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Big Bend - STN Region 2 Meet

Nov 16, 2004
Bella Vista Arkansas
Tuesday April 8 - Preparation Day

We were getting all of the things together for our little trip to Big Bend. Jackie and Rob came over and dropped off all of their camping gear, so that they did not have to carry it on their bikes. My brother brought over his motorcycle and camping gear as well. We had a truck load full of camping gear and food for the trip. The guys came over on Tuesday to help me load the bikes onto the trailer and get the trailer set up. I had to change the bulb in the truck as we had a tail light out. Things went smoothly and after about 35 minutes we were drinking a beer and talking about the trip. Excitement was in the air.


The truck loaded and the garage staged for loading the next morning.


The bikes all clean and shiny, looking forward to the 550 mile trip.

Later that evening we had severe thunderstorms in the area. Dave called and said that they were getting hail at their house and I might want to bring the bikes and trailer into the garage. This was a good idea. I jumped out of bed, opened the garage and backed in the trailer. It was raining hard and I was soaked! We dropped the trailer and went to bed. It never hailed at the house but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday April 9 - Let's hit the road!

I got up after a restful night and went out and loaded up the truck with all of our gear, then almost threw out my back lifting the trailer to get it back on the truck. I put the coolers in the back and headed off to work. We have a large lot so I took trailer and all. I did not want to go home before heading out of town that evening. 3:45PM seemed to take forever for the work day to end. I changed clothes and headed to meet Vern in Weatherford at the petro station.

It took me 45 minutes to get over there. I did have a surprise as my top speed was 243 MPH!! My truck hauls ***! We stayed at the Super 8 in Abilene. Rob was already there, as he left Dallas early to avoid the bad weather. This was a great idea. The weather was not good as the fog was really thick when we got to the hotel. We were under severe weather watch all evening. I guess a pretty good tornado hit Albany Texas, right outside Abilene. We did not have too bad of an evening. I know I slept well. I did get a phone call from Jamie (my wife) around 2:30AM. She was pretty shook up, saying the lightning was bad and the winds were howling!


the MPH might be a tad off.

Thursday April 10 - Alpine here we come.

We got up around 7AM and headed over to the cracker barrel for breakfast before heading out. Jackie, Rob and Bob met us and we had a very nice breakfast. We headed out around 9AM. We jumped into the truck as the guys riding took off for 67 and a nice day ride.


The gang at CB, I need to get out in the sun, those white legs are bright.


Jackie and Bob ready to hit the road.


Rob looking good ready to hit the road.

I called my wife and found out that the tree in front of our house was destroyed in the storms the night before. The winds during the evening took out our tree and a bunch in the area. I guess Plano got hit pretty hard. We lost a beautiful tree. My wife was a trooper, she handled everything and told me that coming home was not needed.


This was a great tree


split right down the middle


This was taken from across the street.

There is absolutely NOTHING from Abilene to Alpine. Miles and miles of nothing. The wind started to blow on our journey. When I say blow I mean it. The news said 50MPH wind gusts. A couple of times the bikes looked like they would come off the trailer. I felt bad for the guys that were riding. The winds were brutal. We arrived at the camp site at 3PM. The winds were still really bad. After two hours of wrestling with the tents we gave up.


vern and shelly fighting the wind

We headed into town and decided to stay at the Highland inn. it was a clean place, pretty bare bones, but nice. After hearing the stories of the Alpine Inn, where the STN group was staying, I was glad we were at the Highland. The train ran right behind the hotel, so we got to hear it every once in awhile. The guys road in and were beat from all of the wind. I love riding, but I was glad to have trailered to the event. Riding in the wind is no fun!


good clean hotel - very nice people.


the bikes were dusty due to the wind.


the guys were a little beat after the trip in the wind.

We ate dinner at a little Mexican place in Alpine. The food was decent and the waitress was very nice. We asked her how she got to Alpine and she said that she was playing basketball at Sul Ross University I am sure that it is a nice school, but it sure is in the middle of no where. Rob broke out his road trip hat for the event.


Rob looking smooth for the ladies.


Jackie waiting for the food

We headed back to the hotel to have a beer and hang out some. Jackie and I rode over to the Alpine to see if the STN group had gotten there yet. A few were there already including rocket bunny. We hung out for awhile and then headed back to the room. We were getting up at 7 and having breakfast and then hitting the road to the park the next day so we wanted to be rested.


Vern hanging out in the hood in Alpine.


it got chilly in the evenings.


Rocketbunny was here.

Friday April 11 - River road - Big Bend just beautiful.

We got up and since we had all the stuff for camping and cooking out we decided to cook up some breakfast at the hotel. I love doing this sort of thing so we cooked up some scrambled eggs and had bacon and sausage. Not a bad way to start the day. We fueled up and headed down to Presidio Texas. The ride from Alpine was not bad. Actually it looked a lot like NM in certain areas.


on the way to the park.


here we are at a stop in Presidio.


The gang in presidio.

We headed over to the river road after our short stop. All I can say is wow! It is hard to believe that this is in Texas. The scenery was awesome. The road was great and we took our time enjoying the views. This makes all of that open road time worth it when you see sites like this. It has to rank up there as one of my favorites for beauty alone.


that is where we are going.


having fun on the river road


I stopped to take plenty of pictures


What a great view


Picture of the trophy.


getting the cameras out to take some pics.


Rob caught me pulling up my pants


pretty picture


Trophy looking good.


Jackie's bike


Rob's GT


Jackie, Rob, Vern and Shelly


Rob taking a picture


Vern's ST looking good


everyone taking pictures.

We had to pull ourselves away from the river road but the park was next and we wanted to eat and hang out there for awhile, so we decided to get going again. Big Bend national Park is a wonderful place. We road down to the Basin to have lunch and do some light hiking. Actually not as much hiking but more picture taking. I don't know when I will get down in that area again so I wanted to make sure the pictures we a high priority. We had a good lunch and just hung out for awhile. The weather was wonderful.

parking at the Basin


Bob getting ready to ride down to one of the many canyons in Big bend.


view from lookout at the Basin.


Rob, Jerry and jackie hanging out.


big rock


Rob found a friend. I took Tubo with me. My son in Albuquerque gave that to me so I cold take it on the trip.


Bears.. did someone say bears?

We finished up and then headed back to Alpine to get cleaned up and to cook some steaks on the grill. I cooked up some steak and beans and we had a good Cowboy dinner, I have to say that it was tasty! We also wanted to stop by the Alpine and visit with the STN folks The ride back was uneventful. I did get the little Trophy up over 110mph on the way back. This was a fantastic day. I really enjoyed the views and the company. It was
an awesome day!!


rocket bunny looking great! Oh yeah jackie is in the picture as well.


Bikes at the Alpine inn.


The gang hanging out

Saturday April 12 - Ft Davis & McDonald Observatory

Woke up Saturday and it was a little chilly outside. Camping would have been a little cold on this morning. We got up and I made the gang breakfast burritos. They came out pretty well. We fueled up and headed for the short ride to Ft Davis. Not a bad ride and some twisties to boot! I loved Ft Davis and if I would have been thinking we should have stayed there. A very nice little town. Riding into the Davis Mountains was nice. the views are great.


Cooking breakfast for the gang.


road to the Observatory.


Rob at overlook.


jackie and his RT


Vern & Shelly


the gangs all here.

We road up to the Observatory. We went inside enjoyed some coffee and then looked around. You can see why they chose this place to star gaze. It was so beautiful and I am sure the night sky was as bright and brilliant as possible without all of the normal city distractions.


Visitor center


Sun Dial

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope


Vern & Shelly


Me and the Trophy


Rob doing the bunny ears thing to his new friend

We headed over towards Kent and the went back into Ft Davis to have lunch. I wanted to do the tour of the fort, so this would be the plan in the afternoon. We were going to ride back up to McDonald, but a **** bike race was taking place and the roads were a mess. Glad we did that earlier in the day. We just wanted one more run of nice twisty roads. But it was all good. Lunch was fantastic and the tour was wonderful.


lunch here was wonderful


This was the sink in the diner


I love the buildings in Ft. Davis


Rob deep in thought


Jerry and jackie


Vern & Shelly

I was looking forward to seeing the fort and taking the tour. It was very cool to see that history. This was a highlight of the trip for me. I really enjoyed
the afternoon. There are a bunch of pictures in my smugmug gallery.


The Trophy at the front gate of the fort.


Vern's bike is big.. but RV Parking??


Officer's quarters


Great backdrop for defense


The gang hanging out at the fort

After doing the Fort thing, we headed back down into Alpine to take a shower and get ready for the big STN Dinner later that evening. We arrived early to get a good parking spot. Our gang did the squid thing and made it down there in one piece. Diner was AWESOME!! We ate at the Edelweiss Restaurant. The food was great and the waitress was very nice and kept us happy. The gang all showed up and I counted 17 people. I am not even going to try and name everyone, I would not get close to getting them right. After dinner we went loaded up the bikes on the trailer and then headed over and chatted with the STN'ers until the manager of the Alpine Inn came over and told us to quiet down as it was sleepy time.. his words not mine! We had a great time and is was wonderful seeing everyone. We hope everyone made it home safe and sound.


The hotel where we ate dinner


Rob the squid..


STN Gang - Arizona guys I think.


More STN'ers - Tom Brandt is in this picture.


The chicken Fried Steak was huge and good!


rocket bunny trying to hide


The waitress had a great shirt on. Said will work for beer on the front

Sunday April 13 - Slabbing it home

We got up loaded the bags and headed to Big D. Rob and Jackie headed out about the same time. We hooked up in Fort Stockton for b-fast. The guys headed down 67 for the ride home and we jumped up on the highway .. set the cruise and headed home. I have to say that I kinda wished I was riding as the day was great. But after 3 hours of nothing, the truck was nice. I also got to listen to the Masters on the way home, so life was great! We got to Vern's house in Ft Worth around 3:45PM and unloaded his bike. I made it home by 4:30. It was a wonderful trip. The riding is so-so but the views are fantastic. I don't know when I will make it down there again, but I am glad I made the trip.

The view on the way home just multiply by 10 hehehe


until next time have fun and ride safe.

You can see all of the pictures from the trip here;

Jerry's Gallery
Rob's Gallery
Vern's Gallery
Jackie's Gallery.