• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

1998 miles - Big Bend, Guadalupe Peak, Roswell NM

Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
I spent 9 days exploring Big Bend NP, Guadalupe Mountains NP, Roswell NM, and everyting bewteen!

This is where I went:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=Grapevine+@32.98102,-97.088928&daddr=US-67+to:Fort+Stockton,+TX+to:1+Headquarters+Dr,+Big+Bend+Natl+Pk,+TX+79834+(Big+Bend+National+Park)+to:TX-118+to:Fort+Davis,+TX+to:TX-118+to:Guadalupe+Mountains+National+Park,+Dell+City,+TX+79837+to:Roswell,+NM+to:Ruidoso,+NM+to:Abilene,+TX+to:76051&hl=en&geocode=FRxA9wEdYIo2-g;FTgG3gEdwIj--Q;;FXG0vQEdr1Dd-SHyXPJ6vV8hjg;FR7txQEdArPT-Q;;FaT61wEdwMbK-Q;;;;;&mra=ls&via=1,4,6&sll=32.444885,-102.875977&sspn=4.227209,6.932373&ie=UTF8&z=6 (slow to load google map)

This is what I rode: (2007 ninja 250)
Dec2008016.jpg


Dec2008017.jpg


This is what I took with me:
Dec2008238.jpg


This set up may not look as minimalist as some of my previous rides, but I assure you it is! I camped out 5 out of the 8 nights. I cooked all but 4 meals. The temperature was a low of 17* to a high of 86*. I even camped in 3" of snow! Believe me, I needed everything I took with me!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
Day one was a fast ride to Fort Stockton, TX. I didn't leave until 11:00 AM, as I refuse to ride when it is below 40*. Not many pictures to show. Just stopped twice for pee breaks. Gotta love empty roads!

Pee break one: (check out the windmills)
Dec2008021.jpg


Pee break two:
Dec2008026.jpg


The most excitement for the day was putting 4.902 gallons into my extremely dry 4.8 gallon tank in San Angelo. :eek2: I normally get 48MPG, but high speeds reduce this to 40MPG or so.

Dec2008024.jpg


I arrived in Fort Stockton just as it was getting dark, and had done 460 miles for the day (not bad for a late start!). I grabbed a cheep motel.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
In the morning I checked out Fort Stockton for an hour:

Dec2008032.jpg


Dec2008028.jpg


I spent the next 3 days in Big Bend National Park hiking and camping:

Dec2008038.jpg


Dec2008040.jpg


Does anyone know what this is???
Dec2008046.jpg


Dec2008050.jpg


Me, at the top of Lost Mine trail:
Dec2008063.jpg


I did 15 miles of gravel to hike the "Grapevine Hills trail"
Dec2008097.jpg


Dec2008129.jpg


Dec2008116.jpg


Dec2008122.jpg


My tent:
Dec2008118.jpg


I kept the cooking simple. Can't beat Spam Singles!!! I recommend the turkey over the mystery meat.

Dec2008073.jpg


Dec2008078.jpg


One pot cooking means coffee BEFORE spam:
Dec2008074.jpg


Bear box:
Dec2008075.jpg


Soaking up the sun:
Dec2008123.jpg


I had great weather the first 3 days. Daytime highs were 80's, and night time lows were 40's. This would soon change on my last night in Big Bend...stay tuned!
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
Yet you're doing a 2000-mile ride in December :doh: Or was this at some point earlier in the year? Either way, looking forward to reading about the rest of it! :rider:
Yep, the trip was December 5th - 13th.

I really enjoyed your recent report of Big Bend, and it helped me decide that I needed to go back again too! Thanks!
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
305
Location
Austin
Keystone Light, SPAM, and Ramen Noodles - reminds me of college!

I am looking forward to the Guadalupe Peak part of your trip, since that's where I learned to ride in hurricane-force winds!!

Cheers,

Ben
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
My last morning in Big Bend, I had planed to head to the McDonald observatory. There was a star party planed that night, and I had missed out on it the last time I was in the area.

One quick phone call to my new Fiancée and I got a rainy forecast for everywhere but Big Bend Park.

Sorry ladies, as of last month I am officially off the market. For those interested, here is a pic of us on the trip where I popped the question. (Sonoma CA)
Novvaca2008192.jpg


After the I got the rainy forecast, I decided to not gamble on the star party that night, and enjoy the non rainy weather in Big Bend for another day.

I did leave the park to check out Terlingua, and for provisions. While out, I tried to eat at Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe, but she was Klosed. ;-)

Dec2008100.jpg


Dec2008099.jpg


Dec2008098.jpg


I re-entered the park and went to the east side to hike boquillas canyon. On my way back to make camp in the basin the clouds looked a bit dark. It was quickly getting COLD too.

Hmm....wonder what the weather is like in the basin...
Dec2008134.jpg


That doens't look good...
Dec2008135.jpg


As I zoomed up the 7 mile road to the basin campground, it keeps getting colder with elevation. It starts raining, and then SNOWING! :rider: BRING IT ON!!!

Here is camp:
Dec2008136.jpg


Dec2008137.jpg


My 3 season tent :doh:
Dec2008139.jpg


Dec2008140.jpg


Dec2008141.jpg


Dec2008142.jpg


There were about 10 others camping that night, only one other tent camping. Everyone was out walking around talking to fellow campers. I did the same, and drank every cup of coffee that I was offered! It is funny the mood snow can put us Texans in! :mrgreen:

That night I made the .5 mile hike to the lodge for black berry cobbler and more coffee.
Dec2008145.jpg


After all that coffee I was in for a late night (caffeine and peeing). Here is my entertainment center in my tent that evening:
Dec2008146.jpg


I slept great that night. I stayed plenty warm in my sleeping bag, but I had to get up twice in the night to scrape the snow from my over weighted tent.

The next morning was beautiful!
Dec2008148.jpg


Dec2008149.jpg


Dec2008150.jpg


Dec2008154.jpg


Dec2008157.jpg


Dec2008152.jpg


Dec2008153.jpg


Dec2008237.jpg


Dec2008164.jpg


Dec2008173.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
527
Location
Odessa
Next time you have to do 170 from Study Butte to Presidio,,,,
Its one of the best roads in TEXAS,,, and I have been told its back open again.......anyway, Good read and good story,,,
Mike
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hegarty
This is getting me going. I am already antzy to head out.... Can't wait to get back to Big Bend. Great report so far, looking forward to the rest.
 

voyagerrider

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
593
Location
Burleson, TX
First Name
Marty
Last Name
Johnston
Great report, love the pics. Especially the ones camping in the snow. Love the way the mountains look with the snow on them.:clap: :clap: And to do it all on a 250 Ninja.:rider: :rider:
Marty
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
8,834
Location
Fort Worth
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Gill
Gorgeous pictures of the snow in Big Bend.

Congratulations on your engagement. May you have a long, happy marriage.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
That morning I was officially snowed in. The pass was closed until 12 noon. This was fine with me, as I had nowhere to be :zen: .

I spent the morning hiking the window trail, went to a ranager presentation about dinosaurs in the park, and took lots of pictures!

Dec2008236.jpg


Dec2008235.jpg


Dec2008159.jpg


Dec2008160.jpg


Dec2008162.jpg


I left the basin at around 2:00 PM. The road had been opened for 2 hours, the temp was around 50*, and I got a report that all was clear. This turned out to be true for cars...not motorcycles :eek2: . I did make it over the pass without incident, but there were 3 places that both wheels were on ice at the same time. The longest stretch was 30 feet. I kept things to about 2 MPH with no gas or brakes. There was no snow in the rest of the park (just the basin).

I had no destination, just north. I ended up in Fort Davis where I got a HUGE chicken fried steak and a warm bed. After four days hiking in the park without a taking a shower, I was in heaven. I highly recommend stopping to eat at Hotel Limpia for a meal.

(I only ate half :oops: but finished it for breakfast :trust: )
Dec2008175.jpg
 
Last edited:
M

Mike in Clear Lake

Jeff,

Great ride report! More living proof that small displacement engine bikes can do anything. As usual, very good writing style.

You cut your hair. Dude you are sooooooo establishment now! :rider:

Nice packing system. Still minimalist IMHO, but I like it better than your more Spartan approach on your last posted MEX ride. Tools for tire repair? How did your shocks & tires act on the gravel?

The Sex Lives of Cannibals is this a how-to-book for cannibals? What was their advice when it comes to oral sex? :rofl:

Mike
 
Last edited:

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Ya think we might get the rest of this before the slideshow is done? :trust:
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
293
Location
Odessa!
First Name
Tim
Last Name
Jones
Hotel limpia is not only a great place to eat, it's a great place to stay. If you take a room facing the pool, there's generous covered parking. Rooms are large high ceiling, and vary in size. We took a large party (pun?) of folks down there for my daughter's 21st in May and had an absolute ball. Great ride report, you're right in my backyard. You've made me seriously consider big bend for new years!
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
373
Location
Jalisco, Mexico
Another great ride report.

Does anyone know if the Boquillas crossing is still closed ? I had heard it was closed after 9/11.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
813
Location
53 sMiles south of Alpine
First Name
Voni
Last Name
Glaves
Another great ride report.

Does anyone know if the Boquillas crossing is still closed ? I had heard it was closed after 9/11.
Closed tight. You can cross officially at Del Rio or Presidio. Nothing in between. There has been talk of opening the bridge at LaLinda, west of the park, but nothing yet . . .

Voni
no smile. so sad.
 
M

Mike in Clear Lake

Closed tight. You can cross officially at Del Rio or Presidio. Nothing in between. There has been talk of opening the bridge at LaLinda, west of the park, but nothing yet . . .

Voni
no smile. so sad.
I'm pretty sure the crossing at Lake Amsitand is open, but I believe it does not open until 10:00a daily.

Mike
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
373
Location
Jalisco, Mexico
Shame about Boquillas; that used to be a really cool place to cross. The Mexicans would put you in an old beat up aluminum boat and take you across the river for about $2 each, then you would ride a burro into town. In Boquillas you could rent horses. Used to be a B & B there that was dirt cheap and included breakfast, seems like it was only $15 a nite.

Have a lot of good memories in that town drinking a cold Corona and watching the sunset beyond the Boquillas Canyon at the lil cafe in town. Sunset watching at the cafe was a daily ritual for the locals.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Taylor
Closed tight. You can cross officially at Del Rio or Presidio. Nothing in between. There has been talk of opening the bridge at LaLinda, west of the park, but nothing yet . . .

Voni
no smile. so sad.
I don't know why they would open La Linda. The town is dead and there is nothing down the road for a couple hundred miles. I've heard the only reason it was there in the first place was the mine and when that shut down......
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
813
Location
53 sMiles south of Alpine
First Name
Voni
Last Name
Glaves
Shame about Boquillas; that used to be a really cool place to cross. The Mexicans would put you in an old beat up aluminum boat and take you across the river for about $2 each, then you would ride a burro into town. In Boquillas you could rent horses. Used to be a B & B there that was dirt cheap and included breakfast, seems like it was only $15 a nite.

Have a lot of good memories in that town drinking a cold Corona and watching the sunset beyond the Boquillas Canyon at the lil cafe in town. Sunset watching at the cafe was a daily ritual for the locals.
A HUGE loss to the all of the people who visit the park!

Wonderful memories. But no more.

Voni
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,169
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
Great trip report. Seeing that snow sure makes it a beautiful place in a different way than it already is.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
527
Location
Odessa
The road to LaLinda is new pavement and it is roak and roll,,, Then turn around and do it again, Its FUN, Trust me!!!!
Mike
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
I woke up in Fort Davis, and spent an hour at the fort. Just one pic:

Dec2008178.jpg


Since I missed the star party at the observatory, I did the next best thing and attended their solar viewing at 11AM. The roads were great BUT, I didn't get to enjoy them due to scenes like this around every shady corner:

Dec2008187.jpg


Dec2008188.jpg


Dec2008186.jpg


This is the 2.7m (107") Harlan J. Smith Telescope in the service position. This telescope requires the user to show up on site to use it. This is unlike the Hobby-Eberly Telescope where users can phone in their requests and have their data e-mailed to them. The Harlan J. Smith Telescope still gets plenty of use because scientists need a vacation too.

Dec2008180.jpg


Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Dec2008185.jpg


After the telescope fun, I headed north to Guadalupe Mountains National park, on the border of TX and NM.

Dec2008192.jpg


Dec2008189.jpg


Dec2008223.jpg


Dec2008221.jpg


Before dark I did a short hike to The Pinery Station remains. This was a stop on the Butterfield trail that linked San Francisco to St. Louis.

Dec2008196.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
I have a thing for highest points. I am almost finished with highest points for all Central American countries. I have only done a few of the US states, but never Texas. Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas. I can now cross it off my list!

I started at 8AM. This was the first of many false summits.

Dec2008200.jpg


UP UP UP:

Dec2008202.jpg


Dec2008205.jpg


Dec2008206.jpg


Dec2008220.jpg


Just before the summit I saw this guy:

Dec2008204.jpg


Three hours, 4.2 miles later, I made it! The top of Texas at 8,749 feet!

Dec2008216.jpg


To paraphrase wikipedia: The pyramid on top is from 1958. It was put there by American Airlines to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Butterfield Overland Mail. One side of the pyramid has the American Airlines logo. The second side displays a U.S. Postal Service tribute to the Pony Express Riders of the Butterfield Stage. The third side displays a compass with the logo of the Boy Scouts of America.

Dec2008219.jpg


Dec2008218.jpg


I highly recomend this hike, but you must be in decent shape. I spent an hour at the top, and then hiked down. I broke camp and made it to Roswell, New Mexico by dark. WHAT A DAY!
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
I spent the morning in Roswell, NM. The town was a bit run down, and not very interesting.

I believe in aliens. I am always up for a good conspiracy theory. I figured the UFO museum and research center would be right up my alley. I was not impressed. The displays were not organized and the interactive ones were not working. Lots of info, just bad presentation. Then there was the cheese factor too (witch I kind of liked).

Dec2008226.jpg


Dec2008227.jpg


Dec2008228.jpg


Dec2008224.jpg


The night before I had planed 300 mile loop in the mountains to the West. The news reported 40 MPH sustained winds, with gusts up to 65 MPH. Would this be a problem???

YES!

I made it 50 miles west of Roswell only to be turned around by the wind! :eek2: I stopped on the shoulder and could hardly keep the bike up. I felt like such a pansy, but it was not physically possible to stay in my lane. I made the decision to turn around and head for home :giveup:.

Here is the only picture I have from my retreat from the winds:

Dec2008232.jpg


Here is a quick shot of the windmills at sunset in Abilene, TX (still windy):

Dec2008233.jpg


I grabbed a motel 6 in Abilene, TX. I was so close to home but it had been a long day, I was exhausted from the wind. It was the safe thing to do.

The next morning I made the quick trip home to Grapevine. As I turned down my street, I checked the odometer. 1998 miles. I considered cheating and making the block for my last 2 miles....to heck with it...I am home! :-P

Thanks for reading! :sun:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
394
Location
DFW (Grapevine) TX
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Clark
Great ride Jeff! Did you sell your CB750?
I still have the Nighthawk. She just got some new rubber last week. Some might argue that the larger bike would be better for touring, but I disagree. Different, but not better. I love that little ninja...although I have been checking out the used Concours recently. :trust:
 
M

Mike in Clear Lake

I still have the Nighthawk. She just got some new rubber last week. Some might argue that the larger bike would be better for touring, but I disagree. Different, but not better. I love that little ninja...although I have been checking out the used Concours recently. :trust:
Yep, I know what you mean. I still prefer the lighter bikes. I sat on an FJR this morning. Very tempting.

You planning a ride to the Darien Gap anytime in the near future?

Mike
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
First Name
Charles ("Chuck")
Last Name
Gibke
:thumb: On the December 2008 Jeff trip

where will the January 2009 Jeff trip be going?

Oh, congrats on the engagement to an Arlington gal! :clap:
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
2,590
Location
South Texas
First Name
David
Last Name
Guzman
Z nice report and congrats. Wished I had known you were in the hood. I have extra rooms you could have used.

If anyone else is planning on being in the Carlsbad, NM area....the spare rooms are available untill the end of May. Then I'm heading home to Texas. :clap:
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,021
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
Awesome Jeff! Loved the report and pics. :clap: Big Bend is close to the top of the short list of places I must ride.

Yeah, I've been to the museum in Roswell too and I'm convinced . . . . . . .




. . . . . . . that they're convinced! :rofl:
 
Top