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2008 TAR Ride Report

Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
248
Location
Santa Fe
Pam and I had a great time again this year and didn’t think it was possible to surpass the fun we had last year but we were way wrong. Our thanks to Richard, crew and sponsors for all the hard work we know it took to put this growing T.A.R. event on.

In all our crew put in almost 600 miles and about 400 of it was two-up. Pam is a real trooper. She did the 400 with a crushed finger and had surgery on just before the trip, but was not going to let that stop her from getting on the rear saddle of the KLR.

We met so many great DS folks on this trip. Don and his Alaska adventure story. You are one tuff dude. Thanks to Gary and crew for the help and use of your 12v compressor, which saved us so much time airing up the tube change we had to make on the trail. Terry, for sharing your great personality and a fun day’s ride. Jerry, for sharing stories and a late Thursdays steak dinner with us, and meeting Greg for the first time and joining our crew on this trip. I’m sure it’s the first of many.
 

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Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
581
Location
San Antonio
Fangs and V1Rotate, were you at the Sat night banquet? I never saw you guys!? :doh:
I was the XR who pointed at you Sat morning on Main St. You and Desmo were heading from your motel to the rider meeting. I was going he opposite way on Main St. warming engine to check oil. You gave me the head nod.


Our foursum returned at 630PM. We loaded during the banquet and hit I10 at 930PM after talking in the parking lot of the Sun Valley.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
This was my first off road ride. My son, Blake, joined me. I never had so much fun in all my life. It was nirvana for me. Can't wait till next year. We did ride 3 and 5. Ride 5 to LLano was most enjoyable. Our DR650 and DR350 performed exceedingly well. Thank you Richard for creating a dream that my son and I will always remember.
Welcome to the site! :wave:
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
73
Location
Amarillo, Tx.
Dave(Darthrider) and I headed out of Amarillo, on our KLRs, about 7am last Thursday, morning of the 24th, headed for Junction Texas and the 2008 Texas Adventure Ride. Sure are lots of wind turbines between here and there.

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About 400 miles later we arrived at our Motel, The Sun Valley Inn, at about 2:30 that afternoon. That evenings meet and greet was planned for around 4pm so we had some time to lay up and rest. The motel rate was cheap and the room was nice. I'll stay there again.

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We made our way over to the Hills motel around 4:30 to where the meet and greet was to take place. Lots of bikes and riders starting to show up. We pick up out T shirts and goody bags provided by the Junction COC and sign up for the Saturday evening banquet and door prizes giveaway. We mingle and look at all the bikes. I run into a few guys I met at last years ride. While I'm mingling, Dave rides over to where the Ride On people(one of the ride sponsors) are treating your tubes with their product for free. I had mine done last year and am on the same tubes since then so I didn't need any. When Dave got thru we headed over to get some very good Mexican food.

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Friday morn came early at 6:45. After getting some breakfast at Issacks restraunt We decided to ride the Willow City loop. Dave said he'd ridden the actual Willow City part of our ride before on a street bike but the dirt/county roads route we were going to take to get there would be new to him. Even tho the weather forecast for the weekend said rain, we lucked out with perfect weather, for the most part.

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The roads on the route were classed as a 2 for the most part. Nothing hard or technical. Lots of nice scenery and wildlife to watch out for. Water crossings varied from gravel to concrete pad. The gravel ones were no problem but the concrete ones had to be crossed very carefully, as they were often very slick. It seemd that the best place to navigate them was staying in the car tracks, but as we found out later that's not always the case.

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We were headed toward Enchanted Rock State Park and when we found ourselves back on pavement I knew we must be close.

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Dome Rock can be seen at the entrance. I guess lots of rock climbing goes on here.

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Head on down the road some more and we soon get to the actual Willow City loop. A nice, narrow paved road thru some great scenery, with its own water crossings, the concrete kind.

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I went thru one on the Pecan Creek section of the loop, staying in the car tracks just like I had been all day when next thing I know I'm screaming profanities in my helmet,as I'm on the ground and me and the bike are sliding down the road. God aweful sound! I feel my forearm taking a scraping thru my jacket sleeve. I jump up to shut the bike off, as it's still running. Dave sees the whole thing happen in front of him. I check out the bike and find the left highway peg sheared off, but not unfixable. Had some abrasion damage to my HT overpants on the *** but I never felt anything hurt in that area, so I guess they did their job.

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I told Dave it's his turn next. Sure enough, about 3 crossings later I'm watching him in my mirror after I cross to make sure he comes out ok. I take my eyes off the mirror for just a nanosecond and look back again and he and bike on the ground. I turn around to head back and see he's not getting up. I quickly pull out the camera and snap a few.

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Every water crossing on pavement we came to after that we walked first to find the best line.

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The only Bluebonnets we saw all weekend were on the Willow City loop. Last year they were everywhere.

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As we were finishing up the Willow City loop headed for Fredricksburg, it started to lightly rain. Just enough to wet the pavement and make it slick. Any kind of braking caused slides and an increased pucker factor quotient. We were coming to a long gradual curve in the road and I was going to slow down for it, given the conditions. Well, the tires weren't having it, as they broke loose and I started to slide. I decided to keep it straight and head for the side of the road. There was a ditch that didn't look too bad, tho it had foot tall grass in it and no telling what's in it. As soon as I left the pavement I started braking as much as possible, rode down into ditch and out the other side of it, kept my momentum and turned heading back across it back up to the road. Faceplant averted.

Shortly after that we stopped at a small roadside BBQ place with lots of unique atmosphere. We could hear singing and guitar picking as we parked the bikes. Dave got some pictures. The ride back to the motel from there was pretty uneventful.

Next morning we decided to ride 3 of the shorter loops, coming back to the motel for a beer after each.

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First would be the Kimble County east and west loops and later that afternoon we'd do Old Junction road down to about Rock Springs and head back via 377. Took us about 2.5 hours each. Neat roads and scenery. Dave encountered his first bump gate.

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At one gate we had to go thru there was a mean lookin bull that was snorting and tromping around. I figured I'd open it and let Dave go thru first.

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Sunday, thunderstorms were blanketing everywhere between Junction and home so we stayed in the motel another day and watched movies and figured we'd head home Monday when the weather cleared. That evening around 4pm it started breaking up some and the sun came out and I wanted to get out for some exploring. Wanted to try to make it down to ride the 3 sisters, 335,336 and 337 but I didn't have enough time to get there and back before dark. So I explored some county roads in the general area of Junction, getting back just before dark.

By Monday morning the bruising of Daves hip from his water crossing crash started showing. He also caught his arm between the ground and his rib cage on that fall, compressing and most likely dislocating some intercostal tissue, so he was pretty sore after the first days ride. But he didn't let it stop him from riding the rest of the weekend.

The bikes ran well with some minor fuel screw tweaking for the elevation. It was a good trip and I think Dave enjoyed himself. He took alot more pictures than I. I know he got some good ones, so stay tuned.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
73
Location
Amarillo, Tx.
No, we didn't go that far. It was late in the day, about 4pm when we started it. I only use the route 3 map to illustrate our ride of Old Junction road to 377 and back to Junction before it got dark.

Did you actually ride the Cedar Creek portion of this route? We tried it on Saturday and came to a locked gate :doh: Had to backtrack all the way up 674.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
22
Location
Bastrop, TX
Thanks for all the work put into this ride!

We were a tight group of three: Me Dad & Tony. The terrain & countryside were outstanding! Even if ya got momentarily lost, uh I mean off route- it was still awesome riding!
(The more I see riders use G.P.S. the more I wanna stay with the M.A.P.)

Simply one of the best 500+ miles I have ever put on a bike!

Thanks to Tony & Dad for scattering all the deer for me! By the time I rode through it was all clear!

~Only in Texas can you be greeted with a shotgun, and a few minutes later be invited in for coffee~
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
38
Location
Oak Cliff (Dallas), TX
I rode with Ed (Ed29), Keith (Fangs) and John (V1rotate), (and Cotton on Friday). What a great group of guys! Nice write-up, Ed. I owe you a test ride of the WR250R (now that it's broken in). Can't wait to go back next year! Thanks to all for the legwork setting this up! - Pete
PS - the Yamaha has been a great bike so far. Just rolled over 1,100 miles. Needs a skidplate, some barkbusters, a larger rear sprocket and maybe a new exhaust. Not a lot of low end, but it pulls when the revs go up. It will pull 70+ uphill, with my 200+ pounds. Got around 60 mpg for most of the weekend (higher when I'm running around town).
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
1
Location
San Antonio
Great ride on Saturday! I missed the riders meeting but met Bill and Mickey at a gas station. They were kind enough to let me tag along. After filling up we linked up with Joe and Mark, they are all from the Lubbock area. Excellent riders and very friendly. We rode #13 and had a great day. I had to peel off early, hope you all made it home safe. Only got a couple of pics.

Nice assortment of bikes, 990ADV, SuperEnduro, KLRs, GS. LtoR Mickey and Joe
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Taking in the view. Mark, Mickey & Bill
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If you rode kent creek ranch road south to north, you may remember this spot as quite relaxing. In the background you can see Joe helping Mark fill up from the "Exxon Valdez" auxillery.
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Thanks to all that put this on. I plan on returning and checking out the rest of the routes.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
273
Location
Katy, Tx
Oh my goodness!! I am going out and buying a KLR tomorrow!! My buddies have been trying to convince me that I need yet another bike. I have had the itch for a dual sport for a while, but after seeing these pictures AND my friends having way too much fun without me....I have to scratch the itch!

Friends....without them, I would not stay in so much trouble! But then life wouldn't be near as much fun! Thanks to everyone for posting such great pictures! I am looking forward to meeting more of you "trouble makers" soon.

Delores
2007 BMW K1200GT
2001 Yamaha 650 Classic
2001 HD 883R
2003 Honda Valkyrie (gone but sorely missed)
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
GTgirl, welcome to the site! :wave:

Terlingua, I am uploading pics now... it is taking a while. I will try to get to work on the report tomorrow if we are not busy at work. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the non-bump bump gate I smacked open :doh: Must have been all the excitement that made me forget :shrug:
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
16
Location
Port Lavaca
Terlingua, I am uploading pics now... it is taking a while. I will try to get to work on the report tomorrow if we are not busy at work. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the non-bump bump gate I smacked open Must have been all the excitement that made me forget.

I understand, that would have scared me a little too. Be glad it was a cheep gate a not a big bump gate. You probley would have wound up with some bent forks are worse.:eek2:
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
Location
Central Texas
It's easy to tell how much work goes into an event by how smooth everything runs. Richard, you did a great job...THANKS.

Althought, I didn't ride as much dirt as most of you all did, I had a super time putting my own spin on this adventure ride event. I tend to like riding my own ride at my own pace sooz I don't don't hold up the group or get in folks way.

After reading about how wild this part of Texas was a mere 100-125 years ago, it's little wonder that folks lock their gates to keep outsider away....County road or no.;-) If we only knew how many people disappear in Kimble County only to never be heard from again....?

I stayed at the Sunset Motel which was nice. I will stay there again next year if I don't camp out. The food at Isaac's Restaurant was good as well.

I enjoyed visiting with old friends and making new friends.

Untill next year.....

http://picasaweb.google.com/Quick.Silvers.Photos/2008TARRideReport
 
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Tourmeister

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Huntsville
Thursday

:tab Okay then... So EARLY Thursday morning, I load up the KLR and leave for Steve's (Desmo) house about 9:30am. The crust from my eyes finally clearing so I can actually make out the road before me... It's supposed to be about an hour run down FM 1791, 149, 1488 through Magnolia and then to his house. It is ... WINDY!!! I am getting blown all over the place. The clouds look like they might open up on me at any moment, thick and grey, hugging the tree tops. The further South I get, the better it looks. I catch a little drizzle but nothing serious. Sure enough, with in about an hour, I am close to Steve's house... but there is road construction.

:tab The GPS shows Steve's house to be only about a 1/2 mile up the road. However, at the turn off, the entire road is closed for repaving :doh: I pull up to the flag guy, show him where I am trying to get to and how it will be a LONG way out of the way to get there if I have to detour. He gets on his radio and asks if I can scoot down the shoulder to bypass the work. A few minutes later he gives me the okay sign. I run a few hundred yards down the road then hop off onto the shoulder. The shoulder is fairly steep and sandy so I just slip on down into the bottom of the ditch. Everything looks like it has been dry for some time and it is pretty smooth. I pass around the paving machine, which spans the entire road, and come to a culvert. I move a little further over from the pavement to clear the culvert and suddenly...

:tab I am in swamp mode!! The grass is pretty tall so I never saw the stagnant water and mud. It is thick, black, and soupy. Almost immediately the bike starts flopping around and wanting to slide out from under me. The bike sinks in almost to the axles... Nothing to do but stand up, shift the weight back, and GAS IT!! :rider: The look on the face of the guy sitting on the steam roller watching me is priceless! His eyes look like they are about to pop out of his head :lol2: The bike is fishtailing and roosting muck high into the sky. Some of it finding its way back down on top of me :doh: I just stay on it and keep the front pointing towards higher ground and eventually slush my way through. I pull up onto the brand new pavement dripping goo everywhere :oops: I give the steam roller guy a nonchalant thumbs up and continue on my way :mrgreen: Nothing like starting out an adventure with a little adventure :thumb:

:tab I round the next few corners and find Steve's house. The truck is ready to load so we get to work. In short order we have my KLR and his XR650R nicely tucked away and strapped down in the bed of his truck.





:tab We toss our gear into the truck and head out right around 11:00am. The ride West goes quickly as we solve the problems of the world. We arrive in Junction early evening and find our hotel... The La Vista Hotel.



Checking in is almost as much adventure as navigating that mud bog this morning. Credit cards are declined. Calls to the credit card company are made. Duplicate charges are found. Much confusion entails. Eventually, we get it all sorted and check into our rooms. We are later informed that a new credit card machine is on the way, hehe. I don't know if it is because she felt bad about the check in snafu or just because she thought Steve was cute, but the lady let us put up my TWT banner on their marque sign :clap: The cool thing is that it is even back lit so the banner will show up at night!



:tab We can't find a good spot to unload so we head across the street to a different hotel to use their retaining wall as a ramp substitute. Turns out, the hotel lady's uncle owns this place, her Mom owns one of the other places, and I think a sister or two own some as well. Pretty much every mom and pop place in town is in this one family!

We didn't even need the ramps.


:tab After getting the bikes squared away, we cruise down to the main hotel to see who all has made it into town thus far. Already there are quite a few bikes. We've been seeing a nonstop stream of KLR's, DR's, GS's, and other thumpers going back and forth up the main drag past our hotel.



We get checked in, Richard's explaining something and Connie doesn't really look like she's buying it...


We find Darren in the parking lot with his brand spanking new KTM 450EXCS:drool:


:tab Darren is one of those lurker types on TWT. He came out for the Ride the Rio event back in February to contribute to the snore fest in tent city :lol2: He was on a KTM 950 Adventure then. One can only imagine how much fun the new 450 will be!

We spot this sweet KTM 950 Super Enduro while wandering in the parking lot, no clue who it belongs to :shrug:


:tab We spend a while visiting with folks, checking out more bikes, and then finally decide it is time to do something about dinner. Just across the street from our deluxe accommodations is the Plum BBQ, Grocery and Gas station. On advice from our hotel clerk, we head over to sample the local cuisine.

Oh yeah... it's good and big portions!


:tab We grab a few after dinner beers and head back to the hotel. Bill (Viejo) and Todd (no clue :scratch) are staying in the room on one side of us. Bruce (Terlingua) is on the other. We finish out the evening with some porch chat and then call it a night. The rider's meeting is at the crack of dawn tomorrow... 8:00am :eek2:

Friday

:tab The obnoxious sound of my cell phone alarm clock is blaring in my ears. It was mostly a sleepless night. I'd like to make you think it was because I was nervous about the incredible adventure today holds in store for us. Truth be told, it was my old joints complaining about the sheet covered plywood excuse for a mattress I slept on last night :doh: I felt like I was sleeping on the ground... Anyway, we load up the bikes, gear up, get gas and head to the meeting.

This is not everyone...


:tab Steve and I had decided that we were going to run the Lucky 13 route that heads down Hackberry Road, Kent Creek Road, through Leakey all the way down to Tarpley and then back. It is the longest route, includes a good bit of pavement and the start and end, but looks to be very interesting. We hook up with Bruce and a few other guys: Keith, Joe and Chuck (CeeBee?). A little bit of waiting in the parking lot for everyone to get their stuff together and then we are off... heading South on Hwy 377.

:tab I had never ridden the part of Hwy 377 that runs South out of Junction. On a street bike, it would be a really nice ride. It is not bad on the KLR except that at the speed I wanted to run, my KLR is a bit buzzy because of the knobbies and 14 tooth front sprocket. Still, it is fun. There are lots of fast sweepers, some elevation changes, pretty scenery and even a section of nice 30 mph curves.

Looking out over the South Llano river from Hwy 377


[Dang, work intervenes :doh: Will try to pick up later this evening.]
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,159
Location
Tomball/Spring, Texas
You all are killing me me with these awesome pics and reports, nice job. Alright go ahead and put me on the ride list for next year.:lol2: If I plan now then I should be able to make it.:rider: Hey Jerry I don't think you can get anything else packed on to that KLR, nice setup.
 

tbd

Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
6
Location
dallas
Just wanted to thank Richard and all his crew for all their hard work.This was a first time for us to ride this event and we enjoyed everyday:rider: .I did have a small adventure with a flat rear tire on 674 and got to experience the views and wildlife for almost 5 hours:giveup: .I will be back next year and have a complete tire repair kit with me:doh: .Also thnx to whoever it was that loaned the tire irons Saturday morning. :clap: We also found out that Cedar Creek Rd does dead end just like it showed on the GPS
 

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Tourmeister

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Feb 28, 2003
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45,755
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Huntsville
So there we were, sitting on the side of Hwy 377...

Joe on his DRZ400


:tab It is a pretty long haul, 40 something miles, down Hwy 377 and 41 before we reach the start of Hackberry Road. We wait at the intersection for everyone to regroup before we head out. Bruce leads on the big KTM. I opt for bringing up the rear. There is a grey overcast and it has been misting slightly. It is fairly windy as well. This all makes for a nice ride as the dust is not bad at all, even in the back!





:tab It is not long at all before we come to the first water crossing at the Nueces River. I watch a few others go across and scan for the algae. I take what looks like clean tracks from trucks crossing, pop in first gear and go across at a steady pace. I never feel so much as a wiggle and soon join everyone else on the far side.





We mingle with another group for a bit before taking off ahead of them


:tab Again, we go only a short distance to another crossing. This one has poles on each side of the "road" to show where you should drive to get across. It reminds me of the tall poles on the sides of the mountain roads in Colorado to show the snow plows where to go so they don't go over the edge... Bruce takes an alternative route over what looks like dry rock bed to the left of the route. Most everyone else takes the water. Bruce made it look easy, something he will do all weekend, so I decide to try his route.

Keith watches as Joe makes his way across


Then it is Keith's turn


Everyone across except for me


:tab I turn left and head down stream on the rock. There are a few small ledges that are no big deal. However, there are many of those "potholes" where the water swirls have created deep divots in the rock face. Some are pretty large and have to be dodged. Then there is a thin area about the width of a sidewalk leading to the far bank where there is a small climb out up onto the rocks near the road. Piece of cake and dry the whole way.

The route I took is to the right of this image. The pool in the foreground is where all the water goes before disappearing underground to emerge somewhere far downstream. I never do find where it comes back out.


This is looking downstream, from about midway across. The sidewalk area is off the right side.


:tab While walking around out on the rocks, I spot a cool looking oak trek clinging to the bank for dear life. I love stuff like this so I had to get a few shots.





:tab Soon the other group catches up to us. They see me standing out on the rocks and I try to wave them over to take the dry route. The first few head right into the water. Some of the latter ones come on around the way I direct them and they make it across with no problems. We take off again to stay ahead of them.

:tab Yes... a short while later we come to yet another water crossing! This time though I see Bruce's KTM laying on its side and he is just getting up. Looks like the algae got him! He's quick though!! Before I can get out the camera, he already has the bike upright without any help. I can see water dripping out of his helmet. He must have really received a good dunking!! :lol2: He seems none the worse for the wear and the side guards on the bike have done their job well.

Here Bruce delicately tries to get the bike turned the right way so he can motor on out to the other side


Desmo pausing just to take in the beauty of the area


:tab The rest of us make it across without incident. Before long we reach the end of Hackberry Road and drop out onto FM 335. We head South and look for the start of FM 2361. This is a great stretch of pavement that winds its way back into the hills following Bullhead Creek.

Joe chugging on down the road


:tab Eventually the road turns to gravel and we cross the creek





What is hard to see here is a nice rope hanging off that cliff face on the left for slinging out into the swimming hole made by this dam.




Not much of a water crossing... more of a puddle doding :shrug:


:tab After crossing the creek, the road starts to climb up out of the creek valley. It gets much more narrow and wanders like a drunken snake among the short oak trees. It does not appear that this section of road gets much traffic on a regular basis. Works for me :rider: All to soon we reach the start of pavement again and pick up the start of FM 3325. This is up on a higher plateau and is not as twisty as 2361. It is big fast sweepers... at least for those of us that can run over 65 mph, hehe. This would not include Joe on his DRZ 400. Not sure what is up with his DRZ but it does not want to run any faster and is sucking on the gas. Keith's DRZ 400 is fine as is Chucks Yammie 450. We stop at FM 336 to check our gas situation and decide our next course of action.

Here Joe is scavenging gas from the KTM tender vehicle. I provide the siphon hose, but the rule is, if you need gas you suck! :lol2:


:tab Chuck is convinced he can make it to Leakey. He is packing a few small gallon sized tanks in his side bags and is not worried. So we decide to head down the road and look for Kent Creek Road, billed as the "Toughest DS road in Texas!" Can't pass that up now can we!? :flip:

:tab A few miles South we find the entrance to Kent Creek Road. Everything seems decent enough at the start :shrug:

Looking down the hill the direction we are heading




Looking back up the way we just came


:tab The road winds down pretty steeply into a narrow valley. At the bottom there is a small farm house and barn. We cut along what looks like a driveway but is actually still the road. Before I even realize what is happening, I find myself on the back of Joe and Desmo crunching our way through some heavy river gravel and bouncing off some big rocks. I really need to be carrying more speed to make this comfortable but I am right on the back of Joe and Desmo. I decide to stop and let them get ahead, a risky proposition because the bike immediately wants to plow in and tip over in the loose rocks. I manage to stop and sit for a moment just to soak up the moment.

Looking back upstream


The road that lies ahead


The dry rock bed gives way to a wet and slimy wet creek bed...


:tab I bounce and splash my way through to find Mark, Todd, Fred and Bill hanging out taking a break. Bill and Todd just pounded their way through here on their BMW R1150GS's!! I pity da foos! They made it, but they had that really whooped look on their faces :lol2: I shouldn't laugh, but I've been there and done that, and it is WORK!! The KLR is much easier in stuff like this. We pull forward of their group a bit and take a break. I had not noticed it being all that hot thus far, but suddenly I am feeling the heat. I must have really been working the bike back there :giveup: There are some cliffs nearby so I decide to do a little exploring while we rest.

Beyond that gate lies the "Toughest DS road in Texas!"


Bruce trudging up the road towards the gate after visiting with the other group back by the water


The cliff and creek


The water is crystal clear and looks very inviting...


These huge ferns cling to the washed out lower face of the cliff and drip water and a pretty good pace. I guess it is flowing down out of the rocks in the cliff.


Looking downstream, the cliff overhanging the water






Bruce soaking up the serenity of the scene


:tab Rested and refreshed, we get back on the bikes and keep heading South. Not far down the road Bruce pulls over at what looks like a rest stop. There are stairs at the edge of the cleared area that lead down the bank to a wide river bed of rock with high cliffs on the other side. Down stream a ways in a large ledge drop. There must be some kind of dam below that because the water looks fairly deep beyond the ledge. There also appears to be a step ladder mounted in the rock face of the ledge for climbing down into the water below. Not really wanting to get soaked feet this early into the ride, I forgo walking downstream in the ankle deep water for a closer look and head back up the stairs to the bikes.

Bruce's KTM, Desmo's XR650R and my KLR


Meanwhile Todd and company catch up and pass us by


Dayglo Bill


I think this is Fred (Ausfletch)


I missed a shot of Mark, he was going to fast! :doh:

:tab As the other guys are coming back up the steps, I decide to take lead and make the run back out to FM 336. However, just down the road, I find the other group pulled over. It seems Chuck has decided it is time for his WR to get some gas so he can make it to Leakey. They seem to have the situation in hand so I cruise on by them and continue on my way. In a few miles we pass through what looks like some kind of summer camp with cabins, playground, swimming hole, etc,... I slow down as we pass through, cross the creek and then make the last bit of the run back to FM 336 to wait for everyone else.

Joe at the exit of Kent Creek Road on FM 336


Looking South down FM336 towards Leakey


:tab Toughest DS road in Texas? I don't know... It is all subjective of course. On the KLR I did not find it all that hard. Just stand up and stay on the gas with a loose grip on the bars. I don't know that I would want to do it for mile after mile, like I had done in places in Arizona with a guide that will remain unnamed (GOTDURT), but for a few hundred yards it was not bad. I still would not have wanted to be on an R1150GS :nana: Some of the riding inside Big Bend National Park was tougher I think, at least on Black Gap Road. Then there are the miles and miles of deep loose sand in East Texas... That stuff will wear you down! Nonetheless, I'd do it again :trust:

:tab Once back on pavement, I decide it is time for a little fun. Most of the guys are running a pretty sedate pace to conserve gas. Being on a tanker that is not a problem for me. I make a few passes and then set out to enjoy myself. No point in being out here on such a great road and not making the most of it! :rider: Before long I am rolling into the North side of Leakey and as I slow to merge onto Hwy US 83, Bill comes rolling up behind me. It would seem he had the same thoughts I did! :lol2: We roll on into town and pull over in front of that fancy lodge/restaurant place on the corner of 83 and 337. Everyone else soon joins us. There are already quite a few other riders here.

Now that is a sheepskin seat cover!




Another nice KTM (of which there were many!)


Some of Austin's finest... hooligans! :-P


:tab While I am walking around checking out bikes, Darren walks... or slightly limps... up to me, "Want to see something?" Uh oh... I should probably grab my camera but in a fit of pity forget to take any pics :doh: Darren has his right forearm wrapped in an ace bandage down near the elbow. His right hip is bulging noticeably. It seems he has an icepack on his hip. I follow as he hobbles over to his new KTM... dreading what I will see :-| It is not as bad as I thought it might be. It seems he lowsided on a concrete river crossing on Hwy 377 just South of Junction at the very beginning of the ride :doh: The side of his new extra large gas tanks is rashed up pretty good, as is the exhaust and a few other bits. However, he and the bike seem good to go. After all, he kept riding and came down Kent Creek Road as well! His group starts to head out and I begin wandering back in the direction of food only to meet up with Klaus, whom I have not seen since July of 05 when he and his wife Diane had to bail from a tour to Colorado I was running because of damage to their K1200LT from road debris :doh: No, he's not DS'ing the LT. He has a KLR and he's having a blast! So after a quick chat to catch up, once again I head for food.

Good food, fast and cheap!


:tab I am starving and when the food comes out I totally forget to get the obligatory food shot :oops: By the time I remember, it is gone! Mama Chole makes good soft tacos! :eat:

For all the nature lovers out there ;-)


[and it is now time for me to take a break... I'll try to get in some more tomorrow].
 
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
15
Location
near food
Coyote Adventure Ride

Hi all you bike dogs!
My human was there in the Big Ride Place but didn't get to ride on her two wheels. She spent all her time dancing on two sticks. She wasn't happy, but I was: I got to ride!!

I was ready to go before everyone else here was.
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The drive in the big Four Wheel thing was long but I rode in my usual place in front of the long window and got to see all the neat wooded places and roads. We stopped and set up camp right alongside a river! It was cool and I wanted to run in the water but they wouldn't let me; they said I would float away.
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It sure was pretty underneath the big tall trees. Other two and four-wheels joined us on both sides.
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We all slept pretty good except for one night when three big giant birds called 'owls' talked back and forth in the trees over our cloth dens. Man, were they noisy and loud! They kept us awake and Tex told me I was running in my sleep that night. DRZ Lady said she wanted to throw something at them to shut them up.

In the morning, we all went to a place down the road where there was a sea of two-wheels!! All kinds! I looked at them to see if they had places for me to ride.
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Red Bike Rider secured me to the front of his two-wheels so I could get a good view and hoot and holler on the ride. Here I am ready to go!
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We met up with some other riders on two wheels with big weird eyes and that wore those funny hats. My human, Tex, has those when she rides on dirt roads, too. We all looked like a pack of Bike Rats!!

First we went on some gravel roads in the woods
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Then we went through lots of water!! It kinda made me want to pee but I was strapped in and couldn't get off.
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Once Red Rider thought he could swim on his two-wheels, but it doesn't know how to swim very good. So we ran through it and made the water go up in the air! I think the water was scared of us and it jumped up in the air trying to get away. But it got me all wet!!!!
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We stopped to dry off and watch all the others try to swim in that water, too.
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Our pack stopped to eat at some place in a den of humans. I had to sit outside while the humans ate inside, so I took a nap. We stopped again at one of those places where they feed their two-wheels. They push a piece of plastic into a metal tower then stick a hose into the top of their two-wheels. Those two-wheels are real quiet while they eat then they make all kinds of noise when the humans sit on them. Some of the humans touch a magic button to wake up their two-wheels, but other have to kick theirs to wake them up.

This is a picture of me and Fangs! He's cool; I mean, any human that has fangs is cool by me! I didn't get to see his fangs, but that's what they call him so they must be big! I mean, look at that big silver mouth! Makes me shiver; I was hoping he wouldn't eat me. Besides, he rides a red two-wheeler, too, just like me!! I wonder if those two red two-wheelers are brothers. Did they have the same mommy? I asked the big red bike but he wouldn't answer me. He sure was fast, though.
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Our pack of two-wheel rats rode some more gravel roads and those smooth hard roads, too, that were windy and fun. We stopped at some neat places where the ground and trees were way below us. Must be dangerous because fences kept us in. Maybe they thought we wanted to fly off the edges.
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We tried to swim in more water and once we saw this neat white bird. I wanted to chase it and I struggled to get free and run after it, but I couldn't get loose.
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My human drove herself and her sticks to a place with neat boxes that were very very old; some with all its pieces and others that fell apart. She has lots of good stories about that place. She would have gone nuts if she hadn't gone someplace.
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When we got back everyone was hungry and tired. I was happy!!! AGAIN!!!!!
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Once, back at our camp, a two-wheeler rode in with a human on it and......Wow!!! That two-wheeler had feathers sticking out of it!!! One of its eyes was poked out and it was dirrrrrty, but....... Wow! It killed a giant bird! The human called it a 'turkey' and they all were amazed. The rider and his two-wheels were honored and called 'TurkeySlayer'. They're cool!
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One night my human made some stuff to eat in a black thing and called it cobbler. A bunch of other humans that rode their two-wheels were there visiting, sitting around the table. They ate the stuff out of the black thing and groaned and moaned. I guess it was good, but they wouldn't let me eat any. TurkeySlayer, Big Don and the others drank stuff out of glass and red cans while I sat on my human's lap.
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While sleeping in the big cloth den we were woken by water falling from the sky. My human grumbled and swore; she hates being on those big sticks. She asked me and the Buck Dog if she can borrow one of our four legs, but we said 'No'. It wasn't fair that she had only one leg and we had four. But our legs are too short for her anyway. Too bad she can't ride one of her two-wheels. She misses them a lot.

Somehow all the camping stuff was loaded into the big four-wheeler and the two two-wheelers rode on boards and metal that were on wheels behind us. Geez, they're lazy, aren't they?

On the way home we drove on some pretty roads and passed some big rats on four legs that only know one sound: "Moooooo!!!!" Dumb things...... We drove through a small but neat canyon where things grew out of the walls!!! Man, was it neat! My human was all excited and wants to go back there to ride through it and see it close up. She said it was like a magical canyon, but then she's starving for outdoor stuff anyway. Red Rider took a picture of it.
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More water fell from the sky and we drove through it, but we were dry. We passed a human all bundled up on two-wheels, riding in the falling water. We offered to give him a ride, put his two-wheels on the boards with the other so they could visit (I guess they don't mind falling water), but he told us he was going to stay in the falling water. I felt bad for him; I hate being in the falling water stuff. (my human doesn't mind, but she's nuts)

We stopped at a big den where they cook meat outside; I was droooling!! The humans went inside to eat some of that meat and I stayed out with the Buck Dog and two-wheels to nap.

We made it back to the place where lots of humans live packed together in boxes and we were tired. Red Rider and I had a good time. My humans didn't have as much fun as I did, but she was real happy to see old friends and fellow Desert Rats that she rides with, and meet new ones. She said next year she will ride, too. I'll get to ride with her next time on Sherpie! (Maybe I can go to Mexico with her, too :mrgreen: ).

Thanks, Mr. Richard for all the fun and chance to ride with everyone! See you all next time on the roads!
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chadleys1

My Email is Dead!
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
232
Location
Texas Hill Country
I wanted to post pics of our 2nd day ride group.
Patrice (green KLR) was on his first dualsport ride ever, and did great.
Our new friend, Randy, was game for anything on his red KLR.
I hope he sees his picture here.
I am the one on the spray painted green Husqvarna.
We had a great ride.
Don't ask me which trail the photos of the KLR's were taken on, because we haven't named it yet... hahaha.
vidpicPatrice.jpg

vidpicChadley.jpg

vidpicRandy.jpg


-Chadley
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
Friday Continued... post lunch...

:tab So there is talk among some riders of just back tracking the route from Leakey back to Junction and dropping off all the stuff Southeast of Leakey towards Utopia and Tarpley. The weather is looking a bit iffy. While we are gassing up the bikes it starts to drizzle pretty good. Well, I don't know about the others, but I don't get the chance to get out like this real often nowadays and I am here to RIDE! A few minutes of checking with everyone else and the entire group decides to keep going. We head East of out Leakey on 337 in a slight drizzle.

:tab I don't know how long it has been, but it seems like YEARS that 337 has been getting torn up, repaved, retorn up, repaved, etc,... It's no biggie on our bikes, but it would get old on street bikes. Fortunately, the road goes back to pavement at the start of the fun part of 337. Unfortunately, the road is wet. I work on being real smooth in the corners, with no sudden moves. The D606 knobbies are good on dry pavement, but I have not had much experience with them on wet pavement and am in no mood to test their limits :whatever:

:tab Just beyond the first section of good twisties, there is a straight section before the road has another twisty section. We are supposed to be looking for the Lower Sabinal River Road. Apparently Bruce does not see it and cruises right on by, heading into the next section of twisties. I pull over into some shade. The others see me pull over and follow suit. Surely Bruce will either realize there is no headlight behind him, or he'll reach Hwy 187 at Vanderpool and when no one shows up, he'll back track. Sure enough, a short while later I hear his KTM booming around a corner and he comes into view. Then we are off and running again!

:tab I will apologize for the complete lack of pictures on this road. It is just too much fun to stop and take pictures :mrgreen: It is not long at all before we roll into Utopia, cut through town and then head East on CR 354, which quickly becomes Seco Rd. Again, no pictures. This is a haul booty road :twisted: The curves are mostly fast sweepers with a small mix of tighter corners. The road bed is hard packed, smooth and wide. The dust is an issue somewhat so I have to let Bruce run pretty far ahead, not that this is a problem because I don't think I could keep up with him if I tried :lol2: The drizzle had long since stopped and the skies are starting to clear. A few times I see sunlight peeking through the breaking cloud cover. We eventually hit CR 211 and run East to FM 462 for a short run up to Tarpley.

We stop at Mac & Earnies and the General Store for a break and to decide on our route back.


:tab The route in the book has us running pavement all the way back up to Hackberry Rd off of FM 335. It is not that the pavement is all that bad, but we are wanting to spend more time on dirt. So we opt to just head to Utopia on FM 470. FM 470 is fun just out of Tarpley, but soon becomes long straights. I had noticed two roads earlier that looked interesting, but I forgot to mention them to the group. There is the North Seco Creek Rd., that becomes Seco Springs Ranch Rd., and runs all way up to FM 337 according to the map. Then closer to Utopia there is the North Little Creek Rd., that also runs up to FM 337. Both look like they'd be a hoot. I guess we'll save them for another time though. We soon roll into Utopia and then hit the Lower Sabinal Rd., and run back towards FM 337.

At the river crossing.


:tab Just up there road there are a bunch of women sitting all over the place doing paintings. I lead the way once we get going again and take it REAL slow so as to hopefully not kick up any dust. I'd feel pretty bad of we mucked up their paintings and got dirt in their paints. Once clear of them, we get back to business and soon reach FM 337 again.

:tab As part of our route back, we have decided not to back track Kent Creek Rd., and the section between 336 and 335. It is getting late and we need to start thinking about getting back to Junction. Instead, we decide to run 337 almost to Campwood and then look to see if we can connect two roads that run North of town and come out on the North side of town on Hwy 55. As we finish the fun and twisty climb out of Leakey on 337, I round a corner that brings back bad memories. It was here a few years ago that the final drive on my R1150GS decided to let go at 70mph while leaned over pretty good. Amazingly, the seat cover remained intact... :shock: The shaking was pretty violent because the wheel was flopping all around the hub and wobbling side to side. I got it pulled over, but it was not pretty...

Painful flashback...


To my knowledge, BMW has never admitted that there was a problem with the final drives for bikes built since 2001 :doh:

:tab So anyway... I blast around this corner on the KLR and quickly put the bad memories back where they belong. I start looking for our turn off, which will be Pinon Loop East. While we are waiting at the turn off for the whole group to catch up, a big truck turns in and gets ahead of us. Bruce is not convinced this road goes all the way through. My maps show that it does. We have time, so we decide to check it out anyway. A little ways down the road we catch up to the truck. I pull along side and motion for him to stop. He obliges and I ask him if he knows if Pinon Loop connects up with Dry Creek Rd., the West half of our loop. He says it does, but that it was gated off some time back. Bruce is right. I thank the truck driver and we back track to 377. It's a shame because the road was shaping up to be good fun :zen: We cruise on into Campwood on 337 and head North on Hwy 55 to the start of FM 335.

:tab We regroup again at the start of 335 and then head North. I decide to have some fun and pick up the pace a bit. The KLR is no crotch rocket, but it is still a real hoot in the twisties where top speed is not a concern. Even with the knobbies, it takes the corners quite nicely. Of course, I am not running stock suspension and that really helps :trust: Bruce slides in behind me and we enjoy the run up the start of Hackberry Rd. While waiting for the others to catch up, a truck we had passed earlier comes around the corner. As it clears the corner, the road straightens and Keith passes the truck unaware that he has reached the turn. As he goes blasting past us, we aren't real sure if he saw us because we don't hear him roll off the gas... So we wait a few moments, and then sure enough, we hear the sound of his DRZ thumping back up the road towards us :lol2:

:tab The latter part of the ride is always interesting. Early in the day, everyone is stopping a lot, taking pictures, and acting like they have all the time in the world. Later in the day, the stops and pictures become much less frequent. I have noticed this over the years on all manner of rides, street or dirt. In one respect, this is sad because it usually means a lot of good riding goes undocumented. On the other hand, it also means you get in some good riding because everyone really gets focused just on the riding. I find that I always begin to get in a reflective mood, thinking about what has happened earlier in the day. I'm not sure about everyone else, but I think most of them slip into that "get home" mode. They're getting tired and just want to get back. So even though riding Hackberry Road North to South is totally different than running it South to North, I neglect to get many pictures.

The one place we did stop ;-) A dreaded bump gate...




:tab You can't neglect to take bump gates seriously. They can be quite heavy, and once swinging, they have a LOT of momentum!! Trying to get through on someone else's bump can be risky. These gates can slap you off a bike in a hurry! However, our group has gotten quite proficient at the process and we can usually get everyone through on one bump by staging in front of the gate. Bruce uses the ground pounding power of the KTM to shove the gate wide and the rest of us quickly follow. Even when one of us cannot get through on the initial opening swing, by waiting, the gate will swing all the way open the opposite direction and we can often scoot through before it starts to close again. The safest thing is to just bump it yourself. It is not that hard and like I said, getting swatted off your bike won't be fun :-P

:tab The clouds have now all but vanished. The road that was damp this morning is now powder dry. I am bringing up the rear and the dust is pretty thick. In places it is like driving in a heavy fog. Nothing to do but slow down and let it clear. It's cool though because it makes me take it easy and I can really soak up the scenery and enjoy the longer shadows of the late afternoon. We do all the creek crossings again and catch up to a few other KLR riders at the last crossing on the North end of the road. I am the last across and a few of them are lingering. A quick check confirms everything is okay with them and then I am off after the others. We quickly reach Hwy 41 and now face pavement all the way back to Junction :sleep:

:tab At the junction of 41 and 377, Bruce takes off ahead of the group. Once the tail of the group reaches the intersection, I set off after him. With the 14 tooth front sprocket, running 75-80mph is going to kill my gas mileage :doh: Well, no worries since I am on a super tanker. Of course, it is going to eat the rear knobby too. I never do catch Bruce. However, there is one section where the road goes up a pretty good climb and there is a scenic overlook pullout. I blast up the hill and Bruce is there waiting with camera in hand. I just keep right on rolling. There are some fun 30 mph curves further up the road and I think I'll find a spot there to set up and catch everyone coming through. I also have to find a good bush... :twitch:

:tab I reach the curves, find a good spot to pull over, and quickly find a good bush!! Relieved I set to getting a good spot for shots. Then I sit and listen...

Chuck on his Yammie


Keith on his DRZ 400


Joe, Steve and Bruce


Bruce


:tab The others have pulled over just up the road. We regroup and head out for the last stretch into town. We swing by the Hills Hotel to see who has returned. Quite a few folks are back, standing around in the parking lot sharing stories. No horror stories of wild wipe outs are heard, always a good thing. So we head back over to the La Vista to kick back and relax a bit before deciding what to do for dinner.

Steve shows off his WHITE legs :lol2:


Bruce enjoys a nice "special mix" drink ;-)


:tab Eventually, we find ourselves head over to a little Bakery/Cafe place up the road on the advice of other riders. There are a few bikes parked out front and quite a few riders inside enjoying the food. We plop down at a table with the rest of the group and join in the story telling. The food is great! It's also amazingly inexpensive! It is not long before I hear a very familiar SE Texas twang... VFRHugh has arrived! :lol2:

Yes, I forgot the name of the guy on the left :doh: :oops: I think that is Leon in the middle and Hugh is on the right. He's a 16 year old squid trapped in a 60+ year old body :lol2: I've enjoyed his company on quite a few trips.


:tab After more visiting and closing down the cafe, we head back to the hotel to cap off the evening with a few cold ones. With all the fun today and more to come tomorrow, we pack it in pretty early...10:30pm or so, about four hours earlier than my normal knock off time... :sleep:
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,117
Location
Austin, TX
Well, it's about time I finally got this typed up, but I came back from the weekend a little sore and with some work piled up. Enough excuses, time to right.

My original thought was to load up the Transalp and ride out, but a couple of months before hand a friend of mine, Clayton, started the process of getting a plate for his KTM 400exc. His hope was to get it done in time to do the TAR. It would be his first organized dual sport ride. He got the plate done, registered for TAR and we decided to trailer the bikes out.

However, about two weeks before the event another friend, John, expressed interest. One problem though, no street legal bike. The search was on and by Monday before the event he was on his way to Houston to load up a used 2008 KLR with only 270 miles on it. Now there was another part of this story. John is an old friend of Richard's and has been giving Richard excuses for a while as to why he couldn't come. The plan was to surprise Richard at the event. John had been setting this up for a while with phone calls and emails so Richard didn't expect him to show.

On to the pictures:

Left to right, John, Clayton (trailrider77) and myself
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Before I get too far into the report I want to talk about some repeat images that came up. Some of you may have seen my post near the end of the TAR pre-ride thread about a couple of run ins with turtles the morning before I left. I conjectured that it could mean that I was going to be the king of the sweep riders or "turn turtle" like Tourmeister did on his GS. The turtle theme was driven home several more times on the way out as we dodged a couple on the road, with the last one being right outside Mason near a property called Turtle Ranch. We also had a conversation with Clayton as to why his screen name had 77 in it. Turns out it is a biblical reference about forgiving 7 times 7. That started a string of seven repeated 7's all over with the first one being a number plate on a dirt bike when we got to the hotel. Anyway, keep these two things in mind as the report progresses.

We had a little fun at registration surprising Richard and Connie with John showing up. He kept his helmet on and acted a little obnoxious. I saw Richard glance at me a couple of times with a funny look, but being the good host he is, he didn't let this "stranger" confuse him and he kept being gracious. Then John introduced himself and popped off his helmet to the laughter of those in on the joke. Good fun.

Here's breakfast with Lori (alphadog) and in the background is Bob, the other Transalp at TAR. You'd think there wouldn't be too many 20 year old bikes at TAR and we had matching ones.
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Here is the only picture I have with both Transalps. We should have posed them.
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Rider's meeting on day 1:
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Our group for the day ended up being John, Clayton, Bob, George (green 2008 klr) and myself. We headed for loop 3. We didn't start to early to give the rest of the riders some time to get out in front. As it was we saw many riders on the way to CR313 trying to find there way along the interstate and mess of access roads. Since I had tried to clean up the gps versions of the routes, I was feeling a little bad and tried to wave to folks to follow us. I will do a GPS 101 for TAR thread later. We got on the dirt with no problem and picked up four more riders for a while. We learned how to do bump gates as a group and leapfrogged back and forth alternating opening regular gates for another big group.

At Rocksprings, over lunch, Bob decided to head back up 377 to Junction. It was his first time back out on dirt in many years and the Transalp is kind of a big bike for getting your legs back. He was feeling good about being able to do what we had covered so far, but didn't want to push his luck. Specially with those Tourances he had on the bike.

Right after lunch, the sun came out and the temperature went up some. Two of the extra riders we had picked up were headed down a different loop and we said goodbye to them. The other two extras we had picked up we split from in Rocksprings also. They were fixing what turned out to be a fuse issue on a KLR.

Heading out 674 was very nice; curves, scenery, generally good stuff. However this is were we learned that Clayton still had his 13 tooth front sprocket on and was really only comfortable running at 55mph. Too bad for us because those curves just wanted us to go faster.
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So, not too many pictures for a stretch. Basically we hit the locked gate on Cedar Creek road and decided to head for Bracketville and the Alamo set instead of back tracking on 674. Alamo set cost too much for getting there in the afternoon, so on to Bracketville to top of the tanks. There we decided to head back up towards Barksdale and ride the lower part of Cedar Creek in the reverse direction, then pick up CR310 back into Rocksprings (reverse of last year's loop 3 in that area) We picked up three extra riders at the Bracketville Valero and off we went. I was leading and the group had kind of dropped back. I figured Clayton's KTM was slowing them down so I pulled over to fix an earplug that wasn't all the way in. My three riding partners pulled up, but the extra three didn't. I was told they pulled over looking at the map on the tank of one of thier bikes. So we figured they had second thoughts about our plans or something, but in the back of our minds we were concerned there was a problem. We did wait about 5 minutes then decided to press on. Later you will hear "rest of the story".

At the corner of highway 55 we took a break:
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And the group that Ed29 was part of pulled up and visited some. They told us the other three riders were working on a KTM. Shoot, they did have a problem. However that was almost 30 minutes back the other way and they had given Ed's group a thumbs up so we kept to our route.

Saw this low water crossing of the Nueces and we had stop for gratutious bike photos.
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As we got to Barksdale I was getting concerned about time since we were going to do a dirt loop, then have to slab it up to Junction from Rocksprings. I know a bit about deer in that area and really wanted to be back in Junction before about 7:30pm. On top of that there were some omnious looking clouds to the east. But, we needed some dirt after all that pavement.

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Since I had done this route last year on the DRZ I felt pretty confident that I could handle the crossings. However, the sun was in our eyes and it made it a little harder to scope out what was lurking in the water. I should have been sending the KTM out first, but the TA really needed the dust washed off. Fortunately I only washed one side.

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Clayton:
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John:
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Finally we reached Highway 55 again. Only to find that it was already 7:30pm, the clouds were really dark and there was this monster...
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Okay, so he was only 12 inches long and smaller around than my little finger. I chased him off the road and off we went for more gas for the KTM in Junction. Everybody at the gas station kept warning us about weather moving in so we were getting nervous about that. Plus it was now dusk and prime time for deer.

The deer didn't keep us in suspense for long. We saw the first one before we even completely cleared Rocksprings. I started keeping count. One here, three there...and on we chugged. As the sun went down we kept slowing down. Every big bunch of deer by the side of the road meant another 5 mph slower. We dropped into a valley and I saw two sprinting along a fence line parallel to us. I knew one was bound to come my way and I wasn't disappointed. I had already started to back off, but had to grab some brakes too. Then all heck broke loose. I could see deer for a 1/2 mile up the road racing out of the field towards the trees on the other side. My count was up over thirty as we cleared that area, but we weren't done with critters in that area. We came upon a porcupine ambling across the road at the end of that long field too. Not a care in the world.

Now we are almost to South Llano State Park, five miles to go. Looks like we are going to make it...only 41 deer spotted so far. Wait, there's a dead on right by the side of the road...no, not dead yet because he was still waving a leg at us. So that's 42. Had two more cross in front of us just before town for a total of 44 deer between Rocksprings and Junction. Took us until 9pm to reach the hotel. End of day 1.

So, next morning we find out that two of our missing three riders had to ride up, get a pickup and head back to recover the ailing KTM. I'm really feeling bad about not going back at this point, but we have a chance to redeem ourselves since Scott (I can't remember his screenname) is at our hotel. He describes his problem as it will start and idle, but dies as he gives it gas. Our first thought is a plugged main jet. He drops the bowl on the carb to get to the main jet, but mentions that the needle doesn't seem to be going up and down. Bingo, clip came off, easy fix. Clayton and I point him to how to get to that part and we start getting our gear ready. Well, not so simple. The clp broke. Rusty to the rescue. I had my JD jet kit with me and had a extra clip. Clayton had his KTM manual with him and knew the stock clip location. Minutes later a KTM is roaring in the parking lot. So we have a new riding partner for the day and I feel better about not helping the day before. We wouldn't have been able to fix it anyway on the side of the road, but we did have the 5 cent part to fix it.

Our route for day 2 is one I called Dirt Maximus. Last year Lori (alphadog), Chuck (CeeBee) and I decided to modify route 6 to have a little more dirt. The because of a gas issue we modified it some on the fly. I liked parts of that so much that I spent some time with the maps and came up with a new route with more dirt. It starts and finishes just like 5, 6, and 7, but the middle is different. I'm going to pass it on to Richard and maybe he'll check it out and use some or all of it for next year.

Along the way we picked up another group so we were about nine bikes, one a KLR riding 2 up. One little detour we took was Loeffler Road where there is a nice old church and building:
IMG_0649.jpg

IMG_0650.jpg

IMG_0652.jpg


Then we worked our way up Simonsville road to Mason for some Mexican food on the square. A quick gas stop for all and we headed south down the highway to Lower Willow Creek road. It was nice and we had a moderate speed going. Since that area had gotten rain the night before there were some damp spots, but no real mud. Once again confidence got the better of me though. I was leading and as I came around a corner the road dipped to a concrete covered water crossing. There was a stretch of about 10 feet of water only an inch deep. I figured it was run off from the night before and only backed down to 20mph or so (gps track log points were 25, 22, 9, 0). Steady throttle, no brakes, but about 2/3's the way across the back tire passes the front. I landed on the right arm and shoulder and could hear the crash bars sliding on the concrete. My first concern was the guy behind me...and him sending his bike sliding into me. There was no problem though as he was able to ride around my body and bike.

Sorry, no pictures, but the bike ended up past the concrete where the road started to rise up again. Back wheel toward the top of the hill with both wheels in a slight ditch. Suddenly my joking about the turtles and Tourmeister's GS upside down came to mind. So I wasn't the king of sweep riders after all. A quick check to make sure everything was still attached, a couple of folks heaved the bike up for me and I was ready to go. I will say that everybody else came across that water very carefully.

I found that the washboard road didn't hurt my shoulder/ribs much, but the occasional harder bump wasn't fun, nor were the sandy sections that started to show up. So when we finally got to pavement at Highway 29 we split up and headed back to Junction. This is were we took a break to figure out what the rest of them would do.
IMG_0654.jpg

IMG_0653.jpg


They ended up looping back on some dirt then finishing as planned. Probably missing 1/3 of the dirt I had on the route in the middle, but they seemed to have a good time. In fact I enjoyed it too, except for the crash. The pavement back was fun because I could finally run at the speed limit since the KTM was still riding dirt. Only caught up to two cars on the way and a quick twist and I was by them. Wish I had a car that could pass that easy on a two lane road.

Here is a picture Bob took of his Transalp by the ride sign:
bob_ta_sign.jpg


Good fun at the banquet, but we got some rain overnight. This a picture of George, our riding partner from day 1, heading out in the morning for Abilene. Heard from him later that it was kind of cold on the way back, but he made it.
IMG_0657.jpg


And here is John's odometer when we loaded it on the trailer saturday evening, notice the 7's.
IMG_0656.jpg


Ah, good weekend riding and boy that Transalp has a comfortable seat.
P1030656Large.jpg
 
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I had great time , Thanks Richard and company for a first class event.

Friday Continued... post lunch...

The one place we did stop ;-) A dreaded bump gate...




:tab You can't neglect to take bump gates seriously. They can be quite heavy, and once swinging, they have a LOT of momentum!! Trying to get through on someone else's bump can be risky. These gates can slap you off a bike in a hurry! However, our group has gotten quite proficient at the process and we can usually get everyone through on one bump by staging in front of the gate. Bruce uses the ground pounding power of the KTM to shove the gate wide and the rest of us quickly follow. Even when one of us cannot get through on the initial opening swing, by waiting, the gate will swing all the way open the opposite direction and we can often scoot through before it starts to close again. The safest thing is to just bump it yourself. It is not that hard and like I said, getting swatted off your bike won't be fun :-P
I know about getting swatted off.:rider:

I didn't get many pictures but I did get one of the Mother of Bump Gates. You get bumped with this baby and your likely not riding home. For it's size it really wasn't that hard to push. But it swung back fast.

290882433_Z9bvM-M.jpg


290882425_Qkwiy-M.jpg
 
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Bulverde, Texas
Chadley; Had a GREAT time riding wth you and Patrice!! Thanks for posting the pictures, I also downloaded from the link that Patrice sent me. I've already made hotel reservations at the Legend for next year!!! Big THANKS again to you and Patrice for the pictures and adventures, although I'm not sure I want to be confronted by the guy with the shotgun next year!!
 

Tourmeister

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Saturday...

:tab So I slept MUCH better last night. A good hard day of riding, a good dinner, a few beers, and that sheet covered piece of plywood excuse for a mattress felt like I was sleeping on air! Steve must be sleeping pretty good too because he's a morning person and he's not up yet either... Yesterday he was up and moving bright and early. The alarm on my cell phone goes off again and I decide it's time to get rolling. I don't want to miss the end of the rider's meeting :-P

:tab We pull into the parking lot to find everyone gathered around listening intently as Richard points to the big maps on the wall.

The parking lot is full again


"I think I can make out the road numbers if I squint reallll hard..."


Richard saying something about a county road, locked gate, deputy Sheriff, Mrs. Emma, alternate route... :yawn:


That's Darren on the far right, apparently none the worse for the wear from yesterday's lowside and ready to ride!


"So what you're gonna wanna do is...."


:tab Steve and I decide to hook up with the same group of riders for today: Bruce, Keith, Chuck and Joe. Our group worked well yesterday so there's no point messing with a good thing.

Joe and Bruce. The Space Cadet between them is Steve. That is Keith behind Steve.


Chuck


DirtbikeDave and Uncle


:tab Our group has decided to do the route that hits Old Junction road, then heads down FM 674 towards Bracketville, and then cuts back North on Cedar Creek Rd., to Campwood and then on back to Junction. Before heading out, we make a quick stop at a gas station for someone to fill up. I take the opportunity to grab a few Granola Bars and clean my visor. Then we head back towards I-10 to pick up FM 1674, which roughly parallels I-10. We criss cross over and I-10 a few times following the road and see other groups of riders making their way West to the start of the dirt roads. Rather than follow the official route, we try to hit dirt a little earlier.

:tab I don't know what the road number is, but it becomes gravel as soon as we turn South away from the freeway. It is deep and loose, obviously freshly laid. The dust flies as Bruce takes the lead. We crest a few hills and the scenery opens up before us, the road stretching and twisting into the distance. I can't really describe the feeling, but when I see a road like that, it just tugs at something in me and gives me feelings of anticipation, wonder, excitement, dread, curiosity... Off we go... It really is a fun road. However... We soon come to the proverbial fork in the road. Which way to go? My maps show that if we try to continue on, this route will take is pretty far out of the way from where we are trying to get to. Some of the maps show it dead ending. After a few brief moments of discussion, we opt for heading back to the highway and getting back on the official route. It was worth a shot though. Nothing ventured, nothing gained right? Besides, it really is a fun road :rider:

:tab Soon we reach the turn off for CR 278, run down to Scr 313 and head West to the start of Scr 314. It's all paved but still fun. A few minutes later we arrive at the start of Old Junction Road, which happily is not paved! The skies are blue today and there is no drizzle to keep the dust down. It's one of those love hate things you know, hate the drizzle but love the lack of dust, love the blue skies and sunshine but hate the dust... What can you do...?? RIDE!!

:tab We come to a nice bump gate and decide to pull over for a short break in some shade on the far side of the gate. There is another group ahead of us just taking off from the gate and they are kicking up some good dust. Better to let them get far ahead so we can ride in our own dust instead of putting along behind them.

The tail end of the large group heading South on Old Junction Road


Steve and Keith


One of the lighter weight varieties of bump gates out here


Our break spot


:tab After a short while, we hear another group coming towards us from the North. Not wanting to get caught up in their dust either, we hastily mount up and get back to riding! Bruce leads the way and I fall in behind him. The dust is like riding in a fog. I cut my pace to let Bruce get out ahead. I keep telling myself that I need to be riding within my sight distance and I slow down just a bit more. The road climbs a short but relatively steep little hill. I always make a habit of moving right and slowing for hills over which I can't see. I do that for this one... thank goodness!

:tab As I crest the hill, I see a closed gate directly in front of me. In the corner of my vision I see Bruce down and off to the right. The road makes a sharp 90 degree right, then a sharp left, and goes back down hill. Even after slowing there is no way I am going to make that corner. Nothing to do but scrub off speed and hope I can stop before hitting the gate...!! :doh: Well... I don't make it... The gate is actually two gates that swing together to meet in the middle, right where I nail it :eek2: I am already braced for the bike to bounce one way or the other and to either try to hold it up or just eject and let it fall on its side. Much to my surprise though, upon impact the gate flies open and I roll through a few feet and come to a stop :brainsnap Uhhh... SWEET!!

:tab It takes me a moment to process just how lucky I have been. I get off the bike just to take a breath and heave a sigh of relief. Upon inspection, there is a heavy chain on the gate. I recall seeing that before hitting it. I also recall seeing a padlock go flying. I look around and find it laying on the ground. The "U" shape part of the lock has completely sheared off!! Must be a cheap lock because I really did not hit the gate very hard. The bike has taken far harder hits going over ridiculous rocks and ledges in the desert of Arizona. I might have been going about 10 mph on impact, if that. Still... I am relieved the lock broke and the gate flung wide open :mrgreen: Everyone else is similarly relieved and amazed. We get the gate closed, wrap the chain around as best we can, then leave the remains of the lock on top of the gate, and continue on our way... just a few more mph slower ;-)

:tab The road is a blast. The terrain is remote and mildly rugged. There are places with some pretty good ruts. There are the occasional big rocks embedded in the ground that have to be dodged. The scrub brush/trees lining the road reach out with small branches to scratch anyone that ventures to close to the edge. In many places, cow patties dot the road, warning of the need to watch for livestock wandering onto or hanging out in the road. I have no desire to test my "bump" skills on the side of a cow... As we continue to work our way South, there are numerous gates that must be opened and closed. I much prefer the bump gates over those where we have to get off the bike, have someone hold the gate open while everyone else rides through, and then get the gate reclosed and take off again. However, without even stopping to talk about it, we just fall into a nice groove of the first guy opening the gate for everyone, then the last guy stopping after going through to get the gate while the first guy remounts and rides through. This lets us keep a nice pace without everyone having to stop for every gate.

Waiting for the dust to clear after passing through a gate


Joe takes off so I can ride sweep, which I like despite the dust


:tab Soon the road takes on a different character. It widens and smooths out. It would seem this section gets some grading attention from the county on a fairly regular basis. Bruce cranks up the KTM and vanishes into the dust. I think I am following Joe and I get up close behind and to the left of him to avoid his dust and the occasional rock tossed up by his tires. I have to move in behind him for the corners and hills, but that is fine. We fall into a nice pace and just cruise for a while. After a bit, he moves over and motions for me to pass. I don't know if he just did not realize I have been back here all this time or if he feels like he is holding me up :shrug: Regardless, I pass him and settle back into a nice pace.

:tab As I am coming up to a long slow climbing hill, I am not real sure which way the road is going to go at the top. As usual, I move right and start slowing. I notice a tall pole sticking up to the right, just above the trees. There is a cable going down from the top at an angle... has to be a bump gate!! I crest the hill and sure enough, there is a sweeping corner, much like we have been seeing the last few miles. However, this one has a bump gate right at the end of the sweep. I start braking and moving to the outside of the gate where I'll need to push, sliding and kicking up gravel as I go. On the far side of the gate I see a crowd of stopped bikes. I guess bumping this gate like that locked one would not be a good idea :-P So in a cloud of dust I come to a stop, shove the gate open and join the crowd on the other side where I find Bruce talking with folks.

:tab The rest of the gang soon joins us. We head out ahead of the other group. A short ways up the road we encounter a big double bump gate. These have one pole up the middle with a gate on each side. I don't get the pleasure of shoving one of these open because another group is already here and they kindly hold the gates for us as we pass through :clap: shortly after this the road comes around a hill and cuts right through the middle of someone's ranch proper. This is the compound area that consists of the house, some barns, and other outlying stuff that makes up the core of where the people live. I like to slow way down for sections like this so we don't make too much noise or stir up too much dust. I realize this is a public road, but we are essentially driving through these people's front yard. No point in making enemies needlessly :shrug: Once past the last bump gate to this compound area, there are some of those big water diverting humps in the road :trust: We'll just call them ramps as a shorthand term :twisted: The KLR likes to fly, but I have the preload and damping on the rear set pretty soft and it comes real close to bottoming out a few times :doh: We soon reach pavement, the start of FM 2630, which roughly parallels Hwy 377 down into Junction.

Stopped for lunch in Junction. Most folks ate here.


We ate here... much less crowded


My breakfast time is most people's lunchtime... witness the breakfast of champions!! :eat:

(just doing my civic duty to stimulate the future medical sector of the economy :trust: )

The King Burger lot fills up pretty quick, must be good :shrug:


:tab Over lunch we discuss what we might do with the route. The prospect of running thirty some odd miles of pavement down FM 674 is not that appealing. Looking over the maps, there appears to be a RR 674, just a few miles outside of Rocksprings, that head South off of FM 674. It shows that it goes down and hits the North end of Cedar Creek Road. So we decide to see if we can hit the North end of Cedar Creek Road, run it South as far as possible, then backtrack to White Mountain Road and run on into Campwood for gas. From there we'd backtrack White Mountain Road all the way back up to Hwy 55 and run 377 back to Junction. All agree that it is a good plan... That should have been our first sign to worry :doh:

[Time to work again... :argh:]
 
Joined
May 13, 2004
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Leander, Tx
Tourmeister said:
I don't know that I would want to do it for mile after mile, like I had done in places in Arizona with a guide that will remain unnamed (GOTDURT)
Oh, come on, tell me you wouldn't do it all over again... :deal:
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
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14
Location
Sanger TX
Quick question for anyone who might have some knowledge. I noticed that the 2009 TAR is scheduled for the first weekend in April vs the last weekend as the 2 previous years. Anyone know why the change? Problem is... that is the same weekend as NASCAR in Fort Worth and usually the SuperCross at Texas Stadium. Just wondering....hate to miss the TAR...
 

WoodButcher

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Quick question for anyone who might have some knowledge. I noticed that the 2009 TAR is scheduled for the first weekend in April vs the last weekend as the 2 previous years. Anyone know why the change? Problem is... that is the same weekend as NASCAR in Fort Worth and usually the SuperCross at Texas Stadium. Just wondering....hate to miss the TAR...
I'm kind of guessing, but I'm pretty sure it is because of weather/flowers. Last year we just caught the end of the blue bonnets and this year they were gone. Plus it was just starting to get warm. I think both years we got lucky with the heat and a couple weeks will make a difference.

There may be other factors that Richard can share. Maybe there is another MC event in Junction too close to that time.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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Austin
I moved it to the first weekend for several reasons.

First, the weather is usually better the first weekend of April than the last weekend. It's noticeably cooler (this year and last temps reached the 90s during TAR) and the rainfall is historically much less (about 50% less rain). While there is a higher chance of a cold front coming through, I think it is worth the trade-off.

Second, I'm wanting to have an annual dual sport rally in southwest Arkansas on Memorial Day weekend. If I do this, I need more than 4 weeks between these 2 events. (Side note - who likes the idea of a DS rally, like TAR, but in Mena, AR?)

Third, Cheapstoc is held in Junction every year and seems to be held about the same time as TAR (it was the weekend following TAR this year) and they appear to have added DS riding. So it thought it would be helpful to try and separate these 2 events by more than 1 weekend.

Finally, my business is such that it is better to take days off at the beginning of the month than the end of the month.
 
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Tourmeister

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Saturday... post lunch. The adventure continues... :wary:

:tab A few miles out of town we reach the start of RR 674. It is gravel right away.

Bruce


Chuck


Steve


Keith


and Joe


:tab You can see the dust kicking up as each bike goes by me. I hang pretty far back to keep clear of it, but Bruce keeps stopping at all the bump gates so we can go through on one big push from his KTM. It saves me the work, but it means I keep having to wait for everyone to get on out ahead of me. You can also see that the first section of the road is nicely graded and wide, which can be fun :rider:

We pass through a few more gates and round a corner to this great view. See those roads upper center...? Keep those in mind ;-)


:tab The road drops down in to a nice valley and begins twisting along nicely. We soon reach a fork in the road and decide to go right. The road gets narrow and looks lightly traveled. If this is the right road, this could get really fun! But... we soon find out it is NOT the right road. We find a locked gate. So we backtrack to the fork and take the other branch. As we are cruising along, I notice there are quite a few "Land for Sale" signs along the road. I could get used to having a few acres out here :trust: My attention is brought back to the road as we traverse a dry creek bed crossing strewn with large loose rocks and then climb out the far side.

:tab A few minutes later, as I straggle along with the group out of site, I catch a movement in my peripheral vision. As I clear some trees and the view opens up a bit, I see an older guy running towards the road waving a ball cap at me. He looks a bit agitated. The others are long gone and I am almost past him when I see him, so I just wave and keep going. I don't really feel like stopping and listening to some annoyed person alone. I soon catch up to the rest of the group at a turn. There is a gate on one side and then the road continues to the right. Bruce has already gone right so everyone sets off after him. At the bottom of a pretty good descent, I spot a couple on an ATV pulling a little trailer. They are off in the creek bed to the side of the road. I wave and they both wave back. Then I am off up another long hill. I think perhaps Bruce has missed a turn because my track shows us getting further and further from where we should be hitting Cedar Creek Road :ponder:

But the road is getting really fun! Remember those roads I pointed out in the previous picture :trust:


It's like riding a BIG swooping roller coaster will long climbs and drops, with great views


Bruce stops and we confer on our route options. The GPS doesn't show these roads and I show we are just going further in the wrong direction, fun as it may be ;-)


:tab Back at that last gate/turn is where I show that we should have headed the other direction to meet up with the North end of Cedar Creek Road. However, I don't recall seeing any road... We decide to backtrack and take a look. As we approach the turn, I notice the ATV over in the front yard of a house back behind the gate. The gate is now open so I turn in and head over to have a chat with the folks.

Smack me for not getting their names :doh: Very nice folks though :thumb:


:tab I don't even get a chance to get my helmet off before they start excitedly asking me all kinds of questions, "Where ya'll from? Where you headed? Come on in and have some cold drinks!" Like I said, nice folks! I explain about the TAR event, that we are exploring and trying to connect roads, etc,... I show him the GPS and what we are trying to do. He invites me inside to check out a detailed map he has hanging on his kitchen wall. It looks like the road we've been on just makes a big loop. At one time there may have been a connection, but it has long since fallen into disuse and is no longer even noticeable on the ground. We visit a bit but then decide to head back to FM 674. Before we leave, I ask him about the guy back up the road and if we should be worried about him. "Naw, he's just kind of persnickety!" :lol2: With a farewell wave, we head off into the dust.

:tab So I take sweep again and settle into a relaxed pace at the back of the group. A few minutes later I round a corner to find the group stopped in the middle of the road with the old guy talking to someone. Bruce is gone so the guy must not have run out fast enough to catch him. He's waving his arms around pretty good so it must be quite a conversation. I pull up to the back of the group to see what's happening. I can hear him quite well, even with my earplugs, helmet, and the engine running. He's going off about this being a private road and his sign that said so... blah blah blah... Sheriff... blah blah blah... and then he moves to the back of Chuck's bike and starts wiping the dirt off his license plate :roll: At this point I decide I am not gonna sit here and deal with this guy. I drop into gear and just ride off. A quick mirror check confirms that the rest of the guys decide to do likewise. With that behind us, we soon find our way back to FM 674. RR 674 does not go through, which is a real shame, because it is a great road! We decide to head South on FM 674 and try the South end of Cedar Creek Road as Richard's original route indicates.

:tab Bruce takes lead and I settle in behind him. We run a nice relaxed pace on the pavement and just enjoy the beautiful day and great views. FM 675 is a really nice ride. It has fast sweepers, a few tighter corners, lots of elevation changes, and good pavement. I'm enjoying the riding when all of a sudden I notice Bruce is slowing pretty quick in front of me. There is a little side road, so maybe he thinks this is our turn? A quick glance at the GPS shows we still have a couple more miles to go :scratch: He pulls over into the shade of a big tree by the side road. I guess it's a good time for a break :shrug: Soon Joe comes, bringing up the rear and we relax in the shade.

It seems Chuck's Yammie has developed an issue... a leaking seal... :doh: Fortunately, he's packing extra oil.


:tab The leak doesn't look to bad, even though he has the cleanest looking chain I have seen in a long time! :lol2: We tease him about having an automatic chain oiler. However, in the back of my mind I am thinking... this could be a problem and we are a pretty good ways from anywhere but here. Chuck thinks it will be fine so we press on South to find the start of Cedar Creek Road. For much of its length, FM 674 follows the West Nueces River, which makes for lots of curves. At one point, it climbs up the side of a large hill and affords a great view of the river valley.

Steve heading South and back down into the valley below


Joe gives chase


Looking North up the river valley




Keith tries to figure out what he did with his other glove :lol2:


:tab A few more miles down the road and once again Bruce slows. There is another side road on our left, but my GPS shows Cedar Creek Road to be the next road down about a mile or so. So we keep going. Once there, we find a fairly ornamental gate as one might expect on private property. The gate is not locked and every map we have shows this being Cedar Creek Road, so in we go, being sure to latch the gate behind us. We get maybe a mile and come to another gate. We stop because we're just not "feeling it". We double check the maps, which indicate we are exactly where we should be, but the road looks like it has not seen any traffic in a long long time, even of the two wheeled variety. Given that we know folks did this route yesterday, we think something is amiss. Amazingly, I have cell phone service out here and I make a quick call to Richard. He assures me that Cedar Creek Road goes through and that people did it yesterday. However, it has been a while since he was out here and he can't describe the entrance exactly. To confuse things even more, Bruce has done the run before from the other direction and he remembers coming out at the gate back at the highway... We look around and take stock of our situation...

We don't want to wind up like this guy... :eek2:


If only I had thought to get out a few zip ties after taking this shot... :doh:


:tab We decide to head back up 674 and check out the other road we passed. As we are headed back out to 674, we encounter a truck coming through the gate. By the time I pull up, the conversation has ended and they are pulling away from us. I give them a friendly wave, which they return, and go around them. At the side of the road I check with Bruce and he lets me know they were just curious and that the conversation was friendly. So up the road we go.

:tab When we arrive at the previous gate, there is a small green road sign hanging on the gate poles... "Cedar Creek Road" :doh: I didn't notice that before :oops: That makes us all feel better, so we take off down the road. The road surface is great. I decide to get up behind Bruce for a while instead of taking sweep. The road climbs and turns. It is obvious that we are in a river valley area because there is much more dark soil in the road and pastures, still rocky, but not super hard like so many of the roads out here. We also see knobby tracks from other bikes, which is a good thing.

:tab We get about seven miles or so into the road and I am starting to think this is a great route... Then there is a locked gate :doh:



:tab This is NOT the gate I expected to be locked. Mrs Emma's gates are on each side of her yard and the road goes through her yard. I have seen her place from the other side and this is not it... Upon closer inspection this gate has what looks to be a brand new chain and lock on it! I guess one of the locals heard bikes were in the area and just decided to shut down a public road. It is annoying that if we trespass on a private road, we can get a ticket. However, if a landowner illegally blocks a public road, nothing happens to them :argh: After a few moments of denial and frustration, we decide there is nothing to do now but backtrack to 674 and review our options there. Gas could soon be an issue for the DRZ400's and Chuck's Yammie.

:tab Being ready to roll first, I decide to just head back in the lead. I run a little quicker pace since I have been down the road and know what to expect. I still don't run as fast as many folks seem to like to run. I have just never really gotten the groove on proficient cornering in the dirt. I guess I just lack experience so that I know what to expect and am just leery enough of being injured that I don't want to push myself to the limits. However, it is still a really fun run back to the highway. Once there, we pull over into the far shoulder into some shade and wait for the rest of the group to catch up to us.

:tab When chuck pulls up, he gets off the bike. A quick glance down at the left side of his bike makes it readily obvious that we may now have ourselves a bit of a problem. His rear tire is coated in oil, as is the entire left side of the bike from the countershaft sprocket back. He pulls out his oil bottle to top off, but we can see it dripping out pretty fast. He puts in the last of the oil and decides to make for Rocksprings. If we see him on the side of the road, Keith will continue on to get some oil and bring it back to him. With that, everyone gets back on the bikes and off we go... I drop to the back of the pack so I can goof off and take pics.

The view North to the high point on 674


:tab The rest of the group has gone ahead and now I can crank up the pace a little bit and enjoy the twisty section of 674 :rider: The run down off the high point into the valley has a tight 20mph corner at the bottom, but then opens up into fast 30-45 mph sweepers through the trees. Sure... it might be more fun on a dedicated street bike, but I here... right now... on the KLR... and it is a blast! I run pretty good for maybe ten minutes when I come to a crossing and find Bruce stopped. The crossing is pretty high up relative to the creek bed.

Bruce drinks his incredible shrinking potion... now he's barely one foot high...


The KLR... big as ever...


I could just strap him to the fender for the ride back... :ponder:


:tab After a bit of goofing around, Bruce and I head North for Rocksprings. We make it all the way into town without ever seeing anyone, so apparently Chuck made it. We arrive at the Shell station in the center of town to find the rest of the guys getting gas. A break before the final run up Hwy 377 to Junction sounds good. I grab a snickers and a gatorade and kick back in the shade. Chuck comes over from one of the other gas stations to join us.

Messy!!


The rim and tire are wet with oil... Chuck mentions something about not having any back brake because of the oil on the rotor :doh:


:tab After a refreshing few minutes of sitting around, we decide it is time to make that last push to just get back to Junction. We don't want to be late for the banquet Richard has panned for this evening! Joe took off a few minutes before the rest of us because of his slower pace. I take point as we head up Hwy 377 for the 40+ miles back up to Junction.

:tab The closer we get to Junction, the more I start to think we may be getting really wet. There is a huge thunderhead in that direction and it is raining pretty good under it. Even being quite a few miles out from it, I can feel the wind it is creating. As we get closer to town, the temperature starts to drop. However, it looks like the cell has drifted off to the East just enough that we will be able to skirt up the West side of it right into town. The pavement is now wet and the temperature drops even more. The cool mist from the road combined with my mesh riding gear makes for a refreshing ride. The last few miles into town the pavement is dry again and it does not look like it has rained here at all.

:tab I pull into the Hill's parking lot to see who is around. Amazingly, there are very few people here. I don't know if they are all still out riding or have packed up and gone home :shrug:

The people I do find have a peculiar problem... :brainsnap :doh:


The bike belongs to Cathy(?)


:tab It seems she dropped the bike at a water crossing and did not realize the case had taken a good hit from a rock. They got her bike upright and she rode 70-80 miles back to town :eek2: Only after getting here did she realize that her leg and the back of the bike were covered with oil! However, the bike ran fine!! She and Marlon are trying to figure out what to do with the bike so they can ride it the last few miles to where they are staying and have a trailer. I just happen to have a tube of WaterWeld putty :trust: Marlin is skeptical of it, but heads to get a few quarts of oil while Cathy cleans the case surface. I grab some sockets to get the little plastic stock case guard out of the way. When Marlon returns, he works a blob of the putty until it starts to get warm and then places it over the hole in the case. Within a few minutes it is hardening and getting hot. A few more minutes and he fills the bike with oil. Nothing seems to be coming out so they take off for their trailer.

:tab I head back to the hotel and grab a cold beer. Steve is already relaxing. We decide to hang out for a bit before heading over to the banquet.

[Banquet pics later... time to head home...]
 
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
924
Location
Belton Texas
love all the pic's and stories, :clap: had one of the best times i've had on a bike and can't wait until next year, have even made my reservations at the hills, can't wait until april:rider:
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Bulverde, Texas
Richard;

For what's its worth, I think a Mena event would be GREAT!! Been on a ride in the area on a V-Strom, didn't get the opportunity to do many of the dual sport roads, would like the opportunity to ride on my KLR!
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
1,685
Location
DFW, TX
<snip>

Second, I'm wanting to have an annual dual sport rally in southwest Arkansas on Memorial Day weekend. If I do this, I need more than 4 weeks between these 2 events. (Side note - who likes the idea of a DS rally, like TAR, but in Mena, AR?)
<snip>
:rider:

I'm in. Although, the traffic may be bit of a nightmare.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
I've been to Arkansas many times on Memorial Day Weekend. In the cities, traffic can be pretty bad. Once out on the open road, it is not too bad, certainly not as bad as the Hill Country would be. Southern Missouri is even better with VERY little traffic. I've not stayed in the Mena area on Memorial Day weekend though. With it being a good deal close to DFW, it might be worse.
 
B

BAMA PATROL

Hey UNCLE!
This is off the subject, but I am a Texas Adventure convert!
I contacted you regarding a ride in the Big Bend area a few months back, unfortunately it overlapped your 2008 TAR ride. However I wanted to thank you for the information you sent me and post a few of my pics.
Had an absolute blast riding Big Bend area and went everywhere did everything that the BMW Dakars and Kaw KLR650 did (with a little less speed of course). Here's a few shots, Thanks again and perhaps I'll swing the 2009 TAR ride.
 

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Joined
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Location
here and there, mostly there
2008 - Texas Adventure Ride - Teeds version of the events

My trip to Junction for TAR started a long time ago in a far away land ...

Wait ... wrong story line ... sorta

TAR, for me, was a return to an area of Texas that has long been an interest and I hoped this trip would provide the catalyst of comradery that would to be memorable and fun! My dual sport has become my ticket to adventure as it allows me the freedom to explore roads more often than not left unexplored. For me nothing is more exciting than reaching a fork in a road and taking the one less traveled.

It was just me when I decided to attend. Almost a lark, as work has been slow and the only things coming in the mail slot have been bills for a while. I decided that I needed to do something fun on my birthday.

Yea, I turned the calendar forward another year while we were there, turning 57 on Saturday.

TAR provided all the memories I had hoped, for and more.

Realizing that Richard_ was in Buda, I called and we met a Constantine’s one Saturday morning where we traded money for info, saving both of us a stamp ... nevermind the fuel expense.

From other rides I knew I would not be alone, that there would be many familiar faces. For instance, I knew that Uncle would be there. An illusive spirit, Uncle had gotten Richard involved in bikes. I have had the pleasure to run into Uncle many times in the Big Bend region. A riding buddy, mcrider, emailed me that he had decided to attend. Whoop, riding with Chris is always fun. As the list of attendees grew my anticipation of the ride grew.

Lurking in the prep thread, I watched the negotiations as people decided where they were going to settle in for the event. I chose the Sun Valley Motel, which proved to be a very good match for me. Convenient, i.e. directly across from Isaack’s Restaurant, which allowed for easy access to coffee in the morning.

Chris emailed me that he had secured a room at Sun Valley and that his son Scott would be joining us. Totally cool ... now we were going to be in Comedy Central. I had heard much about Scott from a very proud father over the years and I looked forward to meeting him. I contacted a couple of folks about the other bed in my double double, but alas it went unclaimed. For those that know me ... that did not prove to be a bad thing as the rooms are a tad small and I have been known to ... cough cough ... never travel lightly. I’m getting better, but I still tend to be overprepared with “stuff”. The other bed proved to be the perfect place for all my ... uhh ... err ... stuff.

Back in the lurking mode in the prep thread, I began to note a crescendo that would build until the last person had left for the drive/ride to Junction. Among the respondents to the thread I noted one in particular ... Trailryder42. I had not seen Derek since a trip to MacKinzie back in 2003, so this would be a time to catch up. We had tried to hook together a Moab trip a couple of times, but timing wasn’t on our side, but this would be different.

Off on another rabbit trail, I had watched with interest the growth of Texas Adventure as an economic development tool for rural Texas. By trade, I am an architect, but by passion, I am a historical preservationist and economic stabilization goes hand in hand with historic preservation. Historic Tourism is a huge part of the Texas economy and Richard and the City of Junction are to be commended for the partnership that has developed.

The City of Junction, and the entire region for that matter, benefitted a great deal from us being in town and when we left there were a lot of dollar bills left behind.

Thanks go out to the City of Junction for “getting it”!

Ok ... back to the memories ... BTW ... if I repeat anything other has said it is because I have not read the thread yet. I didn’t want other’s impressions of the weekend to affect my musings.

Thursday was departure day and the prediction was for rain the night before. I briefly considered loading my bike Wednesday evening, but I didn’t want to leave it in my truck over night and advertise the fact that I owned motorcycles, as I have ... cough ... more than a few in my garage. My decision not to load almost proved to be my undoing. For once the weather heads were correct and that meant that my driveway (gravel), ramps (aluminum) and truck bed (painted steel) were wet and slippery. All I needed to do is have the bike slip and I could end up on the ground with something broken. For once I listened to the little voice in my head ... the one trying to protect me ... not the other ones that I converse with daily. I called a friend to help me load up the bike. Charlie stopped by and we had the bike in the truck in short order.

After loading the bike it was off to the fine burg of Arlington for some photos that I needed to take for a historical review I was working on ... yea, Arlington has historic buildings ... a few anyway, then it was off to points southwest of the Metromess for some fun. I was on a mission, but I like to meander, so I piddled my way south.

I rolled into Junction about 5:00PM and noted that there were a number of bikes about and they looked like mine, so I must be in the right place. The Sun Valley Motel traded me a key to room 103 for a bit of money and I was soon unloaded and ready for some fun. There were a number of bikes and trailers about, but the action seemed to be across the street in the side parking lot of Isaack’s. Chris and Scott showed up and we ambled across and picked up our T shirts and information/goody bag packet provided by the City of Junction.

Back at the room, I began my list of what I had forgotten ... a folding chair ... my room donated my desk chair for the duration of the weekend. Reflecting now on that situation, it was probably for the best anyway as my back does not like the slingback folding chairs so ubiquitous these days. There is an increasing number of pluses to a nice straight back chair as I grow older ... ughhh ... I don’t think of myself as old, but my body says otherwise sometimes.

Chris and I discussed the routes we were going to ride. Richard had provided some great routes to ponder and Rusty had tweaked them a bit to make them even more interesting. Chris and I were focused on “Lucky 13 Toughest DS Road in Texas”. Richard had promised that this was the toughest road outside of Big Bend and it was attracting riders like honey attracting insects. It was the “buzz” of the weekend. Everyone seemed intent on riding the route. Chris and I had pondered the issue of riders and we decided an early start was in order on Friday morning. We would miss the rider’s meeting, but we would be ahead of the pack heading south on 377 towards their rendevous with destiny ... aka “Kent Creek Ranch” road ... there is a clue in this paragraph ... which I will get to in a minute ...

Back to the festivities at hand ... there was beer to be swilled and benches to be races, so race we did ... until it was almost too late to eat. Cooper’s served up a quick sammich for dinner and we were off for a visit with the sandman in preparation for Friday’s adventure. We had agreed on a dawn start, but we had disagreed on “when” dawn was. In my ever confident voice, I convinced Chris of a time that was about 30 minutes prior to the actual dawn in Junction. I should have checked my GPS, but I didn’t. Not to worry, it would all prove to be good.

Friday, April 25th, 2008

My phone awoke me at the cusp of 5:00AM and a quick shower washed the sleep from my eyes and I was soon dressed and ready for the day.

Soon, Chris, Scott and I were at the Exxon getting fuel. While there we met Andy. She was a bubbly addition to the morning and a true asset to my impression of just how friendly the folks in Junction are. We chatted with her while getting coffee for the morning and she enlisted a promise that we return the next morning as she was working the weekend because her assistant manager was off for the weekend. Always keeping her eye on the ball, she noted that the Subway in the Exxon could provide us with a healthy and filling sandwich should we find the need for one!

While we were filling up with fuel a number of bikes were about buzzing by and stopping in for fuel. Clearly we were not the only ones up. By the time that we had finished our coffee and conversation with Andy, it was light enough to head south on 377 without the aid of our headlights.

Heading south into the gathering light, we ran the asphalt south out of Junction towards the morning. Mist crowded the creek bottoms as we rode, so the cool damp of the morning became standing waves to penetrate as we motored south. The sun crept down the face of the bluffs to our west and danced across the roadway and underbrush along the way. The warmth felt good. The day was alive with anticipation and my mind sparkled at the opportunity we had for adventure ... Texas Adventure!

Telegraph came and went, reminding me that afternoon was the best time for a photo of the Post Office there. We would have to stop on our return should we be in the right place at the right time, but for now we chase dirt.

East on 41 lead us towards our first dirt adventure. It was a CR angling southwest back towards 335. Well what do we see on the right but dirt ... whoo hooo ... here we go! Oops what is this? Mmmmm, some of our back country brethren are not so welcoming ... not to worry as Richard checked everything out.

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So ... off we go ... the road is deteriorating nicely ... very nicely ... now it is two track ... mmmmm ... here is a gate ... it is unlocked ... mmmmm ... is this the right way?

The directions said turn right ... check

The dirt road is just past a large kink in 41 ... oops

Wrong road ... maybe that explains the pissy sign ...

Back through the gate we go, using our best Indian technique to cover our tracks!

Here we are heading back to the sign. It was a cloudy morning ... cloudy morning, cloudy mind ... yea, that’s the ticket!

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Back on 41, we head east another few miles and soon find the correct road. Whoop, the name matches, so this MUST be it.

Stopping at the top of a hill for a photo op, you can see the day is overcast and gloomy, but our moods overpowered the gloom. Any day on a motorcycle is better than being at work.

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We soon encountered our first water crossing, but it was a bit anticlimactic as it was not slippery. Scott commented that the roads and the overall feel of the area suggested a setting significantly more foreign than Texas. Chris suggested New Zealand. I stayed mum.

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Motoring on, we encountered 335 and continued on our way, more confident than ever of our ability to read ... yea read ... neither Chris or I loaded the routes into our GPS. Of course, Chris has an excuse as he has a Magellan, not a Garmin. I run topo maps in my ... that is MY excuse. What the heck, we were following the print out of the directions and we were batting over 600 as we had got two our of three intersections correct. Do foul tips count?

Anyway, enough of my rambling. We hung a left onto FM 2361 and wound our way towards 336, the second sister we were going to visit. A fun little FM to nowhere, 2361 ended where the dirt started and we motored on.

We encountered a cool little camp, which I HAD to get photos of! This is exactly what I want to live in and where I want to do it. Can you imagine getting up every day to this?

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Scott thought they fit the bill as well.

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Too much fun. It was beautiful, as anyone that road route 13 can attest.

Onward, we came to another water crossing.

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Beautiful

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Then it was on to “the road” ... [insert drum roll here] ... Kent Creek Ranch Road.

We jumped up on the second sister after a short jaunt on asphalt. A quick left and we were sliding down 336 in formation. Like fighters cutting arcs through the skies, we cut tight arcs on the asphalt curves of 336, slipping southward.

Whoa, grab the binders ... the sign said Kent Creek Ranch! We were moving at this point and I had gone easily a 1/4 of a mile before being able to stop safely without be hit from behind by Chris and Scott.

A confab ensued and we decided that we needed to turn back. The sign said Kent Creek Ranch, and the gate was unlocked ... so this must be it. Discussion ensued ... [insert sounds of thoughtful silence here] ... you know the kind ... the kind where the devil on your left shoulder says something along the line of “go ahead ... this is the correct gate” and grins at you ... while the angel on your right shoulder is going “I don’t think you should do this ... this does not look correct to me” ...

Well ...

Wanta guess?!?!?

Well, I will stand on the comment that the devil made me do it!

We opened the gate and went through ...

I will say that the road was sweet, sweet enough that I didn’t take any photos ...

We zigged and zagged as we climbed ... surely this was the road ... it was FANTASTIC!

We soon passed a house on our left as we turned at a T as going straight did not appear to be an option.

Oops ...

Another gate and this one is locked by a chain and cable across it ...

Now the angel is going on a bit ... telling me that he “knew” this was not the right way and that I “should” have listened to him.

We turned about ...

It took a bit to get untangled and so I went from first to last in the reverse. By the time I had topped the hill, it was clear to me that Chris was talking with a lady at the house we had passed.

Yea, you guessed it, we were on the wrong road ... and she was irritated ... Chris did a great job of smoothing her feathers and we admitted to the honest mistake ...

A little aside here ...

Remember that I said we left at dawn:30ish? All I could think of is all the folks behind us on the same route. Uh, could we have a piece of paper to put a note on the gate ... please ... and can we please hurry!

She get a Gator and we followed here down towards the gate, unwinding the really cool road again, but at a Gator’s pace ... which is slow ...

Oh, No ... what is that ... OMG ... what do we see but a bunch of bobbing headlights ... oops, we were not quick enough ... please, can we hurry before this gets worse ... everybody turned about and followed us back to the office and they went onward to the gate. Chris, Scott and I waited and apologized profusely for the intrusion. By now, she was kinda grinning and I could imagine that this little episode would be the topic of discussion for a while about the ranch.

She followed us to the gate and Scott placed a sign out the outside of the fence to keep going south another mile to the road with the sign that said Kent Creek Ranch Road.

Duh ...

Well now we were following other tracks in any case, so we had someone else to blame should we get lost again!

I only took a couple of quick photos on Kent Creek Ranch Road because we were in a hurry ... breakfast had turned into lunch with all our rambling about and we were hungry.

Here is Chris at a water crossing where we bypassed a KLR laying on it’s side in the water.

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So ... why did Chris cross the road?

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Because it was flooded and slick with algae! We paralleled the stream until we got to the end of the combined stream road. A bit farther down the way we encountered the group we turned about on the ranch, waiting on the downed rider.

The road was fantastic and although short worth the time and adventure of finding it ... Thank you Richard, for adding it to my internal map!

Lunch was to be in Leakey and 336 lead us there quickly as we rode it like fighter plane on the prowl.

There are three or so good places to eat in Leakey and we chose Mexican food.

Three thumbs up for Mama Chole ... her food rocked!

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Note Scott is getting ready to re-accessorize with his red baron cape ... riding a bike makes you feel like a fighter pilot!

A quick stop for a splash of fuel and a photo op at the Real County Courthouse ...

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and we were soon on our way east on 337 towards Lower Sabanol Road ...

FM337 was going to be fun for me because, although I had driven it many times, I last rode 337 on my bicycle from Leakey to Vanderpool. Talk about fun, it was fun and we had a great time, but I was betting on this trip as being faster. My average speed on my bike was something like 4 ½ miles per hour, if I remember correctly.

I decided to keep my camera out for the ride on the asphalt ...

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Of course ... the road was under construction ...

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Back on the asphalt ...

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Darn it ... almost only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades and atomic bombs ...

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Chris passed me as I found it hard to ride on wet roads with one hand trying to take photos ... at least I was not chewing gum at the same time!

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Here comes Scott ...

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There goes Scott ...

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Based upon our recent experience with Kent Creek Ranch Road we had chosen to follow FM337 all the way to Vanerepool as the name on the sign did not “exactly” match the name on the list we were following, so we were a bit off route ... not to worry, I knew how to find the next road ...

One last tidbit about my bicycle ride on FM337 ... I had to speed up on my DR to match the 61 miles per hour speed that I rode down the hill from the rest top above Vanderpool on my Trek ... OMG, I must have been completely nuts to do that on 21mm tires!

Through Utopia and we caught some sweet dirt on a loop back to FM470. I pondered the map pivoting about in my head as north moved around us and I determined to run Sabanol Road backwards as it would close the loop on the missing piece. We found it and I have to say that is was fun because we kept passing all the these folks on dual sport bikes ... it was a “miracle” to quote Scott ... there were bikes everywhere!

Along the way, we encountered a deer blind fit for a king ...

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and then some Longhorns

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Then it was on to Camp Wood, where the guys wanted to stop for fuel again ... my tank was holding up well ... pfft ... we had “only” gone 200 or so miles at this point ... I didn’t need no stinking fuel!

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Camp Wood

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FM335 served up an asphalt road full of twisties that defied carrying my camera, so there is no evidence of our antics.

Telegraph appeared on the right on US377 and we stopped for a photo op.

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Junction appeared on the horizon and we soon closed the day with a few photos of town ...

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Then it was Sun Valley and a shower before walking across to

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for dinner ...

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it was good ...

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I love old neon ...

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Well that wraps up day one ...

I promise to not be so slow with day two, but I have been on the road since returning from the ride and have to leave in a few minutes to go to BMRA for a trail dedication.

The tale of the tape was 304 miles. Not bad and I met a bunch of good folks and saw some great country from the seat of my DR. A great day indeed!
 
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Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
Off on another rabbit trail, I had watched with interest the growth of Texas Adventure as an economic development tool for rural Texas. By trade, I am an architect, but by passion, I am a historical preservationist and economic stabilization goes hand in hand with historic preservation. Historic Tourism is a huge part of the Texas economy
thread jack
Did you know one of the most oldest and historic places in the local Cross Timbers area has secret riding trails? Miles and miles of them? It's still an island of wild land, an oasis in urbania, soon condemned to be paved and drowned, lost forever. You might enjoy the trails and they're close by. Might even hear the ghosts of Texas past.
/thread jack


Happy belated B-day.

Sticks.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
862
Location
Frydek, Texas
I moved it to the first weekend for several reasons.


Third, Cheapstoc is held in Junction every year and seems to be held about the same time as TAR (it was the weekend following TAR this year) and they appear to have added DS riding. So it thought it would be helpful to try and separate these 2 events by more than 1 weekend.
Richard there has been dualsporting at cheapSTOC from the beginning 5 years ago in Alpine this year was the first year that some dual sporting was not included at cheapSTOC. cheapSTOC location has been other places besides Junction but I have been lazy the last few years and just returned to Junction.
If I could have gotten off from work I would have attended TAR hopefully next year.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
2,092
Location
here and there, mostly there
I need to hurry or the 2009 version of TAR will be on top of me ...

Day two dawned with a promise of a nice day ...

We headed northwest ... towards Roosevelt ...

We stopped at the church to get our bearings

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and headed west on a beautiful little road

and came to a Y in the road ... and lost our bearings ... we were not alone ... others chose that direction ...

We crossed and recrossed some water crossings ...

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We checked out a few dead ends and finally admitted defeat and took the FM paralleling I10 back to Roosevelt so as not to pass a group of campers the fourth time.

Back on track we found our mistake was at the first Y and we headed out again. The road was absolutely great.

We spied another deer blind

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and wondered on ...

We stopped in Cleo for a couple of photos ...

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Then it is off toward Menard.
 
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