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Desert Rats' Xmas in Big Bend

Squeaky

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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
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13,258
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Katy
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Rebecca
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Nelson
As long as the DSDST is revealed on the Ride the Rio, I'm fine not knowing where it is just yet. :rider:
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
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5,846
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Exit. Stage West.
Hi Elsi, :wave:see you decided to come back after all. Although My trip was short, twas an epic ride from the Gulf coast out to Big Bend and back.
Hi, Tom! Thanks again for the decongestants. I had to sign my life away tonight to get more. :roll:

I hope to see you again out there. If not in February, then next Xmas, right? :trust: 'Tis a tradition now.
 
Joined
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Exit. Stage West.
I woke at 2:50 am after packing and loading the night before.
I couldn't sleep. I wanted to go, but I knew sleep would be a precious commodity for the next 24 hours.
So we were on the road at 3:30 am.

Arriving at Roger's in plenty time to unload the bikes and set up camp, visiting and sharing viddles, I was already waiting. Watching.

I knew the preamble would begin when the sun started its slow descent and below the ridge on the western horizon. And on the eastern horizon the nearly full moon would chase the sun down, eager to show its gleaming face and lick the shadows of the sun with its own light, bathing the landscape with a soft white glow. Full moon light.

Sunlight recedes and shadows ooze across the desert.

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The white globe that stirs strange things in the blood.

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How much better can it be; a full moon in the desert, a seat on the balcony of a mesa?

The changing of the guard: sun kisses the Chisos and relents to the blackness, just before being bathed and embraced by the soft moon light.

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Let the show begin, chorused by coyotes on three sides of us. Only the road to the north prevented them from surrounding us. My brothers of the night; let us sing.

Awooooooooooooo..........................
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
2,948
Location
Cypress Tx
First Name
David
After reading Elsi's storys I think I should stay in the background , My story telling amounts to " We went for a ride and it was great " . As for where that picture is there are so many vista's like that they all look alike , A few of the landmarks stand out enough to remember the rest all runs together its so good . The boundrys of the area we were riding in are probly 30 miles squared but easyly contain 200+ miles of roads . A lot of deadends , some connections but no maps or street signs or names . All of the roads are two track easyly accessable by bike when dry , impossible when wet . The back area probly takes three to four hours to reach by four wheels but an hour or less by bike if you get in a hurry, but you miss all the great views if you do that .

I rode the 950 anyplace I wanted out there with street tires , I had my knobbys for it but it's much easyer to just ride the little bike . The only pucker moment wasn't really a pucker moment just a little moment of concern , I was riding down a creek bed near Rogers haceinda when I noticed a lot of plowing and sinking feeling in the loose gravel . I had ridden this creek before without this much trouble then I realized I rode the 450 thru it last time . All went well , we got the pictures I wanted .

I had a great time camping with everybody and a big thanks to Roger for letting us disturb his world for a while and a bigger thanks for leading us to the DSDS trails . I wanna go back . SEYA
 
Joined
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After studying a while I thing the picture is somewhere in town , I see power poles and there are none of those in the DSDST area . SEYA
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
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Exit. Stage West.
After studying a while I thing the picture is somewhere in town , I see power poles and there are none of those in the DSDST area . SEYA
I 'think' it is N of Terlingua Ghost Town. Echoing what you posted, except for obvious landmarks (Sawmill Mnt, some of the interesting structures out in the middle of nowhere, etc), much of it blends together and looks similar. Moon Valley was an exception :)
 
Joined
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Sanger, TX
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Scott
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H
Very good report and eagerly waiting for more.

Did you all ever notice that Elzi could take a pic of a dog turd and put a great narrative with it making you want more?

:clap:
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
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Exit. Stage West.
I broke down and picked up a big external HD (on sale!!! :clap: ) for the mac to part out photos clustering the onboard drive. So I'll be able to actually continue this with some awesome shots after tonight.
In between blowing my nose....... (brought home a nasty head cold)
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2006
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105
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Spicewood
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Bob
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Mostue
Without giving away anything, is it the road with all the little red wood arrows on the spinoff roads showing the correct way? If that was it, it was the road I rode during Thanksgiving and not to be missed on a DS or dirt bike anytime you are in the area.
Bob
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
251
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Sn. Antonio
First Name
Joel
Last Name
King
Good to meet you guys.

I had been merely riding through Terlingua when a big red F350 stopped me on the road and this guy poked his head out the window and said "Hey, what's your name?". Three minutes later, Roger invited me to move camp to his place. I had been camped in the boonies in Big Bend.

Thanks to Roger for the spot in the desert and for the great rides and to all of you there for the good company. Great bunch of folks.

Until next time,

Joel in San Antonio.

P.S. Looking forward to the ride from Acuna to wherever.....

XT225
DRZ400E Supertanker
Versys
FLHRSI
CT110
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
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David
Without giving away anything, is it the road with all the little red wood arrows on the spinoff roads showing the correct way? If that was it, it was the road I rode during Thanksgiving and not to be missed on a DS or dirt bike anytime you are in the area.
Bob
The arrows are markers for a bicycle race thru the desert . We saw lots of them but didn't pay attention to them enough to know if they are reliable enough to follow safely . SEYA
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
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Location
Exit. Stage West.
The arrows are markers for a bicycle race thru the desert . We saw lots of them but didn't pay attention to them enough to know if they are reliable enough to follow safely .
I followed them. For awhile. To........ oh, heck. I can't remember where. Out there. Somewhere.

I need a GPS. :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
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Location
Exit. Stage West.
The Canyon Lady

She has been haunting me since I first glimpsed her last March. Towering, majestic, timeless, unforgiving, and mysterious. Her melancholic darkness patterned with radiating bright beauty, sunlight chasing shadows all over her surface. She stands with her arms open. Beckoning you to let her embrace you, you enter with reticent apprehension that can't seem to override the irresistible magnetic pull into her body. Entering you are swallowed into another world like Alice falling down and down into the hole.

You can't refuse her. If you try she haunts your nights, your daydreams, and hovers in the back abyss of your subconsciousness. Her calling will never cease because she is timeless; until you submit and let her engulf you with her hard embrace. And like a love-smitten addict, you realize you have to go back for more.

I'm a canyon addict. A life-long love affair with canyons, I've sought them out everywhere I go. Even the concrete canyons of Manhattan have me wandering the streets with my head tilted back in awe and amazement. But we can't duplicate Nature's art of canyon-making. She is the master. And this Lady in the desert is one of her masterpieces.

The first and only real destination I had once I reached Big Bend this time was to submit to the pull of Santa Elena Canyon.

To be continued, with photos.... honest.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Re: The Canyon Lady

I'm a canyon addict. A life-long love affair with canyons, I've sought them out everywhere I go.
Get thee to Southern Utah and SW Colorado :trust: There are some mind blowing rides out there... BIG canyons... Little canyons... Deeeeeeep canyons... Narrow canyons... They have it all!!

Zion Nat Park
Bryce Canyon Nat Park
Grand Canyon Nat Park
The Royal Gorge
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Glenn Canyon Nat Rec Area
Canyonlands Nat Park
Capitol Reef Nat Park
Arches Nat Park
Dead Horse Point State Park (outside Moab, Ut)
The Delores and San Miguel River Canyon West of Montrose, Co on Hwy 141... :rider:

Just to name a few...
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
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Westfield, Texas
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Chris
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Hardy
Black Rock Canyon

TexasShadow,

Three of us were exploring Easter & found a nice box canyon up Black Rock Creek. I think we were north Hen Egg road & south of Agua Fria mountain.
Here are several shots.



 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
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The first day on the roads, Roger led Ed and I down the Old Maverick Road in Big Bend National Park. Fourteen miles of mostly flat terrain and easy gravel, the park calls it an 'improved dirt road' that nearly any car can travel. Many species of cacti are dispersed across the desert floor; giant towering yuccas lining the road made me feel as though I was riding down a Hollywood boulevard lined with palms.

Referred to as El Despoblado (Uninhabited Land) the Big Bend region was home to many generations of Mexican, Mexican-American, and American settlers. Long before them Native North and Central Americans traveled through, hunted, raided and lived on this desert and in its mountains. Visitors that see only relentless desolation think that people can not survive there. But they have. And still do.

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Several historic sites are readily accessible from the road: ruins of old homes. Luna's jacal is the remains of a shallow long mud and rock structure where a Mexican family lived for decades under the shadow of a tall basalt cliff. The Terlingua Abajo site near the Terlingua Creek contains several ruins of adobes. The occupants of these humble habitats were Mexican settlers that farmed land near the creek to feed themselves and market to miners in the Study Butte and Terlinagua regions as well as in the area that became the national park.

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People that lived and traveled through the vastness of the Chihuahua Desert in SW Texas and Mexico survived on more than just tenacity. Without a special collaboration with the land, intelligence and skill to rely on local resources, they could not have survived. Most people from our modern day society can't. Our 'adventure' rides pale in comparison to how people lived entire lives here centuries ago. We're too used to having things provided for us and living in a land of plenty. But nothing lasts forever.

We rode our street-camouflaged dirt bikes past mesas with the Lady always hovering in the distance. The closer we rode, the more the anticipation grew. It was all I could do to refrain from rushing into her embrace. We parked the bikes at a trail head and wandered down a bank to the Terlingua Creek.

Across the mostly dry creek bed was the Lady in all her magnificence: two 1,500-foot cliffs with a narrow gorge from which the Rio Grande flows and Terlingua Creek merges. And it is within these canyon walls that the Rio Grande bends sharply, giving that area the name, Big Bend.

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Santa Elena doesn't care who or what claims her cliffs as theirs, but humankind does. The east cliff resides in Mexico, the west side is claimed by the US and Texas. Despite the imposed political boundary most living things, including some humans, don't acknowledge split territories. They come and go as they please across the river and its banks, the cliffs and the air.

The Rio Grande cut this seven-mile gorge through uplifted blocks of limestone. Terlingua fault lies at the base of the massive cliffs which moved 3000 feet along it to form the Sierra Ponce mesa in Mexico and the thin Mesa de Anguila in Texas. Terlingua Creek flows along the base of Mesa de Anguila and into the Rio Grande at the mouth of Santa Elena.

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Gazing at the towering cliffs and trying to comprehend the millions of years of change on the earth upon which you stand is nearly mind boggling. Trying to resolve the force which moved this land with such violence with its majestic beauty and grandeur can leave one awestruck.

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The mesa is within the Chihuahuan Desert and the vegetation varies depending on proximity to water and altitude. A three-quarter mile trail clings to the wall near the mouth of the canyon and provides excellent views of tall grasses and shrubs along the river's edge in the canyon bottom, and cliff-hanging succulents growing in crevasse and on shelves in the dry sun-drenched cliff walls.

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Knowing, even in loss of comprehension, the course of geological history up to this time, and accepting changes in the future, only enhances the wonder and beauty of this canyon and its habitat. And I will be back to spend a day with her, float into her caverns and watch shadows chased by the light up and down her gorge. I will be swallowed by the whale, embraced by the majestic Lady called Santa Elena Canyon.

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I shall return. Again.

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Next: Cottonwoods dream home
 
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