lookout for any camp spot (paid or not) anywhere along the route and I saw nothing. When I got close to Pickwick I also zoomed out on google and searched for camping and also tried dyrt and ioverlander. I think it’ll be better when it’s not the weekend and I’ll figure it out eventually. And I know it’s got to get easier as I get west. I know there’s been advice about just finding a spot in the woods. And I think if I had a riding buddy, I’d be down with that. But being solo? Nope. If there’s a big guy with a shotgun or a hungry animal or a crazed meth head - I want someone there to scream and run for our lives through the woods with. Wouldn’t be fun by myself. Yinzer Moto posted a comment with a photo of an abandoned house they sleeping in. No way I’m walking in that place by myself man! I watched Blair Witch Project in the 90’s. Anyway - camp if I can, motel if I can’t. All good.

    And then my day’s luck continued. I ordered a burrito from DoorDash using the hotel address on the phone.

    [​IMG]
    Turns out I’m in Counce TN and I’m not at an America’s Best motel. How am I supposed to know where the hell I am?! I’m tired and confused - and a brother just wants a burrito. Why would another address be on the motel phone?! Now I admit - I’m not in room 136 so that could have tipped off a person with a sharper mind. So I had a sweet delicious burrito delivered to someone in Shelbyville - 100 miles away. You’re welcome. I can picture them chewing on it right now. God damnit! I couldn’t get myself to go out and find something so I made a freeze dried vegan camp meal which wasn’t as bad as the last one. But it was no burrito.

    I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to get into on this trip. I usually enjoy meeting weird people and hanging out in weird places. But what I’m finding is - I just love riding the little motorcycle. Especially on this amazing route. I just want to ride all freaking day long for as long as possible. I don’t want to stop for food or gas or to figure out where I’m sleeping or anything else other than the frequent breaks I take when I’m in the middle of nowhere to just sit there for a bit. I’m also really enjoying doing all of the video stuff I’m shooting and talking to myself/the gopro as I go. I think I’m getting some good footage.

    I was pretty bummed about the tire and the 2 hour delay today. But still managed to eek out 180 miles. So not too bad. Hoping for a nice long day of riding with no mishaps tomorrow. Onward to MS…
    #66
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  7. dancingweasel

    dancingweasel Virtual Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    478
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Well done fixing your puncture. It can be daunting if you've not done it before, and to have it in the middle of nowhere as well. It might be a good idea to pick up spare inner tubes, if you haven't already, as sometimes, you just can't repair the tube. Thank you for posting this RR, am really enjoying it. Ride safe.
    #67
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  8. Madscientist

    Madscientist Been here awhile

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    Aug 8, 2011
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    299
    Location:
    Oxford, MS
    Your updates continue to entertain. You’re making excellent progress.
    #68
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  9. SwampyDeadHead

    SwampyDeadHead Been here awhile Supporter

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    Jun 19, 2020
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    686
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Motel phone looks like it's seen some errant bodily fluids.
    #69
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  10. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    Oct 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    YIPES !!
    #70
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  11. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Asheville, NC

    DAY 5 June 27, 2021
    FROM: Counce, TN to Lake Enid, MS
    MILES: 203
    HOURS: 8:30

    Another great day of riding. Rode by Sam’s house at around 7:15am. Really wanted to meet him and thank him in person, but I figured that early on a Sunday morning wouldn’t be appreciated. So I took a photo and left a TeamCT125 decal for him. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled! I’d wanted to leave a note as well, but I didn’t have a pen. So I emailed him the photo and this message:


    Dear Sam,

    You've written the great American novel using roads instead of words. I’m only a tiny bit of the way through and it’s already blown me away. I can not imagine how much work this has taken you to create. It is deeply appreciated.


    THANK YOU!



    A bit flowery I know. How much adventure rider cred did I just lose? But it’s true. He’s creating something that is pretty amazing.

    [​IMG]


    Not too far from Sam’s there was a giant pile of timber blockign the route. I detoured up through Corinth and hopped back on. Much of the riding was similar to the day before. Lot’s of country roads, but there seemed to be more dirt today. I also dealt with a ton of deep gravel and some deep sand as well. As much as I like these tires -it’s pretty obvious that I need something a bit more aggressive. Although, is there any tire and bike that does well in deep sand? I think you have to move to a dune buggy to deal with that stuff. Tons more picturesque landscapes and long logging roads. Mississippi has a lot in common with North Caroline where I live. And Tennessee for that matter. The South has a ton of weird magic going on.

    [​IMG]


    No mishaps today. Well, one semi-mishap. I stopped on the trail to tighten the chain a bit. It was on the road in the photo above. I wasn't parked like that adjusting the chain! I was well over on the right side out of the way. An old mini van came blazing down the road and flew by within inches of me and the bike. It scared the living crap out of me, and that must have been the intention. Their dust was not tasty. Although much better than a vegan camping meal.

    I’d planned on getting new tires in OK - but I’m a bit ahead of schedule and now I’m worried I won’t have time to ship them there. I also have to find some new tubes - I don’t know if the 17” tubes I need are common or not. I have to figure something out. The tires still have plenty of tread on them - but I absolutely won’t make it the whole trip. I’d thought about doing it in Trinidad - but John pointed out that I’ll get there on July 3 or 4 at this pace - and I’m not at all sure they’ll be open. Anyway - nothing to do about any of it on a Sunday.

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    I hopped off the TAT somewhere before Tillatoba, MS and headed to Enid Lake. Johnny Pow at Mission Control had found a good looking campground. Plenty of spots. Very pretty - and very hot. Waiting for it to cool down before I grab a shower. And we absolutely have to find someone to man Mission Control once he meets me. Unbelievably helpful to have someone throwing out breadcrumbs for you. I'm sure some folks think it's fun to figure out where to lay their head each night. Not me! Camps all set. All that's left is to shower and mix some kidney beans I picked up at the bait shop with some ramen and call it good. They don't sell beer around here on Sundays which was - well it was devastating. An ice cold beer right now would be the shit.

    [​IMG]

    Mission Control tells me I should try to make it 220 miles to Bebee, AR tomorrow. That’s the plan!


    #71
  12. dp064

    dp064 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Nashville
    Sometimes it's just better not to know.. :hide
    #72
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  13. mikeped

    mikeped Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Powell River, BC
    This is an excellent ride report. Self-abasing humour is high level shit.

    I have to admit, I like the idea of having a "guy in the chair." I do that for my wife when she is travelling solo. No way could she do it for me. Heck. I bet I could be almost professional. I am a work from home guy (which I hate BTW), which means I am typically bored. Hit me up if you need help.
    #73
  14. trialstech

    trialstech Been here awhile

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    At the risk of sharing TMI - I'm kind of worried about managing to meet up with Ang out west. Our original plan was that I would meet him in Trinidad on July 9th or 10th. So I purchased my airplane ticket for July 8th. I did pay a little extra so that maybe I can move it (if there are seats available). Then my good buddy old pal Ang decided to leave Asheville a day early. Okay, got it, no problem, let's see how it plays out. The trip planner was for him doing 150 miles a day. So far he is averaging 225 miles per day. So he's now several days ahead of schedule. Which means I'm going to soon have to look at changing my flight. Oh - its the holiday weekend for the Fourth of July, so I expect flights to be booked. Also, the warehouse which has my bike is closed on weekends, but also closed on the 5th for holiday observed. So that means in all likelyhood I'll have to change my flight to the 6th and Ang will have to slow down, or if work will be cool with it I'll have to leave on the 2nd and then have a extra day to wait for him at NM/CO border.
    #74
  15. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

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    Jun 25, 2017
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    594
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    Just wait til he hits Oklahoma. Been raining for 3 days with more to come. I'm sure finding/purchasing a boat will slow him down a few days.
    #75
  16. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    I thought that your sentiments to Sam were beautiful. Well said.
    It's difficult to imagine him receiving a nicer compliment.

    I've thought about Sam's contributions not really being much different from Forrest Fenn's treasure hunt contributions. Each man's gifts are both charitable and philanthropic, and there can be vast rewards for everyone that plays along whether you find the box of valuables or not.

    Thanks for taking us all along with you. :thumb :ricky
    #76
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  17. oldschoolsdime92

    oldschoolsdime92 Been here awhile

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    oldschoolsdime92 is checking in for this ride! Love this!
    #77
  18. steved57

    steved57 Long timer Supporter

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    East Texas
    Loving the report, bike of choice and pics - looking forward to more
    #78
  19. BigBluKlr

    BigBluKlr Been here awhile

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    Nov 19, 2018
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    275
    Location:
    Pittstown NJ
    I'm am enjoying as well. Now I have two going at once as another rider just started his TAT ride from Ashville.
    #79
  20. anelog272

    anelog272 Some Guy Rides

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    CT125 mayday. 2nd flat of the day and hearing a strange intermittent transmission noise. I picked up the only tube I could find (18 instead of 17) this morning in MS. I guess I’ll try changing it but I’m worried. Was on a detour to cycle gear in Little Rock to get the one 17 they have. On the side of the road in Stuutgart AR. Any suggestions taken with appreciation! What a day.
    #80