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Linx310’s journey to los almagres...

Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
57
Location
san marcos
I know I have posted lots of ride reports before (on other forum)…

I have dubbed this ride “Linx310’s journey to los almagres”

I had the day off and was bored. So as usual I wanted to to take my KLR650 out and explore. I used google earth to plan a short route out side of the city of Blanco. It was supposed to only be a 30 minute journey on a road called “Crab Apple”. Instead it turned out to be a 6 hour expedition chasing down wildfires and ending up at the Packsaddle Indian battle ground and the site of the “mythical” los almagres mine.

I left the house at about 10:30 am…it was about 70 degrees. I stopped at Sams and got some gas, the KLR has what seems like a “bottomless” gas tank and it took 5.2 gallons to top it off. Little did I know I would need the KLR’s range during this trip.

I headed west down Ranch Road 12 and then onto FM32. For those that don’t know this is probably the most scenic drive in Texas. If you ever make a journey out this way be sure to take a drive down FM32. While driving down FM32 I noticed way in the distance a smoke plume.

I stopped at the rest area and took a few pics. The rest area isn’t in the greatest spot, the best views are further back on FM32.

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Any boy scout worth his salt should recognize this location. It is Sentinel Peak at El Rancho Cima. Many scouts have visited this location while participating in the “death march”.

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I continued down FM32 till I reached 281 and headed to Blanco. I took a right downtown at the main light and headed west. I drove about 10 miles and never saw the road I was looking for. Since the maps out here suck, google earth, map quest, and the county maps all have different names for the road.

So instead I decide to head down the road and noticed I was getting closer and closer to the smoke plume. I decide to get off the main road to take some pictures of the smoke plum now to the north east of me.

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Video of Wildfire

I also notice a second plume to the west behind a ridge to the west.

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Continued down the road further and further. Must have crossed 5 or so cattle cards and past numerous loose live stock. The fire has now turned to a black color. Not good…this means its probably burning down a structure.

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Further down the road the road keeps getting less and less maintained. I am getting close the fire and can actually smell burning cedar.

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And I can still see the fire burning further out to the west. That’s not haze in the background its smoke.

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Getting closer to the fire.

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Stopped and took pictures of this old cabin. Apparently I have ended up some part of LBJ state park.

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Some animals that look like gazelles or impalas.

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Continued down the road and got as close as I could to the fire. The national guard had been called in and they were using black hawk helicopters. I even saw a orange C130 flying around. I didn’t see it drop any thing though.

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Video of Blackhawks fighting fire...

Looking west I could see the other fire.

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I continued down the road and took a few pictures of the surrounding hills.

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And found yet another wildfire. You can see the smoke rising behind the hill. In the other pictures the haziness is from all the smoke.

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Cool granite rock formation. At this point the hills have turned into granite and quartz.

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The road eventually turned into dirt. Notice all the smoke in the background on the right side of the picture. Yet another wild fire.

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Since I didn’t feel like chasing another wildfire I came up with a new goal. To reach the dirt road I see in the far distance.

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Video of smoke and new goal...

Further down the road you can see my goal getting closer. The road I have been on is starting to get worse and worse. From hard packed dirt to loose sand mixed with rocks.

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A few miles up the trees started to cover the road. The road was getting more difficult to drive on.

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The closer I got to my goal the worse the road got. It was now nothing but loose red sand and most of it was “washboard”. Thank god I have a KLR…if I was on a cruiser I would have turned back.

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Cool formation of pink granite that is everywhere in this area.

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Getting closer to goal video...

This has to be one of the spookiest low water crossing I have ever made. There was no water on the crossing, The size and look of the river bed is what is scary. The river isn’t very big, but you can tell when it floods it wipes this area out. This isn’t sand on the river bottom, its granite gravel. It almost looks like another planet.

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Spooky river bed...

Small “settlement” down the unpaved road. I wonder if any one still lives here.

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A windmill still in use.

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Even further down the road I stopped to take a piss and saw a huge deer walking along the woods. I thought it was a giant white tail. But when I got home and looked at the pictures its a Axis Deer. This is not a fawn…Axis deer keep their spots and are much larger then white tails.

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Getting closer to my goal. I just hope I can make it.

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At this point the road turned. It appears that this road is unfinished and part of a utility line or some thing. Heading north on this crappy road (good for me and the KLR) I noticed packsaddle pass. For those who don’t know this is the location of one of the last Indian battles between settlers and the apache. For info on the battle go here http://www.forttours.com/pages/tocpack.asp

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As the road came out onto a paved road. I pulled off at the tail end of this series of hills. This is the location of “LOS ALMAGRES”. The lost Spanish mine that Spanish conquistadors tried to get silver and gold from. It was a bust because the amount of silver in the rocks wasn’t worth the cost to get it out of the area. Mexico even sent an expedition looking for this spot along with several settlers who believed that the area was rich with silver. Here is a history of this place. A lot of people came back empty handed.
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/dkl5.html

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It was getting late and my 30 minute drive has now turned into a few hours. I turned around and saw another road that looked rather interesting. This road was even worse then the one I was on earlier. The road was a mix of loose sand and good size granite boulders sticking out of the road. Throw in a crap load of cow **** and loose rocks you really have to pay attention.

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OMG! The first vehicle I had seen in hours. It was a local rancher who stopped and talked with me. He asked me if I knew how long that big wildfire had been burning. Told him what I saw and he thanked me and left.

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At this point I have had nothing to eat and was starving. I continued down the road for a good distance. I even crossed a deeper part of the river that I thought was spooky. I got soaking wet doing it though. Wish I would have taken some pics.

I back tracked all the roads I had been on and was glad I filled up because I didn’t see one gas station out here….lol

Overall it was one of the funniest rides I have ever takin. People on cruisers and other street bikes really miss a lot.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,134
Location
Austin, TX
I was back in both those areas yesterday. Near the second fire you posted, we saw a sign along Highway 16 (north of enchanted rock) that said it was a proscribed burn.

The first fire was close to Johnson City and we drove towards Fredericksburg we notice, like you, the smoke turn blacker. I saw a couple of the helicopters and didn't even consider they were heading to the fire.
 
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
925
Location
Belton Texas
those look like my kind of roads, would really like to know what county roads they are, rode 308,309,and 310, an several other roads last weekend that were a blast!!!:rider:
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
33
Location
Austin
Thank you for your ride report, I was entertained by your knowledge of the history of that area. Nice Job!
I hope to see those dirt roads some day!
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
478
Location
Smack dab in the middle of TX
yep, those are CRs 308, 309 and 310. Think they are llano CRs. Thats sandy creek you got wet going across and the small settlement is click, Tx. 315 is the road crossing sandy creek
to 16

best ds roads by austin, too bad their 50+ miles away.



you want to stay on the path btw.

 
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
8,834
Location
Fort Worth
The critters you saw in a herd were Indian Blackbuck. Lots of those on ranches in Texas.

Nice report and pics.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
7,195
Location
Northern Fayette County
Howdy Linx.
Last week I rode out to Canyon Lake to spend Spring Break with my sisters family and just had to stop for a pic. Spent many of weekends there as a kid.:trust: Lotta fun!
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I'd love to hook up with some DS riders in the Cen. TX area but I just don't know anyone. Kinda new to the computer and forums in general. I did meet Rusty (Woodbutcher) in Cloudcroft,NM last Sept. on a fluke though, I knew his brother in law from ThumperTalk and we met up.:lol2: Small world or what?

I'd love to get together with you folks sometime and ride,
Rman.........
 
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