August 27, 2016

We finally had a day with no issues, no weather, no bad conditions…just perfect weather and riding! Made our way from the base of the mountains at Westcliffe Colorado, up and over Marshall Pass and the Continental Divide. The riding was pretty easy and relaxed. The groves of aspen trees at 8,000 to 10,000 ft is pretty amazing. We grabbed a quick snack in Salida, an old ranching town turned yuppy paradise. Artsy shops, studios, cafes and pubs lined the streets downtown, oh and how can you forget, cannabis shops EVERYWHERE!! Not sure if I could live here knowing that the guy driving down the street toward you is stoned out of his mind. Talked to some locals and they’re not too happy about it.

Mounted up and riding toward our final destination of Gunnison Colorado. Service appointment tomorrow morning for Katie Goat and Rod’s Super Beast 950 so we were excited to get there early. Along the road leading down the mountain towards Sargents Colorado, we were over taken by 2 KTM’s and 2 Huskys...

August 26, 2016

So, you’d think we paid our dues entering Colorado after riding through yesterday’s storm. But obviously Colorado has something else in mind for us, but more on that later. We got up this morning well rested and warmed up from our nearly freezing ride in the rain last night. We finally caught up with the 2 Brits riding KTM 500 Six Day models. These bikes are basically full race bikes with special suspensions, brakes, exhaust and every other custom part you can think of for a KTM. They’re pilots are a couple 20 something guys from England that clearly are expert riders with racing experience. Kind of a cool story, they’ve both lost a parent recently and are riding for the British Heart Foundation. They shipped their bikes to NYC and flew in. Rode to Tennessee from NYC to start the TAT, riding to Oregon, then down the coast of California to the tip of Baja, then back to LA to fly back to England


We grab breakfast and hit the trail around 9am. The weather was perfect! Sunny and brisk with...

August 25, 2016

It only seemed an appropriate title considering the MASSIVE storm we took cover from and eventually had to ride through to get to Trinidad Colorado today. In case you don’t know me that well, I grew up in Central Illinois and the band who made that song a huge hit, REO Speedwagon, was from my area and played in little bars and clubs around my hometown before they made it big. I remember my friends and I sneaking into the Red Lion to watch them play when I was about 16. Later had the pleasure to meet Kevin Cronin and Gary Richrath after they made it big.

The day started awesome as I wrote in yesterday’s blog. If I suddenly move to Elkhart KS, you’ll know it was because of the beautiful Mexican lady who owned the café. I’ll just leave it there, but Rod had a REALLY tough time getting me on the road especially after she came outside to tell us goodbye and have a safe trip.

Spent most of the morning weaving in and out and between fields in Kansas and Oklahoma. We stopped a really cool old ho...

August 25, 2016

That may be just a line from the fun, enjoyable musical to most of you, but to us it was a nightmare! All day we dealt with 30-40 mph cross winds, which by itself is a bad riding day. Combine that with riding off-road at high speeds, it become dangerous. Add in a sandy or deep gravel riding surface and it’s downright INSANE to even think about riding in it. From the moment we left Alva Oklahoma to when we pulled into the El Rancho motel in Elkhart Kansas, that’s what we had to deal with.

There were some highlights, like riding through some really beautiful ranch land on the Oklahoma-Kansas border, dodging free range cattle. Eating breakfast at the Wildcat Café in Elkhart and meeting what might possibly be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. We’ll just call her “Maria”, she was the owner and her daughter in-law was the cook. It’s was quite an experience in more ways than one. I may have to come back sometime ;)

The people again have been amazing no matter where we go. The lone except...

August 23, 2016

We got a great night sleep at the Springhill Suites in Bartlesville last night. I think that tasty Mexican dinner and a couple Pacifico’s had something to do with it! Rod said meet up at 7am in the lobby and we got loaded up and headed out. Today was a TOTALLY new experience. The first couple hours went through a WMA that had some cool lakes and creeks and trees. Crossed several really old steel trestle bridges and really enjoyed the morning. We made over a 100 miles by lunch and set our sights on Alva Oklahoma for night. As fate would have it, we hit some really tough parts in the afternoon.

The good news is that the rain from days ago settled the dust a little, made the temps cooler and it also had been long enough that the mud had dried up. But the negative effect is the DEEP silt and sand that has washed into the dirt roads. We’re flying along between 50 – 60 mph and all of a sudden your front tire just completely washes out and the rear end wants to pass you! It’s a really “white k...

August 22, 2016

Rod and I met early for breakfast and begin planning out our trip for the next several days. I think we can make better time now that it’s just 2 of us. We decided to try and make up some ground today and get deep into eastern Oklahoma. After stopping at Auto Zone for a new bulb for my headlight and washing the Mississippi and Arkansas mud off our bikes, we throttled hard for Oklahoma. Not a lot to report today, because it’s pretty boring riding this area. We did meet some interesting people at every stop. Like the guy fishing in the Illinois river from a kayak or the lady at the gas station. Everyone always ask “we ya headed?”. I like seeing the look on their faces when I respond with “Oregon”. Then the explanation of the TAT etc etc begins. In general, people have been great everywhere we go.

We did have a crazy idea that has kind of blossomed into a daily routine. We ask random people we run into who they’re voting for in November. So far, it’s a resounding “No one!!”. It’s amazing h...

August 21, 2016

My sleep was abruptly interrupted by the sound of Rod’s KTM 950 Super Beast at 6:00am. He exclaimed we had about a 30 minute window between storms to break camp. It had rained pretty much ALL night and I was super glad I had decided to set up my MSR Gear shed to keep all my equipment dry. We hurried and packed everything up and headed back to meet the trail. I know several people have commented that on the DeLorme tracker it looked like we did a big circle and they’re right. We had to ride a way back east to find this campsite, so backtracking was inevitable. The ride through this part of Arkansas was pretty, but nothing like what we see when we finally reached the Ozark National Forest. Great tracks and beautiful scenery. We were flying pretty fast on a downhill section when I reluctantly entered the “Club”, Crash Club that is. I picked a line a little too tight on a sweeping downhill sweeper and got off into the ditch. It sucked my front tire in and the rear followed in a big way, sp...

August 21, 2016

Pulled out of the J&M motel early morning and stopped at Bendi’s Café for breakfast and to plan the day. Seems like every little town we stop in, we run into super nice people! The couple that owned the motel for 30 plus years and the ladies at the café were some of the best I’ve met so far. After an awesome home cooked meal, we hopped on the bikes and headed north west. It didn’t take long before the little Arkansas field roads we were on turned to mud.

At one point they were working on constructing what looked like a new levy and had a “Road Closed” sign posted. Of course we ignored it and rode around it. Not nearly a half mile down the road, it got MUDDDDDYYY! Rod went first saying over the com’s, “We can make it”. Literally 2 ft later, he said “No we can’t”. Yes Ollie, fine mess because the mud became impassable and we had to detour around. Spent most of the day winding around these gravel roads surrounded by fields full of crops.

We did make a little detour up to Searcy and Sunris...

August 19, 2016

Day 6

We broke camp at Lake Enid MS at daylight and headed west for Arkansas today. We discovered rather quickly that rain is good AND bad. No more dust, cooler temps…Good. Muddy, slimely, slippery roads…BAD! Not too long after hitting the trail, we came to some roads that were pretty muddy. Corey’s back tire, which started life as a 50/50 tire, was now a “slick” when caked with mud. At one point he just sat and spun the tire on level ground in the mud. A few minutes later, the mud trolls grabbed his bike and pulled him down again. This time much harder than the first and I thought he was pinned under the bike. But he popped up and was ok. The heat and humidity, combined with the physical aspect of this kind of riding was brutal. I think I lost 5lbs of water weight in the first 30 minutes.

We finally started getting close to the Mighty Mississippi and even road several levys, which was totally awesome! One got pretty treacherous. It was muddy and rutted, but trying to go around left you...

August 19, 2016

Started the day from Corinth Mississippi at the wonderful Quality Inn. We discovered after checking in that this is likely one of the town hot beds for meth heads and crack heads. I swear I saw several deals go down and the hotel desk clerk confirmed our suspicions. Regardless, it was good to do our laundry, recharge all the electronics, catch up on the blog/videos/website and SLEEP on a real bed!

Once packed and ready to go, we decided to put on our rain gear since rain was likely. We come to the theory that if you wear your rain gear, it will never rain. Later after lunch I broke ranks and removed mine. It POURED 10 minutes later. Lesson learned.

The riding today was a mix nice Mississippi backroads and some gravel forestry roads. While stopped in one town for lunch, the local County Road guy stopped us and said to avoid a certain part of the trail because they were working on the bridges. We rolled the dice and found the roads open and the road crew was kind enough to move the barrica...

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