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Chasing TWT at the Grasslands.

Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
638
Location
Texas, of course (duh)
Having followed this thread last week, yet unable to commit to other's schedule due to dogs in the house :doh: my husband and I went out Saturday to run those roads of the Grasslands that we're "oh so familiar with" in hopes of running into the TWT group. If we failed to find them, we will at least have had a great ride.

That's pretty much what happened, we had a great ride! :lol2:

The fall colors are past their peak, and many of the leaves have been downed by the high winds of last week's cool front. But the sun was shining on a perfect fall day, perfect for a dual sport ride.
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Familiar roads and fun curves put smiles on our faces as we throttle around in the heavy gravel. I love gravel roads!
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Solemn roadside reminder of days gone by, a life already lived in a different time. This person must have lived well, a decent lifespan especially for the time, and somebody keeps the small area mowed and cleared.
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Others play here too, the pretty weather brings lots of folks out to enjoy the beauty in different ways.
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Easy to see how this place got it's name, 'eh? Grasslands indeed.
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Here's Cottonwood Lake, and I do believe old John Denver was right. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely.
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There are a couple of other small lakes around, Clear Lake and Blackcreek Lake that we didn't visit today. Clear Lake is pictured in my previous Grasslands ride report. Instead, more curvy gravel roads!
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We covered most of the main Forest Service roads, like FS922, FS900 and FS900-A, but weren't lucky enough to run into any other two wheel mounted people.

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The views are hard to capture with a camera, and easy to miss if you're not looking for them as you ride along.
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The road pictured below leads into what was the last free target shooting range that I knew of...long since closed down to shooting. :tears:
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It gets pretty steep, but with steady throttle, the KLR is not perturbed by it one tiny bit.
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And if you watch for them, there are small places to play while staying on the designated roads. :trust:

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That's all for this time! I hope you enjoyed the ride, I know I did.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
638
Location
Texas, of course (duh)
Very nice...ah...err...where are the grasslands, just askin
Click for a map link....

Lyndon B Johnson National Grasslands, just north of Decatur.


another linky with an excerpt from linky...

LYNDON B. JOHNSON NATIONAL GRASSLANDS
The LBJ is comprised of more than 20,250 acres with one developed recreation area located at Black Creek Lake. The recreation area consists of seven picnic units, seven walk-in camp units, one improved boat ramp and an accessible fishing bridge. No drinking water is available. The lake is approximately 30 acres in size. The discharge of firearms and hunting is prohibited on and around the lake.

Cottonwood Lake, located 5 miles north of Black Creek Lake, is approximately 40 acres in size and has one improved boat ramp. No recreation facilities are provided. The discharge of firearms is prohibited in the vicinity of Cottonwood Lake. However, from November 1 through February 28, the use of shotguns, excluding slugs and buckshot, for legally hunting game birds and game animals during state designated seasons is permitted.

The Cottonwood-Black Creek Hiking Trail is 4 miles long and connects the two lakes. It is rated moderately difficult. There are nearly 75 miles of multipurpose trails which run in the Cottonwood Lake vicinity.

TADRA Point is a designated trailhead camping facility that is a primary access point for the 75 mile LBJ Multiuse Trail system. Restrooms and parking facilities are provided.

Valley View Group Use Campground is available by reservation on weekends. Call the Caddo-LBJ district office at (940)-627-5475 for reservations. Weekend reservations are $150.00. This money is used to maintain the facility and improve the campground. Facilities include restrooms, parking spurs, fire rings, lantern posts and group pavilion.

Other popular lakes include Clear Lake and Rhodes Lake. Clear Lake is approximately 20 acres in size and has a concrete boat ramp and a 50-foot wheelchair accessible fishing pier. Rhodes Lake is approximately 15 acres and has no facilities.

FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED. Hunting is limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and archery. Unit 3 is open to target shooting with shotguns; and hunting and camping are permitted.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
We have pictures from many of the same locations as well as others! We camped a Cottonwood Lake and did the Tadra point loop several times over the two days. Pictures will be uploaded in a bit, just got home and got the camping gear off the bike a short while ago. Maybe after a shave and a shower I will hook up the camera, if not then tomorrow.

I bet we were within a half mile of each other several times on Saturday. Camping spots for the next few trips out there are already picked out.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
We probably were within less than 1/2 a mile of you at various times on Saturday!!! Nearly all your photos are familiar; same places we rode. Except for a neat treat north up to St. Joe provided by Bandit33 (awesome, awesome gravel roads!).

Funny, too, I thought of you several times while riding about.
I'm bummed that we didn't run into each other.

We're going to post up a group camp-out weekend there in December. :trust:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
638
Location
Texas, of course (duh)
:popcorn: What a shame we missed each other. :doh:


TS, if you had any idea how many times I've camped in that exact pine stand. It's lovely, isn't it? Although I learned to avoid it in warmer weather, 'cause ticks really like it in there.


I can't wait to see your shots! You too Ed, load 'em up!
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
Grass Lands weekend

The trip to the grass lands was an absolute blast. We had a cool mix of bikes including two GSs, two KLRs, a DR and a Super Sherpa.

RedRocker, horkatrans, TexasShadow, Brian (a neighbor of mine, not yet on TWT) and myself met for breakfast and coffee at the Courthouse Cafe on the square in Decatur

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The five of us set out to explore with me in the lead and promptly missed a turn on the way to the first planned stop. We did find our way to Black Creek Lake camp.

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TexasShadow on her Sherpa was having no trouble keeping pace with the big bikes on the freeways leading there, or on the gravel.

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We met a U.S. Forest Service ranger there who filled us in on some of the under used portions of the grass lands, and had a very good map available for purchase. I bought one and folded it into my tank bag window. this was no guaranty that turns would not be missed with me in the lead though. I am still in the exploring phase, not yet familiar with the area.

Seeking out and exploring the old cemeteries was high on our to do list this weekend. The ranger told us about a lone grave on the road side, so we had to seek it out.
............................ Does it look familiar from klrno2's post???..................
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Don (Bandit33) joined us on his DR650, linking up with us north of Tadra Point.

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He graciously tool the lead from there to ride some excellent gravel roads to Saint Jo with a stop in Forestburg for ice cream, coffee treats and water.

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That store is dual sport heaven....It is a combination feed store, welding supply, BBQ and burger joint, and grocery store. What else does a dual sport rider want in a store?

RedRocker departed the group at this stop, heading off to look over his family property nearby.

Wiley the stowaway was taking a look around to see if he could come out and play.

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Saint Jo is a neat little town with a huge town square.

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We rolled in dusty and dirty, taking a place in front of what looked to be an old horse trough. The cruisers parked in front of the Biker Roadhouse fired up their noisy steeds and rumbled out of town as if we had scared them off. We had a good laugh at that and then explored the square.

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Mark (horkatrans) headed his own way at this point with Saturday stuff needing to be done, while we said goodbye to Don (Bandit33) part of the way back to the grasslands too. This left three of us with me in the lead again to seek out a camping spot for the night.

We did alright, finding a clearing at Cottonwood Lake. More on the camping and the Sunday riding in another post. I will let the better word smith tell the tales of the ghost towns and cemeteries we explored along the way.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
638
Location
Texas, of course (duh)
:clap: Awesome!


How bad was the dust with that many riders? It seemed pretty mild with just the two of us, but we could see that it had rained recently and the wind was up a bit too.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
The dust was not too bad. Most of the time we were in a side or quartering wind, so just a little spacing out eliminated much of the dust.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
The camp site at Cottonwood Lake was just great. Through the course of the night I heard coyotes, an owl, and some other critter sounds that I could not identify.

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There was frost on everything first thing in the morning. The clerk at the store informed us that the low temperature had dropped into the thirties that morning... We believe him.

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And a fog over the lake.

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Can you spot the beaver in this shot? It is there swimming along.

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When I spotted it swimming I had a tough time figuring out what it was. The smooth straight path and wake eliminated gators or snakes, and it was shaped all wrong for a turtle. It did a nice left turn and swam back the other way and while it was head on there was no longer any mistaking the beaver head profile.

The wide open spaces of the ridges out here afford a view for many, many miles.

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I would just love to be on this ridge looking west while thunderstorms roll in from the distance. At 100 or more miles away they would be an awesome show.

Some of the old windmills out here still work, including this one. It keeps a storage tank full for the equestrian users of the area.

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We found a pine stand along one of the gravel roads, and TS was reminiscing about how much this was like Maine... right here in Texas. I know where we will camp next trip out here!

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Wiley the high tech Coyote took over navigator job while we were in the pines.

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We wound up a great weekend trip with a few more gravel roads and potential camp sites scouted. Trips back with and without groups are being cooked up.

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Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
How bad was the dust with that many riders? It seemed pretty mild with just the two of us, but we could see that it had rained recently and the wind was up a bit too.
It was dusty. Everything on me and the bike is covered with caliche dust.

I quickly figured out Saturday, after eating dust riding in between everyone else, to wear the thin balaclava I have (and wear usually to cut the wind off my neck and face). I wore it all day Sunday. I didn't eat any caliche dust :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
374
Location
Lewisville
It was nice to meet everybody, we'll do it again soon. I'm kicking around Terlingua before Christmas, but may not be able to get away. I might swing it if anybody else is going down on the 19th or 20th and coming back on Wednesday and wants to share expenses.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
It was good meeting you too.... Seeing your brake pedal modification inspired me.......

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It is from .75"X1.5" rectangular steel tubing. Hack saw, file, and a cutoff wheel to round the slots.

I made a second one to carry in the tail bag if anyone I meet wants one like it.

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Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
374
Location
Lewisville
It was good meeting you too.... Seeing your brake pedal modification inspired me.......

IMG_1855.jpg


It is from .75"X1.5" rectangular steel tubing. Hack saw, file, and a cutoff wheel to round the slots.

I made a second one to carry in the tail bag if anyone I meet wants one like it.

IMG_1854.jpg
That'll work, much better than the tiny thing they put on there stock. :rider:
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
I started a separate thread in the general section so more folks can see what the grasslands is all about other than only dual-sport riders. Broader coverage for a worthwhile place to visit. :mrgreen:
 
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