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B.U.T.T. Adventure - Nov 2009

Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Here it is in all its glory, the Full Monty B.U.T.T. Report! Welcome to the first organized dual sport ride and report based in Texas' Big Bend Ranch STATE Park (BBRSP) since opening miles of dual track to motorcycles!

The Big Ultimate Terlingua Tour (B.U.T.T.) was a smashing good time thanks to riders from far away as Alaska, Canada, and Nebraska who ventured to explore Texas' state park dual track recently opened to motorcycles. We had a huge range of riders, from well seasoned Colorado pass endurance aces to brand new NOOBs who just got their first motorcycle. Everyone got along famously and pitched in to help get over some humps, pull rail spikes from tires, and patch up the carnage!

A big thanks due to Texas parks department for opening up its miles of dual track for exploration by dual sport. We appreciate the chance to explore some of Texas' finest scenery while enjoying our passion for motorcycles!

Special thanks to Teeds for all of the area info he gave us, and for working with BBRSP to lay the ground work. Teeds, we need to ride BBRSP sometime!

So clinch up those BUTT cheeks and get ready for one great ride!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsJ3G9lgQ6s

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About Big Bend Ranch State Park http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/big_bend_ranch/

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Park headquarters, about 45 mins in on gravel road.

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Established in 1988, BBRSP has about 700 miles of old "ranch and mining" roads, with about 50 miles open to public use. However, a recent public use plan calls for eventual opening of about 153 miles of road, much of it unmaintained. Currently many miles are open, and more will come available in the future. Not all roads shown on maps are developed right now so ask at the park about access.

Here is a link to the latest newsletter pdf that has a large map on it:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_p4507_1437_11_09.pdf

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The main road into the park is well graded gravel. Travel time into the park headquarters and bunk house is about an hour from 170.
Other roads include 2 WD, 4 WD, and 4WD unmaintained. A 600cc dual sport or smaller is best for 4WD unmaintained, a big 1200 GS or twin cannot get in and out of some of these roads and a big DS would be very hard to handle.

Here is an example of a map with some loops and a legend with the road types.


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http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

Tips for riding in BBRSP:
- Street legal dual sports with DOT approved tires. Ride only on designated roads.
- 600cc or smaller singles are best, twin cyl bikes will limit what you can ride safely.
- Quite pipes, other users include hikers and horses.
- Haul in gas, no fuel is available. A large tank is recommended but not needed.
- Expect to ride about 70 miles a day, maybe 20 on gravel road and the rest on more demanding roads. It will wear you out!
- Help is far away, and roads very remote. Ride with at least one buddy, and bring all needed spares/food/water.
- Full gear is needed, cactus, spines, snakes, rocks are ready to bust you up if your not careful and protected.
- Primitive camp or reserve a bunk in the bunk house, great breakfast, sack lunch, and dinners available.
- When you are done, thank the park rangers for the great time you had!


The bunk house! We had great meals for reasonable price, and the staff are very helpful. Morning coffee is excellent, and helps get you off to a great start.

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The bunk house beds are comfy and warm, but bring some ear plugs cause the snorin is roarin! Dudes on one side, and ladies on other side of the bunk house.

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The bunk house offers western outfitted leather couches to kick back on and read a good book or just snooze after a hard day's ride. Recently they remodeled the bunk house, opening it up and putting in nice furniture and dining tables.

Bunk House Before:

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Bunk House After:

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Run up for a fine dinner cooked with lots of love! When they ring the dinner bell be ready for a stampede!

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Ahhhhh, the money shot.....er food shot, ya know.

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Superman digs in! The "Crazy Canadian" the life of the party! Hey where's that lampshade....oh he's got it on!

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It dont get better than this! Helps fight off the chill of a cold winter night.
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They even have wifi for those of you that cant bear to "unplug" for a while!


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A big crew of bikes and riders showed up from as far away as Alaska and Canada, as well as Kansas and Texas.

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http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

The attack of the red beanies begins! The spirt of 3 Muchachos TAT Ride lives on, as we get our flair goin!

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So enough teasers are you ready to ride?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhULoJv66pY&feature=player_embedded

Riding Impressions of BBRSP


- Riding difficulty is about a 7 of 10, making it ideal for lots of riders. Much of the dual track is loose broken rock, but not huge baby-head size. This was a great mix of being challenging but not so hard and technical that its unridable. Lots of the dual track was flowing up and down hills, and down into river beds, or river crossings. The river beds and crossings added some sandy sections but they were not long. Here and there you encounter a small gully in the dual track that might require some help up, but overall the magical "mix" of difficulty was just right to keep it interesting and fun. HOWEVER: A big 1200 GS BMW or dual sport larger than a 600/650 single will have a lot of difficulty on the 4WD and unmaintained dual track. Overall, a small DS bike is the best bet, allowing you to sample all the terrain.

- The graded gravel roads let you pick up a bit of speed as you go from one end of the park to another, to hook up with the dual track. Most of the 2WD and 4WD dual track is well marked, but the unmaintained is a bit harder to spot. Not all the dual track is easy to find, at one point the unmaintained dual track dumped into a river bed. Our maps and GPS showed the dual track picking up at some point close by, but we could not find the entrance from the river bed. So, since you must only ride on designated dual track, we new that backtracking was the only way out.....adding a couple hours to our adventure!

- BBRSP throws in some loose rocky climbs, with the down hill right after it, making you pay attention and ride the bike with your weight back and a loose, but controlled grip on the bars. These climbs would vary in how long they are, but flowed with the scenery. You can see your buddies up a head cresting these little hills, really making you feel like your sharing this with everyone.


- The park can wear you out each day! We could ride for 4 hours in the morning, come back to the Bunk House and take a short break, then go out and ride a second round. Because the terrain has lots of variation, and cactus and nasty looking spiked plants, it keeps you on your toes. You will take a fair amount of breaks, so you dont cover a lot of miles, but they are all fun miles! We did not run out of trails in three days of riding, tho some of the loops are a bit small. With plans to open even more dual track, BBRSP should offer plenty of fresh riding.

- The most enjoyable part of BBRSP was how the most difficult unmaintained sections almost fade away from the terrain. Your riding on barely distinguishable dual track with plants growing up right in the middle. You get the true sense of exploration because your isolated, remote, and know that no one has traversed this trail in many, many, years. Its like someone sealed it away in a time machine just for you to ride and enjoy. One of these remote dual tracks fooled us.......we rode up a hill, expecting it to go down the other side....but no! You had to slam on the brakes because the dual track ends and a huge canyon jumps out at you! Only a small pad about 30X30 existed for the bikes. We really felt like we discovered a grand canyon in the back yard.

- The bunk house provides a great meeting place to shower, relax, work on bikes, enjoy a hot meal, and then a bon fire at night. You can even just chill alone in a rocking chair on the porch, and ponder the days adventure you had. Several times I needed to just sit down and really soak in what an incredible time we were having. The staff at the bunk house are very helpful and do a great job. You really feel like its your home. No one ever called me "Sir" before, and hey it feels good! Even primitive camping would be lots of fun if you dont mind roughing it a bit more. Some of the camp spots are very remote so you will really have a lot of peace and quite if you want it.


http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

So, on to more riding! Frostbit from Alaska rocks it on the big Tiger!

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Always keep your eyes out for these and watch where you put a foot down when takin a pee!

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(Thx CGWT!)

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Of course you come for the incredible views and BBRSP has plenty to offer!

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(Thx CGWT!)

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And dont run into these! A whole pack of these mule deer were right in front of me and bounded up the hillside.

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Just up the road from BBRSP is Pinto Canyon Rd, with about 20 miles of dirt, and another 35 miles up to Marfa. A great little ride tho our first night meeting up in Marfa was down in the 30's! Electric vest was in order on the ride to Marfa. Its a great little side trip to check out Marfa.

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Landman650r rockin it on Pinto Canyon Road!

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Marfa has some great old buildings and a funky feel to it, cause of all the artists that live there. On the way up to Marfa, Landman swore he saw some flying object going along side us.....fact or fiction, sounds like aliens!

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Back at BBRSP its time to hit the dirt again! And by the way, have a nice day!

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(Thx CGWT!)

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http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

At the top of Casa Piedra Rd. we try to find the entrance to Cienega Mountains dual tracks, which are on the map.....but guess what, later we find out the map is brand new and access is not yet developed, however these tracks should open shortly. In the mean time we wander into a dead end, and thinking a gate lies accross some rail road tracks....we head up them but the "Crazy Canadian" picks up a rail spike in the tire...ouch!

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Hey, who you lookin at? Why did the Canadian get the spike and not us "Texans"???

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Some of the B.U.T.T. crew ventured farther out to catch some local flavor of the area.
(Thanks for these pics CGWT!)


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Time to ride again, more miles!

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(Thx CGWT!)

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(Thx CGWT!)

The three Musketeers!

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Here is some dual track that you can hardly see, yes this is a road! It was easier once you started up but from the bottom you cant tell whats there!

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Back at the bunk house we settle in for some evening fun, and a big bon fire each night! A little Knob Creek helps too!

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Every morning the embers of the night before simmered on, to be revived again at night!

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http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

More great pics from MetalBender!

Yeah, MetalBender!

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Landman650r in his Nacho Libre getting ready to rumble!

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What a sweet rig the "Crazy Canadian" has: stick shift, 50 mpg, and air conditioning! Can you tell he's not from Texas? He was on his way to ride in South America, but last minute his deal went south...so he hooked up with us on the B.U.T.T. ride and we all had a blast!


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Fookin Eh!

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Everyday a little work on the bikes kept us going, and everyone helped out our noob IKraig who got his KLR the night before the ride in Marfa! We all admired his spirit, jumping in with both feet! Some carnage ensued, but everyone pitched in to keep him rolling!

BEFORE

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AFTER!

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Ah, the great KLR special tool.....the lug wrench!

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Back to the dirt for some more great riding!

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Later in the day we do a long, rocky, uphill climb that goes over a hill....well it looks like a hill but really just a 30X30 foot top, with thousands of feet drop on the other side! With just a little space for the bikes we enjoy the spectacular canyon in front of us. A red tail hawk swoops by us, checkin out who is in his territory!

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A beautiful cool morning greets us, and a chance to catch the great light on the bikes!

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An awesome little overlook easy to pass up!

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http://www.ridedualsport.com/forum/

Time to but the last "T" in B.U.T.T. as we head out to ride the incredible 170 and grab a bite at Cosmic Cowgirl!

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Mission Accomplished, the B.U.T.T. adventure on the pink wall of fame!

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Till next time!

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Last edited:
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Very cool. That's my old Tiger! Hope it did Tracy well. Great pics.


Staton
Hi, Tracy did great on that bike! He handled down some steep loose rocky downhills with a lot of skill! He also knew when to turn around when gullies and ditches got introduced to the Tiger. The Tiger really rails on the fire roads. They are heading up to New Mexico right now to continue their trip.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
So the new area west of Casa Piedra is inaccessible at this time?
Glad you guys had fun:thumb:
How did you like Pinto Canyon Rd.? Any water in the arroyos?

(BTW, can't seem to load the entirety of your post on RDS)
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
So the new area west of Casa Piedra is inaccessible at this time?
Hi, no that area is not yet accessible. They have a new map which shows two parking entrances, and dual track, but its not opened up yet. We looked for the entrances but could not find them, got into a dead end at rail tracks. Later the rangers told us its on the map, but not yet developed and open.
Glad you guys had fun:thumb:
How did you like Pinto Canyon Rd.? Any water in the arroyos?
Yes, Pinto Canyon was great, very beautiful. The arroyos looked dry, but suprised to see foliage turning color. On the way back to Marfa (our 1st night destination) the ride was surreal as it darkened and got colder and colder. Landman650r swears he saw some flying object (large bird or owl) he could not identify!

(BTW, can't seem to load the entirety of your post on RDS)
Sorry, I hope the file sizes are not too big! Its picture heavy! Thanks for checking it out, let us know if you have continuing problem....
Thanks!
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
889
Location
Westfield, Texas
Welcome to the first organized dual sport ride and report based in Texas' Big Bend Ranch STATE Park (BBRSP)!
Close but no cigar! Sorry, but just had to call you on that. Link to our 8/18/2006 ride from Easy's in Pandale to Terlingua Ranch to BBRSP bunkhouse ( 2 nights) via BBNP & back to Easy's 1100 miles in 4 days.

Since then the LTR group has stayed there twice & passed by several times.

Great ride report docDR, they have made several upgrades to the bunkhouse.

.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Welcome to the first organized dual sport ride and report based in Texas' Big Bend Ranch STATE Park (BBRSP) since newly opening miles of dual track to motorcycles.

Like that better? ;-)
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Mike's B.U.T.T. in Mexico!

Our intrepid traveler, Mike carries the B.U.T.T. banner to Mexico on his way to South America! Dude, was and honor and pleasure to meet you .....and btw thanks for the cold beers too! Sounds like your havin a rockin time hangin out with some hardcore baja racers down there. We are all thinking of you, ride save and have an adventure of a life time! Just think you could be up to your neck in snow in Canada, instead your riding and drinking beers on the beach!
Thanks for the most excellent pics.


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Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Full Monty B.U.T.T. Report - Pic Heavy!

Here is the "full Monty" Big Ultimate Terlingua Tour (B.U.T.T.) report, enjoy! Hope some of you can make the trek to Big Bend Ranch State Park, and please thank the staff for the Tx Parks Dept making the decision to grant access to dual sports!
 
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