View Full Version : Assault on Ft. Teran 9/4/06

09-04-2006, 05:40 PM
Hairsmith, Hoop, Fbronco86 and I gathered up at various points to mount a final drive to reach the evasive Ft. Teran. Reports were varied regarding the road conditions, from "4 wheel drive is a must" to "could have done it in a 2 WD." Well, we did it on 1 wheel drives!

Fbronco86 and I met in Lufkin (we're neighbors) and met hairsmith out on State 103 where he had ridden from Melrose. We were to meet Hoop, who was driving up to Chester from Beaumont.

Hairsmith, Fbronco86, and I took a circuitous route on mostly backroads through southern Angelina County, hitting Huntington, Bald Hill, Shawnee Prairie, Manning, and Saron. We saw a some loose sand and some gravel as well as a lot of oil sand road that had fallen into disrepair. We crossed over the Neches River on US 69 and went into Colmesneil.

While I got fuel, Tom and Mike checked out what, from the outside, looked like a pretty interesting Bike shop across the way.

We headed west through the woods of northern Tyler County on FM 1745 to Chester, where we met Ray "Hoop" at the Chester School. Ray had a brand spankin' new XR650R with the Baja Designs Dual Sport kit. His aggresively knobbed Dunlop tires, it turned out, were a great fit for the challenges of the ride ahead.


Mike (Fbronco86) and Ray (Hoop) wait for me to get on with the picture taking so we could start. Tom (Hairsmith) is behind me trying to figure out why his camera will not act properly.

We had passed the county road we followed into the woods off 1475 on our way to Chester from Colmesneil. We returned and took a short pit stop near the start of the road. We noticed a lot of log truck traffic on the little road.

Heading north with Tom's GPS assisting with the navigation we immediately ran into some very squirrely stretches of loose sand. I was kicking myself for not having replaced my worn out knobbies with like kind. The 90/10 Pirelli Scorpion A/T on the front of my XR650L went on a mission to find hard soil under the sand, which can make it very interesting trying to steer and maintain balance.

What to wear and what NOT to wear to a sand blasting party. Hoop's original equipment tires on the left, my Pirelli Scorpion on the right.

The other three fellows, sporting a variety of knobbies, quickly decided that they were not going to hang around to watch me do dipsy daidos. They would roar off ahead and would find a shady spot to wait for me. As the day wore on I determined that if I kept the speed above 40 MPH it seemed to help. Problem was, with other traffic on the road and even if I had great traction, I didn't feel safe running this road at that speed.

After making a couple of forays onto wrong turns we arrived at the site of the Historical Marker. The area was really trashed up and severe damage had been done to the original marker by vandals that removed the metal seal and had blasted the granite monument with what appeared to be large caliber rifle fire. The only justice I can see of this is that one of the shooters was standing close enough to get a face full of shards coming back from the impact.


A newer plaque, next to the original granite monument, bears the marks of vandals, also.

Coming later, Hopefully Hoop will tell us how he BROKE in his XRR
and I will share how my clutch lever got fractured.

09-04-2006, 07:32 PM
Ahhh rat's I missed it:doh: glad you guy's made it. I was hoping to go but the wifey and I just got back from a cruise down to Cozumel and back. I hope to do some more DS trips now that I made momma happy.:trust: I hope to meet up with you guy's for another ride someday. Come on where are the rest of the pic's so I can feel like I was there with you guy's.

09-04-2006, 08:23 PM
Ahhh rat's I missed it:doh: glad you guy's made it. I was hoping to go but the wifey and I just got back from a cruise down to Cozumel and back. I hope to do some more DS trips now that I made momma happy.:trust: I hope to meet up with you guy's for another ride someday. Come on where are the rest of the pic's so I can feel like I was there with you guy's.

I was on that cruise last week too. I dont remember much of it.

The ride today was great. I really have missed riding my bike period so putting 180ish miles on it today was fun.

Tom thanks for pointing out that wooden bridge that could have been a real problem at 45mph. If you were not dusting up the road I might have seen it.

09-04-2006, 10:38 PM
Good ride today, just what I needed to break in the new bike. My mishap went something like this:

While looking at the plaque at Fort Teran site:
Me: "Can you ride down to the river?"
Tom: "Nah, it's too steep, you can't do it on a bike."
Me: "I bet I can do it on THIS bike."

There were several trails, which looked like they'd seen ATV traffic. The first one was pretty steep, would have been iffy to make it back up. The next one I tried had one bad spot, then was easy. I got down to the bottom about the same time the rest of the gang did walking.

I ran upriver looking for another trail back up, still following what looked like an ATV trail. I came around a turn, and the trail headed straight up a slope with loose rocks, with a few larger rocks mixed in for fun. I didn't have a run at it, lost traction, and came to a stop. Didn't have any good options, started trying to back down and turn around. The back wheel got caught on a larger rock which pivoted sideways, and the bike was coming down, I just had to get out of its way. I picked the bike up, got it pointed the right direction, and got moving again.

Ran downriver as far as I could, then went back and picked my way back up the way I came down. When I got back to the historical marker, we stood around for another minute, and I noticed the sidecover was scratched, but I thought it was just cosmetic. We ran out to the pavement, maybe 10 miles, stopped again to re-group, and that's when we noticed the dust/oil on the side of the bike. Fortunately JB Weld came to the rescue.

Thanks again for the invite.

09-04-2006, 11:04 PM
I continue with my report but, pictures are no longer available unless Tom was able to get some with his camera. I was using my "spycam" that is literally smaller than a matchbox, has no screen to see what your target looks like, and makes a horrible image. Look at this picture of Hoop.


He was about 20 yards away from me, climbing a very steep hill at about 20 MPH. Can you imagine that?

OK. Oh, you want another picture taken today? Check this out. This is me trying to figure out the status of the little camera. It has two buttons, one on the front by the lense and one on the top. I must have pushed the one on top!
No, I don't always look like that. Only after being chewed out by a couple of very redneck looking guys that looked like they came right out of "Deliverance" and then dropping my bike on myself right in front of them. Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself.

After finding the Ft. Teran Historical Marker we set out exploring around. The marker is on the top of a very tall hill that drops abruptly down to the river. There is a very steep trail that goes down to the edge of the river. Tom and Mike started clibing down it. Hoop says, "I'm going to ride down there." After taking a second look at it he found another less perilous way down and dove off down that trail. I will let him tell you about it as I could not see him for the heavy underbrush, but I could hear that XR650R clawing its way down.

After scouting out the area down near the river's edge we went back up to the top, Hoop and the bike literally jumping up the trail. I tried to get a shot of him as he rode up the last 25 feet of the climb on the back wheel! I got a shot of some trees above his head!

We gathers ourselves up and headed back to the hard surfaced road. as they had before, the other guys got way out ahead of me.

By the time I reached them they were crouched down looking at the right side of Hoop's lower engine case, the cover over the clutch basket. Somewhere on the climb down or up the hill at the Teran site a rock had made some serious contact with and cracked the lightweight aluminum cover. A small amount of oil was escaping. Being fully aware of our ecological responsibilities as members of TWT, it was a given that this condition could not be tolerated.

Hoop dug into his tool pouch, removed and opened up a little pink zippered case. He took out a small kit containing substances that I'm sure can no longer be carried aboard an airplane. Properly preparing a boo boo and applying a mixture of these substances has been touted to be able to fix anything from a broken heart to the crack of dawn. J.B. Weld. (Trumpet fanfare) In a matter of minutes the crack was no longer seeping the life blood of the XRR.

Tom wanted to ride down another road that he had found while trying to chart out the Teran road, so we headed over to it. It was a bit rougher than the Teran road and the soft sand was in smaller patches that I could just blow over. There were a couple of bridges on that road that were mainly only the boards on the tire tracks. As I buzzed over the first one, which appeared suddenly without any notice, I was in the right hand track. There was about two feet of the middle board missing and I went right over it. I gassed the 650 as I hit it and lifted the front tire, I didn't even feel the back tire straddle it!

We had seen little deer camps all day. But suddenly the road goes past a bunch of camper trailers and small structures that were a lot closer to the road. The condition of the road looked much less maintained and I thought, "This is private land."

A little past that I came upon my three friends stopped at a large steel gate. They were turning around and heading back out. I turned around and followed them. They had a jump on me and disappeared around a curve.

As I came back out to where the camp was, an old Dodge truck pulled out across the road blocking it. I stopped. A very tall fellow in overalls, about 60 years old, jumps out and comes to where I had bogged down in the very deep sand in the road. "Just what are you all doing riding on MY land?"

I told him that we were looking for the road that went to the river, This looked like it on the map.

"This is my land and you aren't suppossed to be here, you could get in deep trouble. Anyway, this road don't go to the river."

I told him that we meant no harm and were leaving because we could see that it didn't go to the river.

He was still quite unhappy with us riding on HIS land. After I got him semi-appeased I tried to leave. As I was plowing around in the sugar sand trying to get by them and make some headway, I tried riding up on the side of a grass covered berm running parallel to the road looking for traction. I again ran into a very soft spot, my front tire dropped down and twisted to the left and the forward motion ceased. I started falling over toward the low side! I stuck my foot out, but it was about 18 inches from touching down, so, I vainly attempted to get my leg out of under the falling bike. I managed to get it up to where my boot was pinned to the ground by the left passenger foot peg. My head and shoulder were in the edge of the road and the bike was layed on the side of the berm. The fuel tank was actually lower than the foot pegs. I reached up and turned the key off, although the engine had died. I was twisting around, trying to get free, when the two guys that had stopped me ran over to where I was and lifted the bike off my leg.

Boy, was I embarrased! I noticed that my clutch lever was hanging a bit strange. I got up and pushed the bike on over the berm to a semi-level spot and climbed back on. These guys kept asking, "Are you allright?" I kept saying, "Yeak, I'm OK," although I was really P.O.d and my left calf hurt.

About then, a very old couple in a pickup pulled up. The older guy went over to them and spoke to them. I heard the driver say to him, "Yeah, them other ones like to have run me off the road back there!" I assumed he was talking about my three companions that were preceeding me. I knew it was time to leave.

I pulled in the clutch and attempted to start the engine. It would not start. The clutch felt strange but appeared to work some. I moved the shift lever around until I found neutral. The starter kicked in and the 650 exploded into life. Thankfully the clutch still worked enough to disengage and shift. I got into first and blasted off. Sliding back on the seat and keeping the front light, I managed to get on down the road. After about 500 yards I met Mike, who was coming back to check on me. I don't know how I looked, but, after looking at me, Mike looked worried.

About one mille further we met Hoop, with Tom right behind him. I motioned that we should go on down the road a bit further. I din't want to hang out around there without some kind of artillery.

We went on to the Camp Tek-U-La site where I got off and moved around a bit, working the cramp out of my calf. The rest of the ride was essentially uneventful. We went to Hoop's car and trailer where he loaded up and we headed out back home.

It was a good ride, meeting good friendly folks, and, a couple of not-so-friendly folks. The weather was fantastic, I would not have minded if the roads had been more wet, as the dust and the sand were pretty rough. We were pushed for time so we did not eat as part of the ride. Do we lose points for that and for not having enough pictures?

We'll try to make it up on the next ride.

I understand that the Army Air Corps had an airfield somewhere around Bouton Lake during WWII. Maybe we can explore that one out.

09-05-2006, 06:48 AM
Nice freindly landowners are a hoot.Especialy when your stuck,pointed the wrong way,or unable to bail.Trying to be nice to someone with glaring bloodshot eye's is definitely the best bet!Maps are soo accurate???Looks like ya'll had fun and pulled off the find.Good job.
Scott G.

09-05-2006, 08:16 PM
sorry so late, finally got my pics off the camera.

Before picture of new bike:

After the maiden voyage (Danny's bike in the background):

sidecover after JB'ing.

09-05-2006, 08:39 PM
Nice fix Hoop, lucky it was a scratch line like that.....My last oops you could put your thumb through the hole...I used "Quick Metal", worked great!!!


09-05-2006, 09:07 PM
well Danny, i now have my klr here in texas so maybe i can get together with u all for some good rides. i do have a good dunlop on the back with good knobs so hopefully that will help but deep sand is just hard on 330 lb + pigs...

09-05-2006, 09:13 PM
A couple of people asked me if these guys had guns. I did not see any, although the younger fellow stayed near the open door on the other side of the truck. I figured he had a shotgun laying up against the seat, which is standard practice in the area. The old guy that was chewing my butt was, however, holding a large styrofoam cup that was slightly sloshing over with 'baccy chew spit as he waved his arms around. I figured if he threw that on me it would probably melt right through my Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket! I'm glad I can talk Deep East Texan and was able to even have them feeling sorry for me when I went and pinned myself under the XRL.

09-19-2006, 10:50 AM
Great wright up guys:clap:
I was there but my camera took a dump, guess the vibration from the big green road toad took its tole.
Great ride I ended up with about 250 miles on for the day. I missed all the excitement with the inbred supposed land owners. Most of the times I have bin told I was trespassing come to find out the teller was not the land owner, but someone who needed some kind of authority fix.:doh:
I only had one seat clenching experience on the ride, and it started on pavement. I picked up a trash walmart bag on the undercarriage of the KLR at speed and was distracted trying to kick it off. When I looked up the road had turned and I had not. I was all of a sudden OFFroading at about 65mph and totally unplanned. The weeds were deep enough that they were slapping the hand guards but every thing was going ok. I was beginning to think this is going to be OK when I came to my sentences and realized that there could be any thing in this ditch to hit or run over, Like a culvert, or discarded fence post. I got on the brakes much harder since I was by this time past the turn, and bulldogged the KLR to a stop. It took a while to unclench from the seat after getting back on the road and catching up to the other guys. But as they say,(NO pictures, Never happened).
Great Ride, when do we go again?

09-19-2006, 04:35 PM
Wow, what a neat ride! I need to get out towards those parts and check out the backroads. When is the next trip? :trust: Great writeup and pics! (Any pix are better than NO pix!)