For those of you just tuning in, the TAT stands for Trans America Trail, a 5000 mile dirt route across the United States. From Tennessee, we'll follow the trail all the way to the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast. Follow us here as we document our adventure over the next six weeks. More info on the trail at

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One day of trail riding is in the books

Well not really in the books, cuz we didn't reach our camp site until
just before dark and thus had no time to write in our journals. We are
camped behind the police station in Sparta, Tennessee after our
request to camp in the city park was denied. However, the officer did
say we could stay in a grassy yard behind the station and use their
water hose as needed which is great. We covered approx 180 miles of
trail today from Jellico to Sparta and have already become pretty good
at navigating using the roll charts and gps, only got lost once and
that was for about 20 mins. The 1 mile range on the intercom helmet
units (scala rider G4) wasn't giving even a quarter mile at times
which forced me to follow Luke a bit closer than we'd have liked and
eat more dust than I am used to consuming in one day. Luke took this
picture of my dusty filthiness at a stop to check our coordinates, you
can't really see the caked dust around my eyes, but I'm sure you'll
get a chance to see plenty of that in the coming weeks. One thing we
are already appreciating about Tennessee is the shade that is provided
by all the trees, kinda makes me a bit weary of those western states
we will hit with much less trees and thus much more sun. That might
cut down on the number of miles we can do in a day but we will prolly
be super tough and weathered by then and it will be a non issue. Or we
might be super tired, weak and weary by then and it wi be a huge
issue. Oh well, we will cross that bridge when that time comes. One
day at a time until then. As for this our first day on the TAT, we are
gonna retire for the evening and be gone with the sunrise.


  1. It looks like you two are off to a good start...happy trails. D&L

  2. 180 miles isn't bad for the first day. What kind of terrain is the trail so far?

  3. Yeah, it's been fun so far and a some challenging parts, but I would say so far Tennessee has been approx 80% pavement. Some people skip Tennessee entirely when the do the TAT for this reason, but I'm glad we are here as the rural countryside has been amazing. We hope to finish Tennessee today and enter Mississippi tonight and leave any pavement behind us.