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

Monday, September 12, 2011


While I'm sitting here staring at my crippled motorcycle I may as well update on how the last few days of Oregon finished up. It was some of the more aggressive riding yet, and as beautiful as anything we'd seen in my opinion. We stopped by Crater Lake and spent an evening there camping, as well as rode the rim trail and some short hikes. Probably the bluest blue I've ever seen. I was surprised to see snow up there too considering the time of year and the fact that it isn't that high up, around 6000 ft.
The next day we rode about 125 miles of trail and set up camp at the top of a pass with a beautiful view. We expected this to be our last night on the trail as we planned to hit the ocean at the end of the next days ride. That however proved to be impossible as the next days ride threw us some curves. We had a massive downed tree in the trail that required backtracking and finding another route, then got lost and have to spend the night in the forest approx 25 miles from the coast. We did however get to watch the sun set at sea from the mountainside campsite that night which was quite sufficient compensation. The following morning we made our triumphant arrival at the most westerly part of the continental United States, Port Orford, OR. We celebrated in style with a gallon of milk and breakfast cereal on the beach as Mike christened his mount by spraying it down with the cheapest champagne that Rays Grocery had to offer. We had made it.
We camped that night at Humbug State Park and swam in the icy waters of the Pacific. For around 30 seconds. We then headed south on the 101 down the Oregon coast to Crescent City, California and up US HWY 199 to Jacksonville to the home of Marshall Lango. He had my road tires waiting for me, and heaps of hospitality as well. Many thanks to Marshall, Donna and family!! I left in the morning for Fresno to spend the night at my moms. Had a great evening and dinner with her and then took off this morning at 7 for Phoenix. I was apparently in too big of a hurry as I raced down the hwy and now I get to write all this as I lie in a sandy ditch working on my tan I guess, as I observe my ruined bike. (see last post) 100 miles from Phoenix, and I really don't feel that bad about it. Not mad at myself or the bike, both of which have had a hell of a run for the past two months and can't have any regrets. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning when for the first time since July 27th, I will not put on my blue Exofficio shirt that you have seen me wearing in 100% of the trip photos.
Luke and I plan to compile a bunch of video clips from our cams and upload to the site once we get home and settled.

100 miles from home and...

My piston has seized up. Spent last night in Fresno with my mom and was apparently in too big of a hurry to get home to see my wife. Now I know what happens when you ride a dirt bike at 95-100 mph for most of a day. So here I sit in the sand of the Sonoran waiting for the calvarly to arrive in the form of Brian Williamson (The Man) and Bea with a pickup truck.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Party expands to Four!

Mike and I lifted a dusty old rock and found a 94 year old man who was
doing the TAT as well. He'll be joining us through Oregon to the
Also, please enjoy these little Donkeys. They are often seen wild in
deserts we've been riding through. They like to pretend they're
roosters by hee-hawing LOADS early in the morning.

Drama at the hot springs

We rode into a little town just before sundown last night called Denio Junction in Nevada inquiring about a place to put up a tent. They informed us of a little known hot springs about 10 miles away where we could camp for free and have a much needed opportunity to wash our dusty selves, all at no cost. We found it without much trouble, even met up with another TAT rider and set up camp before we jumped in the hot spring. That's when it got interesting. A couple guys we had ran into earlier show up at the spring with a shotgun, asking all sorts of disturbing questions about our schedule and when we were expected at the next stop and things of this nature. It's a start night, but still pretty dark and we can definitely make out the fact that he's got a gun and we are in the absolute middle of nowhere with no cell signal. The two left for awhile mentioning that they had some flat tires and wanted some folks to go with them to help, a story that sounded sketchy as they come. We took the opportunity to get out of the water and scurry back to the tents to get my pistol. We hung out at the camp ready for anything for awhile, then finally got into our tents to try to get some sleep. My Walther PPK was loaded and near my right hand all night. Luke woke me up at one point with a little tap on my shoulder whispering, 'shhh' as we listened to footsteps outside. We again were ready for just about anything, gun loaded and safety off, but it quieted and went away. We awoke this morning to find all if our gear was still intact, nothing missing, and in the end nobody even got shot.
Another Nevada night on the TAT, and one of the most eventful to date. We didn't get much sleep, and we needed it as yesterday was one of the hardest riding days so far. I had my first 3 real trail crashes (if you don't count getting hit by a car at Arches NP) and smashed up my mirrors, shattering one of them. Oregon is just around the corner and I cannot wait for greenery and Crater Lake.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Last nights site in N Nevada

Another great night camping last night. We found a flat spot near a dry rocky creek bed and built a fire down on the rocks. We had seen lots of rabbits on the trail so we had the gun handy all night in hopes we'd see another one we could eat up. We did see one, falling for our carrot bait trap and Luke just barely missed it with my pistol. Had to fire the gun in the night too from the tent to chase off coyotes that would not stop yipping and yapping long enough to fall asleep.