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Big Bend II

Joined
Feb 5, 2005
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here and there, mostly there
And so it starts ... with an email from Mike ...

From: Mike Green
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 6:53 AM
To: teeds
Subject: re:Ride report

Yoh Tony

Hows it going !!
How was the weekend
mike
From: "Tony Eeds"
To: "'Mike Green'"
Subject: RE: Ride report
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 07:07:27 -0500

The weekend ... Mmmmmm

Friday - Cool and dusty
Saturday - Damp, muddy, cold, icy, but no dust.
From: Mike Green
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 7:12 AM
To: teeds
Subject: RE: Ride report

Nice

A man of few words on a Monday morning
See "after the ride" ... Big Bend II
More soon, lots of photos, well not actually lots, but amazing ones for sure.

I continue the tradition of breaking something ...

Not me, not my bike, but my Canon G6 ... it is full of sand ... may it rest in peace.
 
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We continued ... Mike must not have many problem planes ... ;-)

From: Mike Green
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 7:31 AM
To: teeds
Subject: RE: Ride report

Shoot I want to know how the Bike was !!

Mike
The DR? Hee Hee ...

Very good actually, I am much less tired on it and frustration is all but gone ...

The suspension basically sucks, but other than that I like the bike.

I parked my bike next to Steve's XR and it is at least 3 inches lower. I need to drag both out and take a photo.

I am very happy with the decision.

Later in the week, when it warms up, I'll bring it over. I need some help setting the sag anyway.
 
Joined
May 13, 2004
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Leander, Tx
The suspension basically sucks, but other than that I like the bike.
:lol2: "Basically"? Don't say I didn't warn you...

I parked my bike next to Steve's XR and it is at least 3 inches lower. I need to drag both out and take a photo.
My XRL was almost 4" taller than my DR. Needless to say, the skidplate gets a workout, and I don't even ride half as agressively as I used to, or on as difficult of trails...

I hear that with revalving and new springs the suspension will actually work pretty well, but I don't have that kind of money... I collapsed my springs to stiffer rates (went a little too far on the rear :doh:), and it did help immensely, now if I could just do something about the damping :argh:.
 
Joined
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Odessa
I promise to never...ever comment about the weather again...:giveup: It snowed in Odessa and I don't think that's ever happened in April...:eek2:
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
317
Location
Terlingua
Hey! It was great seeing all you guys again. Thanks for taking the time to come out and visit us. It should go without saying, but you guys are always welcome at the ranch.

Randy
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
889
Location
Westfield, Texas
The base of operations was the Chisos Mining Motel in Study Butte for Teeds, XR650Rocketman, Skinny & me (mcrider)

Getting ready to ride Friday,




Friday was a good ride exploring in areas I have not been & then lunch at the Bad Rabbet. After lunch we made a trip to Cedar Springs Ranch to visit with Randy (Stromboy), his daughter & his brother, Rod.

View from the weather station hill above Cedar Springs Ranch.



We did 136 miles Friday.

Saturday we got up to a cold light rain. After waiting until 10:00 for it to stop raining, all but a light mist, we left for South County Road. After about an hour of slipping & sliding on the Brewster county mud, being wet & cold, we opted for the Fina café in Study.

After lunch a ride through the BB Park in Tony's truck was a better option.
On the way to the basin it dropped to 31 degrees.






Stopped at a pull off.




Did you note the shorts?

Further up the road.






Spanish Dagger in bloom.


On the way to Rio Grand Village.





Hot springs.






Rio Grand.



Wet backs? I guess this is about where the fence will be. :lol2:

German girl in palm tree.


Sunday was a great day for riding. Cool & great traction, but Tony missed this…..
Black Rock Creek box canyon.






A good 345 miles for the week end. :rider: :rider: :rider: :rider:
 
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Joined
Nov 22, 2004
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550
Location
Beaumont
Couple of comments:
1. Good to see the Hot Springs back in action. I was there for Spring Break and the river had risen to the point where it was over the wall and the Hot Springs wasn't too hot.
2. Why weren't you riding in the snow and ice? I thought that was the idea. (Why else would we go to Copper Canyon in January?)
 
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Couple of comments:
1. Good to see the Hot Springs back in action. I was there for Spring Break and the river had risen to the point where it was over the wall and the Hot Springs wasn't too hot.
Twas ugly though ... rounded the corner to see the butt cheeks of a fellow putting his striped tighties back on ...:thumbd:

2. Why weren't you riding in the snow and ice? I thought that was the idea. (Why else would we go to Copper Canyon in January?)
We did ... South County Road to North County Road to Highway 118 to the Restaurant at the Fina Station, where we drank coffee while waiting on lunch time ... then lunch without moving an inch and then back to the motel to change clothes for the ride into the park ... my truck has heated seats. :clap:

It was colder than a well diggers butt and I had left my winter gear in Dallas ... why I don't know, as the weather guessers are always wrong.
 
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Big Bend II

Like any good journey, anticipation became forefront in my mind, as the jumping off day approached.

I wrestled the tires onto the rims the weekend before with a bunch of help from Suzy. For some reason, the rear deathwing was very difficult to break loose. I kept pondering if this could come back to haunt me at some point down the road.

As mentioned in the first post of the series, I have work in West Texas and the first part of the week was filled with meetings. Big Spring, Abilene and Breckenridge all fell beneath the drone of my wheels as I rolled back and forth across the plains.

The Mesquite had begun to bud out, so Spring 2007 was now official.

Taken on a small dirt road in eastern Shackleford County Texas.

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As you can tell the weather was cloudy. The talking heads on the Weather Channel had been going on for two days about the outbreak of Canadian air expected to envelope the eastern portion of the United States for Easter Weekend, but the weather maps looked good for Big Bend.

Situated in the far southwestern corner of Texas, Big Bend is the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan desert that reaches far down into Mexico. Seasons comes early to Big Bend, and spring 2007 was right in line with the norm. Big Bend I served up my first bluebonnet sighting of 2007 and I was looking forward to seeing what four more weeks of glorious sunshine had brought us.

During my meetings in Big Spring, I got the pleasure of touring a building that is in dire need of assistance. Like the human body, when the bones begin to fail, death is not far off.

The oldest building in Big Spring, the store had once been a flop house for the adjacent railroad and the entire second story remained much as it did in the 20's. There is an interior raceway style hallway with screen doors separating the privacy of the room from the public corridor. Silence evoked the squeak of the bed springs, as people slept off their train trips of the past.

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My project in Big Spring

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It will keep me in West Texas, and only about four and one half hours from Big Bend, for about the next two years.

Whoo Hooo!!

[ ... stay tuned ... ]
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
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Location
Austin, TX
My project in Big Spring

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It will keep me in West Texas, and only about four and one half hours from Big Bend, for about the next two years.

Whoo Hooo!!

[ ... stay tuned ... ]
Cool. Let me know if you get to work on this one.



I always slow down to look at it when I go through Mineral Wells.
 
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Leander
So Skinny put the jinx on the weather TWICE!!! I was out in the hill country with the family and got stuck in the cabin for the whole weekend. Rained like crazy...and the temp was a brisk 34 degrees.

Next time he talks about the weather...we hang him!!!

BTW, beautiful shots Tony.

BBTTWW, I saw that Gary sold the XR....:doh:
 
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Odessa
So Skinny put the jinx on the weather TWICE!!! I was out in the hill country with the family and got stuck in the cabin for the whole weekend. Rained like crazy...and the temp was a brisk 34 degrees.

Next time he talks about the weather...we hang him!!!

BTW, beautiful shots Tony.

BBTTWW, I saw that Gary sold the XR....:doh:
Weather discussion has now moved to the top of my list of things to avoid...however...it was dust free, although a tad chilley.:twitch:

Skinny
 
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As usual, I was running late. A quick call to Steve assured me that there would be a bottle of bourbon, at the room, upon my arrival.

I also found out that he and Chris were only about 45 minutes ahead of me, as I headed south on 18 from Monahans. FM 1776 became the cutoff, as I raced across the plains towards Terlingua. My progress was going to be controlled by my fuel guage. Would I have enough to make the 89 mile run down 118 from Alpine to Terlingua/Study Butte without stopping?

Realizing that the last trip through had almost netted a performance award from the local LEOs (actually state troupers) in the area, I kept the progress to a reasonable 80 MPH, unless I could see way down the road. Alpine arrived in my windshield and my fuel guage said stop.

Paying heed, the Town and Country filled the truck, I emptied my bladder and we were soon sliding southward on 118.

The portion of 118 just south of Alpine climbs and falls across the landscape as it meanders along topo lines southward. Clearly a product of an earlier era of road design, the asphalt can be fun when pushed, and push I did. The middle portion of the drive is across a wide valley, with few apparent curves, so I kicked it up a notch and allowed the diesel to flow freely. Passing a sign that said 30 miles remained, I noted the time and charted and ETA of 20 more minutes. This could turn into a LSR for the distance, at the rate I was flying. Terlingua Ranch Road, North County Road, and Lake Ament Road all fell by the wayside, only three minutes remained on my ETA as I met “him”.

Darn the luck, it was a sheriff’s deputy. As luck would have it, I had raised the hammer as I crested a hill, so my performance award should not be too bad, but there goes the record. He flipped around with his lights on and I coasted to a stop along side the road. Well, it turned out to be my day, as all I got was a warning.

Grinning like a Cheshire cat, I slid into the parking lot three minutes “late”.

Dinner plans were already formulated, so we quickly unloaded my gear and piles into the truck for a trip to the Starlight Theater for dinner.

Arriving at the Starlight, we found a welcome committee sitting around the front doors.

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The porch at Terlingua Ghost Town is the place everyone needs to visit at least once. The view into Big Bend National Park is out of this world. Watching Mule Ears sink into the inky darkness of night, while holding a Shiner Bock, is top drawer stuff.

Steve

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Me and Steve ... or is it Steve and I ... something like that. I’m not sure what was so funny to produce such a goofy looking laugh. Oh well, that’s me ... goofy

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The view from my chair out the door.

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The restaurant was hopping.

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The view from the toilets, aka the Terlingua Jail

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No ride report would be complete without a shot of the meal. I give you a 6 oz. Filet Mignon, Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable de Jour and House Melot.

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Afterwards, we retired to Room 02 and languished the night away solving the worlds problems. Skinny said we drank a lot ... I don’t remember.

Skinny splaining ...

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Steve listening

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Chris guarding the Woodford ...

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[ ... stay tuned ... ]
 
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Friday, April 06, 2007

Morning arrived on our doorstop, rather quietly I might add.

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Steve and I were both rumbling around sorting through stuff when Skinny ambled through the door dressed in street clothes.

:thumb: Skinny

I could see breakfast in the offing. As soon as Chris (no longer a morning person as he is retired) was ready, we were off to the Fina for breakfast.

Now everyone likes eggs and most everyone has a particular style of cooking them. Chris is partial to the same kind of eggs that my father liked ... blindfolded ... does everyone understand that term? The eggs are just firm enough to be recognizable. Now me? After 19 years of watching my dad eat eggs like that, I lean towards scrambled.

We ordered ...

Chris’ blindfolded eggs were fried ... somewhere between medium and hard, judging by the grill marks.
My scrambled eggs also were actually fried eggs ... go figure ... and mine were a bit softer

In any case, with breakfast behind us, it was time to get the brand spanking new-to-me DR650 dusty and dirty!

Ain’t she pretty?

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The weather was cloudy and somewhat dreary ... and cool. Mmmmm, cool is not good, where is the sweatshirt I got at Wal-Mart in Abilene? Well apparently I left it for the maids in the hotel. Oh well, I owned it for almost 8 hours!

We headed north on 118 intending to check out the area west of 118 across from the road to Terlingua Ranch. As I mentioned earlier, we are the crew setting up the loops for the Terlingua Dual Sport Ride this fall.

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Sorry I didn’t get more photos of the area, but suffice it to say that we found a lot of dead ends and washouts that will not serve us in route planning.

After a while we ambled northwest on a road into the backcountry following the fat line on my GPS. We all know GPS software never lies, so I had us charted back into Terlingua for lunch. One large primitive airport and some fencing running north-south hindered progress, so we headed back eastward towards Terlingua Ranch. Crossing 118, we soon found ourselves at the Bad Rabbit Café for burgers and coffee for lunch. I know sweet tea should have been the drink of choice, but it was getting colder as the day progressed.

Stopping by the office at Terlingua Ranch, we all purchased long sleeve tee shirts. Now mind you, not because we are fond of Terlingua Ranch, although we are. We were cold!!!

After lunch we headed northward to Cedar Springs Ranch. Rod and Randy were in for the weekend and we wanted to say hi! They had a fire going, so being the neighborly type, the invited us to sit a spell.

Rod told us of an impending move to Denver, while Randy brought us up to speed on the happenings about the ranch.

From the left
Rod, Chris, Skinny, Steve, Zeke, Randy

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Steve is sporting his new yellow Terlingua Ranch shirt in the photo. He is such the fashion plate ... yea, I know ... Chinet

A quick trip to a hill with a weather station produced a great view to the north. Well, it would have been better without the clouds and the wind. That is Chalk Draw below the crest of the near hill.

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Long on miles, not knowing the range of my tank on my DR, we headed back to Terlingua/Study Butte. Along the way, both Skinny and I hit reserve. Skinny is jonesing for IMS to stop dragging their heals and get a tank on the market for his Husky, while I am in sticker shock about the Aqualine for my bike.

Back at the room, Skinny felt Steve’s bike was missing something.

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I don’t understand the glum looks, considering how pretty the flowers are. Kinda makes Steve’s bike look like a VW bug, doesn’t it?

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The tale of the tape? We managed 135 miles for the day, with a fair amount of putzing about.

[ ... more soon ... ]
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
352
Location
Coppell, Texas
Great report Tony......love the Big Bend area.
By the way, concerning tank range, my stock DR has been getting anywhere from 50 to 60 mpg, usually around 56. Pretty decent range with the stock 3.4 gal. tank, but I recently put the IMS 4.9 tank on there and that really helps. I also understand that IMS did finally develop a 5 gal. tank for the Husky; should be available very soon, according to some guys over at ADVrider.com.

Don
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
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Terlingua
I wish I had known you guys needed gas. I keep a good bit up at the ranch and could have topped off all your tanks. I'll be sure to ask how your gas situation is next time.

Randy
 
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Odessa
I still have my report to post...as soon as I get motivated enough...I'm still in deep depression over the scroungy weather we had :( ...I think I may need therapy.:eek2:
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
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Odessa
I wish I had known you guys needed gas. I keep a good bit up at the ranch and could have topped off all your tanks. I'll be sure to ask how your gas situation is next time.

Randy
We all made it back to Study Butte...although, I had to stop about 10 miles north and add the 2 liters I was carrying...thanks for the invite to your ranch...it's a beautiful place...

Skinny
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
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Choctaw, Okla
I can't wait to go back to big bend when it is dry :giveup: . There are many roads and trails we didn't get to see, bummer :miffed:. I hope to get back there at least once more this year. Maybe Alaska next year :rider:
 
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Friday Night ... Back at the Starlight Theater!

With a slight sidetrack ... We went by to see if Uncle was in town ... Nope ... we left a card and a sticker ...

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Some would say going to the same place can get boring, but going to the Starlight is like experiencing performance art. The cast of characters changes all the time (except at the bar) and every experience there is a new experience. I will say, the food it always top drawer and consistent. I have been eating at the Starlight for many years and ... the food, the service, the patrons, all of “it” has always been great.

As the commercial ends, the music fades and the screen dims to black, we return to our regularly scheduled show ...

Steve
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Skinny
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Chris
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Me, myself, and I ... which are only 3 out of my twelve personalities
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Our waitress for the evening ... no, I did not ask her name :ponder: ... I will ask next time
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And I know I will lose a number of attaboys, but I did not think to get a photo of our food when it arrived. We were lost in conversation and the Shiner and wine probably affected my phocus.

Frankly, I don’t know why I was laughing at that point, as I had just discovered that the sand I fell in earlier (when my bike got tired and wanted to take a nap) had got into the focus system of my camera lens ... one camera that would have to be sent off for (hopefully) repairs [editors note: may she rest in peace as she wings to Illinois for repairs]. Bummer, that will turn out to be an expensive nap ... at least it wasn’t my Canon D20.

As the previous evening ended late and with a bit of fanfare, we determined to keep this evening in check.

As posted in another thread long ago, I am the youngest person of the group. I recently determined that, between us, we have accumulated

Lets see ... between us ... 237 years of experience on earth and 160+ years of experience on bikes.
So we feel qualified to solve the worlds problems and yet are smart enough to never take notes.

[ ... more soon ... sooner than last time ... personal introductions upcoming ... ]
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
111
Location
Houston, TX
So are you liking that DR650 pretty well? That was my friends bike that you bought. I was just wondering if it was working out for you.
 
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So are you liking that DR650 pretty well? That was my friends bike that you bought. I was just wondering if it was working out for you.
Doing great!

I just got the photos uploaded for Big Bend III, which includes a photo of the bike with the new tank and seat.

It has been everything I wanted. I feel much more confident on it than I did on my XR. It will not go as quickly through the rough stuff, but I knew that going in. This bike is a long distance runner rather than a sprinter.

You and Joe need to come out sometime and we will show y'all some of the backcountry we have found.

Be watching for Big Bend III, coming soon to a computer screen near you!
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
111
Location
Houston, TX
Good deal on your DR 650 and the invite to check out some country roads up in your area. We would like to do that.

I'll be watching for your next ride report, you do great write ups!
 
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Well, it has been too long. Life grabbed me by the horns and tossed me into the pool named work for a while. If I could only learn how to make these forays into the wilderness of my soul pay, I would.

In any case, as promised ...

Personal Introductions ...
 
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Steve aka XR650Rocketman

Steve and I first met only a couple of years ago, but we have become fast and furious friends! Actually he would be the fast and me the furious ... in any case, I digress.

Steve has been riding almost forever and has the skills to prove it. Nobody that I ride with is smoother. Steve rides as smooth as a hot knife through butter.

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Now that can be a good, or a bad, thing, depending upon your viewpoint. I have found myself way over my head a time or two while mesmerized following his rear ... knobby, you bunch of perverts!

Shared joys and pain have cemented our relationship in ways that belie the years.

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Never at a loss for a smile!

¡Salud, mi amigo!
 
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Steve aka Skinny

I first met Skinny at Terlingua Ranch a little over a year ago and we became friends instantly upon one comment he made. No, I ain’t tellin’!

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Circumstances in Mexico placed us together on the bus to Crankytown (to blatantly steal a term from Johnny Dakar) but we persevered and we became even closer friends as a result. Four days catching rides out of Mexico and wandering the bars with Skinny cemented our friendship. With shared job interests and hobbies, we have many undiscovered conversations lurking in our future.

It doesn’t hurt a **** bit that my work world is getting ready to situate me about 60 miles east of his home as well, for the next couple of years.

We will be sharing many roads.

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Here’s to you, Skinny!
 
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Chris aka mcrider

Chris rounds out the fantastic four ... that is us for those of you that have lost the score, or are starting in the middle of the game.

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Chris and I go back a couple of years to an unfortunate first ride in December 2005. Fast as lightening, Chris went down hard, breaking his collar bone that day.

Chris is a legend in the motorcycling community. As a long time member of TRH, Chris is heavily involved in making sure the Terlingua Dual Sport Ride lives up to the reputation for the ride that Burl Hughes built up during his years at the helm. He has also attended many ISDE events around the globe supporting the US riders in their quest for medals.

A gold medal rider himself, Chris can easily put his 625 KTM into places and situations that will make mere mortals quake.

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Salute Chris!
 
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Saturday - April 07, 2007

Saturday morning we arose to a dank and dreary day. OK, it was cold. At least it was cold to me. My internal heater has been turned off for the season and my blood had already began the thinning process, in preparation for summer.

Well, this was Texas and everyone knows that weather is unpredictable in Texas. After a quick trip to the Fina / Store / Restaurant for some vittles, we headed north on South County Road.

It was misty and wet and we were on a mission to find a way to connect two dots on the map, in preparation for the upcoming Terlingua Dual Sport Ride this fall.

No photos were taken, but suffice it to say that we did not find our route and we did manage to get muddy and cold. Gathering just past Terlingua Creek on North County Road, we agreed that it would be quicker, although colder, to head onward to 118 and speed south to Study Butte, rather than backtracking on roads we had just traversed. The mud was not bad, but it had it’s moments.

Moments like the last 50 feet before hitting asphalt. The drainage off the asphalt had turned the area into a soup bowl and it was slick. The DR ended up sideways and only the fact that I found asphalt, before getting completely sideways, kept me from going down.

The road back to Study Butte was windy and cold and we called a meeting to order at the corner table in the Fina / Store / Restaurant to warm up over coffee and discuss the rest of the day. The day was young and we has energy to burn.

Coffee turned into lunch and a plan was hatched. We were going to piddle in the park.

Bikes parked and gear swapped for shorts, we piled into El Camion Grande for a cagers view of Big Bend National Park. I had some ideas, but I wasn’t telling.

Soon, as soon as 45 MPH speed limits would allow anyway, we turned south and made towards the basin area. The weather had been cool and misty, but I knew that would soon change.

Rising far above the floor of the valley, the basin area is cool, even in the hottest months of summer.

We were rewarded with ... ice and snow ... go figure ... 10 miles for the southern border of Texas and we were running around like a bunch of goofs in the snow.

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The basin was fogged in, so with a quick lap around the lodge parking lot, we were off to points south.

One last shot ...
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Next up ... the Hot Springs

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Well, the pool was crowded and a family was dressing ... the father DID NOT have whitey tighties on ... so no photos were attempted.

At least the cactus was telling us that spring was here.
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Looking south ... Texas on the Left and Mexico on the Right
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More cactus ...
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A deer wondering why I stopped ... to take his photo ... duh!
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Then it was off to check out the latest additions to Passing Wind
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The Starlight served up dinner again!
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Brittany was moving too fast for me to catch!
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Oops, no shots of dinner. I hope dessert counts
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Skinny and Steve toasting the night
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Chris looks quite content
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We had been listening to tunes the entire night and I got up and captured a few photos of the goings on.

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Regulars at the bar ...
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Clearly having a good time
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One last shot ...
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Chad came up and asked me for copies of what I had taken. Who knows, perhaps some of my photos will be used to update the Starlight website.
 
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Sunday - Easter Morning - April 08, 2007

The day dawned a minute earlier than the previous day. What were you expecting me to say?

Steve, Chris and Skinny were going to ride, but with an 8 ½ drive in my near time future, I opted out.

Breakfast was good and I waved bye to everyone and headed north on 118.

Along the road north, the signs of spring mixed with the signs of winter.

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The sun came out for a brief moment, just south of Alpine.
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One last shot of the cold ... Brrrrr
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The local Catholic Church appeared full
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7+ hours later, I rolled into my driveway in Dallas.

Well that wraps up Big Bend II

Big Bend III coming soon to a screen near you.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
2,092
Location
here and there, mostly there
Thanks for the kudos.

Here is the same photo that you linked above BEFORE I photoshopped it.

142562342-M.jpg


I'm really hoping that Chad uses the repaired one on in his website.

That guardrail was a beatch to take out.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
870
Location
Round Rock / Austin TX
Dang Tony....What a way to make a guy feel homesick......Can anyone imagine the culture shock difference between Brewster County and here in London, England?

It's time for a West Texas ride......

Oh yeah.....We old guys look pretty good through your camera lens, don't we?

Where's your picture and write up?

Steve
 
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