After checking the Big Muskie Bucket and Ohio Route 555 off the Moto Bucket list, I figure it’s time to put up some new goals. Considering the amount of time I’ve been spending in the Bluegrass state, along with my current thirst for off-road “Adventuring”, I figure there are two logical choices for new members of the list.
Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway (DBBB)
Officially opened in spring of 2016, the DBBB is a (roughly) 100-mile loop around the Red River Gorge area of Eastern Kentucky. While parts of this route are paved, sections of the DBBB are extremely rugged, including a multitude of creek crossings among other dual sport and OHV obstacles. Incidentally, I actually rode a few short sections of this route while wandering through the gorge with my buddy in November of 2016. Per my comments about “Rugged”, while on Spaas Creek road we decided to turn back, fearing the road ahead may be blocked or impassable. Upon the discovery of the DBBB, it was evident that Spaas Creek does, in fact, connect from end to end, at which point I vowed that I would traverse that road in its entirety, along with the rest of the DBBB route that happens to be smack dab in the middle of my favorite riding area. Considering that the DBBB is still relatively new, I struggled to find decent images of the trails. Fortunately, through the help of Instagram, I linked up with a fellow Kentucky Adventurer, @cdalejef, to get some good muddy photos.
The Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT)
Incidentally, I stumbled across the DBBB while looking into the KAT on ADVrider. As it turns out, portions of the DBBB and KAT overlap in the northern parts of Red River Gorge. The KAT is a (roughly) 900 mile loop around eastern Kentucky, including the previously mentioned parts of Red River Gorge, Black Mountain (the highest point in Kentucky), Kentucky coal country, and even parts of Virginia and Tennessee. From what I have read, over half of the route is unpaved, and that amount is increasing with each passing month. Similar to the DBBB, “Overlanders” are scouting old, rural, public roads that are legally passable by motorcycle and adding additional sections to the route. Optional “Hard” sections are also available on the loop; it is suggested that these sections should only be attempted by experienced offroaders and typically require proper dirt-oriented machines. I’m hoping that a “dry run” through the DBBB prepares me for the challenges I will face on the KAT with Rosie the Scrambler. From my experience thus far, it’s all fun and games until water is involved. I suspect I may get to the DBBB this year, however it’s going to take about a week’s vacation to traverse the KAT in its entirety.