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2008 TAR Ride Report

WoodButcher

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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:
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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.
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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:
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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.
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And here is John's odometer when we loaded it on the trailer saturday evening, notice the 7's.
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Ah, good weekend riding and boy that Transalp has a comfortable seat.
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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...
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: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.

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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!!
 

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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
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"I think I can make out the road numbers if I squint reallll hard..."
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Richard saying something about a county road, locked gate, deputy Sheriff, Mrs. Emma, alternate route... :yawn:
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That's Darren on the far right, apparently none the worse for the wear from yesterday's lowside and ready to ride!
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"So what you're gonna wanna do is...."
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: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.
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Chuck
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DirtbikeDave and Uncle
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: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
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Steve and Keith
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One of the lighter weight varieties of bump gates out here
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Our break spot
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: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
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Joe takes off so I can ride sweep, which I like despite the dust
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: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.
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We ate here... much less crowded
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My breakfast time is most people's lunchtime... witness the breakfast of champions!! :eat:
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(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:
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: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:]
 
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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:
 

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Well... It would be more fun if I had a bike like John's :trust:
 
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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...
 

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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.
 
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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
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Chuck
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Steve
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Keith
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and Joe
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: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 ;-)
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: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:
IMG_3770.JPG


It's like riding a BIG swooping roller coaster will long climbs and drops, with great views
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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 ;-)
IMG_3772.JPG


: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:
IMG_3773.JPG


: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.
IMG_3774.JPG


: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
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Joe gives chase
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Looking North up the river valley
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Hwy674.jpg


Keith tries to figure out what he did with his other glove :lol2:
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: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:
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If only I had thought to get out a few zip ties after taking this shot... :doh:
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: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:

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: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
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: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...
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The KLR... big as ever...
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I could just strap him to the fender for the ride back... :ponder:
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: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!!
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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:
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: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:
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The bike belongs to Cathy(?)
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: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...]
 
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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:
 
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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!
 
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<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

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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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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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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.
 
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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.
 
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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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