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

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Neal A. Tew

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Neal would know. Thanks Neal!
You are welcome. There has been more than one heated discussion on the subject.

Now here's an optional route you might take while in Buena Vista that would require the permit.
CARNAGE CANYON

(For those that don't know about my weird sense of humor, that was intended as a joke.)
 
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CountryRoads4x4

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@armyRN do you have a tentative plan for the first couple of days? (I.e. how far you want to make it)

I’m only going to be able to do about 3 nights and will have to head home Tuesday some time. Just want to start planning my exit strategy.
 

armyRN

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@armyRN do you have a tentative plan for the first couple of days? (I.e. how far you want to make it)

I’m only going to be able to do about 3 nights and will have to head home Tuesday some time. Just want to start planning my exit strategy.
If anyone is wanting to figure where we might be at a certain date, I would refer you to Tim's excellent post (linked below) where he broke the TAT down by miles, and even by sections in each state along the TAT (thanks Tim!):

Link: US East - Running the Trans America Trail (TAT) from WV to the OR coast | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

The TAT was originally designed for motorcycles averaging about 200 miles/day, and that was with them driving a lot of hours a day (starting at 0700 till evening). My plan is for us to be "wheels rolling" at 0800 most mornings (exact time will be put out the evening prior - most likely will be 0800, 0830, or 0900). And I have no idea where we will be stopping every night - there's no real way of knowing. It is part of the adventure.

That 200 miles/day was with motorcycles; we're taking four-wheeled vehicles. And I won't know till 12 June how many vehicles actually show up. Generally, the more vehicles you have, the fewer miles you go each day (getting every vehicle through an obstacle, gas stops, etc.) but your fun factor is increased. That's just how it is - part of the adventure. I will be doing my best to keep us moving (hard "wheels rolling" times in the morning and at stops, the previous guidance on how we'll be doing gas stops, etc.).

I would suggest keeping a daily journal of your time on the TAT.

For initial planning before we even start, off the top-of-my-head I kinda figure us averaging 100 - 200 miles/day (so roughly 150 miles/day average). Some days we might do well above 200; other days we might be lucky to reach 100 miles - it all depends on what's in front of us. So if you're wanting to figure out how far for three nights, figure maybe 150 miles/day, times three equals 450 miles (and then refer to the link above, and then look at your map with the TAT superimposed on top). After the first couple days, we'll have a better idea of how many miles we're averaging per day so folks can better get a rough guestimate of how long it will be till we get to a certain place. But these would still be wild guesses - there're too many variables to try to pinpoint when we'll be somewhere way down the line on the TAT. We probably won't know when we're reaching a certain destination till the day (maybe two) before. So let's just kick back, enjoy the route, and take it as it comes. For those that can't do the entire route, I'll try to keep us moving (hours driving, not speed) so you can enjoy as much as the TAT as possible before you need to head back home.


TAT eastern segment.PNG
 
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armyRN

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I mentioned this back at the beginning of the thread.

I just happened to discuss it again in this thread that I posted this morning.


You only need the permit if you take the hard section of Tincup. The modern route bypasses it.
Just for the heck of it, I just ordered a Colorado OHV Permit in case I get a wild hair or if Neal tries to talk me into something. They're $25.25 (I rounded up to $28 - the extra few bucks goes to further help Colorado's outdoors stuff) and good for one year. They said figure 20 days for the permit to get here (business days or calendar days? I dunno).

Another thing to stick on my Jeep. I do want to do the COBDR (Colorado Back Country Discovery Route) someday. Either in my TJ or 2A. I've used the BDR paper maps in the past on adventures and was impressed with their depth/detail and paper quality. They make a nice addition to using the GPS Tracks. So many trips out there in the USA alone. Check out their (BDR) site for the maps they offer (link below has on their header the other maps they offer).

Link: Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route (COBDR) Map & Information (ridebdr.com)
 
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armyRN

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I finished installin a TeraFlex 2WD low kit for my TJ's NP231 transfer case. I'm running an Aussie locker in the front (Detroit locker rear), and sometimes it wants to swing wide in 4WD low on hairpin curves.

Link: TJ: NP231-J 2Low 2WD Low-Range Shift Sector Kit - TeraFlex

Not a job for the faint of heart. It is a dirty, messy, involved job - fortunately this wasn't the first time I've been inside my transfer case (put the SYE kit in it years ago). I installed it with the transfer case attached to the tranny.

Yesterday was getting ready for the job - supporting the transmission while dropping the skid plate, and then dropping the driveshafts and lubing them (the front driveshaft is a pain to lube at the transfer case end). Some of the grease fittings used a needle attachment.

Then today was splitting the case, installing the parts, then putting it all back together again (much easier said than done). I had a dent in my skid plate that I straightened out with a big hammer while I had it out, and wire brushed some spots that were getting rusty and then some black spray-paint (on the skid plate, and under the frame where the skid plate attaches). I tested it out - it works. I thought the front of the Jeep was going to lift off the ground when I tried out 2WD low (and I've got a four cylinder engine).

Bring on those hairpin turns in the Colorado mountains! I'm ready.
 

Neal A. Tew

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@armyRN, Unless there are a bunch of switchbacks on some of the lesser roads that I haven't done, there just really isn't that many issues on the Shadow route. I can only think of 2 switchbacks on Tincup right off hand.

If we were to continue west along the normal route over to Lake City, Silverton and Ouray then you'd really see some switchbacks. One trail there is called Corkscrew for good reason!
 
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armyRN

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I've been wanting to put a 2WD low kit on the TJ for years, so I used this trip as a reason to finally pull the trigger on this project. And I'm hoping to spend more time on Colorado in the future.
 
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Neal A. Tew

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I've been wanting to put a 2WD low kit on the TJ for years, so I used this trip as a reason to finally pull the trigger on this project. And I'm hoping to spend more time on Colorado in the future.
I love 2-LO! I'm sure you'll use it a lot.
 

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Ok the other day some of you guys were discussing fuel prices and how much you were going to budget for fuel for the trip. Those of you who use GAIA GPS, I’m not sure if you know this feature or not, but you can turn on “mile markers” and if you wanted to know how many miles a particular trail or track was, all you have to do is count them. In the case of the TAT route, it was quite a bit of counting. Here is what the map looks like with “mile Markers“ turned on.
View attachment 188354
And for those who might be interested in a certain section of the TAT, here is a list I compiled while counting the miles we would be traveling from Ripley, WV to Port Orford, OR
Each section of the TAT is color coded, I labeled each colored section by the state it goes through, the only exception is the first section of the SOR was running along with a CO track so it was just easier to count the miles as a whole instead of trying to determine the colors because you can’t really tell unless you zoom in to completely separate the 2 tracks.


WV
red 145
magenta 19
TOTAL 164

VA
blue 104
purple 40
gray 34
green 151
purple 39
TOTAL 368

NC
orange 46
purple 36
gray 21
orange 52
purple 57
green 35
orange 24
or 6 miles hurricane creek road
blue 23
green 41
red 32
green 39
teal 45
TOTAL 451

TN
orange 30
green 28
magenta 19
purple 21
blue 26
red 16
green 16
blue 15
red 23
green 39
magenta 42
teal 33
orange 43
gray 54
orange 56
green 59
blue 48
gray 51
blue 60
teal 48
TOTAL 727

MS
green 61
orange 45
blue 95
purple 101
TOTAL 302

AR
green 219
blue 77
teal 87
TOTAL 383

OK
gray 405
red 314
TOTAL 719

NM
blue 70
TOTAL 70

CO & SOR 287
purple 56
orange 80
magenta 47
blue 69
blue 69
purple 22
Total SOR 630

WY
magenta 35
purple 125
orange 172
TOTAL 332

ID
blue 75
purple 153
blue 109
orange 67
blue 58
magenta 58
purple 18
green 31
TOTAL 569

POS
blue 8
pink 48
orange 103
magenta 143
green 102
magenta 60
lime 43
green 72
blue 86
purple 113

TOTAL POS 778


TOTAL TAT TRIP
5,493

(disclaimer, I’m old, my eyes don’t work 100% any more, if I missed a mile or 2 we I’ll drive them all any way, just wanted to get a solid idea of how much my fuel bill would cost because I am on a fixed income)
I did not know what those dots were. Thank you.
 
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I'm just seeing this group/thread for the first time, and while I cannot start the group, as it gets closer to "the time," I will have some time to drive and meet up if possible.

I have a 1999 Isuzu Amigo. By departure date, the entire vehicle will have been refreshed, and much has been done already: belts/hoses, new alternator, new clutch (in progress right now as I type this), tranny otherwise serviced, and so on.

It's lifted 5 inches from stock with OME parts. Various other upgrades include headlights/off-road lights, Warn winch, bigger battery and power upgrades and custom bumpers.

I'm to go to Vermont to do a trip with Ridgeback this weekend and see how it holds up, to see what else needs to be done. I believe I'll be adding a rear auto-locker, and maybe other things.

As I said, if time gets closer and we can see where everyone is on 6/25 or so, or should be...I think I can be in.
 

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I'm just seeing this group/thread for the first time, and while I cannot start the group, as it gets closer to "the time," I will have some time to drive and meet up if possible.

I have a 1999 Isuzu Amigo. By departure date, the entire vehicle will have been refreshed, and much has been done already: belts/hoses, new alternator, new clutch (in progress right now as I type this), tranny otherwise serviced, and so on.

It's lifted 5 inches from stock with OME parts. Various other upgrades include headlights/off-road lights, Warn winch, bigger battery and power upgrades and custom bumpers.

.
I had an Isuzu PUP back in the day and loved those Amigos.

I'm only doing Colorado. Hope to see you there, uh, here!
 
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I'm an Isuzu fan too. Used to have an 89 Trooper II (would be great now for overlanding). Also had a 90 PUP way back when. Those 2.6 four cylinder engines were solid.

I hope you can join us.
 

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Would probably do ok. All vehicle requirements would still apply (strong tow points front and rear, full-size matching spare tire on a matching rim [no temp spares even if they are technically the same height], etc.).

You would be at a disadvantage with ground clearance - even 1" taller springs all around would help with ground clearance and approach/departure angles. Any body armor you can add to the sides to protect the rockers would be good insurance.

My wife drives a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek. I put a hidden hitch 2" receiver hitch on the back of it, so I can put a 2" receiver hitch D-ring thingy in it. I also bought her a real matching spare tire and rim - it fits in the spare tire well, but sits up higher than the floor. So usually she's running with the temp spare, but if we take it on a long trip I'll toss the matching spare tire in the back.

Sadly, she won't let me lift it.
 
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armyRN

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I got my Colorado Trails Permit in the mail the other day (that was fast).

Note: We shouldn't be needing a "Permit" for what we're doing on the CO spur. If you're planning on not taking the CO spur with us, and are going to continue heading west on the TAT to Utah, I don't know if you need a permit or not (Neal?).

The instructions with the permit (and on line) were to place the sticker on the passenger side lower corner of the windshield. Now if I were to place it on the outside of the windshield, the wipers would hit it. They also are specific as to where to put the permit if you're driving a motorcycle... or an ATV....

Or on a Jeep for some reason - they even have a picture of where to place it on a Jeep:

Colorado sticker placement.PNG

So I'm making a small plate to stick the permit to, and will attach the plate to the winch fairlead mount (essentially where the arrow is pointing). Then if for some reason I take the Willys Jeep to CO within the next year, I can put the permit on the Willys. When getting the permit, they ask what kind of vehicle it is going on, and I said "Jeep", so that's what's on my permit paperwork.
 
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Would probably do ok. All vehicle requirements would still apply (strong tow points front and rear, full-size matching spare tire on a matching rim [no temp spares even if they are technically the same height], etc.).

You would be at a disadvantage with ground clearance - even 1" taller springs all around would help with ground clearance and approach/departure angles. Any body armor you can add to the sides to protect the rockers would be good insurance.

My wife drives a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek. I put a hidden hitch 2" receiver hitch on the back of it, so I can put a 2" receiver hitch D-ring thingy in it. I also bought her a real matching spare tire and rim - it fits in the spare tire well, but sits up higher than the floor. So usually she's running with the temp spare, but if we take it on a long trip I'll toss the matching spare tire in the back.

Sadly, she won't let me lift it.
Thank you. Armor would cost me ground clearance. Doing a lift is to compensate is a little outside my abilities right now. Good luck and God's Speed.
 

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Thank you. Armor would cost me ground clearance. Doing a lift is to compensate is a little outside my abilities right now. Good luck and God's Speed.
Thanks.

There are lots of mid-sized or full-sized 4x4 vehicles you could get for probably $2000 or under that would do great on a TAT trip. They might not be the newest (1996 is when OBD-II was pretty much across the board), but they'd do just fine with none to mild modifications (and proper tires). Off the top of my head, older/earlier vehicles like:

Isuzu Rodeo/Honda Passport

Isuzu Trooper II (mine was an 89 - wish I still had it sometimes)

Nissan Pathfinder (my son had an 89 he took to college, and then flipped it on its lid on an icy road - nobody hurt)

Jeep ZJ (we took a 98 up the Dempster Highway)/Jeep WJ/Jeep XJ if you can find a nice one

Dodge Dakota/Dodge Durango (early ones came with the 5.2 V-8's; I think the later ones might have had the 4.7 V-8 but don't quote me). I think these are the underappreciated overland-potential vehicles out there. They're a big mid-sized vehicle, body on frame, nice looking, plenty of power, and built solid. I like the four-door Dakota's for some reason.

Ford Explorer

Gen II Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 (mines a 96) - they still had solid axles front and rear, V-8 engine, etc. Easy to lift (mine's got a 2" lift & 33" tires).

(Actually, almost any full-size half-ton regular cab/SWB 4x4 with a cap on the bed to sleep under would work - just plan on a greater chance of trail pinstriping)

Mitsubishi Montero

Older full-sized 2-door SUV (Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, Dodge Ramcharger)

I know everyone loves the Toyota 4-runners, Tacoma's, and the Nissan X-Terra's, but even used ones can be a little pricey. And even the older 4-door Jeep Wranglers aren't cheap. But there are lots of other options out there that are quite sturdy that would serve you well if you're on a budget.

Even models in the 80's had fuel injection.
 
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T. Stanley

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I got my Colorado Trails Permit in the mail the other day (that was fast).

Note: We shouldn't be needing a "Permit" for what we're doing on the CO spur. If you're planning on not taking the CO spur with us, and are going to continue heading west on the TAT to Utah, I don't know if you need a permit or not (Neal?).

The instructions with the permit (and on line) were to place the sticker on the passenger side lower corner of the windshield. Now if I were to place it on the outside of the windshield, the wipers would hit it. They also are specific as to where to put the permit if you're driving a motorcycle... or an ATV....

Or on a Jeep for some reason - they even have a picture of where to place it on a Jeep:

View attachment 196494

So I'm making a small plate to stick the permit to, and will attach the plate to the winch fairlead mount (essentially where the arrow is pointing). Then if for some reason I take the Willys Jeep to CO within the next year, I can put the permit on the Willys. When getting the permit, they ask what kind of vehicle it is going on, and I said "Jeep", so that's what's on my permit paperwork.
I ran into the same problem when I went to mount my OHV Sticker, lower right hand side of the windshield the wipers would tear it up in no time so I just moved it up out of the wiper zone where it is still visible and if they don’t accept it where it is located, I can always peel it off and tape it down on the lower right corner. Planning on taking some packing tape in my tool kit anyway. (Yes I know my windshield is dirty, it is just one of the things you expect as part of farm life. Actually the whole truck is dirty but with the color it is hard to tell sometimes.)

4B110FDF-E7FB-4BB0-A329-9C38F759A687.jpeg
 

Neal A. Tew

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I got my Colorado Trails Permit in the mail the other day (that was fast).

Note: We shouldn't be needing a "Permit" for what we're doing on the CO spur. If you're planning on not taking the CO spur with us, and are going to continue heading west on the TAT to Utah, I don't know if you need a permit or not (Neal?).
No. The percentage of trails with this classification is small. I've never had the permit. I may get one this year as we do have a trip planned in August that traverses a trail on the list.
 

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Got the plate with sticker attached all mounted to the Jeep. I guess now I need to plan a separate trip to Colorado to justify getting the permit in the first place.

media.jpgmedia.jpg
 
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