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2009 Texas Adventure Ride Report

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Hey Lloyd,
Good to meet you at the Leakey Texaco on our way home.
Hope you had a good trip.
Walt
 
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Thanks to all who attended this year. It is truly my honor to be able to host TAR each year and I greatly appreciate the support of the dual sport community.

Now, time for my ride report.

I always enjoy taking Thursday and riding to Junction, hitting some great dual sport routes along the way. Following Rusty's lead, I posted up an invitation to anyone who wanted to join me Thursday morning for a fun ride. 5 of us kicked our stands up at 9:15 and rolled west.

Rich: "Hey guys, what do you think about leaving at 9:15?"

Dirtbike Dave and Primo: "What? Are you off your meds again Rich?"
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Let's ask Jerry. Rich: "What do you think about a 9:15 departure, Jammin J?"
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So, 9:15 it was. The crew assembled and ready to ride.
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We had arranged to meet Rusty and his crew at Whittington's Jerky in Johnson City at 10:00 a.m. While the day was sunny and pleasantly cool, the wind was blowing like there was no tomorrow. If you haven't ridden in high winds it is an "interesting" experience. This was my first time and I discovered that there really is nothing like trying to ride in a straight line when the wind is blowing you every which way. I'd reach an open area along the road and a gust of wind would hit the bike and it would instantly move a foot or more to the side. I'd quickly correct the situation and then instantly look in my review mirror so I could see 4 bikes nearly simultaneously get hit by and correct from the same wind blast. Like I said, it was interesting. The wind caused Rusty's group to be a little bit late for our rendezvous.

Our designated link up spot in Johnson City. A man ought to have a good supply of jerky when departing on an adventure.
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Rusty and crew arrive
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Our route from here consisted of slab, slab, and more slab. Not much of an adventure for the likes of us. Our first real destination spot of the day short visit to Stonehenge II in Hunt, TX. Scientists have puzzled for years as to why Stonehenge was built, for what purpose. A shrine perhaps? Or a beacon for beings from other planets?

Actually, no. We discovered the real answer today. The stones are aligned just so perfectly for motorcycle parking. Certainly they must have been custom made for this purpose.
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Big A: "Hey Rick, do you really think Stonehenge was built for motorcycles?"
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Rick:
"Is my helmet yellow? I'm sure it was built for that purpose. I'd bet my TransLap on it."

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Big A: "Yeah, you're probably right. I think I'll stick my hand in my pocket."
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After solving the mystery of Stonehenge we continued west in search of the first dirt of the day - the fun and rocky Bullhead Rd.
 
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Thanks for all your effort Richard and Connie.
I really enjoyed the ride out to TAR with the group.

Here are some of my favorite shots.

This is Richard going deep (by my standards) on Cedar Creek Road.
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Here is a short video of one of the Cedar Creek Rd water crossings.
Click on the video to make it play.

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Here are some shots from Kent Creek Road on route "Lucky 13".
This is Evans Spring on Kent Creek Rd.

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This is just down stream of Evans spring on Kent creek Rd.
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Our fearless leader.
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Cool house on Kimble East

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Mike with his DR-Z
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Lori on the hot KTM.
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James on the new KLR
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Walt resting and enjoying the view.
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Lori and Walt resting and soaking up the wide open space.
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Next time I will try to get more people into the scenery I'm shooting.

Great times!
Happy trails.
 

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What's with all these pictures of people riding on the slimy middle part of the concrete water crossings instead of the tire tracks? I guess that is just because the photographer knows he might get a good action shot?
 
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I was ready for some rooster-tail action, but luckily everyone made it across without any unplanned excitement. :clap:

What's with all these pictures of people riding on the slimy middle part of the concrete water crossings instead of the tire tracks? I guess that is just because the photographer knows he might get a good action shot?
 
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What's with all these pictures of people riding on the slimy middle part of the concrete water crossings instead of the tire tracks? I guess that is just because the photographer knows he might get a good action shot?

That's what I was thinking.

Richard, you crack me up.:rofl:

Blind Yak, cool movie, did you take that with a camera on movie mode? I dont remember you with a video.
 

Tourmeister

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:tab The tire tracks are not always the best traction on the crossings. We did one that we walked first. The center had much better grip than the tire tracks. While there may be more algae in the center, I think perhaps the concrete might be rougher since it does not get the tires on it, while the concrete on the tracks get worn smooth. So it really depends on the particular crossing I think. We did do another where the center was super slick. Pink Lloyd barely got into the edge of the center and he went down in a heart beat...
 
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2009 Texas Adventure Ride Report - Part Uno

Ok folks I'm going to try posting my snaps from Smugmug for those that can't view the Facebook gallery. I wasn't brave enough to lug my DSLR around, so they are all just snapshots. I'll keep it to 20 or so at a time :doh: Again, a big thanks to Richard and Connie for setting it up, Rusty and Scott, and all the other generous TWTers for help with routing, my flat tire, and everything else. :)

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The Before Picture. Clean bike and clean gear. Owned the bike for 1.5 weeks and not sure if it's ever been off the pavement.

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Meeting at the 'Bana on 1431 and 183 for the ride to Junction. Tommi (Swedish sp? ;-)) on the F800GS, Rusty on the Transalp, and Gareth on the VStrom. It was one of the windiest rides I've ever done.

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Where the heck are we now?

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Trying to regain our strength in Marble Falls. It was a struggle to stay on the road. On the way into Marble Falls one of those blue recycling bins was dancing around in a yard by the side of the road. It was blowing HARD.

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The flags and the haze tell the tale. I'm thinking 35 - 40 sustained with gusts well over that.

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Meeting Richard's group in Johnson City. Those guys were fast :) You can see Tom in there with his hand on his XR. A huge thanks to Richard (far left) for making all of this possible!

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The gang at the meetup.

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Dairy Queen in Kerrville with bikes outside.

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Biker Gang in Kerville.

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Near Hunt, TX. A very scenic ride by the river.

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Finally DIRT! Ah shucks... just the parking lot. But I did a few laps just the same.

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Stonehenge! Land of the Little People! In this case, big people (Tom) and little Stonehenge, outside Hunt. Who knew Stonehenge was actually in Texas?

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Rusty in his hunters orange, to make sure the Celts don't mistake him for the enemy.

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Tommi and Gareth at the rally point for Richard's group, but I think they were way ahead of us... Very ancy for dirt by now, the wind was kicking my butt. My new DS helmet did not perform well with the face shield on in the wind.

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DR is still clean but eyeing the degrading road surface hungrily.

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The county was nice enough to put up a big berm to use as a bathroom for us. This is a shot from behind the berm. Yes I was done doing my business.

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Finally we meet dirt! Tommi trying to intimidate a cattleguard with his F800GS. I think this was Bullhead Road, but I could be very wrong. I can check GPS tracks for the ride in and confirm, but my GPS promptly quit working the next day. GRRRRR.

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Gareth breaking in the BattleStrom followed by Tom on his XR. I kept hoping for somebody to catch a little air off of this cattleguard for me, but no luck :)

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The Strom takes a dirt nap! Our first casualty. Braking on gravel can be interesting. Gareth went by me fully locked up (wow that got my attention) and got 'er "stopped" about an inch behind the F800GS.

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Hmm, maybe we should quit BS'ing and pick 'er up? :) No damage to the Strom, its armor does the trick.
 
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2009 Texas Adventure Ride Report - Part Dos

More snaps... captions were for a slightly different audience the night after TAR so they may sound a little funny. :)

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Still too darned clean.

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More cool tarmac by a river. Right before Rusty said "Can you guys make it to Junction? It's about 70 more miles." Tom and I do the math and the answer is a NO and a MAYBE. (!!). That's an interesting feeling after spending the last few years on a KLR and NEVER running out of gas :). Turns out I made it after about 15 miles on reserve and Tom made it after taking on some auxillary fuel he had carried with him (smart guy). First order of business before another long ride is to buy a bigger gas tank. Thanks for leading the ride out Rusty!

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Finally got to Junction and what do I see? A classic KLRista innovation.

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Tommi's F800GS looks like some kind of Star Wars Imperial Destroyer.

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The parking lot starting to fill up.

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Loads of bikes. My hotel was just across the street, a very easy... er... stagger from the festivities.

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My first day's ride was Ride #3, "Bump Gate University", about 200 miles, with much of it on dirt and gravel roads. Poor Scott (Ron Paul sticker... must be a good guy :)) got stuck with about 15 of us, which is probably too many but we did OK considering. The guy in the foreground is a motocrosser and Baja racer, and I kept an eye on him for tips on how to ride. Bump gates are interesting.

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Smoke/hydration/head break. I'm particularly embarrassed to say that I don't remember the name of the guy on the F650 Dakar, even though he told me about 5 times and I BS'ed with him over beers quite a bit. Maybe it was the beer... yeah...

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DR getting into it's element. Still pretty clean.

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Gareth breaking in the BattleStrom. Cornering at any kind of speed on this surface can be interesting. I have a video of Ken on this corner that I'll see if I can get posted... he blasts through it like nothing.

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The posse heading out. There's Kim on his dirty KLR with street tires! Why is my DR so clean compared to his KLR...?

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Lunch in Rocksprings, TX. That's Ken's DR with the big white tank. I have tank envy. Ken was the sole Japanese TWTexan on the ride and I was pleased to make his acquaintance. I also watched him like a hawk because he is a great rider. A very generous guy with his help (opening gates, changing tires) and his beer. :)

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Ken's mo-chine. I want the tank and the Pelican case. But not the Supertrapp noise maker. :)

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The DR getting happily dirty on White Mountain Road. I was waiting for the back half of the group after a bump gate incident that looked like it could have been nasty. I tried to tell the lead group to no avail, so I eventually went back to see what happened.

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Pretty DR.

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Gareth piloting the damaged Battlestrom down White Mountain Road with Kim providing cover. No easy task riding a Strom with no peg and no shifter on the left side in this terrain... very loose off camber downhill corners, slippery water crossings, etc. But Gareth made it down and out. This was a prematurely closed bump gate casualty.

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Hanging at the "Meth Lab" while we assess Strom damage. Again, I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember names that were in my head as recently as last night before the beer started to flow.

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The stone structures from the mid-to-late 1800s often look just fine, but the (probably much younger) wooden structures decay rapidly.

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Still assessing Strom options. We met about three trucks (two with trailers) coming up this single lane road while we were going down. It definitely gets your attention.

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The F650 Dakar dude was smoking a pipe, classic. I'm so embarrassed I don't remember his name... help me out. :giveup:
 
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2009 Texas Adventure Ride Report - Part Tres

This should be called snapshot spamming...

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The "Meth Lab" on White Mountain Road.

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Camp Wood, TX I believe. An old Ranger camp and one of the things that we got to hear a LOT about from a gypsy HD rider and amateur historian while eating lunch in Leakey the next day.

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Ken and Scott refueling. Scott rides his old KLR like he STOLE it. Both of these guys are FAST and very generous with their time and knowledge. Thanks for the front tire Scott!

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Ken and I. I need to get him and his family out to Austin sometime, he's a really nice guy.

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Day Two, riding Route 13 with Tom on his XR and Jeff leading us on his Husky. Thank goodness... two good guys with even less range than I! Hopefully I can hook up with Tom again as he is an Austin local.

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A stop on Bull Mountain Road off of RR2631 I believe. The water crossing could be slickery snot as Tom was to discover right at the end of the day. I was watching him in my mirror and he went behind a small hill just as he got to the end of the crossing. I thought he'd made it and started to pull away, just as a big spray of water rose above the small hill he went behind... No damage but a pretty hard fall.

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Tom hitting a fun little water crossing on Hackberry Road, or was this Kent Creek?. We played on this one for awhile. Kent Creek was great fun, the roughest ride I did while in Junction. Part of it is along a rocky creek bottom and the DR loved it.

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The Feed Lot Cafe in Leakey TX, recently featured in Texas Monthly's "40 Best Small Town Cafe's". Darned good catfish po'boy and friendly people. An unbelievable parade of Harley's, cruisers, vintage 1930's Model A's, classic bikes, and of course, Dual Sports. This is where we also received a very detailed local history lesson, complete with tales of Comanches, Rangers, and Buffalo hunters. A person could really get lost in all the history in this part of the country.

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The last (we thought) dirt of TAR 2009. Jeff and Tom after a fun run down Hackberry Road. I was in front at that point and got to scare off all the wild looking Axis Deer. Thanks Jeff for leading the ride and Tom for coming along!

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Happy and Tired.

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I thought the ride home was going to be another slab fest in the wind but Tom had other ideas. He mapped out a great finale for the weekend, starting with a good helping of dirt and gravel roads through some cool country, and ending up in Fredericksburg after by far the most fun tarmac I've ever been on. We put the hurtin on our chicken strips, knobbies and all. DirtBike Dave, Tom, Kim, and Primate.

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Happy and Dirty DR. I didn't think that mud puddle was that deep. Honest.

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Kim, Primate, DirtBikeDave, and Tom. The TWT veteran KLR guys were talking in Junction about how they didn't really want to go over 70 on the way home. I'm not sure what they meant, because they never dropped _below_ 70, especially on the dirt. Those guys were off the front every time! Great ride home. Thanks a bunch guys!

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Catching our breath at the beginning of Cypress Mill Road off of 281 for the final fun slab on the way home. Blowing like a sonofagun out. Just look at that tree will ya?

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Keeping the bike from blowing over. You'd think Suzuki would know how to build a kickstand by now.

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The After Picture and Final Shot of TAR 2009. The DR has met the enemy, and had a great time!
 
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We had a great time this year. Nice job, Richard and crew.

We arrived early enough Thursday to do Kimball East (11), then Triple Dirt (15) on Friday (more dirt needed), Dang that's a big water crossing (5) on Saturday, and finally Kimball east backwards Sunday AM. Our knobbies got a better workout this year and ride 5 has got to be the best thing down there if you're a dirt lover (we did chop off the middle pavement to Llano and found some more connecting dirt to catch the return loop). Nice dirt on several other rides but too much pavement in between for us. "Dang that's a big water crossing" lived up to its name even in the drought conditions down there. We crossed several dry river crossings on the way so I didn't know what to expect once we got to the big 'un. It still was big, but not over a foot deep and the slickest thing this 66 year old has been on. Owl snot has high traction compared to the route I picked across. I didn't make it 20 yards before going horizonal. No way I could get the bike to hold still for a re-mount, so I (humbly) walked it across. Even then, I thought I was going back down several times. Great fun! Everything I had got wet. My riding bud made it across using his long legs as outriggers. Mine don't go down far enough for that.

Here's just a few pics. Didn't get the camera out as much this time around. We did manage to get in 542 miles of maximum dirt/gravel/sand roads (prolly 65-70% non-pavement) so our grins were wide on the trip back home.

Bart at Sunday AM warm up stop.
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Dry river crossing on the way to the big one across James River.
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Fun road (ride 11).
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Easy crossing, fine road.
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Beautiful country
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Forgot the regular camera...so it's cell phone pics...

Mr. Longhorn came over to make sure we weren't peeing in his pasture
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He wouldn't let me touch his horns...These cell phone cameras give an odd perspective sometimes.
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Yeah we were all up early.
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Some really gnarly trees out there
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This road was high speed dirt.
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See what I mean?
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On the way out Thursday. Saving this one for a surprise day trip with the better half. Texas Hills Vineyards.
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These guys chased me for about 250 yards along side the fence at a pretty good clip. Didn't think they could run that fast. They seemed a little ticked off...
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Along Yeager Creek Road
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This is a very fun paved back road. It's only about a 15 minute detour and it cuts out a highway section. Fine by me. Thursday was all about getting there and I only worked in this one back road on the way out.
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Pretty meager photos but it's something! I know there are medium format photos out there somewhere! Tom(?) once you get the negatives processed I'd be interested in purchasing some prints.

Awesome time, 800 miles on the little 250cc KLX. I feel OK except for a weird cough goin' on. Anyone else who stayed at the Rodeway Inn get a little sick? I blame it on the air conditioners...not all that dust on Saturday...
 
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Dang Justin, those are pretty good for cell phone pics.

Woodrose is also a darned good winery in the Stonewall area if you're interested as well.
 

WoodButcher

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That was John (with Dave as a packmule) with the real camera. I didn't get their last names though. Just two rooms down from me at the La Vista. From Houston. They stayed and rode on Sunday too. Not sure when they were heading home.
 

WoodButcher

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Okay, just a teaser before I write up something better.

This is what it is all about
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Praying to the bump gate gods? Or waiting to scare the next group of riders?
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God's creatures, great and small (background), and I'm not zoomed it. I'm that close and could have gotten closer, but his horns wouldn't have fit in the picture.
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This was great. A mesquite tree, in spring, on a hot day.
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Continuing...

A short break prior to hitting the dirt gave us time to let some air out of our tires - always a good idea for increasing traction off-pavement.
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The highway department was doing a bit of work and had this giant saw blade digging a trench in the limestone. It was a big, impressive piece of machinery that generated more dust than all 5 of us generated all day long.
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Bullhead Road is just great fun. It starts off on the north end on top of a mesa, then drops down into a valley for several miles. Crisscrossing a dry creek bed multiple times, the road surface is mostly rock and limestone.
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There has been so little rain during the last 18 months that many of the low water crossings were dry. There was a dam on this creek so it was holding water still.
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Bullhead Rd eventually dumped us onto RR335 - one of the 3 twisted sisters. I couldn't resist stopping a short distance later for a shot of the roadside camel. I wouldn't walk a mile for a Camel, but I would take the time to stop and photograph one.
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Now it's time for the water photos. Let me explain - one of the most fun and scenic dirt roads in Texas was on our itinerary and it just happens to have a whole bunch of water crossings on it. Really wide crossings made of baby-head size rocks. Whenever I ride this road I can't help taking pics of the riders at the water crossings because the pics always come out pretty good. Today was no different and here's what I got.
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more to follow...
 
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Big THANK YOU to Richard, Connie and the crew for another great event
:clap::clap::clap:

I was busy getting down and dirty to take many pictures but here are three that sums up my TAR

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Great ride ,Great people, Until next time........................:clap:

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continuing...

This mysterious old wood house on Cedar Creek Rd is pretty interesting. It is in a great location if you want an out-in-the-sticks location with great scenery. For the first time I went inside to check it out and there was all sorts of Spanish written all over the walls. Stuff like dates, Mexican states, last names, things like that. I don't know why it's there, it just added to the mystery of this place.

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Jammin Jerry checking out the yard of that old house.
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Once we had fully enjoyed Cedar Creek and White Mountain Roads we headed to Junction. I had to go to work and help Mrs. Connie with TAR check-in. Here's some photos I snapped during the afternoon/evening.

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Ride-On sponsored TAR again this year. Dirtbike Dave handled the installation duties.

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Nothing like a good cigar after a full day of riding. Tricepilot exhibits fine technique and the proper cigar smoking attitude.
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Southwest Austin
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David
Last Name
S
.......
Blind Yak, cool movie, did you take that with a camera on movie mode? I dont remember you with a video.

Yep, I shot the movie with my digital camera.
The movies are a little different from the pics and add a little something for me, especially when the sound track catches a little giggle or the excitement of the moment. I really wish I had my video going on my RAM mount when chasing you and dirt bike Dave. That would have been awesome. I hope I get to ride with you guys again sometime.
 

Rick M

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
806
Reaction score
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Location
Belton,Tx
First Name
Rick
Last Name
Miller
You Guys are killing me and my HONDA TRANSLAP XL 600V TURBO DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM SUPERCHARGED FUEL EJACULATED DANG MOTORCYCLE
RICK M :giveup::clap::lol2::rofl:
Many thanks to Richard and the crew for a great 2009 TAR ,I had a blast and will look forward to next year .
Rick M
 
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