Tennessee
Reports about Kevin
Basso's cross-country offroad motorcycle trip.
 
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Kevin Basso
Eagle Scout
Boy Scouts of America

COOTERS PLACE

TENNESSEE

MISSISSIPPI

ARKANSAS

OKLAHOMA

NEW MEXICO

COLORADO

UTAH

NEVADA

CALIFORNIA

OREGON

 

 

 

TENNESSEE

Late start this morning! I put on a small front sprocket and lubed the chain – all in an effort to wait out a downpour. It was sunny the first couple of hours on the trail, then the clouds moved in - along with tornado warnings. The sign for the beginning of the trail was no where to be found. I lost about an hour trying to find the missing sign and inquired with anyone I came across. One Amish man, in a horse drawn carriage, ignored me – not interested in my travel pursuits – technology and motorcycling far from his mind and lot in life. Unfortunately, my only other source I scared off too. A teen in another horse drawn buggy sped away through the fields – could it have been the Scott Psycho hologram goggles?

I found myself in a very thick wooded area with a stream crossing. An hour later, slowing down for the widest of streams, I noticed that the bed was algae covered granite. At this point, it was too late, my front tire was shot and over I went - in the water! Luckily, I remembered to hit the kill switch (or the engine would have sucked in uncompressible water) resulting in a bent drive shaft. I try to lift the bike and find I am only able to turn the handlebars, so the bike is, at least, parallel with the water. Still being pulled down by the current - I lift again and, surprisingly, I have enough leverage to upright the bike. I try to the ignition, POP, it dies! I try again – it sputters and rumbles to back to life! I walk it in gear and put out the kickstand. Shook up - I check out the bike and everything looks good. Thankfully, the maps missed the water by a few inches. My knee is a bit sore, but I carry on down the trail and get to Olive Hill. There is a gas station that looks like it is 50 years old and hasn't seen one repair. I consult the map and see the next leg of my trip requires me to ferry my motorcycle across the river. I asked the gas station attendant about the boat and she told me it hadn’t run in over two years - due to another bridge further down river being constructed. I note there is a different route to get around the river - crossing near Savannah, TN. Rain starts again and I decide it is time to get a room for the night.
On each page you will find the music I had along with me on my RCA Kazoo MP3 player. A must have for long trips. I could load up my CD collection into mp3's and have 75 songs form the long sections. Tomorrow I will meet Sam Correro. Happy Trails!

Kevin Basso

I WISH I HAD TAKEN MORE PICTURES, BUT THE RAIN
MADE ME KEEP MY DIGITAL CAMERA IN MY POCKET.


Rolling up charts for the first day.

Taking off the 15 tooth sprocket, putting on a lower geared 14 tooth for offroad.

Here is the starting point, Campbell Station Road.

The start of trail, 4,400 miles to go

Bike loaded up, extra tires are needed, plan to change when it gets muddy.
 

Off to hit the trail, the first 20 miles are gravel/pave, the remainder are 99% dirt.

Some horses that just got scared from this fence when I was trying to take their picture.

Tennessee farm land.

I was just able to take these next two pics before the sky opened up and just dumped rain.

Another angle.
 

After the stream fall, dripping wet.

The Honda hasn't failed me yet, quick give me something to knock on!

"And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain"

Olive Hill gas station. Stuck in American nostalgia.

Olive Hill gas station next door.
 
           
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