Here we are at the start of the Trans-America Trail, clean, shaved, and with bikes and luggage in good conditions. The TAT crosses the United States from New York to Oregon with a distance of nearly 9 000 kilometres.
Conditions are varied: paved road in the mountains, gravel road, trail with sand, mud, or rocks, some rivers to cross, and temperature as high as 46 degrees (in August).
In the east, the trail follows the Appalachians through forest and small remote villages.
The centre passes through the heart of the Bible Belt where the scenery is rather boring, and people are very conservative. We have seen a lot of fields, big pick-ups, churches everywhere, guns, and many friendly and rustic people.
The west shines with its landscapes of mountains, desert, canyons, and people more open on the world.
Tail of the Dragon is a spectacular road in the Great Smoky Mountains. With 318 curves in 10 miles, it attracts an impressive amount of bike and sports car enthusiasts.
People come to show off their gears, and to be shot by several photographers located along the road, in sharp curves. Thereafter, these photographers sell their photos on the Internet.
Here is the Tree of Shame. Lost bike or car parts from those riding this famous road can be seen. I think that people push their luck a little too far to impress the mass or else to get some a fantastic shot,
Unfortunately, some people g over their limit; each year, there is one or more fatalities on this road.
In this part of the TAT, we are surrounded by fields and the roads are all straight lines for tens of kilometres. There is hardly anything to distract you from the monotony of the scenery.
There were many small derricks in the region. They are used for pumping crude oil.
On the road, we met JC who organized a trip from Alaska to Patagonia (Tierra del Fuego) with electrical motorbikes. Of course, there was a truck following them since it is impossible to recharge a vehicle in many regions of the world.
Sadly, the first attempt of JC and its team failed. With their new experience, they will attempt this journey as soon as possible.
On the photo, we see a bike with two panniers. There are actually two big batteries.
By luck, we stumbled upon an old cars show.
After the endless plains in the country's centre, we are finally in the mountains in Colorado. From that point on, the landscape was magnificent.
Trump's supporters seems to be found anywhere in the country. However, the Bible Belt seemed a lot more pro-Trump.
I was the unlucky one in this trip. I had two punctures because of a nail. I also had two mechanical failures.