A DRZ 400 and a KTM 1190 Adventure R…

In the summer of 2017 a friend and I embarked on a motorcycle adventure from Santa Barbara, CA to Topeka, KS. We allowed ourselves 12 days, and had only one required stop near Alamosa, CO along the way.

What we didn’t realize when was that many of the parts we rode through that first day would soon after be ravaged by California’s largest wildfire ever, the Thomas Fire.

The planned route was to start from the west and hook up with Kevin’s GPS data here for the Trans-America Trail. Then start making our way east. (Note: it’s not a completely accurate route, as we found. It’ll certainly give you an adventure.)

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There are some stand-out, blisteringly hard sections in California, Nevada, and Arizona. In California it was lots of sand and heat near the Mojave National Preserve. In Nevada it was much the same just to the west of Vegas. Again, we went when it couldn’t get any hotter. In Arizona it turned into very challenging terrain and heat as we went south toward the Grand Canyon from Mesquite near the border of NV and AZ.

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All of the difficult riding really started to calm down and smooth out as soon as we started to pull out of the Grand Canyon and head north up toward Fredonia, Arizona, and then up into Utah: a true motorcycle adventurer’s paradise.

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Something we also didn’t realize was that later some of these monuments we were exploring would be targeted by the Trump Administration, potentially removing the very access we were utilizing.

Colorado was super nice, as one might imagine.

And then don’t be surprised if you find a little beauty in the Kansas landscape.



Overall it was a great adventure. If you ride or have thought about adventuring by motorcycle, there’s no better time than now. Especially while we still have access.

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