US East Running the Trans America Trail (TAT) from WV to the OR coast

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP


We are going to start the TAT in Ripley, WV. We will continue west until we connect to the "Shadow of the Rockies" in CO, and will follow it north. We will reconnect to the TAT in WY. From there we will continue west on the TAT into ID where we will branch off to the Pacific Ocean Spur, and take it to the OR coast. In the map above, I marked in black following the TAT route we'll be taking. This event will take up to four to five weeks to complete.

The first few posts on this thread will contain vehicle requirements, rules, and expectations of participants. Please read before signing-up for this event. By signing-up, it is implied you have read and agree to them.

View Rally Point

 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
Rules, requirements, & recommendations… I like to put them out up front so there’s no questions about what’s expected of folks; what’s ok & what’s not ok, etc. People don’t like surprises at the last minute – and I don’t want anyone to have hurt feelings before we even get started on day one. Please read posts #1 - #5 (and post #9 - trail etiquette). I don't mean to sound harsh, but if you can’t go along with these, then please don’t sign-up.

Please check back-in on this thread if you registered for any updates, especially as we get closer to the departure date on 12 June 2021. If you're signing-up later in the game (totally cool!) please make sure you read through the whole thread start-to-finish for any important information that might be posted in there somewhere.

It would be nice if you do register, to post a little bit about yourself, your overlanding experiences, a description (and maybe even a picture) of your rig, and why you want to run the TAT.

Vehicle Requirements & Expectations:

Vehicles should be in good working order, with 4WD or AWD and decent ground clearance. We will be driving thousands of miles total across multiple states over four to five weeks, and much of it is off-pavement (figure rocks, mud, and some water crossings in places). That means cooling system is working well and not leaking, hoses are good, ignition is running strong, battery & wiring are well secured, fluids are relatively fresh, brakes are in good working condition, U-Joints are good, etc.; and any known issues have been fixed before the meet-up day. This should be for any Overlanding trip you're planning on participating with, not just this one.

Tires should have plenty of tread on them and be in a good safe condition - preferably not street tires but instead AT or MT tires. All vehicles must have a full matching size, mounted matching size spare tire with adequate tread on a matching sized rim (no temporary spares even if they are of a matching size). Plug kits are great (I've got one), but they only go so far, and are not a substitute for a full-size, matching spare tire and rim. So if you’re buying larger tires for your vehicle, you need five of them (four plus one for the matching-sized spare tire).

Vehicles must have strong tow-points or recovery points (like tow hooks or D-rings) front & rear (a 2" receiver also counts as a tow-point - and they do sell front mounted hitches with 2" receivers for some vehicles - check out e-trailer as a starting point). Those bent wire-looking hoop things welded under some vehicles used to tie them down from the factory for transport are not tow-points or recovery points. Even the best set-up overland vehicle sometimes needs to give or receive a little tug to get over/through an obstacle - there's no shame in needing a tug sometimes. Using a trailer hitch tow ball as a tow-strap attachment point is dangerous - preferred (and simplest) is a D-ring attached to a 2" receiver bracket (not the one from Harbor Freight). I think most newer vehicles commonly used for overlanding nowadays have tow hooks up front and a 2” receiver in the rear either as standard equipment or as a factory option. If not, you may have to go aftermarket or custom.

Each vehicle must have a tow strap or recovery strap (not a chain) of some kind strong enough for the weight of their vehicle. Straps must have fabric loops at the ends, not metal hooks (metal hooks are dangerous).

Must have a jack capable of lifting your vehicle to change a tire (does not have to be a high-lift jack). It can be your factory jack. If you’ve lifted your vehicle and installed taller tires, check to see if the jack you have will still go tall enough to lift a tire.

Need to have a spare fan belt(s) for your engine. We can repair a busted radiator hose on the trail; There’s all sorts of crazy things we can do to get you off the trail, but we can't tape together a busted fan belt. Belts are cheap and don’t take up much space; pick one up at any parts store. Worst case scenario buy one at the dealership.

If there is something that frequently breaks on your vehicle, or is a hard-to-find item, bring a spare. If your vehicle requires a special kind of headlight bulb, bring a spare or two. If repairing your vehicle requires a specialty tool (I’m thinking like a large specific-sized socket for removing a front hub) consider purchasing one and having it with you with your tool kit.

Need to have a way to air-down and air-up tires (I just use the backside of my tire pressure gauge to deflate). If you're looking at an air compressor that just plugs into a cigarette lighter, it isn’t strong enough or adequate for trail use - it should either be hardwired into your vehicle, or use clips to the battery post. Ask us for recommendations if you're not sure. CO2 tanks are great (very fast & quiet) until you run out of CO2 (ask me how I know).

Need a GMRS radio (and a license to go with it). Ask me/us if you have questions about specific GMRS radio options.

Link: Why Do I Need a GMRS License & How Do I Get It? | Midland Radio (midlandusa.com)

Vehicle must be capable of traveling at least 150 miles using the gasoline you're carrying. Figure we'll be driving relatively slow and not on pavement; you will not be getting anywhere near your normal highway MPG. Plan accordingly - Jerry cans are your friend. When we stop for gas, everyone fills-up or tops-off (sometimes we might have to take an unexpected long detour, or a gas station in the middle of nowhere we thought would be open might be closed, etc.).

If you're planning on bringing a trailer, think small(er). WWII military-type trailer sized, or a fairly small teardrop-type or expedition trailers are your best bet (best if trailer track width is no wider and roof no taller than the vehicle towing it). Either way, trailers need to have a good, rugged suspension and high clearance underneath, and off-road-ish tires ("LT" series tires preferred at least) with good tread, AND... all trailers must have a matching spare tire. If your trailer is running the same size wheel & tire and bolt-pattern as your tow vehicle's full-size matching spare tire, that's fine. But if not, the trailer must have its own dedicated matching mounted spare wheel and tire. FWIW, my lil' trailer shown below has its own matching spare (mounted on the back of the trailer's tub) as it doesn't match any of my other vehicle's tires. Yeah - that's a glamor shot.

Overland Adventure.12 (2).jpg

Willys and trailer.7 (3).jpg
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
What To Bring & Expectations:

Bring a sense of adventure, and an understanding that things won't always go as planned or as you would like. There is no way I can guarantee how far we will travel every day, or when we will arrive at a certain destination, where we will stop every night, or what’s ahead around the next bend. I guessed at finish date (31 July) when filling out the Rally Point thing. I have no idea exactly when we will get to the OR coast. I'm figuring 4-5 weeks after we start-out.

Every vehicle should have their own copy of the TAT maps (either paper or GPS). That's part of the fun - following the map so you know where you're at, and keep us on track. I use GAIA as a platform for my GPS maps. I have it on my phone, and have a phone holder on my dash. There are other GPS platforms that work just as well of possibly even better - I don't know what's best. GAIA works for me.

Link for purchase: TransAm Trail – with Sam Correro

The TAT Bundle, with the Shadows of the Rockies and the Pacific Ocean spur as GPS files emailed to you (and four TAT decals) will cost you $120.00.

Cold weather gear – even though we’re starting mid-June, there's a good possibility we'll see snow in Colorado.

Figure we'll be camping almost every evening, so pack accordingly (you're Overlanders - you should have this part down!). Now's the time to buy the new camping gear you've been wanting! Most days we should be going through or near a town that at least has a gas station or a place to buy some groceries, but have enough food for a couple days in your vehicle just-in-case.

A wrist watch might be a good idea (Timex even has an Expedition series of watches!). We will have a specific designated departure time every morning (figure between 0800 & 0900 +/- unless told otherwise the night before). The exact time will be put out the evening prior. That means vehicles are rolling out at that time in the morning. That means by (NLT) the designated time you've already got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, done your morning routine stuff, taken down and secured your camping gear, gone to the bathroom, loaded up your vehicle, and are ready to roll. We will not be standing around waiting to leave once "everyone is ready to go" or "after breakfast" - otherwise we'll be lucky to hit the road/trail after lunch that day – that is a plan for failure. Please be punctual.

Same goes for when we do a gas stop or decide to explore a little town, have lunch, explore, or whatever - there will be a departure time/wheels rolling time put-out, so everyone knows when to meet back to head-on out (& wheels rolling). Ideally when we get gas, you pay at the pump, pump your gas, and then move your vehicle so the next person can get gas. And then if you need to go inside to get something, do it then. Don't leave your vehicle at the gas pump while you go inside shopping.

When we stop for lunch, that’s lunchtime for everyone. We can’t stop for an hour late in the morning for an early lunch for someone who didn’t eat breakfast, then stop again at noon for another hour for lunch for the main group, and then again for an hour in the afternoon for a late lunch because someone wasn’t hungry earlier and didn’t eat. We will stop for lunch once a day.

Fire extinguisher, shovel, first aid kit – all vehicles should have these in some form. Wouldn't hurt to bring some bear spray (one can for each person in your party).

Bring whatever camping gear you need to keep you comfortable, warm-and-dry, and well-fed. Custom tailor it to your needs and what your vehicle can handle.
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
What Should I NOT Bring & Expectations:

No smoking marijuana. I don't care if it is legal in many states. Please don't bring it or buy it to smoke it (there are other options – tinctures, edibles, gummies, etc. – go for it).

No illicit drugs (I shouldn't have to say it... but I will... I guess I just did).

If you need to bring a separate cooler just for beer or other alcohol... maybe you should reevaluate your priorities. A little drinking around the campfire at night is totally cool; having to get drunk is not. Drinking and driving – (or passengers drinking while you’re driving) along with being illegal (even if off-road), is unsafe, and will not be tolerated. This is not a "party-hard and let it all hang-out" kind of trip.

No portable gas or diesel or propane generators. Period. No Exceptions! I don't care if your newest latest & greatest generator cost $4000 and is advertised as "whisper quiet" or is encased in insulation inside a trailer when running; we can still hear it. We don't want to hear it even a little bit, or even think we're hearing it. We are wanting to hear "nature" when camped for the evening, or the crackle of a campfire - not a small motor running. Leave them at home. Seriously. We don't care if you feel you need to run a generator so you can have AC running in your trailer or to power your microwave/toaster/coffee maker/blender/waffle iron/hair drier/popcorn popper/CPAP machine, or whatever - no gas/diesel/propane/or whatever fuel-it-burns generators on this trip. No exceptions. We're camping folks. Think wilderness... nature... outdoors... getting away from it all… don't fight it - embrace it!

Connecting a large inverter to your car battery and running your vehicle’s engine while we're camped to power the inverter is the same as having a 250-HP gas-powered generator. No-Go.

So also do not bring "noise producing devices" and make others have to listen to them. That includes music players that others must listen to, i.e., radios, CD/DVD players, movie projectors (I've seen it - that's why I'm saying it), etc. That's why God invented headphones if you really need or want to listen to it (I’ve got Pandora on my phone - I get it). We do not need to be entertained at camp. We don’t need a DJ spinning tunes at camp. I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys "getting away from it all" when overlanding - so why should we have to listen to that distracting stuff? Let’s be considerate of others. I'd rather be sitting around a campfire talking with folks vs. staring at a phone or laptop screen any day. Having said all that, I’m sure we'd be ok if you wanted to play the guitar while sitting around the fire.

Camp lights are nice at night so you don't walk into trees and such. But lets not turn night into day with excessively bright lights. Be considerate of others.

Fireworks. Let's not catch anyplace or anyone on fire. Do not bring them.

Let's talk about guns. I like guns (Patriot Life Member of the NRA here). However, if you bring one (or more) and I'm not saying I'm not, please keep them out-of-sight and safely secured in your vehicle or on your person. We will be going through multiple states that all seem to have different gun laws and such. Be discrete. Let’s not get arrested. And let’s not have any negligent discharges (you military folks know what I mean). There's safety in numbers - we'll be fine.
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
Miscellaneous:

Dogs. I like dogs. I like dogs better than I like some people. I have dogs at home (too bad they’re not overlanding dogs). If you bring one (or more!), you need to keep them under control (it would be extremely sad if one got loose and we couldn’t find it). I know bears poop in the woods, but they don’t poop around our campsite. We don’t want to step in dog poop. Be prepared to pick up after your dog right away when at camp.

Camp chairs. Go for comfort, not the cheapest butt slings that Walmart sells. We’ll be on the trail for weeks – you’ll be using your chair for weeks – buy some nice comfortable ones. You can get nice folding ones for around $50/each.

If you're doing this trip with us solo and you have a medical condition (diabetes, seizures, asthma, cardiac history, carry an EPI pen, etc.) let me know about it before we hit the trail (I'm an RN). I don't need to know all the details. And have some sort of PRINTED OUT abbreviated medical chart/record with you with a basic history (medical and surgical), list of medications, and a point-of-contact to notify along with your main physician's contact info. And keep it in the glove box where we can find it. So if something happens to you out in the middle of nowhere and we need to get you help, we'll have something to go-by to tell the EMS or hospital. Doesn't do us any good if all the info is on your phone and you're passed-out and we know nothing. Or your EPI pen is buried in the bottom of one of your bags deep in your vehicle while you're having an anaphylactic reaction.

Even better and more specific (thanks nOmad - another experienced RN who will be joining us): Put your information in an envelope, write your name and "in case of emergency" on the outside and then seal it up.

A few essentials elements of information should be in there:

1. Your first & last name
2. Your date of birth
3. Your home address
4. Emergency contact name & phone number
5. Copy of your medical insurance card
6. Past medical & surgical history (a simple list and years and type of any surgery)
7. Current medications and doses you take
8. Allergies to medications, foods, insects, etc.
9. Copy of your living will (if you have one, which you should)
10. Copy of your driver's license

Let's all hope the envelopes do not get opened, and we all return better off for having been together. But if needed, this will be essential to making sure you get the right care. We'll be there to help.

If you’re looking for an excuse to buy stuff (or upgrade what you’ve got), these are at best merely suggested items, might be nice to have, but in no way are they required or expected on this TAT trip:

Tire plug kit, MaxTrax (or equivalent – I have X-Bulls) traction mats, winch, HD bumpers, limited slips or lockers, LED lights, lift kit, taller tires, new rims, electric fridge, canopy/awning, Roof Top Tent (RTT), fancy trailer, etc.

I'd probably avoid or think twice about any overpriced items marketed at Overlanders ($300 folding camp chairs, $250 shovels, $135 flashlights, $400 axes, or anything with the term "Overlanding" or "Mil-Spec" or "Tactical" in its description). Before you drop a lot of dollars on an item, maybe ask us first.

I actually own (two I think) a "Tactical Spork" pictured below. You think I'm kidding - google it:

Tactical spork.1.jpg
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
While we can determine the exact starting date/time/place (12 June 2021 Ripley WV @ 0900), there's no way I can predict when we will arrive at a certain destination, or how far we will travel every day. Or for that matter exactly what day we will arrive at the OR coast. I'm guessing 4-5 (maybe six?) weeks after leaving Ripley, WV.

When I was filling out the Rally Point form, for the end date of the trip I just guessed at it - I made it up.

It is perfectly fine to start out with us in WV, and then leave during any portion of the trip (if say... you've only got two weeks available for the trip). But I can't tell you when we will enter say... Arkansas until we're a day out. Or when we'll be in Colorado.
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
A lot of folks read the Overlanding magazines, are on more than one Overlanding Forum, and see all the expensive vehicles and gear and might think "I've got to have all that to go overlanding". No you don't. I've listed what I consider the minimum vehicle requirements to do the TAT (or about any overlanding trip really; especially if not going solo). If you've got that and some half-way decent camping gear, you're good. You could outfit all your camping gear from WalMart and be ok.

Come join us. The object is to get out there and have an adventure; not be trying to work overtime to afford expensive stuff that you won't have time to use. We're not trying to keep up with the overlanding-Joneses.

I'll admit it is fun to buy new stuff for Overlanding. But only buy it if you can afford it, and you'll actually use it. Keep it simple. See what other folks are using and ask them would they do it/get that again. You might be surprised what they tell you. I've got stuff I bought on impulse at Overlanding Expos and have yet to use it, or used it just once.

For example, I've yet to figure out how a Tembo Tusk Skottle Grill (some folks love them) would make my overlanding trips or meals better than what I've got now (link below). I'd love to have an electric fridge (someday I will), but so far my Igloo ice-chest (not a Yeti) seems to keep stuff cold just fine. Figure I'm getting gas every day or so, so if I'm getting low on ice I'll just buy a bag at the gas station, drain out the water and top-off with new ice. MaxTrax are $300/pair; X-Bulls are $75/pair; both will get you unstruck, and I seriously doubt you'll need these on the trip. My Home Depot $30 shovel will move dirt just as well (or better) as some of those couple-hundred dollar shovels folks are trying to sell to Overlanders. Roof Top Tents run from $800 to a couple thousand dollars. Both will keep you dry in the rain and off the ground. So will a ground tent and a cot for much cheaper. Spaghettios and meatballs out of a can taste the same cooked in a titanium pot or... in any other pot you can heat them up in.

My Overlanding Stove Link: Dual fuel stove | American Adventurist

Get the picture?

Maybe on this trip we'll have some fun with contests such as "Who's got the cheapest ________ that serves its purpose". Like Dollar store plastic plates to eat meals meals from (don't knock the Dollar Store for camp cooking supplies - just sayin'). Or "The cheapest dinner that serves two that isn't a one-can meal" (bonus points for presentation).

You don't have to spend a lot of money to go overlanding. The scenery is the same no matter what rig you've got, or what kind of gear you have.

I won't judge.
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
It would be nice if you do register, to post a little bit about yourself, your overlanding experiences, a description (and maybe even a picture) of your rig, and why you want to run the TAT.

I guess I'll go first. My name is Paul, and I've been overlanding before I really knew the term "overlanding" existed. I'm a retired Army Nurse, and currently live in SW WA. I've taken my Jeep and trailer up into Alaska and Canada more than once, been all over the country, and was a participant in FourWheeler Magazine's 2019 Overland Adventure East. I've done a lot of hard-core four wheeling in the past, but maybe I've mellowed because I've been doing much less of that, and more Overlanding.

Link: 1998 Jeep Wrangler With I-4 Engine Pulls an Overland Trailer Across North America! (fourwheeler.com)

I'll be taking my 1998 Jeep TJ and homebuilt lil' HF - based 4' trailer on this trip. I'm running the four cylinder engine, 5-speed tranny, with 3.5" RE lift, 4.88 gears, 33" tires, lockers front and rear (Dana 44 rear), Warn winch, body armor, swing away spare tire carrier, and a lot of other stuff. It isn't the ideal overlanding vehicle (it was built for four-wheeling), but its what I've got.

I first heard about the TAT years ago, and always thought I wanted to do it. While in the Army, getting a month or so off at a time just wasn't going to happen. But now that I've been retired for a few years, I decided now's the time. We need something to look forward to in 2021. So before my summer gets booked by something or someone else, I'm putting this on the calendar. I will be running this all the way to the OR coast.

Overland Adventure.1.jpg
 
Last edited:

Ubiety

NorthWest Region Member Rep Seattle WA
Member

Educator I

5,048
Sammamish, Washington, USA
First Name
Greg
Last Name
E
Member #

6193

Thanks for setting common sense boundaries Paul - definitely better to know up front than be surprised on the trail. I have been doing trips for a long time and agree with everything you state - especially “not yeti”! The WABDR trip last year was awesome and part of that was knowing expectations up front and working together. I’d add trail etiquette points as well because, sadly, they seem to be a thing of the past. I doubt this trip is in the cards for me because I don’t have that much time to take away from what masquerades as “real life”.

Don‘t make my WABDR blunder and pack to the gills to accommodate yourself and passengers (unorganized anyway). The days will be long and sometimes tough - the last thing you want is a huge unpack/repack festival a couple of times a day when you should be relaxing off of the trail. Optimize your camp setup/teardown and you will enjoy it more.

Trail Etiquette starter
- Always maintain visual contact with the vehicles in front or behind you
- Stop at any turn, or y in the road, until the vehicle behind you has visual (use your radio to verify)
- Don’t be the Dukes of Hazzard
- Slow down for, give a wide berth for, and call out oncoming traffic on the radio. Let the traffic know how many rigs are following you.
- In dusty areas slow way down when passing homes, camps, parked rigs, etc., to keep the dust down (be an ambassador)
- Yammer on the radio. A lot of fun and relationship building and keeps you alert. Also helps to discover if someone has a radio issue before it becomes a disaster.
- Know your radio and be able to move to an alternate frequency quickly to avoid interfering with others.
- Be ready to lend a hand to folks inside and outside of the group
 

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
Thank-you for calling them "common sense boundaries". I don't think any of them are anywhere near extreme. They all come from experience.

I can't believe I forgot to mention Trail Etiquette. Thanks! Those comments are perfect - I could not have stated them better.

Only thing I would add, would be to keep your running lights (parking lights) on when we're traveling in convoy.

I remember you unpacking and repacking every day.

We had fun on the WABDR (Washington Backcountry Discovery Route), and it seems like every trip I take I learn something new (or something I had forgotten gets reminded or reinforced). Hence the vehicle requirements, rules, and expectations I posted.
 
Last edited:

Ubiety

NorthWest Region Member Rep Seattle WA
Member

Educator I

5,048
Sammamish, Washington, USA
First Name
Greg
Last Name
E
Member #

6193

I can't believe I forgot to mention Trail Etiquette. Thanks! Those are perfect - I could not have stated them better.

I remember you unpacking and repacking every day.

We had fun on the WABDR, and it seems like every trip I take I learn something new (or something I had forgotten gets reminded or reinforced). Hence the vehicle requirements, rules, and expectations I posted.
My issue on the WABDR was that it was the first time that family had ever come along with me so I just stuffed more into the JKU thinking it would be all right. I was very wrong and it, unfortunately, affected my attitude. But what an awesome trip! Julie and I were just reminiscing.

One of the things I love about getting out with others is the learning from each other. Everybody has strengths/weaknesses and obsesses about different things. Seeing someone put their idea(s) into action is an awesome way to learn and evaluate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neal A. Tew

n0mad

Rank II
Member
Adventure

Contributor II

301
PA, USA
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Newton
Member #

25935

Ham Callsign
K3SMN
Hi All - this will be my first overland adventure of significance. Prior to this my largest adventure claim was in 2010 when I bicycled from Annapolis, MD to Hilton Head, SC over three weeks (overlanding by bicycle, in retrospect).

I will be celebrating my 50th birthday in May 2021, so this is a fitting way to see the country. I am on a planned work sabbatical for 2021 (or until I find the next fun job to do full time.) By way of background I'm a paramedic and a registered nurse. Have been working in leadership roles the past 20 years at some of the big name academic medical centers in the mid-Atlantic region. I continue to teach part-time in the master's programs at Johns Hopkins and Cornell Universities.

Home for me is currently Pittsburgh, PA where I live with my wife, son (20) and twin girls (17). We like to travel and are a pretty active bunch with sports, school, and work. Fortunately, my wife and I have been able to work remote and do cool things like this trip, but she will not be able to join me this year. I am a licensed ham radio operator (5 years) and have my GMRS license as well. I like to volunteer my time using these skills, when my wife runs marathons, to support the medical stations and water stops.

Half-way through 2020 I bought a Toyota 4Runner TRD ORP to make the pandemic more interesting. I've been to a couple off-road driving classes at Northeast Off-Road Adventures in Ellensburg, NY. The folks there were fantastic and taught be a bunch. I am now hooked. I like the planning, problem solving, teamwork, camaraderie, adventure, and of course...all the cool gadgets. That being said, I am new to this and I am looking to learn. Life-long learner here...so open to suggestions, recommendations and discovering new/better ways to do the right things. That's about it for now. Looking forward to the planning and getting on the TAT trail to make some friends and celebrate life...here's a photo of me driving with my buddy in NY.

NORA-01.jpeg
 

Neal A. Tew

US Rocky Mountain Regional Director
Mod Team
Member

Explorer I

3,560
Pueblo West, CO
First Name
Neal
Last Name
Tew
Member #

12384

Ham Callsign
N1TEW
I still hope to jump in for at least the Colorado portion and maybe some Wyoming. We'll see how it works out as things get closer.

@armyRN Being a short-timer I didn't know if you'd want me to RSVP...

Elsewhere you asked about radio comms. I'm big into ham radio and will have VHF/UHF/HF capabilities. However, having sponsored several rides I've found we almost always use GMRS.use it's so much easier to get everyone on the same page. I do usually keep a CB on board, but using it would make me grumpy. :sunglasses:

While I have done my share of hard-core rock crawling in built Jeeps, I presently run a nearly bone stock Chevrolet Avalanche that I've had for 19 years!. I've become a bit of an off-roading minimalist I suppose. The truck has aggressive All Terrains and a factory rear locker. I usually disconnect both front and rear sway bars. I also have the ability to run 2-LO. This allows me to complete about 75% of the trails that interest me. I also have the ability to weld from my alternator. It's not because I feel I need it, but part of a hobby business I'm working on. This setup can also run other things like some power tools, coffee pots, hot plates, air compressors, etc.

Since the truck has the mid-gate I'm able to sleep comfortably inside. My bed is usually ready to go when I leave home. I have no fancy cooking gear either. I'm using my grandfather's old Coleman stove (I'm 55). I do carry one extravagance... a porta-potti. TMI? LOL

I was planning to include more, but my dogs are begging for dinner!

IMG_20200612_150206541_HDR.jpg
 

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
@armyRN Paul, do you know how close Shadow passes to Yellowstone?
Yellowstone is in the upper left-hand corner of Wyoming. So we would have left the Shadows of the Rockies a long time ago and got back on the TAT before we got there.

According to the TAT website (and here they're referencing going from west to east), "This trail starts in Afton, WY just 100 miles south of the Yellowstone National Park with its dramatic canyons and alpine rivers. The crossing is 784 miles to Newcastle with Teton National Forest, Jack Morris Hills, Alkali Basin, Red Devil Basin, Mexican Flat, Hangout Ridge, Red River Grizzly Wildlife Habitat Area, Medicine Bow Routt National Forest, and Thunder Basin National Grassland, just to name a few".

So I don't know how close it gets to Yellowstone (the map below isn't exactly detailed). Once I get the maps from TAT I'll have a better idea.

If any participant has a special interest in researching a particular area we'll be traveling though (or near) and wants to present it as a place we should stop and explore, I'm all ears. I don't want to stop for a week, but I also don't want us to miss out on something special.

Think about it.

TAT map.PNG
 
Last edited:

armyRN

Rank IV
Member

Enthusiast III

1,213
Longview, WA
First Name
Paul
Last Name
Dickinson
Member #

22047

Ham Callsign
KI7TSP
To answer Neal A. Tew's question, I guess I'd at least like folks to register who are planning on joining us from the start in WV so I'll have a headcount. When we get closer to the departure date I'll make a list of those who have posted/mentioned joining us later-on. I'll need good contact info from them so we can contact them when we get closer to their jump-on point.

And to everyone who is either registered or is planning on jumping-in along the route, check in frequently for updates, but especially start checking-in on this thread for updates starting in early June for the latest info.

Hopefully once we start the TAT, folks will be adding pictures and text to this thread so we've got a picture history of our trip. And for those hoping to jump-in along the way, they can follow our progress to have an idea of how close we're getting to them.
 
Last edited:

Neal A. Tew

US Rocky Mountain Regional Director
Mod Team
Member

Explorer I

3,560
Pueblo West, CO
First Name
Neal
Last Name
Tew
Member #

12384

Ham Callsign
N1TEW
So I don't know how close it gets to Yellowstone (the map below isn't exactly detailed). Once I get the maps from TAT I'll have a better idea.
I suspect it goes very close if not through it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ubiety

Solo Saga

Rank II
Member

Traveler II

365
Crouse, NC, USA
First Name
Dave
Last Name
Binderup
Member #

23453

Dave here. Just registered.

I'm a lifelong camper. But, as much I enjoy off-roading, it has been an on again, off again affair. My first 4x was a brand new '88 Samurai. From there, the list includes a not as new '88 Dodge Raider (Montero), a '98 Mazda MPV All Sport AWD/4WD, and currently, a '92 Toyota Extended cab pick-up. Aside from tires, all were pretty much bone stock. I'm currently doing some mild upgrades to the Toyota, 33" BFG MT's, a re-gear to 4:88, Torsen diffs FR & RR, braided lines, diff breather extensions, and a laundry list of proactive replacement parts. A GMRS radio is on my "accessories to acquire" list, so I appreciate (you) going with that platform.

My longest off-road excursion to date is a slab run from GA to S. CA, before going about half way down Baja to watch sections of the Baja 2000. I was a tag along in the Mazda MPV, with a couple far more experienced off-roaders. Everything else has been day, or weekend outings. So, I have some experience, and continue to teach myself as opportunities present.

I'm glad to have found the thread. Making a commitment to to others helps hold me accountable and motivated. Hopefully, the timing will work out, and we can link up.
 

T. Stanley

Rocky Mountain Region Member Rep Kansas
Member

Influencer I

2,294
Clay Center, Kansas
First Name
Tim
Last Name
Stanley
Member #

25893

I just signed up to go on the TAT, my name is Tim Stanley, I live in rural Kansas and have always been a nature, outdoors person. In my younger days I camped a lot and was an avid offroader, then along came a family and life revolved around working and kids. Now I am older and am I able to begin adventuring again, I think it will be an awesome trip going from one side of America to the other and as a bonus, I will get to travel into a few states I have never been to. I am really looking forward to making this journey.
I realized I forgot to add info about my rig, I drive a 2010 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 TRD Offroad with 4.0 V6, with BFG all terrain t/a tires (KO2’s) I am currently in build mode with my truck, but it will be ready to roll by mid February 2021. I will add pictures once it is done.
 
Last edited: