This is my first R/R, so be gentle….and I am not the most literate one either. None the less, let’s get it started! A little background story may help, I’m a long-time motorcyclist, but most of my 30+ years of experience is on closed course pavement. I rode some dirty bikes as a kid (yzinger was the first, 86 CR125 as a teen), got a sport bike as a senior in h. school and started road racing a couple years later (1996) until the end of 2007. So, for 20 + years, I was traveling the paved roads around our great nation and I would see all these other roads going off into the distance. Most of them were dirt, some were great looking curvy paved roads, but I always wondered what was on the other end of those roads or what did they pass by? So, now that my 4th and final kid has blessed us and I no longer am trying to be a professional road racer (I still dabble a little for fun), I’ve decided to travel the roads that aren’t the fastest way to go from A-B. I am traveling the roads that are the adventure, that take me past what I feel is the real U.S. of A. After watching some recent movies on adventure riding, it helped re-stoke the fire inside to ride more and also ride the less traveled paths, it also helped when a long-time friend showed me some videos of the T.A.T. So, I researched bikes and this past Dec., after what I felt was a good deal, bought my buddies 2013 KTM 690 enduro with the idea of adventure riding. I chose the 690, because I still like to act like a 20 something year old, even though I’m on the low end of 40. Soon after I was introduced to my local group (C.A.D.S) in Jacksonville, FL (Yes, Flatistan) and met some great people that really love riding and they put together some awesome events. They really are an awesome group, I went to a meeting (no dues, just show up) and soon was riding their “Polar Bear ride” this past Jan. and I also attended their “Trans-Florida Rally”. Man what a hoot….Now I am truly hooked. I have been slowly planning to ride the TAT, but wanted to “practice” with some smaller trips. Low and behold, Bill (aka, Waybill on here) has a route from Ormand Beach, FL to Tellico Plains, TN, as much dirt as he could reasonably splice together (My guess is about 60-65%). I planned to ride it at the end of March during a time I was able to secure a day off my main job (firefighter) and was off from my part time job as well. Bill had said the trip was broken up into 5 days of riding and he planned the routes to end at a state park each day for camping. What better way to “practice” than to take a trip to TN where the TAT runs through. During the “Trans-Florida”, we (C.A.D.S.) met a rider from Mass. that was riding a Kawasaki Versys like it was my 690! Not only that, his footpeg/shifter broke 10 miles into a 300-mile ride and he finished the entire enduro ride using the passenger peg and third gear only…So as we were chatting, and I mentioned my TN trip and he said he was going up there for MMM that same week! I thought it’d be great to ride w/ a bud, and learn from someone that has been traveling America on a bike, camping and surviving on two wheels only, so we planned to skip the first leg from Ormand Beach to Goldhead State Park in Keystone, FL and leave the Tuesday before MMM and to arrive in TN on Thursday, so a total of 3 days for a 4-day trip (Remember, Bill said it was planned as a 5-day trip, but did mention it was possible to combine day 3 and 4, more on that later!). Ryan, AKA Banana12, made it to the house Tuesday morning and we headed out about mid-morning, stopping by my shop to pick up some of my gear and say bye to the wife (who was really supportive, but completely confused on where I was headed, why I was headed there, where would I sleep, eat, and POOP! Yes, she asked that too) and kids. I was traveling fairly light, planning to eat out at local diners, I brought a tent, sleeping bag, shower supplies and more clothes than I actually needed. I also brought my tool kit, two tubes, and hydration pack. Ryan had a large amount of supplies, due to living in FL for the winter on his bike, so I felt that we had plenty of supplies and it wasn’t too remote of a trip. We planned to link up on the route (using my phone as navigation w/ WayBills GPS points, first time to do so) west of Jacksonville and make our way north. We head through downtown Jax, and just west of Jax there are two state roads, FL 121 and GA 121, that run parallel to each other just across the river from one another. Well I hadn’t turned my GPS on yet and was going off of memory, and I knew we rode past a motocross track on GA 121 called the “Dirt farm”, well silly me didn’t realize we were supposed to take FL 121 and cross over the St Marys River and link up w GA 121. So right out of the gate I miss a turn and miss a cool bridge that Bill specifically mentioned in our talks. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the only time I miss a turn. We continue on and ride pavement for a bit until we get closer to Folkston Ga and take some dirt roads. If you don’t know or haven’t ridden in Florida, the soil of choice is SAND, with a little bit of SAND and a side of SAND to go with it. But I don’t mind, cause the 690 floats on top of it due to ample power on tap. I reckon I will share what components I’m running on the 690. I decided to mix my tire choice up some and run a Pirelli MT 21 front and a modified MT 90 rear. What’s a “modified” MT 90. Well, I cut some extra perpendicular grooves into the large center rubber sections using a tire groover (mine is basically a large soldiering iron w sharp cutting tips) after riding on the tire previously on sandy roads and it exhibiting less than preferred traction. The only other option was the matching rear knobby and I didn’t think it would last the trip, since I had used it on the previous trips. I actually noticed a nice difference with straight line traction in the sand, and was happy with my work and choice. I did run my psi at 25 psi the entire trip north, I knew it was a tad low for the pavement sections for tire life, but was happy w/ it for the grip. I also am running a RAM mount for my phone and added a power outlet w/ USB ports on the left side of the frame, just behind the steering head (saw the setup in the 690 thread). I run the Rally Raid luggage rack w/ GIVI waterproof soft saddlebags, and had a Garmin VIRB elite camera. That’s about it. So here we are cruising up some sandy roads in S. GA, they are mostly straight, but just lean back and wind up the 690, and they pass w/ a quickness. Do you see what I see? Is it a coincidence that we see another moto track?