Luckily the trail wasn't this nice through the whole canyon, it quickly turned into pretty much just a single track dirt bike trail that followed a dried up creek bed. It was tough and very technical but offered the best riding of the whole trail, in my opinion. Would love to have this kind of riding in Florida.
A little more technical part of the Trail, and it got a lot worse!
This was a pretty tough section, but fun to ride, it always helps when you have the kind of view that Utah offers.
After we finally managed our way through the mud we hit miles upon miles of sand, in my opinion Nevada was be far the hardest section of the trail. But it depends a lot on the weather, if its really rainy I hear that Oklahoma can be worse.
Being the TAT goes within 10 or so miles of Crater Lake we decided to stop in and camp for the night. What an amazing place! We met a guy name Al who was just out on a long weekend ride, he was on a 650 BMW and we took a 32 mile ride around the perimeter of Crater Lake right at sunset. It was beautiful but the mosquitoes were out in full force and I about froze my butt off on the way back.
Crater Lake at sunset....
Well as you can tell from this picture we made it! 5,300 or so miles of which probably 4,200 or so would be considered off-road. It took us 22 days of riding to complete, we took one day off in Telluride ( by one day off I mean we only rode for 3 hours ) while looking for Dave, I put 160 hours of actual engine run time on my bike. So that works out to riding a dirt bike 8 hours a day for three weeks straight! That's hardcore! I think the TAT was tougher than me or Dave had expected, but that's exactly what you want, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. When we got to the Pacific we stayed the night in a hotel and celebrated with some beer. The next morning Dave headed south to head home ( which turned into a whole different adventure, check out his blog ), and I headed north to Portland where I had left the VW Bus exactly a month before.
The main question I get asked is "Would you do it again?", absolutely! Not only would I do it again, I plan on doing it again, would love do it in a jeep or some other kind of off road capable vehicle, which could probably make about 90% or so of the trail. If not in a jeep it will be on an actual dirt bike, something that you don't have to carry all your own gear, and having a motorhome as a support vehicle would be ideal. Its crazy to think that in 2009 you can still drive across the country using pretty much only dirt roads, but its possible! I don't think people realize how large the United States actually is, when I hear people talk about over population... I just laugh.