View Full Version : Big Bend IV

01-08-2008, 03:49 PM
Big Bend IV

Well, it has been a while.

In April I thought that my next trip to Big Bend was to be just around the corner. Alas, my client base conspired to keep me from Big Bend, as my work dried up. Iím not sure why but the universe aligned against me going and with the cost of fuel shooting through the roof, my trips ended for a while.

That being said, I knew I would make it back to Grassy Banks at the end of the year. As I noted in the first post, we have gathered at Grassy Banks every year on December 26th. This gathering has been on going on a yearly basis since 1991. The cast of characters has changed over the years and there is a bit more grey in our hair these days. Now we are more likely to go to bed early and get up early than we were in years past. Also, now we are bringing more comforts of home than we once did as evidenced by the loads we toted with us.

Scott called me about 7:30 PM on the 25th and told me they were in Garland and should be to Grand Prairie about 8:00 PM. We rolled out of the designated Shell Station heading west shortly thereafter and rolled into the night. Fort Worth, Weatherford, Ranger, Eastland, Cisco, Abilene et al fell by the wayside as we motored west. State Troopers and light traffic kept us company along the way. Soon Midland and the Odessa began to glow on the horizon. The M6 in Odessa served up some rooms for a quick nap and we bedded down for the night at 2:00 AM about 5 hours closer to our goal.

December 26, 2007

Dawn served up a clear cold day with a brisk wind out of the north. Ray was pulling a trailer with 5 canoes, so the wind would be a factor until we turned south at Monahans.

A couple of days before heading out I had posted in the regional forums that I would be in Big Bend over the Christmas / New Year break. Flagger PMíd me and asked if he could tag along with us on some rides. I upped the ante and told him to come join us at Grassy Banks. He was in Big Bend for the second year and was looking forward to riding with us. Byron clearly trusted me as I mentioned that he would be part of a party of 22 at Grassy Banks.

Matt and Caleb were on their way west from Baton Rouge, Louisiana so we were going to have four dual sports for exploring. A quick call to Matt confirmed that they were not only on their way but actually ahead of us. They chose to cool their jets and get breakfast in Fort Stockton while we motored south out of Monahans. The intersection of US 67 and I10 was the designated meeting point.

Soon we had a caravan of 4 vehicles with gear aplenty on board heading south on 67. Alpine provided a splash of fuel and soon we slid down 118 towards Study Butte. It is funny how close, but yet far Alpine is from Study Butte / Terlingua. In many ways the road between the two acts as a barrier. Study Butte / Terlingua has changed a great deal over the years, but looking at it from the eyes of a newcomer still leaves the impression that it is wild.

Soon, the rides ...

01-08-2008, 03:49 PM
But first we had to find Byron ...

Looping into the RV Park at the Big Bend Motor Inn, I had specific instructions ...

Byron said he was the only one in the park in a tent. Wandering about, we soon found a tent with a bike trailer and car next to it, but no bike.

About that time a fellow comes walking up and asked if I was looking for Byron.

I said that I was and asked if he was Byron. He replied no, that he was Jim. He said Byron was off doing laundry and asked if he could join us as well on our rides. Jim questioned if he should ride with us as he had a KLR. I said why not as I had my DR in the truck with me. Caleb was on my XR650R, but then he was young enough to ride a thoroughbred.

So, now our little merry band of adventurers was up to five.

Leaving a map with Jim and a note on Byronís car, we headed off to Kathyís for a well deserved burger. Kathy owns and operates Kathyís Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe and she clearly understands that cholesterol can be a good thing.

Approaching Kathyís, I quickly noted that she had added indoor dining in the form of an old school bus.

After a hug and an ďOh my God, I have not seen you in forever!Ē, we settled in for burgers and fries.

I am delinquent as I did not get a photo of the burger and fries, but they were good.

Matt did take a photo of Kathyís.


While we were waiting for our burgers, Byron shows up on his XR650L and we exchange greetings. He has laundry to wrap up, so he returns to the RV park and we head on west on 170 after the burgers.

Grassy Banks has become familiar over the years and we all know who, what when, where and how to set up camp. It isnít long before we look like we have been there for a few weeks instead of hours. This fact becomes acutely evident when two women show up asking for directions to the Santa Elena Canyon overlook. They commented on the fact that we looked settled in.

They had meandered down from Fort Davis along 170 after stopping in Marfa and were hoping to get to the overlook and back to Fort Davis before dark. In that is was already 4:00 PM and they were 50 driving miles or more from the overlook, we told them to save that walk for another day.

After our visitors departed, beer and boiled peanuts filled the balance of the afternoon.

Ray and Scott threw together chili for the crew. The process started with 15 pounds of meat and grew from there. In that CASI (http://www.chili.org/) is just down the road, it is a traditional start to the week.



I know it breaks chili tradition, but it is our tradition to serve the chili with rice. We **** near ran out one year and added the rice at the last minute to stop a mutiny. Everyone seemed to like it so now it is part of the meal.


After dinner, I burned a few images trying to work on my technique ...

This is the unretouched JPG file. I need to work on the RAW in CS2. Byron is just to the left of the guy with glasses and Matt is standing on the right.

December 27, 2007

As I mentioned above, now that we are older we go to sleep earlier and get up earlier. Dawn and coffee has become a tradition as well. I slept in my truck, so I was near the fire pit. Scott rolled out as I took photos of the coming dawn.


Soon we had a fire going and Scott headed off to light the heater at the outhouse while I cranked up the coffee.

Soon the crowd began to gather and I continued to snap photos ... Iím gonna get this down someday. Three of the better ones follow, which do you like best?




I could not pass up a couple of bike shots in the gathering light.



More soon ...

01-08-2008, 03:51 PM
Day One of riding was to be a familiar loop ...

It was cold (mid 20's), so we hung around the fire a bit and filled our bellies with coffee in preparation for the day.

Byron fired his bike up, so others of us began the process. My bike had not been run hard of for any real amount of time since the Queen / Cloudcroft ride of late spring, so I had prepared by charging my battery. El Petrolero had fired up fine yesterday afternoon, but I guess the cobwebs were not out of the battery yet, as I had to jump her to life. Lucky for me, I never had another problem though.

Geared up, we swooped down 170, carving lines of risk along the curves of the road and testing the limits of our chicken strips on cold knobbies.

Jim was at the Fina when we arrived and soon we were full of fuel and ready to roll. In the interest of time ( it was the crack of 10:15ish), we headed north on 118 and dropped the South/North County Road section. With 40 miles of dirt turned into 11 miles of asphalt, we were magically back on schedule and only about 1 hour late. Who cared, we were riding and all I had to do is get Matt and Caleb back in time to make the seafood gumbo that evening.

Terlingua Ranch Road falls by the wayside and we angled NE on Cedar Springs Ranch Road. A few zigs and zags and we found the sign pointing east towards Marathon. Always a fun road, we were soon slipping eastward towards the sun.

The border of Big Bend National Park served up a cattle guard as warning, along with a long list of do’s and don’ts. Not one to tarry with don’ts, I led my charges on a wild goose chase along the dirt road to US385 at the northern end of the park. The DR was running smoothly and gobbling miles as the ubiquitous cactus and mesquite became a blur along the side of the road. In places, the sand was deep and the challenge of 7 gallons of fuel on board provided some additional excitement.

Dang, it was nice to be back. As inhospitable as the area is to man and beast, there is a special beauty found nowhere else on earth besides a desert. Maybe the echos of the past are louder here? Perhaps it is the fact that there is little here to increase the backgound noise. I know I am always able to hear more of my inner self in the desert and find true clarity at multiple levels on every trip. It really is a drag to have to go back to “civilization” after a week in paradise.

On this trip, I had a mission to achieve. I was in search of some photos of riding in Big Bend. The editor of Ride Texas had posted on ADV that he needed photos from the River Road. Maybe I could manage to make some spare change to cover fuel costs!

Jim hung out at the intersection while the rest of us headed up to Persimmon Gap to pay our entrance fees. Back on the road south, we picked up Jim and motored on to Dagger Flats Road.

After a left turn, we soon we encountered a car parked near the entrance of Old Ore Road. Noting the bike carrier, I figured we would encounter some mountain bikers along the way. Stopping for a moment where Stevie fell, I told others of the tragedy of that day, now some 2 years in the past. Stevie still rides with me and many others in our memories.

Ride on my young friend!

Old Ore Road is a beautiful gravel road winding along the eastern portion of the park and usually it is left to intrepid adventurers on bikes and such. As we were there during the height of tourist season in the park, we encountered a number of vehicles on our journey south. Only one driver has a sour expression on his face as we passed.

I wave at everyone and smile inside my full face helmet believing that good karma results. We also slow to a very respectful speed and attempt to leave only the most favorable impression on folks as we pass. I hope a bit of our karma rubbed off on fellow sojourners as at every encounter. There was clearly joy in my heart.

We were having a great time riding. The weather was outstanding and the traction sublime. Matt served as a model for a series of “rider” shots along a section of the road. I will not bore you with the entire series, but here in an example of both the terrain and the weather.


I really need to always use a fill flash ...

See what I mean about good? The day was ours, the pace moderate, the glow of friendships about and we were in Big Bend. Who could ask for more?

Soon we encountered the folks on mountain bikes. I’m not sure when they started but they were about 2/3rds of the way through the ride.

Approaching one hill, I was reminded of the time irondawg saved my butt by having the correct master link when mine gave up on my XR.

In many ways, Big Bend holds sway in many corners of my mind and all are magical. My earliest memories of the park are a backpacking trip with my son when he was 16. He still talks fondly of that trip and mentioned taking his nephew (my grandson) with him there in a few years when Graham is a bit older. I hope I am still young enough to make the walk with them. I will always be young enough at heart, but of late the motorcycle has become my favored mode of exploration. There are many memories attached to the park that go back all too many years now. The friendships, the colors, the sounds, the silence, the joy and the sorrow all blend to leave a peace in my heart that leaves me with little doubt of my love for the area.

The Rio Grande runs as deep through my soul as it does through Santa Elena Canyon and the wild rugged nature of the area remind me of a miss spent youth yearning for a grounding so easily found here.

I said it before in another ride report, but it bears being said again ...

The desert attracts a diverse group of people and the harsh environment affects us all differently. I think all find peace in their own way, but many bring with them echoes of imaginary transgressions that color their view of the world in a dramatically negative way. I guess the solitude provides the buffer that they need and pray that they can experience the peace that I feel while wrapped in the beauty and quiet that is Big Bend.

I must stop the musing and get back to the task at hand ...

01-08-2008, 03:52 PM
Back to the report.

The end of Old Ore Road comes quickly after passing the electric lines heading off to Rio Grande Village.

The last rise before the asphalt brought visions of the way home for the bicyclists. They had a car parked at both ends of the ride. A lot of driving for some perhaps, but worth the effort to get into the unspoiled eastern edge of the park.

The tunnel flew by and soon we were munching on prefab sammiches found in the refrigerator at Rio Grande Village. Byron, Matt and Caleb topped off fuel while Jim and I scoffed at the idea. We came prepared for the long haul.

Speaking of Jim, I have to say that he was belying every notion I had ever heard about KLR riders. First off, he didnít appear cheap. Everyone knows that KLR riders are cheap and that KLRs are pigs with lipstick, right? Well, Jim was going out of his way to dissuade me of that image. He was not only keeping up, he was doing so with aplomb.

Lunch finished and bikes fueled, we headed back out of the river bottom towards our appointment with the River Road. It was getting late and we needed to make tracks. Sixty miles of dirt awaited the squadron. During lunch, we had decided to drop out Glenn Springs and Black Gap roads out of the mix in hopes of returning to the same day as the original schedule. OK, we were not that slow, but you get the idea.

My target was 2 hours to reach the other side and this is where I needed some photos, so we charged off into the gathering shadows. I stopped twice and took a series of shots. Here are a couple along with an overall shot from a previous trip. The panorama is looking back east from a rise near Marascal Mine.


For those that want to follow along, here (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/upload/BIBE_map1_2007.pdf) is a link to the NPS map of the park. We are nearing the bottom of the park at this point.

The first series ...



After a bit I located another nice stretch that was tighter ...





The balance of the afternoon dissolved into a rush to get back to Grassy Banks. We did manage to make the asphalt near Castolon in two hours, which is a good clip taking into account stopping, photos and such.

Maverick Road was about 12 miles of asphalt away and we were soon carving corners towards the intersection. Bummed that time had run out, we waved at the Santa Elena overlook as we slipped by. I was mindful of the fact that I should have got us here early enough to walk into the canyon mouth.

Skinny and I has spent a wonderful hour or so there in the spring and it is a unique experience.



Maverick Road fell under the roll of our knobbies and soon we were back at the Fina Station in Study Butte.

Jim demurely declined our offer to join us for seafood gumbo, so the four remaining adventurers headed west after our plan for tomorrow was established.

But first up ... dinner ...

01-08-2008, 09:07 PM
Ahh dinner ... tonight was to be seafood gumbo.

The Cajuns were gonna show the homeboys how good cooking could be.

The Cajun Creed
Bon Dien
Bon Sante'
Bon Temps
Bon Amis'
Bon Mange

which translated to
Good Lord
Good Health
Good Times
Good Friends
Good Food

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

For those unfamiliar with the joy of Cajun culture, check out this (http://www.cajunculture.com/) site for a primer.

Never in my life have I had the pleasure to have experienced a happier group of people. Cajuns are the definition of the word party.

In any case on with the gumbo ...

Matt and Caleb are an interesting pair to watch in the kitchen. Matt has the years, but Caleb doesnít give an inch on cooking up a pot of gumbo.

The rue turned into a long lesson in the steps of making gumbo and the fact that no single step could be shortcut or rushed. They calmly ignored the swirling mass of humanity circling like vultures about the tent. The artists worked on, generally oblivious to the chatter. Byron and I sliced up veggies, as Caleb issued instructions. Matt stirred the rue.

One other thing ... the beer flowed ... oh yea, did it flow.



Matt explaining to Caleb how to cook Gumbo. See the respect on Calebís face!


As a precaution and following a gust of wind during the afternoon that turned everything *** over tea kettle, Brent and the guys had wrapped the shade enclosure with the skin off of one of the billboards advertising Brentís restaurant in Hooks, Texas http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/204840013-M.jpg

He asked me to take a photo of the final product. How could I resist?


Byron saluting everyone, meanwhile Brent is way too serious about his gumbo ... smile ...


The gang in the kitchen


Matt ... even my camera was losing focus with all the food and fun ...


The final product ... **** was it good!


Dinner prepared, we adjourned to the fire pit and kicked the kids to the back row, as the fire was warm and the wind finally quieted down.

Then the http://teeds.smugmug.com/photos/219404090-X3.jpg came out and all was good with the world. It warmed the belly quite nicely I might add.

On to tomorrow's ride in a bit.

01-08-2008, 11:30 PM

all these BBSP reports are making me realize that this is truly a very special place...I have been wanting to go to BB ever since I knew it existed but have yet to go...I will definately go to BB at least twice in '08...

01-09-2008, 01:00 AM
Wow that looks like a great trip where were y'all camping at? My brother, uncle, and I are heading out there hopefully early next week and we're trying to find out what roads we/our bike can make it down. My uncle and I are on BMW 12gsa with Tourances and the younger more agile brother's on a 1150 GSA with TKC's. What are some dirt roads the 3 of us could safely navigate?

01-09-2008, 08:03 AM
Wow that looks like a great trip where were y'all camping at? My brother, uncle, and I are heading out there hopefully early next week and we're trying to find out what roads we/our bike can make it down. My uncle and I are on BMW 12gsa with Tourances and the younger more agile brother's on a 1150 GSA with TKC's. What are some dirt roads the 3 of us could safely navigate?


We stayed at Grassy Banks, which is about 10 miles up river from Lajitas and about 25 miles from Terlingua. We like it there as it is quiet and we never have to worry about our stuff that we leave.

Camping there is quite affordable. It was 30 something dollars for the entire four days we were there and that covered 8 people IIRC.

All the dirt north of Terlingua would be doable on most any bike right now, as Terlingua Ranch has been out there with a grader recently.

Be sure and do the loop I described for day one. An easier way to find Marathon Road in Terlingua Ranch is to follow Terlingua Ranch Road east 14ish miles until the until the pavement stops. Take a left on the dirt road at the end of the pavement and follow the signs. It will take you into the park and over to 385.

Get a copy of the Roads of Texas or download a copy of the park map I linked too. It will make sense.

If you have a Garmin GPS and topo map software, all the roads on Terlingua Ranch and within the parks are shown, so you can ride without getting too lost. You can always breadcrumb it back, if you do.

South County to North County Road is nice.

Don't forget ...

TX 170 up to Presidio
Pinto Canyon Road from Ruidosa to Marfa
BBRSP Entrance Road to Sauceda in the park
Casa Piedra Road south out of Marfa on the east side of US67

That is at least 750 miles of riding there and 60% of it is dirt!

Do not miss stopping at Kathy's for breakfast. Tell her Tony said hi and to treat you nice.

Look for our sticker on her wall ... it is my avatar.

Enjoy the trip.

01-09-2008, 08:05 AM

all these BBSP reports are making me realize that this is truly a very special place...I have been wanting to go to BB ever since I knew it existed but have yet to go...I will definately go to BB at least twice in '08...

Be sure one of those trips is the Terlingua Dual Sport Ride. Come a couple of days early and we will definitely make it worth the drive.

The Bruce
01-09-2008, 08:09 AM
:coffee: I love Big Bend reports.

01-09-2008, 08:37 AM

01-09-2008, 09:30 AM
Cajun - There is an andouille sausage made by Richardís (pronounced Ree-shardz) Cajun Foods that I use in most all by beans, soups and gumbo. It is the best IMHO. There crawfish etouffee ain't bad either.

Teeds, sorry for the sidebar.....back on topic.

01-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Cajun - There is an andouille sausage made by Richardís (pronounced Ree-shardz) Cajun Foods that I use in most all by beans, soups and gumbo. It is the best IMHO. There crawfish etouffee ain't bad either.

Teeds, sorry for the sidebar.....back on topic.

Not a problem! Cajun food is the best in the world.

We used to get blue crabs fresh off the boat in Vermilion Bay at Cypremort Point. Fifteen minutes later we were dropping them in the boil. Her family had a hundred acres of crawfish and a section of sugar cane. **** it was good times, except when we fought.

She was German. They have about as many Germans there as Cajuns.

Good memories.

I recently tracked down a way to order Natchitoches Meat Pies ... I need to order some.

01-09-2008, 08:03 PM
I forgot ...

The tale of the Tape for yesterday’s ride.

The loop turned out to be 227 miles. Not bad ... for an easy day.

Today would be harder ... longer ... colder ... brrr, I’m getting chills thinking about it.

December 28, 2007

Since we would be heading north instead of south today, Jim had agreed to meet us at Grassy Banks. He would be bringing his motorhome and hanging with the entire gang ... I told you yesterday it was the gumbo ... now do you believe me?

In any case, the day began as all other days ...

Scott lit the heater in the toilet, I started the coffee and we stoked up the fire ...

Others began to rise and join us. It was well before dark and although we solved most every problem in the world every morning around the fire, it was too dark and we were too smart to write down the answers that we derived. What would we do the next day, if we wrote down the answers?

4~5 cups of coffee, a couple of breakfast burritos, a trip to the outhouse and all was good with the world.

Jim showed up after a while and we were soon suiting up for the day. The sun lands late in Grassy Banks because of a low hill directly across the river in Mexico. It was chilly and we were needing to rush. At least El Petrolero fired right up and was soon warming her bones and getting the blood pumping for the day.

Organizing our flight, we waved a hidey hoe (how in the world do you spell that?) To the gang that was hanging at camp and off we slipped westward on TX 170 towards our rendevous with the day.

170 is always fun, but the chill of the morning and the need for speed left precious little time to enjoy the views.

I did spook a doe and fawn eating along the border of the road and I was within ten feet of them before they even looked up. I’m sorry that I scared them, but glad that it caused them to move farther down the bank into the draw.

Presidio came onto the horizon after about 40 minutes and we stopped at the Exxon station for a splash of motion lotion and a cup of java. Warmed up by the gathering sun, we headed off on the days adventure.

Gobbling the miles, we took a quick break at the end of the asphalt to change gloves and whiz. Then we were off, into the past, into a part of Texas that would likely still be familiar to folks that were here in the 1800's. Little has changed ... little ...

Soon we arrived at the moment of truth ... the ditch that claimed my shoulder in August of 2006. Was it really that long ago? Dang how time flies when you are having fun. Why, it was just a year ago that I got hauled out of Mexico when I messed up my knee. Of course, that explains why Caleb is on my XR-R and I am on my DR. That filly is fun, but now I can go the distance ...

In any case, I forgot to tell everyone to try and stay in the existing tracks because of the Mesquite thorns ... well ...


At least we were in a shady spot!

Remember my earlier point about cheap KLR riders?

Well, Jim was about to earn his wings.

While the rest of us are pondering the tube and the rather large thorn in the tire, Jim whips it out!

No, not that ... get your mind out of the gutter.

His electric tire pump ... saweet ... there is some luxury that I could easily become addicted to.

I wonder if they make a way to chill beer on a bike?

OK, I’m back ...


I will also note that Jim was quite the style maven ... I know he wore a helmet when we rode, but milliseconds after stopping and he had on the hat. It was always clean and sharp. I haven’t got a clue where he stashed it on his bike. Jim was changing my mind about the KLR guys!


Onwards my charges, as the day wears on and we have miles to go before we sleep.


The patch didn’t hold, so we stopped to switch the tubes out.


Caleb when for a ride ... he rode my XR like he stole it.


Caleb and Matt




Matt getting into the action ...


El Petrolero waiting patiently


We all stopped so folks could play

Caleb trying to fly


Byron ... my ram filled up on my camera and this was the last shot I got ...


Thank you Matt, for a better shot!


Byron had another didpop.


At least he picks nice places to stop.

We were kidding him and he kept trying to convince us that there are no thorns in Ohio. I may have to head up that way and find out.

After a short conversation with a Border Patrol Agent and a photo of the gang we were off ...


To Prada ... we had to do shopping ya know.


After Prada, it was into Marfa for fuel and a few more layers. It was now late and we were out of daylight. The sun exited stage west while we purchased gas. Dollar General made a bunch of sales, as we all purchased what we thought would keep us warm.

Coffee and a quick adjustment of gear and we slabbed it down to Presidio. We stopped again at the Exxon, but this time there was no coffee to warm us. We were reduced to getting Vanilla Cappuccino. Actually, it was better than I thought it would be. In any case, warmed to about a millimeter into our core ... it was 40 F and falling and we ran 70 most of the way to Presidio ... we headed towards Grassy Banks.

Forty minutes of rising, falling, twisting and turning and we arrived at camp. It was 8:00 PM and we had been gone since 9:00 AM

The tale of the tape ... 307 miles for the day. Not bad ... considering

They had kept the fajitas out for us, so it was off to clean up and eat.

More in a bit

01-09-2008, 09:49 PM
As we were tired and cold, it was off to bed, for me at least.

But before I forget ... Matt had to move a tumbleweed from in front of Prada.


Tomorrowís ride would top it off ... in a bit

Cagiva 549
01-10-2008, 06:54 AM
Two Big Bend threads to read each day . Life is good . Next time we should combine our cooking , we had Deep Fried Turkey and Black Forest Cherry Cobler for Christmas dinner and Crawdad EEtwofey one other day I dont remember when , I lost track . Camp cooking rocks . SEYA

01-10-2008, 07:37 AM
Two Big Bend threads to read each day . Life is good . Next time we should combine our cooking , we had Deep Fried Turkey and Black Forest Cherry Cobler for Christmas dinner and Crawdad EEtwofey one other day I dont remember when , I lost track . Camp cooking rocks . SEYA

David, next year we will be set up on our land up the hill from CASI, so we will be closer. Roger is nice to host us, but we hit 22 this year and I suspect it will grow more next year.

01-16-2008, 08:02 AM
........ we had Deep Fried Turkey and Black Forest Cherry Cobler for Christmas dinner and Crawdad EEtwofey one other day I dont remember when , I lost track . Camp cooking rocks . You are honored with my first introduction to cajun food. I liked it! Afterall, you are Camp Chef Extrordinaire :mrgreen:

Blackberry Cobbler in Feb. :trust: You coming?

01-16-2008, 11:02 PM
Well, it was more than a bit ...

December 29, 2007

One more day and one more ride, but first a bit of breakfast ...

Cat burgers ... no photos, but I am talking about sausage biscuits.

We used a poor man microwave ... boil water to drop them in. They are serviceable. Can food be described that way?

We were heading out to Top of the World for a tour of the northern part of Terlingua Ranch. We had three trucks in tow behind us, so we played hop scotch along the route northward. We stopped at David G. Hiltonís old place for a few minutes and then motored on. For some reason, I did not shake out my camera until


Matt had a flat on Jimís bike.

Jim has his hat on ...


Onward we rolled until we encountered some rocks that could not be moved by hand.


Bummer, that meant that this would be the end of the line for the trucks. As I had been to the top before, I sent the bikes up to the top and began the slow process of leading the trucks back out.

The photos that follow are all Mattís.





Caleb at the end of the line

After catching back up with me, we leap frogged back into Terlingua, popping into town above the water tower.

Then it was off to take showers. This was our last night in town and we were all eating out. The canoeists opted for Tivoís, while the motorcyclists decided on


I got my usual ...

Pork Medallions with Chipotle Raspberry Reduction Sauce, Veggie de jour and smashed taters with a glass of Cab.


Sorry, I started eating before taking the photo!

Then it was back to camp to wrap up the evening. Byron and I created a high test fire in mere moments and the mushroom was not all that large.


It settled down quickly, but it took a while for the gas on the ground to burn out.

Then we solved problems and I took photos ...









With that shot, I have come to the end of the year and the end of Big Bend IV. 2007 was full of ups and downs for me at many levels, but Big Bend continues to draw me close, to ground me, to remind me to look for beauty everywhere.

December 30, 2007

Morning arrived and we began the process of picking and packing up. Soon we were on the road to home, rolling slowly farther afield from each other and a spot in Texas that has been home in my heart for many decades now.

I will get back. I just donít know when. I know I will be at Grassy Banks in 2008, of that I am sure.

Until next time ...

Go in peace, but wear body armor.

01-17-2008, 09:03 AM
Wonderful fun! Thanks for sharing it in such an entertaining way.

For years, as a school teacher, I'd use Spring Break as a time to visit Big Bend. Then a year and a half ago, Paul and I found a place to live here, just 25 sMiles north of Study Butte. We feel so blessed to be here and to share with travelers.

They used to pay us to live in Kansas but they don't any more. So we don't any more ; )

Hope to meet you on one of your next visits.

Our door is always open.