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4eyes
4eyes Reader
10/23/09 5:01 p.m.
mistanfo wrote: more, more, more, please!

Yes, we MUST have more! Us old married guys are living vicariously through you

M2Pilot
M2Pilot New Reader
10/23/09 6:16 p.m.
4eyes wrote:
mistanfo wrote: more, more, more, please!

Yes, we MUST have more! Us old married guys are living vicariously through you

Yes we are, I haven't been on 2 wheels since 1983. Really enjoying you account.

splitime
splitime Reader
10/23/09 7:07 p.m.

You posted this up somewhere else before didnt you? I swear I've seen these before....

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed HalfDork
10/23/09 8:05 p.m.

Great reading. Keep up the good work.

skierd
skierd Dork
10/23/09 11:54 p.m.
splitime wrote: You posted this up somewhere else before didnt you? I swear I've seen these before....

Yup, a few other places. I've been putting off posting it here for reasons mentioned in the first post.

I got the POV shots by taking pictures with my left hand, the camera lived in the tank bag so it wasn't hard to reach in, turn it on, snap a pic, and put it away w/o stopping.

skierd
skierd Dork
10/23/09 11:57 p.m.

Day 7 - Into Arkansas, the West

Time to enter what I consider the start of the "real" west, in other words everything west of the Mississippi River. Crossing the bridge to Helena, AR:

Helena was a hole, I was very happy I didn't have to stop there for anything. And once out of Helena, the roads finally mostly turned to dirt:

Its a shame the surface was so god awful though. Literally 4-8" of ungraded gravel, it was like trying to ride on ball bearings. For once, I was very happy to find pavement because it was a welcome relief to the crappy roads.

Long bridge going over a swamp and river, I think it was like 7 miles long.

Finally the trail, according to the maps, cuts into a national forest and starts along wonderful national forest dirt roads. Then of course, as seemed to be the case for this day, we hit a problem:

Of course it has me going down a closed road. Screw it, lets investigate ('cause its worked so well so far)... Nope, no dice.

Thankfully I got off and walked, as this sucker was DEEP and sticky and I didn't want to ride across it twice potentially. About 100 yards past this mud pit (I'd already passed about a dozen like this), the "road" disappeared into nothing into the woods.

So another reroute, this time a lengthy one as I had traveled about 10 miles up a forest road to get to this point with no cross roads.

It was also around this time that I noticed something catching on my boots when I moved around on the pegs...

You gotta be E36 M3ting me. The soles of my boots started falling apart, I guess they didn't appreciate being soaked and dried so much. After the late start, a long reroute, and the boots, I only was able to make it about 150 miles on the trail today. I ended up staying in an overpriced cruddy hotel in Heber Springs as I couldn't find a (legal) place to camp that looked at all inviting.

And as I was unpacking I started to take a good long look at my tires... they aren't going to make it to Colorado. The front had begun chunking knobs and the rear was just about bald. In their defense, they did have nearly 5000 miles on them and they had been pushed pretty hard on the pavement between the parkway and the gap, for over 700 miles, but I was getting pretty bummed over it at this point. Tomorrow the search began for dealerships in the area that might have boots and knobs... but tonight it was time for bed.

Sorry for the lack of pics, but this day basically sucked.

skierd
skierd Dork
10/24/09 12:02 a.m.

Oh, and as for what/how I packed

Bike prep - Thumpertalk skid plate, Force Accesories Radiator Guard, GYTR hand guards, Zeta folding levers, GYTR brake disk guards, Zeta front sprocket and heel guards, Alaskan Leather sheepskin butt pad, rear rack made by a guy on ADV, 2 gallon rotopax fuel can on a rack made by the same guy from ADV, Dirtbagz Scout model soft bags on their racks, Wolfman Enduro tail and tank bags. Garmin Streetpilot 2720 on a RAM mount, hardwired. Gearing: I changed from stock 13/43 to 13/47, swapped to a 14T front for the ride home. Tires when I left were Dunlop D606's. More on them when I get to them...

What I wore: Shoei RF-1000 helmet, Rev'It Air jacket, Klim Baja pants, Alpinestars Tech6 boots, EVS knee guards (the cheap ones), and Joe Rocket Sonic gloves. Rain gear consisted of a Klim Stowaway jacket, pvc rain pants, rubber overgloves (dishwashing gloves) and overboots. I also had an Aerostich silk scarf, worked great to keep the sun off my neck, deflect bugs, and keep me warmer on cold mornings or evening. Underneath I wore ski socks, underarmor shorts, and a wicking t-shirt. I also had UA cold gear pants and a thermal shirt for extra warmth on cooler days/nights. I also had a pair of Oakley sunglasses, worth their weight in gold when the sun got low.

What I packed: Left dirtbag: Hennessey Hammock, fuel can, small bottle of whiskey, camp shoes (sanuks), and my sleeping bag/pillow in a waterproof stuff sack. Stakes lived in the outside pocket of this bag.

Right dirtbag: rain pants and overboots in a stuff sack, clean clothes in a waterproof stuff sack, hi-viz vest, wide brimmed hat for camp, mesh sack for dirty clothes

Tail bag: Stove, pot+lid, pot holder, fork, and sierra cup (all tucked inside the pot), Tools (enough to tear the bike down to components), spare front tube, tire spoons, chain lube, collapsible jack stand (made by a guy on ADV), stake mallet, first aid kit, toiletries, Monkey Butt powder, notepad with pen, phone and camera charger, electrical tape, and an oil filter for the change in Salida. I also kept the rice for dinner back there. REI 2.5 camp pad strapped to the outside of it, as was my Klim jacket.

Inside the tool kit

Unfortunately, the tool kit, adv stand, air pump, and my gloves that I used for this trip were stolen out of my tank bag on a small trip I took this past wednesday (10/22), so this trip was the only time I got to use any of it.

Tank bag: WD40, gatoraide, wallet, phone, house keys, camera, extra earplugs, a can of altoids, LED head lamp, folding knife, and a spare strap for the luggage.

2L Coleman Camelback copy from walmart, I only kept water and cliff bars in it as I didn't want anything hard on my back, just in case...

skierd
skierd Dork
10/24/09 12:07 a.m.

Day 8 - Welcome to the Ozarks!

Once you leave the east, Arkansas goes from crappy to fantastic. This is also the first time on the trip I felt I really needed a dual sport with dirt tires. Pretty soon after leaving, the trail turns into the Ozark National Forest and gets spectacular.

Stopped for a quick snack/quasi lunch under this tree as it was the only shady place convenient to pull off. The silence once I cut the motor was palpable, removed my helmet and earplugs, and slowly as the sounds of nature crept into my awareness. There wasn't a man made sound to be heard, just birds chirping, bugs buzzing, and a slight rustle in the trees from a slight breeze. The stress from the day before faded away and all thoughts of turning back were oblitherated.

A little store house near the tree.

I'm guessing it was a spring house back in the day, but whatever it was its not used for much of anything now.

Its hard to make out from the pic, but the road surface turned to big rocks, washout, and gravel. I also noticed I was starting to gain altitude...

Come up over the ridge and...

The road would play peek-a-boo with the ridge line all day. I was getting low on gas again, so it was time to pull off yet again and find a station. This was the closest to the trail, but only had 87 octane. As it was 10+ miles to the next station (putting me 15 miles off the trail) I decided to deal with it. Besides, I like stopping at little country stores like this. It was the first of several times that I would only be able to get regular gas (bike takes premium). Fortunately, it runs just fine on it...

Back on the road, and back up on the ridge:

Coming back down again, I passed this little road side sign. I have a feeling what it means but I couldn't believe they would be that obvious about it, so I didn't stop.

Caught behind a logging truck, fortunately he let me by shortly afterwards

I wasn't quite out of gas yet, but I was ready to eat and stop for a spell anyways. Happily, I arrived at another trail icon, the Oark Cafe:

Had myself a chicken tender sandwich, fries, and a drink, and filled up the bike (with 87octance again), and had a cool conversation with the guys running the store. It has been there for over 100 years, and looks it from the inside, but its such a neat place that you have to stop. I also found out a little tidbit if information that I had been wondering since I left... see, I always figured I would run into someone else on the trail since its gotten decently well known (at least amongst adventure rider types). They hadn't seen anyone for a solid week before I got there... That would explain the lack of tire tracks I'd seen, but it was different knowing that I was the only one out there (or so I thought..).

Back into the hills:

Getting kinda late again as I came across a sign pointing to a National Forest camp ground on White Rock Mountain. I was tired of hotels, so I went to check it out. Free! Sold!

Running water, latrine, fire rings with lots of good firewood (scavenged from other, now empty, campsites), settled in for a nice night on the mountain ridge. It was easily the buggiest campground I've ever slept at unfortunately, infested with mosquitoes, horseflies, and yellow jackets, but it was mostly made up for by watching the sun rise over the mountain from the hammock.

Opus
Opus Dork
10/24/09 1:27 a.m.

As a rider, what is your range on the bike? Do you have a desert tank? If not, I would recommend one. I upped my range on my 400 when I added it.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim Reader
10/24/09 2:47 a.m.

Thanks for sharing this with us! I have a sudden need to track down the electrical problem on my XL250 Motosport, no idea why...

4eyes
4eyes Reader
10/24/09 12:46 p.m.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Ozarks. Our area is a bit of a forgoten destination. The on pavement drives are pretty good too.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed HalfDork
10/24/09 5:38 p.m.
Opus wrote: As a rider, what is your range on the bike? Do you have a desert tank? If not, I would recommend one. I upped my range on my 400 when I added it.

Also, I may have missed it already but what kind of mileage to you get on a bike like that?

modernbeat
modernbeat HalfDork
10/24/09 7:14 p.m.
skierd wrote: Day 8 - Welcome to the Ozarks! Coming back down again, I passed this little road side sign. I have a feeling what it means but I couldn't believe they would be that obvious about it, so I didn't stop.

Boozefighters MC meeting place?

fornetti14
fornetti14 Reader
10/24/09 8:08 p.m.

Awesome story

Keep the posts & pictures coming

skierd
skierd Dork
10/25/09 12:02 a.m.

Yeah, I found out after the trip it was the boozefighters symbol. On the trip (and when I was writing the report) I though it was a sign for moonshine .

I loved the Ozarks, but for me the best was yet to come...

The bike comes stock with a 2.1 gallon tank and I did not fit the only available larger aftermarket tank from Safari ($450+), instead I carried a 2 gallon tank from Rotopax on the side rack (its the green can). I averaged over 60 mpg on the trail, though at times I did much better (that comes later, I think y'all will be surprised). On the road coming back, it was closer to 50-55mpg. From testing before I left, I figured my maximum range to be ~130 miles on the stock tank., with the rotopax giving me double that, more than enough.

skierd
skierd Dork
10/25/09 12:11 a.m.

Day 9 - into Oklahoma

Woke up early to the sounds of insects buzzing around my campsite, the bugs here were simply horrible. Fortunately I had gotten pretty efficient at packing up camp by this point so I was able to get out without getting bit or stung again...

Back on the wonderful national forest roads!

Finally came to whats considered the first truly difficult section of the trail, Warloop Road. This is a big reason I stopped early the night before, as I didn't want to go down it tired.

Not so bad at first.

Around this corner, it basically turns into a large and loose rock strewn piece of single track for about a mile.

While I had seen worse trails back home, it was by far the worst actual "road", with signs and houses on it, I have ever been on up to that point. Definitely not terribly big bike friendly, but so long as you look ahead and take your time its not too difficult. Thankfully it sees some maintenance, couldn't find the ADV log though...

Being comfortable enough on the bike and on the dirt to look ahead was probably one of the biggest things I gained during this trip, followed closely by being way more comfortable standing and operating controls on the pegs. Both make riding on roads of questionable character so so so so much easier. Looking ahead was a skill I had originally learned autocrossing, and I remember the feeling of when I finally "got it", and it was the same feeling I started to get in the Ozarks and cemented on Warloop. In both cars and bikes, its what really allows the rider and the machine to work together as one...

Enough philosophy for now, there's miles to cover!

Crossing into Oklahoma:

Out of the mountains and into the prairie

I loved these old river cuts

I made it to Pryor, OK and had to make a stop at the local library to sort through a few things.

Specifically tires:

The rear wasn't too too terrible, but I was very worried about the front. All the gravel was particularly unkind to them both (not to mention the BRP, Deal's Gap, and lots of pavement in TN) and I was starting to worry about the safety of riding on them, especially with how misshapen the front knobs has become. I searched a little in vain for shops along the route, made a few posts on the WR250R mega thread on ADVRider, and decided to soldier on, praying they'd get me to Colorado.

Is it getting flat yet?

Great sign for a dual sport!

Home... home on the range...

I fell absolutely loved the landscape in Oklahoma. Wide open spaces stretching to the horizon in all directions. No hills, trees, and barely any structures to obscure the view. Simply fantastic, and very humbling.

Another day, another reroute... well, lets investigate...

Nope, definitely closed lol.

Crossing into the Cherokee Reservation

Another cool old bridge

I ended up making it to Sedan, KS and stayed in the only motel in town. They were familiar with people on the trail, were nice enough to let me park the bike on the lawn in front of my room. I went a step further and parked the bike inside the room as it and I had attracted a little too much attention for my liking riding out to get dinner. Even with the computer break for an hour in Pryor, and the tires, the roads in Eastern OK were very nice and allowed me to motor at a pretty good clip and managed to make 300 miles on the day. I was definitely getting tired and frustrated by this point too, and was starting to have my doubts about being able to finish the trip.

I was just about settled in for a decent nights sleep to continue worrying about the tires and the ride, when the phone rang. It was another ADV'er, Highfive, offering up tires and a place to do some maintenance in the morning. Only problem was, HF lives a solid 100 miles back the way I already came... took one more look at the tires and said "I'll see you in the morning".

skierd
skierd Dork
10/25/09 12:22 a.m.

Day 10 - Rancho Highfive and more of the great plains

Up not as bright and early as I would have liked so... Time for a high speed run back to Tulsa. How does the bike handle high speeds? How does the lil 250 handle the revs? Put it this way, I held the throttle to the stop for 90 miles, tucked down into a stiff headwind, and all that happened was my gas mileage went to E36 M3 (ran dead out at ~90 miles). Used the rotopax out of necessity for the first time and rolled into Rancho Highfive a little later than I wished.

Parked next to the infamous R²

The man himself:

We basically pulled the equivalent of a NASCAR pitstop for dual sports and had the tires changed, wheel bearings repacked, and air filter cleaned in 2 hours. And by we, I mean HighFive. He and I both knew better than to let me get in the way. Rolled in with dead tires, left with a basically new OE front trailwing and a brandy new rear Dunlop D606.

Of course, then it was time to play a little. Got to see the brandy new motocross track he was building in his backyard, made me kinda upset to have all the luggage and live so far away. I also had the opportunity to ride R² and see what all the fuss was about. The power mods (full FMF Exhaust, modified airbox, FMF programmer, removed EXUP valve and AIS, and a few other tricks at the time) are now a definitely consideration, it definitely wakes the motor up all over but especially up top, and the added oomph would definitely be a fun addition. I also got to ride his son's KLX250S and came away very glad I went blue instead of green...

Highfive is also trials rider, and a good one at that...

with his own little playground in the backyard.

He even let me putter around on it

That may have been the most nervous I was the entire trip. After all his generosity, the last thing I wanted to do is drop this thing. So light and easy to control, there's definitely a fairly steep learning curve to riding one skillfully I imagine. A 280cc 2-stroke with controls so light that they work when you think about it and no seat to sit on will do that. I need one of these once I get a car again, I can see this being illegal amounts of fun, especially around campus and my apartment complex.

After riding, I was invited in for lunch and got to meet the whole family. A nicer and more generous group of people I've ever met. Again, thank you so so much for the tires and help and restoring my faith in people, and allowing me the phyiscal tools and mental refresh/reset to be able to finish this ride.

Back on the road again, and back to the reservation and on the trail. Another cool old bridge:

and another

and another...

the bridge from yesterday, back into unfamilar territory.

Shortly afterwards, the road turns into the open range land. I saw a lot of these oil storage tanks and wells pumping away across the state.

An abandoned farm house that looked like it was an extra from the wizard of oz

And then there's this...

I just had to stop, turn the bike off and take my helmet off, and just sit. It was entirely empty of human presence and except for me, the bike, and the road, and so utterly beautiful its beyond description to me. I could have stayed there all day, just staring at the rolling hills and the grasses dancing in the wind. This was the day I fell utterly in love with the Great Plains. But I knew there were still a lot of miles to go, so back to it...

A short detour. HF had told me it was more than worth my while to make it into the Tallgrass Prairie preserve, and I'm very glad I did.

Cows have to be the dumbest and laziest creatures. As you approach them, they will first get up, and look at you like "are you really going to keep coming and make me move?" Then, as you get closer, they run just far enough to get out of the way... in possibly the lest graceful fashion I can imagine a 4 legged animal moving.

Ohh... hello...

Thats right, free range bison. Thousands of them. No fences, no controls, nothing between you and them. They're smaller than I imagined, but have a... fierceness in their eyes utterly devoid in the eyes of their bovine cousins. The signs explained it, but looking at them made it clear that these were wild animals. Its a shame there are so few left...

As you leave the buffalo range, you come up over a hill and see this giant goddamn TREE. Now, I hadn't seen a tree this big since I left Arkansas some 300+ miles ago. There isn't anything this size as far as the eye can see in any direction, and there wouldn't be anything like this again until I got to Colorado. Its completely dead save for the small bit at the top.

Riding into the sunset of another day...

I only made about 150 trail miles (another 300 on the bike though) and ended the day in Blackwell, OK. Tomorrow would get me most of the way across OK and the next day would see me into Colorado...

Schmidlap
Schmidlap Reader
10/25/09 12:27 a.m.

Great thread, except you're making me think I've wasted my summer. Can't wait to read more.

Bob

skierd
skierd Dork
10/25/09 12:37 a.m.

Day 11 - More Oklahoma

I'm starting to feel good again. Weather was not:

Decided to take the "wait n' see" attitude... nope, lets get breakfast.

The storm passed quickly, maybe a half hour thundershower, and it was time to get back on the road. Moar nice gravel:

And sunshine returns!

So did the clay, for a few miles:

Caught this old homestead/farm out of the corner of my eye. One of the things I was continually amazed at was the sheer number of former homes that were either victims of tornados or some other forms severe weather or economics. I lost count of how many Wizard of Oz'd houses and barns I came across, but this was by far the most interesting (to me anyways).

Seeing stuff like this, all I could think is... who lived here? Did the survive the storm, assuming they were here when it hit? If not, why did they leave? Where did they go? The left piano kinda got to me a little, you could almost here the ghosts of a long gone family...

Fuel was getting low again, so I had to cut back up to Kansas to Kiowa for gas. When was the last time you saw a gas station like this?

Another place with just 87 and diesel, oh well...

Glad I wasn't there, she would have had a field day with me.

Coming back to OK:

More open range...

and more cows...

One of my favorite pics of the trip. Flyover states? Hardly.

The road meandered like this over about 50 miles of ranch land, very few fences, almost no structures, just wide open space as far as the eye can see. And then, a reminder to its not so civil and peaceful state...

You gotta wonder how many times this story was repeated during the 1800's, but went unnoticed... As peaceful as it seems today, its hard to imagine this whole center section of the country as essentially a lawless war zone for the better part of a century.

Moo cows!

Crossing the Cimarron "River"

Somewhere around here, I ran into Gary. I can't remember Gary's last name right now (its in my Garmin), but he's a farmer from just outside of Gate, OK. He was coming along on his quad right about when I stopped for a quick snack under the shade trees on the edge of his property and we had a nice long chat about riding, the trail, and the region. I learned that the county I was in (Beaver?) had a population right around 1500 people, and that there wasn't a stoplight in the county. The population peaked in the early 1900's, but with mechanized and commercial farming its been shrinking ever since. Really really nice guy... he is also a huge fan of the TAT and the many riders that go by. So if you see him, stop by and say hi. He mentioned that he has a guest house on his property and any TAT riders are welcome to stay the night. Unfortunately for me it was too early to stop, but if anyone doing the trail later on is interested I will send you the coordinants.

Another small setback... my right eye had been bothering me all day the previous day and today, but I couldn't figure out why. I figured between the sand and dry heat that I was just getting dehydrated and the eye was just dry so I took my contact out to clean it. Thats when I noticed the nice little tear in the lense. Last pair of course, looks like I'm finishing the trip with my glasses that I fortunately remembered to bring as I'm blind as a bat w/o correction.

Towns so far gone, not even the ghosts of structures remain...

Another abandoned home

Horses! Smarter than cows and more predictable than deer, it was fun riding along side and behind them for a while.

Just when you think you're doing something newish and kinda unique, you see something that makes you realize you're 468 years late.

Sorry about the blurriness, now you know how I see w/o correction (j/k... my eyes are worse lol).

I kept riding until the sun setting was simply too blinding and too low on the horizon, then cut north to Liberal, KS to find a room again. There simply was no place to camp (legally) out here, and there weren't enough trees to hang the hammock for stealth camping, which is one of the two reasons I'm selling it. The other is its a bit tedious to set up quickly correctly as you have to get the tension right, which is a little too much fooling around as the sun sinks behind the horizon after a long day of riding for me. (Note, I tried camping w/o a hammock this week, I hated it. I'm getting a Warbonnet Blackbird and a separate tarp...).

Tomorrow... COLORADO AND THE ROCKIES!

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed HalfDork
10/25/09 6:51 a.m.

Great post. Really enjoying it!! Thanks so much.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/25/09 9:07 a.m.

Man. You lucky dog. Keep it coming.

But now you have done it; an old enduro riding buddy has a street legal KTM 450 for sale.

Kia_racer
Kia_racer New Reader
10/25/09 10:42 a.m.

I never did the dual sport thing but this thread reminds me of when my Mom and step-father used to take cross country trips on the bikes. Mom had an old KZ400 with a Windjammer fairing and hard saddle bags and my step-father had a BMW R60 with the same.

I also loved the pics of the trials bike. They sure have changed since my Dad rode a OSSA Plonker in the 70's.

Keep it up I love this thread.

skierd
skierd Dork
10/25/09 10:23 p.m.

Day 12 - OK, NM, and CO, or I'm not quite as alone as I thought...

Another day, another county road between fields. Open range has given way to farmland at this point, so no more barb wire to divide the scenery, just fields as far as the eye can see.

More vacant homes...

Hmm... the road's starting to fade... and turning to sand...

Ah bloody hell...

berkeley

If you're gonna crash, it might as well be in foot deep sugar sand. I was doing about 20mph, got caught on the center mound, and after fishtailing for about 50 yards just completely ate it.

It gets better of course...

It was not particularly fun trying to get out from under the bike, as if I lifted it up wiggle out, the fuel can dug into my lower leg just above my ankle and if I didn't lift I couldn't move. Fortunately I found a happy medium and got out to assess the situation. No damage to the bike, and no damage to me except for a few bruises on my left side on my ribs and general soreness for the next few days.

The road eventually became good again fortunately. At the next crossroads, the Garmin had me going straight on some nice two track again, so I motored along...

DAMN it.

Some back tracking and rerouting, back on the road.

Stopped for gas in Boise City, OK, the shell station there had a pretty decent little diner inside with damn good breakfast food. Looking out the window as I finish my coffee, and I see a newer loaded up KLR pull up to the pumps, take a long look at my bike, then roll over to the air pumps. The rider walks into the diner part of the general store, see's me, and asks me about the bike, the trip, etc. Turns out he's on the TAT too and has been chasing me for the last week or so. So, meet Paul Shreiner, another ADV'er.

There was also another guy on a nice GS whose name I didn't catch heading east.

Since Paul and I were headed in the same direction, we decided to ride together for a while, at least as far as Salida since thats where I was stopping on the TAT.

Out of Oklahoma

A little bit of pavement as a connector...

Then back onto the open range.

...where the antelope play! Fast little bastards, missed on 3 other shots trying to get them.

Another abandoned homestead.

Almost ran over some barb wire without noticing it, would have made for a nasty surprise for sure... watch where you put a wheel out here off the roads, lesson learned.

Its obvious someone spent a lot of time building this, and a lot of effort. Hell, how far did they have to go to get the trees for the roof?! Paul snooping around

Getting into the canyons

Remember what I said about do the trail now, because they're paving it? The west isn't immune to it either... I kinda get the feeling the cowboys must have had when they first encountered barb wire. The attempt at taming and dividing of the wilderness that simply refuses to submit. Still, its a nice view...

The pavement disappeared once we got down into the canyon

Go this way dummies!

As we both stopped to take a picture, we hear a dog barking and a tractor approaching. Meet Henry the rancher:

Had a nice long talk about the area, his ranch, and the amount of rider's he seen over the last few years. He actually put the sign up because people kept missing the turn and riding down a dead end road where some of his relatives live.

The climb out of the canyon was on a nice wide little road, lots of elevation climb and rocks and sand and loose dirt. No pics as there was no where to stop, but it was easily just as difficult as Warloop imo.

Finally, up on the Mesa at ~7000 feet.

Another abandoned home, right as you got up there. Judging by the size, this had to be a pretty nice place back in the day, just out in the middle of no where by itself.

Hmm... ominous clouds...

Branson, CO jail house

Dey gots me! (can't help it, I turn into a little kid around this kinda stuff)

Spartan accommodations, wonder if they'll let me use the hammock?

Note... don't get into Branson expecting gas cause there ain't any. Nearest gas is Trinidad, quite a ways ahead... more on that later...

It drizzled a little on the way in to town, so she decided to pick up some trail makeup.

the old church in Branson

Hmm... those clouds don't look any friendlier, lets ride!

Ended up stopping to throw on rain gear in Trinchero as it opened up pretty decently. This would be the last time I got seriously rained on for the remainder of the trip.

Waiting for another paving project, the construction workers had the road down to one lane... but the didn't have radio contact with each other. About 30 seconds after getting the go ahead and rolling out, a semi comes barreling down the hill. The driver rolls to a stop next to me... "HEY, YOU GOT ANY SMOKES?"

Why yes... yes I do. Tossed him my last cigar (bough a pack of cheapie Garcia Vegas in tubes to enjoy at a few campfires), pretty sure I made his day.

Liquid sunshine!

I made it! Welcome to downtown Trinidad, Co.

I made it 155 miles from Boise City and used 2.021 gallons out of my 2.1 gallon gast tank, ~76mpg. No doubt the slower speeds on the trail helped, but still the bike isn't exactly unloaded as I'm about 200 pounds, probably 215-220 dressed, and carrying 50 pounds of gear. Did I mention I love this bike? Got dinner at the Main Street Diner, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Fantastic food, get your salsa hot.

Ended up bedding down at Trinidad State Park for a dissapointing night. Not only did the ranger over charge us for the campsite, I couldn't find a decent pair of trees to hang the hammock. The showers were nonexistent. The closest bathroom was in the picnic area a mile away. Lame...

Tomorrow: Salida!

mtn
mtn SuperDork
10/25/09 10:44 p.m.

Little known (or maybe well known) fact about Trinidad, CO: Its the "sex change capital of the world".

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado Dork
10/25/09 10:46 p.m.

I haven't been on a motorcycle in 25 years. And they were all road bikes, I never took one off the pavement.

Reading this thread makes me to believe that's actually two mistakes I shouldn't have made..

Keep it comin', skierd!

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