View Full Version : Three Twisted Sisters meet the Dirty Triplets

The Bruce
06-10-2007, 04:25 PM
After having mechanical difficulties (bent Uni-Link) that prevented me from completing the routes that I planned to ride during the Texas Adventure Ride last April, I started planning a return trip the Leakey in order to ride Hackberry Road, Bullhead Road and the recently reported Kent Creek Road. As part of this trip my buddy and I were going to complete the tour of the Twisted Sisters, FM335, FM336, and FM337. He was going to haul his camper and bikes down to Garner State Park for an annual 2 week camp out and I talked him in to letting me crash their party. It wasn't too hard to get him to haul my XL600R since it allowed him to take his KLR both on my trailer. He had been at Garner for a week when it came my time to join him there. I rode my Suzuki VL1500 LC Intruder down from Austin. I chose a very scenic slow route: west on US290, south on FM165 at Henly to Blanco, west on RR1623 from Blanco, west on FM1888, south on RM1376, west on FM473 to Comfort, west onTX27 to Centerpoint, south on FM480 to Camp Verde, south on TX173 to Bandera, west on 16 and south on FM470 to Tarpley, bear left on FM187 to Utopia, west on FM1050 to Garner State Park eight miles south of Leakey.
A swim in the Frio River was welcome as the temps were in the high 80's.

The next day after a hearty breakfast we mounted our trusty steeds and headed out in search of a good dual sport adventure. Along with the KLR and my XL600 was our Park Ranger friend on his brother's DRZ400. We made the hop west on FM337 to Campwood and topped of fuel at the Get N Go. First stop, Bullhead Road. This road connects County Rd 2631 and County Rd. 3235 as traveling from FM 335 to FM 336, west to east. But, before we got to Bullhead Rd., we saw a sign that said "Bullhead/Leakey Road". There was a road crew doing some maintenance so we stopped and asked, "hey, does this road go through to Leakey?" They thought it did but there was a deep ravine and it would be very sloppy from the rain the previous couple of day. Sounds perfect. Lets go! The entrance was through a large unlocked gate. The made a couple of water crossings and after about 1/2 mile we were stopped by a locked gate with all of the expected warnings to tresspassers. It was a nice sort detour. Back to Bullhead. The road is well maintained and a fun ride.
Lots of very nice hill country scenery with cliffs and canyons.
This is the summit looking south into the valley.
We finished this stretch and were back on the blacktop. FM 337 north to TX 41. As we pulled up to the stop sign, the trailing DR was honking his horn so we pulled off to the side. He told me he was smelling burning brakes! What the .............? OK, I was going to just roll off to the side but now my back tire was seized and not moving! Again, what the .........? There was adequate play in the brake pedal. Out come the tools and I start taking the rear apart. The drum was hot to the touch but nothing looked out of place.

What we found was that something, who knows what, had lodged between the drum and the stationary parts of the rear brake. This caused enough friction to actually start to melt the aluminum outside the brake drum. There was a small bit of molten metal that dropped off. We used an old knife blade to scrape small fits of metal off the face to the drum so that the parts would spin freely, put everything back together, and voila!, all was well. Weird, huh?

With that problem fixed we headed on to Hackberry Road. The north end was well marked with signage so there was no problem finding it. Another nice road, well maintained but fun for any dual sport bike. On both of these roads the water crossings were about 8 inches deep, moving water, and none of the slippery moss that make you get wet. This was the longest crossing and had a bend in the middle of the river. The route is marked by painted stakes in the creek.
This is my crossing of the great waters.
And all safely across.
The south end of Hackberry is marked by this large gate that gives the impression of the entrance to a private ranch.
Back to Campwood for a top off with gas, that DRZ has a teeny tank and we had coverd about 90 miles. The DRZ rider had a DR. appointment to get to so we headed back to Leakey to part ways. Took this snap along the way.
This turnout was around a corner coming downhill. I barely had enough brake on the old XL to get her stopped after seeing the KLR sitting there. Nice view looking east toward Leakey on FM337.

We were now down to two riders and we headed north on FM336 in search of Kent Creek Rd. We found the south end and decided to go for it. Just inside the cattle guard there was a construction crew working on an registration building for the resort. We did not stop to ask directions or take pictures here or when we rode past the resort. At the resort the road branched into about 8 different directions. We had no GPS so we just took the one that looked most promising. After aroud 4 water crosssing, riding through several pastures with deer stands and running out of road we decided we took a wrong turn somewhere. Where the .........?
This got to be fun but we were expecting a run in with the resort folks at any time. That kinda kept us on edge. We took any little dual track we came across trying to get back to the main road. There was one that ended going up a hill about 15 feet. Four feet from the top was a small rock ledge about 1 foot tall. We went for it and both landed in the same spot. :ponder:
"P" had gone first and he had his camera out for my attempt. Notice his chuckle at the end of the video. He know what was going to happen.
No injuries, minor damage on the XL rear fender, and a good laugh. :lol2:
We continued on until we ran out of road options.
Time to backtrack. We made it back to the resort, didn't want to stop and ask directions, and back across the river. We had decided to go back to FM336 and go for the north end of Kent Creek Road and run it north to south. After crossing the water, spotted a double track and though, why not? Off we went in search of a road. This road followed the creek, on the east side, but after about a half mile almost disappeard. In the meadows it was overgrown but you could find the tracks on the other side where the trail went into the trees. We presssed onward. The tracks led to into the creek and I rememberd from the previous report that the road went into the creek bed, so maybe this was it. Nope, the track went in the creek bed for a couple hundred yards and ended in a large pool.
At this point we saw an old mobile home on teh west bank. We climbed up the bank and saw what looked like a road. We headed north and soon were confident that this was it. Before too long we came upon this.
Makes you feel welcome, huh? We stopped to take a look anyway. There was a car there and a family of five were enjoying this place. They were freindly and didn't mind us being there.
Since they were leaving we offered to help carry tubes and whatever. They insisted that we not help, :shrug: we offered. We talked to them about the resort and the road. The man said that the road was still open but that the resort had petitioned the county to have it closed for guest access only. He said there was a gate further up the road that he thought may be locked. We thanked him for the info and headed on up the road. We found the gate, it was not locked but it was closed. We went on through and proceeded on. This is were the road started running in the creek bed. Had to be careful since the rocks were numerous and the ground seemed to move under our wheels. I looked in the mirror and saw the KLR had stopped so I turned around and went back to see what was what. Seems now his rear wheel was seized up! :eek2: What the ............? It wasn't rolling at all. I had him lean it up on the stand and grabbed the tire. Nothing forward but when I turned it backwards, a bolt fell out. :ponder: Upon examination, one of the bolts that holds the rear disk in place had come loose and jammed in between the rotor and the caliper frame binding the wheel in place.
The bolt was buggered and there were still several left in their proper place and all were tight so we pressed on. One interesting note on the place we were stopped; the water level was only a couple of inches under the top layer of rocks. We had to find a large flat rock to place under the stand to keep the bikes from settling into the creek under the rocks.

The road finally climbed out of the creek bed past a ranch and up onto the ridge. The north entrance is marked with this gate.
Notice the locked chain to give the impression of a locked gate. On closer exam there is another small chain jsut hung around a nail. A small sign says to keep the gate closed so that means to me that you can open it. This is the other sign.
Back on FM336 we rode south to Garner. Arrived around 7pm at the camp. 190 miles of dual sport for that day. Nothing like a hammock and a cool breeze to relax.
The next day was all pavement. I needed to fill the gaps on the Twisted Sisters so off we went. The route for the day would be FM336 north to TX41. 41 west to US377. South to Rocksprings and south on TX55 to Campwood then east on FM337 to Leakey. I rode the Intruder and "P" rode his Ninja 250. First stop was an overlook where we could see the resort we had ran all over the previous day.
We could also see the road we should have taken from this bird's eye view of the valley. We ended up in the creed under the cliff in the right of this photo.
Nice for riding on the highway.
The litttle Ninja would run away in the turns but I would eventually catch him when the road got straighter.
TX55 south from Rocksprings to Campwood is really my favorite section of blacktop down here. It has an 8 mile stretch of sweeping turns as you come down off the plateu that has some awesome views and was really fun to ride.
If you are in Campwood, this is the place to get gas. They had some tasty smoked sausage too.
Now I was ready to stop at the Motorcycle Stop for my T-shirt. I had completed the Twisted Sisters and what we had started calling the Dirty Triplets. I fear before long the Dirty ones will be down to twins. All signs were pointing that direction. All in all it was four days of great riding.

06-10-2007, 04:42 PM
The public/private road thing goes on everywhere. While in Colorado, we were in places where the maps all showed a through public road, but the locals would put up No Trespassing and Dead End signs to discourage people.

Nice pics, looked like fun!

The Bruce
06-10-2007, 04:54 PM
Thanks. Great riding and great fun with good friends. :rider:

06-10-2007, 05:24 PM
You don't have that in an electronic mapping format do you?

The Bruce
06-10-2007, 09:14 PM
Sorry Kurt,
I'm stuck in the 20th century using paper maps. All of the roads are on yahoo maps, which is what I use most of the time. For hard copies in the tank bag i make a copy of the page out of the "Roads of Texas" mapbook. Some day I'll own a GPS, I'm just not there yet.

I'm off to Mexico for a few days so don't expect any replies here until later in the week. No riding, and not even any dirt, just a quick trip. Later y'all.

06-05-2011, 02:27 PM
Incredible! Makes me want to head out west immediately. Job? What job?

06-05-2011, 11:25 PM
Looks like you had a great ride! And the video chuckle was ever-so-:twisted: :lol2:

The Bruce
06-06-2011, 07:08 AM
Ah, a blast from the past. Thanks for dredging up the memories. :coffee: