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klrno2
12-31-2005, 07:56 AM
Crosstimbers…native Texans…and 25 years of visitation.

My husband and I have been visiting the Lydon B. Johnson National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas since 1980. Time was, years ago, that we were there nearly every weekend, with our junkyard dog, Butch, running around in whatever old pickup we happened to be driving at the time.

When we first began playing out there, there weren’t any rules that we knew of, other than no off-roading. The entire Crosstimbers region of Texas is extremely susceptible to severe erosion, hence the no off road rules. You used to could shoot anywhere, camp anywhere, hunt anywhere.

Sometimes, it’s really green there….
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46124541-M.jpg

Sometimes, it’s really dry there…
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46125500-M.jpg

Over the years, the number of people utilizing the place has grown, a lot. The rules have been added to, and added to again, until the place is not a place that we play much anymore. We do still ride there, but we rarely stop and play anymore.

We decided to take a ride and camp off the bikes in the middle of the week. We loaded up the bikes…
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229885-M.jpg

Made sure that we had some evening entertainment…
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229882-M.jpg

And away we went.

On the way there, we ran through Aurora, Texas. Now, only a few weeks ago, we had planned a ride report about the small town of Aurora and her still active, yet historical cemetery. You know, the one where the UFO crashed in 1897 and the townsfolk buried the “little man” from the spacecraft in the local cemetery. But the History Channel stole our thunder and aired an hour long program about the event recently. So we were just passing through, but my husband’s KLR had a flat tire by the time we reached Aurora. We stopped there to take care of the lack of air. Turned out that the valve stem had pulled free from the heavy duty tube, and we had no spare tube. We pulled the rear wheel off of his bike, unloaded my bike, loaded the flat tire on my bike, and he rode on in to the next largest town (that we knew had a motorcycle shop) to get the tire repaired. Meanwhile, I waited.
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46125820-M.jpg

Now, so far, the day had been partly cloudy with mild temperatures. But there in Aurora, it was overcast and cold. Not just cooler than elsewhere, but cold, so cold that my feet were freezing and I was beginning to shiver. The townsfolk that drove past me were just as cold, which is really rare for a small town in Texas. Well, there were a few folks that seemed to be from the cast of Deliverence that stopped and asked if I would like their help. Uh, no thanks. Even stranger, I had taken some photos of my husband’s KLR, sans rear wheel, and my KLR loaded with his wheel and him ready to go to town, but the camera just refused to operate there. Later in the day, that same camera took photos flawlessly. I was glad to see him return, get the wheel mounted and get out of that place, after about 1.5 hours of being there.

We arrived at the Grasslands, picked a camp spot with good wind protection, and set up camp.
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229903-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229902-M.jpg

We had posted previous to this ride on KLR650.net, in case anybody wanted to join us, that we would decorate our camp with two small American flags. So, as promised….
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229892-M.jpg

Between the flat tire eating up a bunch of the afternoon, and setting up camp, we were out of time to ride, but tomorrow’s another day.
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229918-M.jpg
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We tried some BackPacker’s Pantry freeze dried food – Beef with Mexican Rice – and found it to be thoroughly inedible. Hungry and cold – campfire and burn bans in effect – we resorted to meat on a stick. At this point in our story, I cannot confirm nor deny the possibility of a rumor that any game or non-game animal may or may not have been taken legally or illegally for sustenance, or that any local or non-local tree remnants may or may not have been fired for warmth and charring of said meat on a stick.
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50229970-M.jpg

The next day, we rode. We hardly stopped for any pictures because we were having too much fun. We covered some gravel roads that we weren’t all that familiar with but that had good curves and elevation change. So, at this point, for your entertainment, I’ll post a selection of photos that have been taken over the last two years, or were taken during this week’s ride…

http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50233692-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50233658-M-1.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50230002-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50222747-M.jpg
Sometimes, mother nature even provides a tasty road side snack…
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50222660-M.jpg
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http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50220882-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50220901-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46125508-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46125487-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46125496-M.jpg

There’s lots of history in this area. We’ve found arrowheads and petrified wood on some of our hikes there. In and around the small towns are some pretty neat old buildings and such, like this gas station and motel built of petrified wood.
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46126669-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46126673-M.jpg

Or this noted battle – you gotta wonder though, if the Indians…er…native Americans had won the fight, would the list of names be Indian?
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46126629-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/46126636-M.jpg
http://klrno2.smugmug.com/photos/50296965-M-1.jpg

There’s plenty of fun gravel roads, barely maintained back county roads and some pretty nice twisted two lane black top here and there. Y’all come ride North East Texas and her lovely Crosstimbers region, you’ll be glad you did.

Y’all come back now, ya heer?

Tourmeister
01-01-2006, 05:04 PM
:tab Man, if that doesn't make you want to go camping and riding... There's just something that ain't right in yer head! Thanks for the info! Your cemetery stop reminds me that I need to set up a forum for cemeteries. There are tons of them scattered all over Texas, many in very remote and isolated areas accessible by DS bikes. I have been to quite a few and really enjoy looking for them. Often times locals see me and come over to visit and I get a dose of the local history in the area. Other times I enjoy just walking around them alone or sitting quietly for a while. Thanks for the post!

Sleepy Weasel
01-02-2006, 07:14 PM
Ah, I've been wondering if you were the couple on the KLR's I met at one of the meets here at Fuddrucker's. Now I know.

I can't quite make out what that roadside snack is, though?

mary111
01-02-2006, 07:53 PM
Beautiful report.....riding and camping with hubby, that'll work (you're blessed). :rider: When I get my bike, I want to look at a ds as well. I could find a rider hubby and I could find a ds....want to leave both options open.:lol2: Thanks for the pictures, KLRno2, I enjoyed looking at them.

Squeaky
01-02-2006, 09:05 PM
I could find a rider hubby and I could find a ds....want to leave both options open.:lol2:

I really need to meet you and we can talk over a slice of pie. When you find your rider hubby, make sure he's got a brother for me!



...oh, and can I have the taller of the brothers?

mary111
01-02-2006, 09:59 PM
Should've been in Dallas with me on New Year's Eve....mercy me, plenty of riders at the block party, Squeaky. Sad thing, I hung out near the food most the time (I promise to quit doing that as a New Year's Resolution). I'll be on the look out for brothers. Oddly, seems like most fellows just look at a woman and "grin" (afraid to speak I guess). What's wrong with them? Fellows give us ideas to correct the problem. There goes the communication thing again. :hack:

mary111
01-02-2006, 10:20 PM
Should've been in Dallas with me on New Year's Eve....mercy me, plenty of riders at the block party, Squeaky. Sad thing, I hung out near the food most the time (I promise to quit doing that as a New Year's Resolution). I'll be on the look out for brothers. Oddly, seems like most fellows just look at a woman and "grin" (afraid to speak I guess). What's wrong with them? Fellows give us ideas to correct the problem. There goes the communication thing again. :hack:

I just now thought of it....I hope JetBlue doesn't read this....he will "nab" me again.:hack:

klrno2
01-03-2006, 05:53 AM
Ah, I've been wondering if you were the couple on the KLR's I met at one of the meets here at Fuddrucker's. Now I know.

I can't quite make out what that roadside snack is, though?

Howdy Sleepy...that roadside snack is a ripe sugar plum. They typically ripen by June or so, depending on the year's rainfall. Oh, and yes, that was Scott and I at Fuddrucker's. Enjoyed meeting all you folks...hope to make another meet n greet soon.



Thanks for the compliments everybody.

Gilk51
01-03-2006, 06:42 AM
Ah, I've been wondering if you were the couple on the KLR's I met at one of the meets here at Fuddrucker's. Now I know.
Yep - that was the "KLR Couple" at Fuddruckers...

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 07:29 AM
Oddly, seems like most fellows just look at a woman and "grin" (afraid to speak I guess). What's wrong with them? Fellows give us ideas to correct the problem.

Maybe they're just not chatty. They'd probably be even less talkative if they knew you thought that meant there was something wrong with them.

Two ideas to correct the problem are either:
1. Find something a guy wants to talk about (made more difficult, I suppose, by the fact that we don't all automatically have the same things that get us going...

or:
2. Talk less and be happy about it.
:lol2:

scratch
01-03-2006, 09:03 AM
Mary - to add to what Sleepy said, a lot of guys just don't do small talk well; many of us aren't wired for that sort of thing. Doesn't mean that we don't have any thoughts we'd like to share, just that you have to make an effort to draw it out. Many times what you will discover is that once a guy achieves a certain threshold of comfort with you the floodgates will open up and you'll barely be able to get a word in edge-wise! ;-) Only speaking for myself here, but I often have a hard time thinking on my feet and speaking off the cuff; expressing my thoughts in writing seems to come much more naturally for me.

Hotboot
01-03-2006, 09:39 AM
How did we get from the Grasslands (nice report and pix) to guy talk ?

That's all I have to say.

:duck:

scratch
01-03-2006, 09:56 AM
I blame it all on Mary. :angel: Next time I'll just send her a PM. ;-)

Tourmeister
01-03-2006, 02:41 PM
It could be that guys get tired of being thought of as "hitting on a girl" just because they are talking to them. So it is less hassle to just keep it to ourselves unless the girl starts the chit chat ;-)

Believe it or not, I am often shy around people I don't know well, hehe.

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 05:51 PM
Believe it or not, I am often shy around people I don't know well, hehe.

I figured you just thought it was rude to talk with your mouth full of canary.

Gilk51
01-03-2006, 07:58 PM
Back on track - very good report and photos, Scott & Sandy, looks like ya'll had a good time.

Now what were those little edible red thangs agin? :ponder:

Sleepy Weasel
01-03-2006, 08:32 PM
Back on track - very good report and photos, Scott & Sandy, looks like ya'll had a good time.

Now what were those little edible red thangs agin? :ponder:


Sugar plums.

DaveC
01-03-2006, 08:42 PM
:thumb: :popcorn: now back to the report

Hotboot
01-03-2006, 09:52 PM
LBJ is usually a good, free and easy place to spend a night in January. You could sneeze hard and start a grass fire now. Dry and dusty crusty.
Two days of wilderness camping via DR sounds great.

I met two DS guys out in St. Jo last Saturday, a KLR and a filthy sumpin'.
These two were covered in white dust from the high winds and having a great time. I think a big compressor and a blow gun would be the ticket when you got home. :rider:

SL350
08-11-2013, 01:12 PM
Bump - just wanted to thank OP - after reading this ride report I have ridden the trails around the Grasslands twice. Just a late thankyou for posting this and a reminder to North Texas riders that this is free primitive camping and a lot of fun. There is a fee based campsite in the park.

Gravel Guy
08-11-2013, 01:52 PM
Bump - just wanted to thank OP - after reading this ride report I have ridden the trails around the Grasslands twice. Just a late thankyou for posting this and a reminder to North Texas riders that this is free primitive camping and a lot of fun. There is a fee based campsite in the park.

:clap: :sun: