So, we're out looking at roads to put together for a Dual Sport Motorcycle ride but this particular July day is hot, humid with a seventy percent chance of instant mud. Too much for five hundred pound ADV Bikes. Now, it just so happens that Jon has one of the last great production hold outs in the true 4X4 world; a Nissan Xterra Pro 4-X.
It's got A/C too, lets go!
Jon has been scouting these roads on his DR350 & V-Strom 1000 for months and yes the V-Strom is our gauge (if it can be done on that bike with 804's & 805's, well, then its officially ON!).
Leaving out I had no idea we were traveling on roads I'd previously mapped with satellite imagery. I was trying to help connect this new section through Tennessee from Alabama to Kentucky via dirt roads. That was months ago and since forgotten.
Hours zooming in & out marking roads, trying to connect them with as little pavement as possible.
When we got to this "Rift Valley" (the second largest in the world with Africa having the largest) it suddenly dawned on me what I was standing on.
I got excited to realize that all that work so many months ago that I sent to Jon had not gone to waste (or did it).
Asking Jon if he had used any of those tracks I'd sent him his answer was "no"
I had no idea, it turns out that Jon grew up with his brother 4X4ing in their dads hunting truck all through these parts and what I'd virtually scouted just didn't work.
Dead ends, gated off, closed by hunting clubs.
Now, Jon had told me he was working on a Super Adventure Touring Ride! That's awesome Capt'Jon! However, not knowing exactly where he was I didn't get it.
It hit me all of a sudden standing on that one thousand foot shear drop off overlook. In my minds eye I saw it, I had been looking at this cliff six months ago with a satellite.
I remembered wondering if that dirt was any good!
So here I am, seeing a harvest I didn't even know was coming and this is going to be a Great Ride! Near perfect day unfolding here!
Now, Josh & Cody have scouted some of this with Jon mostly on a whole other portion that I'm not getting to see here.
I heard Josh say something like it's Top Shelf Riding!
The fourth will be a loop we will cycle in and out to change the ride up Spring & Fall through the years.
Don't have it locked down yet but we discussed putting the end of ride going in a direction of climb or a descent. I suggested climbing at the end to avoid arm pump so late in the day.
This hill is long and steep! No graded gravel remains after a rain, that kind of steep!