Possum Kingdom Lake, TX to Knoxville, TN via Thievery

Enter one three day weekend and the desire to ride motorcycles and camp. Day one is a Friday, my good friend Oliver and myself have the day off; we decide to make a 2 hour trip to Possum Kingdom Lake from the center of DFW last 8 or so hours. How does one do this? Why does one do this? On bikes one must seek out the twisty and the rough, or one is not having fun. Riding strait down the highway is for Harleys. We’re young and full of piss and vinegar as my dad might say. Bring on the monkey butt!

Most of the ride out to Possum Kingdom Lake is pretty fast paced on good pavement; though we managed to find a few dirt roads to play on. Sir Oliver is on his trusty SV650 which as you can see is not exactly setup for even smooth dirt roads. This gave me the chance to speed ahead and catch the olives riding by… here he kind of foils my plans by stopping, but you get the idea.

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At some point (my guess is around lunch time) we stop at a ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant and order up some tasty burgers. Here you can see the bikes together. Mine, the yellow Suzuki DRZ, Oliver’s, the grey Suzuki SV650, obviously these guys are good at different things; they got along well enough during the trip though.

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As we get closer to PK Lake we try one of the smaller roads on our GPS only to find it turning private, of course. It is a pretty interesting 200 yards before we turn around though. Slick tires in sand on a sport bike isn’t fun.

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CAMP! After much searching we decide the primitive camps at PK lake aren’t nearly primitive enough to make the extra effort worthwhile. We pick a more luxurious site with parking and setup camp while we await my girlfriend, Tiffany, to arrive in her car as she does not get this wonderful Friday of Fridays off work.

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Fast forward to the next day and we’re making breakfast. Bacon, sausage, bacon, and eggs cooked in the grease from the meat, this is ridiculously filling.

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The plan for today is to split up a bit. Oliver is showing interest in getting a BMW GS800 which is a more off road capable bike, similar to my DRZ (2X), so I suggest he take my bike around exploring dirt roads while Tiff and I hike and take pictures. He accepts the offer and off he goes. There had been a number of grass fires in the area which Oliver promptly found. Tiff and I found cactus and cliffs and the like.

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Just as Tiff and I are finishing up our hike we get a call from the olives, flat tire, DOH. Of course I don’t have a spare tube or tire spoons for changing anything out, but it’s early enough in the day that perhaps we can find a shop with a tube to spare. Lesson learned there, I have tools for everything but actually fixing a flat.

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Tiff and I drive out to where Oliver is waiting patiently for us. We quickly fashion a 2nd kickstand and get the rear wheel off. Before you can blink we’re in the car calling shops for a spare tube. One is closed; another has no tube, and suggests another shop, Smithy’s. Gee, that sounds like a Harley shop… sure enough. My hopes were shot when we pulled up and saw a few billion tons of chrome sitting out front. We carry the tire around back just in case and the mechanic on duty is amazed at this monster of a tire we’ve brought him. He asks if its off some crazy 800cc dirt bike, ha, just a piddly DRZ. In his defence it sure looks wide and crazy when flat. The guys at Smithy’s shop in are VERY, VERY, VERY friendly and helpful. The owner is calling other shops in town to search for a 17″ tube while the fellow in the shop digs around for the correct tube, all the while sharing a few stories of how he’s taken his hog off the beaten path. The flat turned out to be a ripped off valve stem, no patching allowed, ha. He rummages through a pile of old tubes and magically finds the right size out of pure luck. He had no idea how long that tube had been sitting around unused. Before we can blink he’s got the new tube installed, tire slimed and re aired up. All this at 5 something on a Saturday in the country, hee haw what luck and what nice people. We thank him for his troubles and head back to the bike. From the tire off on the side of the road to returning to the bike was about an hour and a half.

As we’re driving back I see the side road the bike is parked on, we’re rounding a blind corner so I can’t see the whole road yet. More and more of the road gets exposed as we’re moving forward. I get that silly feeling you get when you walk out of a store and can’t find your car for a few moments before you realize its parked one row over. I get that feeling another 2 times going around this corner. Each time I chuckle in my head, “silly boy, its just like in parking lots”- only the 3rd time the bike isn’t actually there and the entire road is exposed, no more blind corner… “Uhoh.”, we’re thinking, “maybe it’s in the ditch.”… We turn the corner on to the street where the bike, was (hint), parked. No bike to be seen. Just some skid marks and the stick-stand (patent pending) left on the side of the road.

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Well poo… We call the cops, and wait for the sheriff to arrive and get our info. Everyone is real nice and helpful. Much more so than local DFW cops I reckon. I’m in pretty good spirits concidering. Whlie we’re waiting on the police to get there I make a call to my mom and inform her of the exciting news. I’m still pretty calm, untill she questions if the insurance has theift or not… “Uhoh.”, I’m thinking. At this point I start to get upset and a little worried. See I had LITERALLY just paid off the bike, like sent the last payment the day before we left just paid off. Damn you murphy, damn you. At least if I don’t have insurance I won’t owe anyone any money. Once the business with the police is over we pile into the beetle, which was a squeeze as we weren’t planning on 3 people + tools + bags + rear tire fitting for the return trip. We manage and get back to camp, I’m more than a little cheesed. Its late, we’re starving, theiving bastards. We start the fire for some very, very tasty stew.

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Weekend in PK ends in rain and thoughts of a new bike. At this point we’re not sure if the DRZ is covered for theft or not, theiving bastards.

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It takes a few days, but the word from the insurance company is, yes, it is covered for theft. Hoorah. Of course I did not wait for this news to start perusing the internet for a new bike. I have always fancied the KTM 640 Adventure. I did my readings, the used prices are right; the specs make it sound like it’s what I want. The problem… none in Texas, damn. I find one that seems perfect in Tennessee, that’s far… but its near my aunt and uncle in Knoxville… VERY close, interesting.

I mention this to my parents and to my surprise they’re kinda up for a road trip up to TN. A quick call to the fellow selling and we are on our way to pick up a 2001 KTM 640 Adventure. I had kinda been looking forward to attempting a 1000 mile journey back to TX on my own, but doing this with a truck sure sounds a lot faster and more comfy. Plus, it affords a couple of days in the mountains on a new bike. That sure beats strait stretches of country road pushing to make Texas in a few days. 5000 dollars later and I’m a KTM owner!

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This ends up to be an awesome plan, as the roads near my aunt and uncle’s place are amazing. We spend the next 2 days traversing the national parks on and off the pavement, including the famous “Tail of the Dragon”, or “Deal’s Gap”, or 300 and some curves in a few miles.

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Some of the time in the mountains I follow my family in the truck, other times they follow me. Good times, good times, good times. I’ll have to make the trip out there on a bike again some time. There is MUCH to explore. A big thanks has to go out to my aunt and uncle who played tour guide and stitched together some amazing roads with awesome views.

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Anyhow, that about sums up how I rode a DRZ out to Possum Kingdom Lake and ended up riding a KTM back from Tennessee.

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Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at 10:00 am in category blog

2 Responses to “Possum Kingdom Lake, TX to Knoxville, TN via Thievery”

  1. Tom Says:

    Nice bike! Nice ride! I’m jealous!

  2. Jim Says:

    Just read the story again. Good memories from the trip to TN. We need to just go more often don’t we!

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