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Long overdue post from Big Bend

Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
In September 2015, I went to Big Bend NP with Ray. At that time, Trump had nearly 0 chance of winning the presidency according to polls. At least 10 other republicans were running for the nomination. This bit of information will become more important later in this report. We went across the river to Boquillas Mexico in this boat.

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We ate at a restaurant/bar and I started a conversation with the owner, Ventura Falcon. I asked him how he stayed in business between 911 and 2013. The boat border crossing was shut down right after the 911 incident. He told me that his customers had been mainly people crossing over illegally from the US and that nearly everyone in Boquillas had to leave because their main source of revenue was gone. This town is very remote and relies on tourists. It’s over 100 miles to a gas station. He also told me that the town would die when Trump was elected. Of course, I knew that was highly improbable and told him so. He was adamant. I offered to bet 100/1 odds.

We signed IOU notes.
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Of course I lost and had to return in December of 2016 to pay my debt. I did coerce friends to go with me. The road from the park headquarters to the river is very desolate, but has a 45MPH limit. The park was nearly empty. We went 71 MPH. This ranger did not like us going 71MPH. He asked us why the high speed and I deftly slipped in the story about going to pay a debt. He gave us all a WARNING ticket.
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Scenery viewed while waiting for the ranger to check us for outstanding warrants before giving us the warning ticket.
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Transportation from the river to Boquillas, about a mile. The river crossing is $5. Donkey ride is $5. Bed of a pickup is $5. Walk is free. We rode.
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Ventura was in town, the big one with a gas station, with his wife welcoming a new baby boy into the family. I met his sister and father and they were surprised to learn that I was there to pay my debt.

Me cheerfully giving $100 to Ventura’s father while his sister looks on.
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It was very cold, but we did do a little riding. Pictures to come later.
 
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Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
This young man offered to show me the GIANT sand dunes if I would give him a tip. The GIANT dunes are behind him. Boy earns tip.
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Me standing on top of the GIANT sand dune. Not really, this one is in New Mexico and that's my wife, not me.
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Mark in his happy mood because he’s so enthused because I invited him to come along. That’s the start of Boquillas canyon in the background and Texas across the river.
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Me being sad because I just paid a really stupid bet.
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This was a short trip with 3 days of riding. The temperature on the second and third day was in the high 30s to the high 40s and it also rained some. This is the second day. We decided to ride Pinto Canyon Road even though we were on large street bikes. Mark turned around after about a mile of dirt. Ray and I persevered.

These goats? Sheep? were crossing the highway before we got to the dirt road.
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IMG_0128 by Linda Spears, on Flickr

There were lots of them.
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Some scenery along Pinto Canyon
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If you decide to ride Pinto Canyon on street bikes, I suggest north to south so that the steep hills with loose gravel are going down hill. It’s just easier.

Did I mention that it was cold. We both used electrics.
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Ray and I went across the bridge in Presidio to this restaurant. Mark remained warm in his motel room. And we remained envious of his warmth.
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Two meals, including 20oz sodas, was less than $8 total. Unusual in a border town.
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They saved money (and the environment) by recycling pallets into booth chairs.
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We rode another day through Ft. Davis, around the loop and other interesting areas. It was raining. It was cold. It was also pretty. My camera stayed in the tank bag most of the time. This ride wasn’t about the ride, it was about friends getting together and maintaining happy international relationships. Mission accomplished.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
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Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,774
Location
Huntsville
I am convinced that some New England bureaucratic twit that has never experienced the open spaces of places like Big Bend is responsible for that ludicrous 45 mph speed limit... :doh: If there was ever a list of rules that needed to be revised, the 45mph max limit in national parks should be at the top of that list! Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway at 45mph is sheer torture... :suicide: Even 60mph in both places would be a HUGE improvement!
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
149
Location
Rowlett
These goats? Sheep? were crossing the highway before we got to the dirt road.

Those are Aoudads or Barbary sheep, an import from North Africa that is increasing in population & range in the southwest.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
Loved it! Was getting the bike across at Presidio difficult? (paperwork, insurance, etc)
We used our insurance cards. The Mexican border guy asked for our titles, but we explained we hadn't planned to come across the river. He checked to see if our insurance card matched the vin number and we rode in. I doubt we could have made it past the check station.
 

Baja_Bound

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 25, 2012
Messages
80
Location
San Antonio
Thanks for the info. I have done MexTrek where getting the bike across took a little more prep, but I have always wondered what could be done in a quick cross for lunch.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

h2000fb

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Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
2,337
Location
Crawford, TX
Thanks for the info. I have done MexTrek where getting the bike across took a little more prep, but I have always wondered what could be done in a quick cross for lunch.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
I would be afraid of staying for a long lunch and a new border guard being at the crossing that was not so understanding.

Than what? Lose a bike?
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
I would be afraid of staying for a long lunch and a new border guard being at the crossing that was not so understanding.

Than what? Lose a bike?
Mexican side does not stop you on the way back, just like the American side does not stop you as you head into Mexico. I've driven my truck and my bike across many times. In the '80s and '90s you didn't even have to stop on the Mexican side if you were just going to the border towns.
 
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Joined
Apr 16, 2014
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115
Location
fredericksburg
That’s awesome man. Great anecdote
That is something you’ll carry forever and more then a couple of people will remember.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
20
Location
Flower Mound TX
Dennie YOU are the best motorcycle tour guide one could ask for, well except for leading me down that caliche rock road to Mexico for 25 miles!!!
Thanks for the memories, let’s get the band back together for one more epic trip!!
MT
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
Dennie YOU are the best motorcycle tour guide one could ask for, well except for leading me down that caliche rock road to Mexico for 25 miles!!!
Thanks for the memories, let’s get the band back together for one more epic trip!!
MT
Your turn to plan. I'm trying to stay ready. This age thing is kicking my tail.
 
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