ITTOG's Overlanding Trips

ITTOG

Well-known member
Careful on that quad. I've heard a lot of horror stories about those things. Glad you weren't hurt or end up pinned underneath it.

A dirt bike seems more unstable but, I wonder since they are lighter if they are safer? Hmmmm. Don't know.
Yeah I have been very lucky. Thank God I haven't had a major injury. Although that last wreck is still an issue as recovery has been slow. But that is getting ahead of the story.

I think it primarily depends on the speed. Based on that the vehicle wouldn't matter. But, there are definitely a lot more issues when you look at the weight of the vehicles. So you are probably right about the bikes being safer. We tried using them where we go but they can't climb a mountain as well as the four wheelers.

I reckon stick to shanks' pony.
I didn't know what that was and had to look it up. Definitely the safest way to travel.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Day 3
I woke up about 7:30 AM but was in some pain so I stayed in bed until about 9 AM. The temp was 33F this morning, the coldest so far and by far the best. There was a lot of fog out on the top of the hills this morning.

The first thing on the agenda today was to assess the damage, to the bike and me. This is at least the second time the toolbox has needed to be replaced. Maybe the third time? I keep my beer in the tool box so it is one of the most critical parts of the bike. ;)
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This is however, the first time the handlebars have needed to be replaced. This pic is after I had bent the bar up a couple inches.
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Luckily there was not more damage to the bike. Or at least I haven't found it yet. Now, transitioning to me, surprisingly the swelling has already gone down and I am not bruised very badly. This is the only picture because that was it. I guess I should be glad it didn't look as bad as it hurt. But that kind of makes me look like a wuss.
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With that complete it was time to determine what to do. I primarily wanted to go home but if I did, everyone would know I had an accident and given I wasn't planning to let anyone know any time soon that wouldn't work. Also, I had planned to go to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve in Southwest Oklahoma for a few days, so explaining why I didn't go was going to be difficult enough. So I knew I had to stay at camp and my options were to hang out at the cabin or hit the trails. Of course I chose to hit the trails.

Before hitting the trail I got a nice pic of the trailer after it dried. You can also see I painted the Platinum placard on my track black. I hate chrome/alloy and am in the process of removing all of it.
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After making some basic repairs to the bike and getting the bike loaded with food and beer (a lot less than yesterday) it was time to depart. It was a little after 10:30 AM when I left. I had decided to see what the trail was like going to the Turkey Hunters cabin but I didn't get far due to the cabins on the main road. I remember them being there but it had been so long I thought I would see if it looked like they were still being used. The first cabin looked brand new. It had a G on it so I added it as a waypoint in my GPS. After this cabin there were many more starting to appear so I once again turned around. So I decided to go to the Bear Hunters Cabin and then go on the northwest trail that I had never been on. But I am getting ahead of myself and decided to stop at a couple of our normal spots first. It is always hard to pass water and waterfalls without stopping, no matter the size.
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I also went by the giant rock slab we usually stop at but wasn't there long enough to get a picture. I arrived at Bear Hunters just before noon so I decided to have lunch. While there I noticed someone knocked down the dead tree that had been there and was a staple in most of our pictures. Now it is just a portion of the trunk (in the middle of the photo).
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I often see boulders off the side of our trails but rarely think much of it. This time I took a picture.
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To be continued...
 

nathane

Active member
Glad your ankle is not to badly hurt. I was worried for you there. I broke mine 30 months ago and it's only in the last 2 months that I have got properly back to running again without pain. Take it easy and try not to crash ;)
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Glad your ankle is not to badly hurt. I was worried for you there. I broke mine 30 months ago and it's only in the last 2 months that I have got properly back to running again without pain. Take it easy and try not to crash ;)
Thanks. Luckily nothing was broken but I am still limping around a bit. I haven't tried running but hope to within the next couple months.

Sorry to hear about your ankle. They are definitely hard joints to heal.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Thanks @BritKLR. I can't imagine how dangerous I might be on two wheels but as I told you in your trip thread, I may have to get one and go on the trip with you some time.


Not long after leaving the Bear Hunters cabin I came across a cabin I had never seen and checked it out. It didn't look like anyone had been there in a long time. It also had a gravestone beside it.
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As I was getting back on the bike to leave I noticed I only had half a tank of fuel, which is three bars, and realized I had forgotten to top it off this morning. Unbelievable. I figured I was probably 1/3 of the way and should have enough fuel to complete my trip but a little uncertainty was definitely in the back of my mind.

It was probably only ten minutes on the trail and I saw this old style wheel so I figured I needed to get a picture. It was new enough to have steel spokes instead of wood.
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Not sure what it was but based on this section of it I thought it may have been an old trailer.
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Not much later I stopped again for a refreshment. While I was there two side by sides came by and we had a good conversation about the hills and different areas. Probably the best discussion with a stranger I have ever had down there. They told me where their cabin was and to come by anytime. They were near where I was this morning, by the G Cabin. One was driving a Honda General and the other was driving a Honda Talon. The talon looked really nice. Reminded me of the Canam's.

As I was about to take off I noticed I was down to the last two bars, out of six, on my fuel gauge. At this point the stress started building. I am about halfway and definitely not sure I can walk to camp.

I also decided I had to get the customary flexed suspension pic. Funny thing is they don't flex much, especially when there is no weight on it.
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When I got to waypoint "Heels Over Head" (mentioned above) I decided to turn onto a trail I hadn't been on in nine or ten years. I knew it connects to where I was headed but wasn't sure exactly where. The reason it was worthwhile is because it would reduce my total distance. Unfortunately, I didn't have the track on my GPS because it had been removing old tracks due to lack of space available. Knowing finding the turn would be difficult, off I went. After about 45 minutes I started wondering if I missed my turn but hadn't seen anything yet to know for sure. I didn't want to turn back and risk adding mileage. So I continued and about ten minutes later I had my answer. Once I saw the yellow house on stilts I knew I missed my turn. So I turned around and felt pretty confident I knew where the turn was but the stress of running out of fuel was getting stronger. After about 15 minutes I was at the turn and feeling confident. Even though I had that confidence, my mind was stuck on trying to reduce how far I would have to walk to camp. That is right, not if I would have to walk but how far. With the building stress I failed to take anymore pictures and was solely focused on saving fuel.

Back on the correct trail I quickly came to a y in the road. I made a quick decision and turned right. A few minutes later I came to a black double gate, which I remembered from the previous year. But I didn't remember driving around it so I decided I should have turned left at the y. So I turned around for a second time. Luckily I only had to back track for a few minutes so it shouldn't be a big deal. So I get to the y again and this time I turn right. Feeling relieved I was on the right trail I was cruising along and had to come to an abrupt stop because the trail just ended into a round camping area with no other trail out. This clearly is not the right way so I turned around for the third time today. Who knows how much fuel I had wasted. So I drove back to the y and turned the bike off. I analyzed my GPS to see if I could figure out the correct direction but didn't have any luck. I decided I needed to go look at the black double gate again. I thought we may have found a trail around it and I just didn't see it the first time. The trails change a lot over the course of a year. Wanting to conserve fuel in case I was wrong I decided to walk the trail even though I was hurting and it was uphill. Once I get all the way to the gate I see there is a trail to the right that takes you a little further up the mountain and realize this is the trail I need. Clearly, the first time I stopped too soon to see the trail split off to the right. What a stupid mistake. Clearly the stress is causing poor decisions. Wow, I guess this is how people die in the woods. I don't have to worry about that because I know how to get back to camp, I am just trying to get back on the bike. So I walked back to the bike with a renewed confidence and feeling better about my fuel situation.

When I arrived at the bike I was a bit hot and decided to have a beer. Once that was chugged, I jumped on the bike and turned the key on. Almost immediately I hear a loud beep because the gas is now down to the last bar. Renewed confidence gone in a heartbeat and stress at its highest point. All I can think about is I am going to have to walk back to camp to get gas. The question is, given it was late afternoon, at what point does this begin and is it in daylight or dark. So from this point forward I decide to start turning the bike off on all downhill trails and coast in an attempt to save gas. This means I will not be able to stop at one of my favorite spots (the one from yesterday where I talked about the creek being low due to lack of snow and/or rain). I figure I have about six miles to get back to camp. Given I am hurting I am not sure I can walk more than a couple miles I am concerned and once again I think about people getting lost and how they panic and make bad decisions.

Back on the trail I was able to coast a good distance with the motor off given I had been climbing over the past half hour. Soon, I was on the trail that led back to camp and I was feeling confident again. Still concerned I may have to walk but feeling better about being on the trail I wanted to be on. I came across another new cabin with a giant grill out front. I had forgotten about this cabin so I didn't stop long but did stop long enough to create a waypoint for it.

I ended up making it to camp without running out of gas and before dark. I thought for sure I was going to have to walk and get the gas can and take it back to the bike. What a relief that wasn't required. I decided I wanted to know how much fuel was in the tank and decided to put a stick in the gas tank. There was 2.5" of gas in the tank. Completely full it would have been almost 10". I think I was a little perturbed it showed I was on the last bar for so long. Then I was perturbed that I didn't think to check it out on the trail. If I had, I probably would have known it would not be an issue. Oh well, we never stop learning.

Per my GPS the high temp for the day was 54.9F. Not a lot of distance but you can see I drove all the way around a mountain.
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I ended up eating an early dinner and began wondering what I would do until bed time. I also knew they were forecasting rain during the night and in the morning. Not wanting to pack up in the rain and after thinking about it a little while, I decided I didn't see any reason to burn time in camp when I could be driving home. So I started packing and at 7:52 PM I put the truck in drive and drove away. After a little over an hour I left the ranch property and hit pavement. The plan was to drive until I was tired and then take a nap.
 
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