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Author Topic: KosmicKLR's Trans-America Trail June 2009  (Read 17538 times)
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Kosmic
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« on: June 27, 2009, 06:03:26 PM »

Our Trans-America Trail Adventure was a screaming success!
I want to thank Sam Correro for putting together such a fine route that is truly wonderful and exciting to ride. My homies Portero72 and DoctorDR were excellent mates, who could be counted on in any situation, and what few hardships we had were turned into a good laugh. My wife is also a champ for supporting my motorcycling habit and helping us trailer the bikes from our home in Austin, TX to Ft. Smith, AR, where we started the TAT.

The total trip length was 3100 miles in 14 days. Approximately 1600 miles and 11 days of were spent on the TAT.  The remaining 1500 miles and 3 days were spent on secondary highways returning from Moab, UT to Austin, TX.

We navigated by GPS tracks which I drew in Mapsource, based upon Sam’s maps. Portero72 supplemented on the road with his roll charts. It was a perfect mixture because the roll chart detail to make up for some of my track drawing inaccuracies. Plus, it meant that we could exchange lead positions. Potero72 also used GPS for on-the-fly routing and searching for motels. In all, navigation was very smooth and fast.

Lodging was a mixture of 75% motels and 25% camping. We found motel prices to be very reasonable at $60 to $80 per night for two beds and 3 people. My brother and I shared a bed, something we have done since being kids! Camping was great because we did not have to stray from the TAT to find a motel, which costs time, energy and money. This was especially important when we were exhausted.  Also, since my brother was willing to carry a stove, cookware, and packaged meals we ate very well!  We rotated the costs of lodging, dinning and gas amongst the three of us, and a quick total of my share came to about $700 for the 2 weeks.

Weather can be your friend if you are lucky. We were lucky! Our day in Arkansas started well however a thunderstorm chased us down the mountain and off the TAT.
By lunch time the skies cleared, and we continued the TAT at Warloop Road. Warloop was soggy and slick but we made it! We were happy.

The thunderstorms continued across Oklahoma, but we missed them by a day. This made the roads a bit slick and slow but dust free, which was not a problem until we hit a long stretch that dipped low and turned into a mud bog. After unpacking the mud from our tires, we made an exit from the TAT to bypass the worst of it. It was no big loss.

New Mexico and Colorado were green, lush and dust free. We hoped this would be the case, which is why we chose mid-June.

We traversed Geyser Pass to enter Moab, Utah. The pass was foggy and a bit wet, and I was worried that it may not be traversable. Once in Moab we camped at the Up The River campground, and had a light mid-day sprinkle with temperatures in the upper 80’s. Very nice indeed!

To get home, we put in three 500 mile days on secondary paved roads. This was not so bad until we hit Lubbock, TX where the heat started taking a toll on us. We were greeted with a record 106 degree day in Austin. Filling our Camelbacks with ice and wearing an evaporative vest took the edge off it. I’ve been home 2 days and my hands and feet are still a bit numb and tingling.

The 2008 KLR still amazes me! The upgraded fork springs and MT21 front tire made the front end secure feeling in the rough stuff.
It is still a bit tiring to carve it through the tight trails and rocks, especially compared to the DR650, but it loves to climb hills and eats up
the wide smooth gravel roads which make up the majority of the TAT. When you have to take some pavement, and kick up the speeds.
the fairing and seat are a blessing. I found first gear a bit too tall, and second a bit high, for some hills and tight trails, but once you get the
confidence up you can carry second gear just fine. I had to top off the oil a bit after some high speed long distance highway stints, but
not at all during the trail riding.

So now I'll let the pictures do the talking!


Oark, Arkansas. Our TAT starting point.












Warloop Road, Arkansas.








Going into Oklahoma.






























Shortly after this mud fest, we exited the TAT and did a pavement bypass for the day.
























New Mexico here we come!











Thwarted by snow while attempting Hancock Pass. We did the Marshall Pass bypass.




















Gunnison National Forest










Up Cinnamon Pass, Colorado.






























Geyser Pass in Utah - Moab here we come!




100 miles of dirt bliss. The White Rim trail, Moab Utah!


















































« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 12:30:23 AM by KosmicKLR » Logged

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Kosmic
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 06:06:43 PM »

Here are DoctorDR's TAT photos!

























« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 12:59:03 AM by DoctorDR » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 07:12:38 PM »

Great pictures Patrice  clap keepem comin...
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 07:26:43 PM »

Oh sooo nice... eek

 This was my wife's stomping grounds until she got pulled to the North by the likes of me.

 
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 08:54:09 PM »

Awesome stuff.  What more can anyone say?   clap  clap  clap    ricky  ricky  ricky    beer
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 10:22:45 PM »

Pa, you worked some magic on those pics! Excrement!
I love that next to last pic I took of you.  I think its the best shot I did. 
Awesome! (No, really I mean it, awesome, not that old worn out and tired awesome we heard...)
Cri
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 11:01:43 PM by DoctorDR » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 10:33:12 PM »

 lurk lurk lurk beer
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Christian
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 10:52:56 PM »

Kosmic, I never actually SAW the snow blocking us on Handcock pass....thanks for the pics...OK, I agree we had to turn back!
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Christian
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 11:47:47 PM »

Pa, you worked some magic on those pics! Excrement!
I love that next to last pic I took of you.  I think its the best shot I did. 
Awesome! (No, really I mean it, awesome, not that old worn out and tired awesome we heard...)
Cri
I'd like everyone to know that these Part 3 photos were taken by my brother DoctorDR. I tweaked them a bit in photoshop.
Since it was practically impossible to shoot pictures while riding, we developed a system where we would take photos of each other
by pulling ahead and waiting for the others to come by.
Thanks Cri, I appreciate your good work on these!
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 02:18:47 AM »

  Man,,, this makes me wonna take a trip west.    Lucky dogs.     3 days at 500 mls  on a secondary rd has to take a toll.  great pics sure nuff.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 02:42:35 AM »

Great pics ,   the colors are somethin else, the blue skies, green of the trees, high clouds, I can almost smell the sage and pines.   and all the emptyness of the canyons makes you feel small.    Everybody should see the country we live in at least once, even if its from the interstate,  but like ya'll are doin it's a lot more intamate, you can slow down and take it all in.    good job ya'll.
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 01:32:42 AM »

Pretty cool guys, the TAT is different for everyone.  sure packs its share of surprises,  by chance was the gumbo mud in the neighborhood of Alva OK?  that is where we got stuck in our MILE -O-MUD ordeal.   pretty amazing how sticky it is.

so now you need to plan from your ending spot to the coast!

We are doing our Vintage completion tour around the 1st 2 weeks of October, the plan is to start from the Atlantic coast like dip our knobbies in the surf and go to Tulsa from there.  ricky
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Kosmic
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2009, 02:36:34 PM »

Pretty cool guys, the TAT is different for everyone.  sure packs its share of surprises,  by chance was the gumbo mud in the neighborhood of Alva OK?  that is where we got stuck in our MILE -O-MUD ordeal.   pretty amazing how sticky it is.
so now you need to plan from your ending spot to the coast!
We are doing our Vintage completion tour around the 1st 2 weeks of October, the plan is to start from the Atlantic coast like dip our knobbies in the surf and go to Tulsa from there.  ricky
Howdy Dman! Yes I believe we were near Alva when we hit the mud. Its a low spot in the road, where the water does not drain.
Cool, I look foward to hearing about your east-coastal TAT. Its a blast.
Cheers.
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2009, 06:06:57 PM »

Patrice,

What an awesome trip!  What sights and what colors!  To sum it up, what an adventure!  Thanks for taking us along!!!!

 clap ricky clap ricky clap ricky
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2009, 08:56:32 AM »

Thank you Mike, the TAT was a better than I could have imagined.
Sam Correro, picked a stunning route. We could not have done it if not for his passion and dedication.

Also, we really lucked out on the weather, many storms blew through.
Other than a half-day in Arkansas and a day in Oklahoma or our ride being impacted, it was not a problem.
I would love to do the smoother portions of it again, with my wife.
Cheers.
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2009, 06:23:40 PM »

Excellent guys.  The WRT is one of my favorites.   Unbelievable scenery and a fun ride to boot. 
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2009, 10:05:46 AM »

As we approached this hill on the White Rim Trail, I though it looked familiar. I remembered that some riders had
difficulty clearing it. So I figured momentum was the key and I gassed it hard.
I could not make up my mind about choosing a line over the rocks - so I just held on tight and let the
suspension soak them up. It was a rush! We felt good about making this hill.  ricky ricky

Here is the photo I had seen, months before starting the TAT.

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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2009, 10:52:58 AM »

Such a nice report!  I love pics, pics, pics.  Makes it easier for me to imagine I was there.....Some day!!  Thanks for the report.  I was glad to see the DR made it without a problem.  I suspect mine will make it too some day.  I'm off for a ride on it now.  Happy Fourth everyone!
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2009, 11:38:25 AM »

As we approached this hill on the White Rim Trail, I though it looked familiar. I remembered that some riders had
difficulty clearing it. So I figured momentum was the key and I gassed it hard.
I could not make up my mind about choosing a line over the rocks - so I just held on tight and let the
suspension soak them up. It was a rush! We felt good about making this hill.  ricky ricky

Here is the photo I had seen, months before starting the TAT.


WOW, thats the section huh?  Nice...I remember gassing it at the bottom, then giving it a little more squirt right at the top, cause those nice old folks were waiting for us.....here is their jeep going down the same thing.....just to the left is the that tough section.


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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2009, 11:32:38 PM »

Great pics and scenery! I think your thread may be the one that pushes me over the TAT edge. Starting plans NOW!
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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2009, 11:40:23 PM »

Great pics and scenery! I think your thread may be the one that pushes me over the TAT edge. Starting plans NOW!
Excellent! I hope it inspires you to do it. The route that Sam Correro put together is really incredible.
There is no way we could have known what roads to take, and its really cool how he has it broken into daily sections
that put you in sight of lodging and gas.
Cheers!
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« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2009, 07:08:56 AM »

WOW...some incredible roads and scenery you guys got to see!  I'd say some of those roads looked "a little" (ha!) scary too!  Thanks for taking us all along with you with all the wonderful pictures! clap
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2009, 03:59:02 PM »

Hi Guys,
It looks like you had a great time. thumb
The White Rim Trail should be part of the TAT.  When I go through Moab, I will probably ride it as part of the route.  I rode it on my KLR several years ago and have great memories.  There are nice places to camp down by the Green River.
I did TN and MS in June, and will be heading west in Aug. to pick up where I left off in AR on my TAT adventure.  I should be at the Oregon Coast around the second week of Sept.
Thanks for the pics and narration.  clap
Doug
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2009, 09:50:09 PM »

Man what an awsome trip. I would love to do that one of these days
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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2009, 10:11:33 PM »

Fun report Patrice. clap

I'm really wanting to ride the TAT now! Do you think that little XT (extra tuff) 250 would handle it?
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2009, 10:12:35 PM »

Howdy JetDoctor and SDD74, I am glad you enjoyed the report. ricky
I like the idea of doing portions of the TAT at different times of the year.
I could never take the time off to ride the entire route at once, so it would be neat to do the mid-western states in the spring
and the western states in the summer.
I look forward to a report on the TAT to Oregon!
Cheers, Patrice
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2009, 10:24:23 PM »

Fun report Patrice. clap
I'm really wanting to ride the TAT now! Do you think that little XT (extra tuff) 250 would handle it?
You would be the coolest man on the planet if you did it on the eXtra Tuff!
Seriously though, it could probably do it, but it would be torture.  yikes
I would love to continue the TAT from Colorado to Oregon, then dual sport to Seattle to see my family and ship the bike back
to Austin and fly home.
Cheers, Patrice
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2009, 11:28:03 PM »

Fun report Patrice. clap
I'm really wanting to ride the TAT now! Do you think that little XT (extra tuff) 250 would handle it?
You would be the coolest man on the planet if you did it on the eXtra Tuff!
Seriously though, it could probably do it, but it would be torture.  yikes
I would love to continue the TAT from Colorado to Oregon, then dual sport to Seattle to see my family and ship the bike back
to Austin and fly home.
Cheers, Patrice


Ooooohhhhh you have to ride it back home. Shipping is for sissy's. lol Damn the need to make a living.
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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2009, 03:51:43 AM »

 How great would it be just to walk off the job and tell the boss man you aint comin back, go ahead and give your job to one of his brown noser snivelers,  " I'm goin ridin,for a month.   thumb
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2009, 10:55:28 AM »

Hi Guys,
It looks like you had a great time. thumb
The White Rim Trail should be part of the TAT.  When I go through Moab, I will probably ride it as part of the route.  I rode it on my KLR several years ago and have great memories.  There are nice places to camp down by the Green River.
I did TN and MS in June, and will be heading west in Aug. to pick up where I left off in AR on my TAT adventure.  I should be at the Oregon Coast around the second week of Sept.
Thanks for the pics and narration.  clap
Doug

I think he did not have some of the really cool places to visit along the way as the actual part of the TAT because it would detract from the main goal that is to get across the country on dirt. If you do the whole thing at one shot it takes over a month as it its.   But the trail goes by a ton of really cool side trips that are close enough so if you want to take the extra time,  YOU can incorporate them into your Trip. 

that is my story and I am sticking to it.

dman
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