• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November - The Report

Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
First Name
Bryan
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

The Houston Crew (Yogi, Moose, BMWbabe, and Chris (can't remember his screen name)) got off OK this morning at 6:30 give or take a few. I feel so left out. :-( :lol2: I hope and pray everyone has a safe trip! :rider:
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
First Name
Bryan
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

Are you going to catch up to them or are you manning the home front?
:ponder:
Manning the home front with the kiddos. Talked to BMWbabe, DFW-Warrior, and Calgary_Yogi today on the phone. They were in Presidio having lunch. I don't want horn in on their up-coming ride reports, but I will say they are all having a blast. The weather is perfect and everyone is having fun and being safe.
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
17,293
Location
Arlington, Texas
First Name
Charles ("Chuck")
Last Name
Gibke
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

:thumb: My hat is off to you, Bryan, for letting the spouse go play!
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
931
Location
On the road
First Name
Ara
Last Name
Gureghian
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

They are doing just fine!

216649002-L.jpg


... and I did hide the keys from Rebecca...

Be well...

Ara & Spirit
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,087
Location
Sugar Land, TX
First Name
Bryan
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

Sweet! Thanks for posting the photo, beemerchef. Cool that the gang got to meet you and hang out with you for a while. :rider: I hear they are having breakfast with you in the morning. :eat:
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
931
Location
On the road
First Name
Ara
Last Name
Gureghian
Re: The Quest for Chili.... Big Bend in November

Probably wrong to post this here as by now has become a ride report?... But anyhow... I took it upon myself to head toward their camp last night... glad that I did as they bailed out from the Breakfast deal at Kathy's... of course they don't know what they missed... nice fire... day long Burrito (:giveup: ) :lol2: !!!
Great company... I was even offered a Texas Steak compliments of the group and grilled by the tream "litter" Bill... :eat: :rofl: to purrfection...

It was dark... the kids would not stop playing...

217319876-L.jpg


217319734-L.jpg


... and these two were speaking Mandarin or something foreign :eek2:

217319791-L.jpg


... did I say it was dark?

217319714-L.jpg


Poor Spirit was having a "steak but not for me" attack... as we left around 10pm he was on the lookout the whole ride back for some creature he could sink his teeth in :eat: ... but of course... it did not happen!

Thanks for the company... dinner... and the great comfort zone amongst you all...

Be well...

Ara & Spirit
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,848
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
Home safe and sound!!!!

Ara, it was awesome to meet you and Spirit in person!!!! Oh yeah, Kathy has something for you. You left it at camp and Brandy and I dropped it by there this morning while we had one of those famous burritos that you were talking about. I feasted on an Anne Oakley, and Brandy had the Roy Rogers. YUMMY!!!!

Anyway, sorry that we missed you this morning. It was a last minute decision to head that way for breakfast and I'm glad we did.

Alright, it's off to bed for me and I'll start sifting through pictures tomorrow and posting some of them up.
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Home, tired, and not wanting to go back to work tomorrow!

More later...
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
891
Location
Central Texas
Home, tired, and not wanting to go back to work tomorrow!

More later...
R, I saw a bottle of Turkey in one of the the pics of you and the gang. You didn't let those bad boys get you tipsy and then take advantage of you, did you?:-P :-P Bank in my drinking days Turkey was my poison of choice. I still have a set of the decanters that were produced back in the 70's I believe.

Anyhow it looks like y'all had a great time.

How was the chili?
:sun:
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
931
Location
On the road
First Name
Ara
Last Name
Gureghian
A few miles into the ride back I realized I forgot my water bottle...Oh! well... well worth the price of admission... And I did think... if... that is "if" those guys stop at Kathy's... well, they just might drop it off... Too bad I did not know about it... I am sure she did not have any wood for the fire as Roger or I bring it in the am!!!
Next time...
Glad that you all made it back safely... It is now the quietest town I have ever experienced!!!

Be well...

Ara & Spirit
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
750
Location
El Paso
First Name
Darci
Last Name
Escandon
Looks like a great time. I am envious...I hate being so far away from everyone. Need to find more people in the West Texas area to join up!!!!
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
750
Location
El Paso
First Name
Darci
Last Name
Escandon
I thought you were pretty close to BB?!

Maybe you need an "eastern" weekend residence so you can join us for pie!
hee hee.. that would be even farther. I am in El Paso...the far west part of Texas. Home of constant sunshine!!!:sun:
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
hee hee.. that would be even farther. I am in El Paso...the far west part of Texas. Home of constant sunshine!!!:sun:
Well, if we can get to BB from Houston and Arlington, it was probably still closer for you. Next time! :rider:
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
750
Location
El Paso
First Name
Darci
Last Name
Escandon
I am itching for my first long ride. so far, it has been just local stuff. Getting my seat time in. I should have the Duchess fixed this week. We were supposed to head to Deming with FJRBandit this weekend for the Veterans day BBQ but plans changed and have to go out of town for a funeral. I really want to make my first long run with a group of TWT riders!!!
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Oh, and what do y'all use to put panoramics together?
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,503
Location
Houston
First Name
Graeme
Last Name
Craigon
Home safe, tired and just a little bit sore..

WHAT A TRIP. THANK YOU BILL
Best group rides I have ever been on. Made some great new friendships and memories to last a life time.

Here are a few of my pictures.

The Start of the ride - Departing Houston
IMG_2290.jpg


Rolling into Big Bend to meet the crew
IMG_2337.jpg


Bill & Brandy leading the pack back to camp after just an amazing day of riding.
IMG_2444.jpg


The Strom and some little bridge on the way to Bandera
IMG_2454.jpg


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: Just for Stinky :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
IMG_2461.jpg

BMW_Babe


IMG_2469.jpg

SkaterBoy(Krys)


Leaving the sisters behind after another day of hard riding.
IMG_2474.jpg

The lights are BMW_Babe,Moose & SkaterBoy(Krys)


The last picture in the roll
IMG_2486.jpg

Outside Blacks BBQ, just a little chilli
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
First Name
Al
Last Name
Spencer
Back somewhat warm but safe - what a trip

A couple days to upload pics as me cables are at the office:doh:

PS - it's spelt "Sk8er Boy....."
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Tom checked in earlier by SMS. Safe and sound.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,848
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
I would just like to say thanks to all of you that came out for it. It was hands down the best group ride I've ever been part of. I don't know what it was about this one, but it was just amazing.

Anyway, I need to get some sleep. I have a big day tomorrow.:trust:
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
531
Location
Sugar Land
I had a wonderful time too! It was hard to leave...haha.

I learned so much this weekend and much if it was actually useful and not just oversharing. I'm working on my pictures now but I won't be the first to make a report so don't be thinking to bug me about it.

Really enjoyed getting to know you all better. Thanks for all you did to make it such a great time. YAY for Big Bend Bill!!
 

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,622
Location
The Woodlands & Woden, TX
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you. Thanks for letting me tag along.

Got back from traveling with business last night as I have been on the road (in the air) all week. I will try and put a report from my perspective together this weekend.

I did learn a lesson though on this trip. That is, that Squeaky and I are a bad influence on each other. I bet if we found a frozen flag pole we both would have dared each other to touch our tounges to it.
 
Last edited:

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
I did learn a lesson though on this trip. That is, that Squeaky and I are a bad influence on each other. I bet if we found a frozen flag pole we both would have dared each other to touch our tounges to it.
No, I would have been the one holding the camera. ;-)
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Until we get all the pics and stories sorted out, Id like to add to the suspense... :mrgreen:

218290813-M.jpg


218292454-M.jpg


218293660-M.jpg


219055856-M.jpg


219056451-M.jpg


219058757-M.jpg


219058758-M.jpg


219059618-M.jpg


218294681-M.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
1,529
Location
South of Houston
First Name
Al
Last Name
Spencer
Sighhh...I guess somebody had better get the ball rolling:giveup:

Let me preface this with the simple explination that I have a hard time taking picture - when I'm riding I hate to stop.

But I'd better start with the money shot to keep DFW-Warriors interest
219477664-M.jpg

Tom, Sk8terboy and Yogi - for some reason the jackets were a little tighter by this time:eat:

But I digress - lets start the report

All dressed up and no place to go....yet:rider:
219477810-M.jpg


Anyway the hardcore Houston crew met at the Starbux at 59&99 for a 6am kick-off. We were all on time, unfortuantly not all on the same time zone:doh:

We had real heavy fog all the way to our first fill-up at I10&183

It was so bad in spots that things got "interesting" as attested by this photo
219477865-M.jpg


Well as you all know I10 is not the most exciting ride
219477841-M.jpg


Anyway we made it thru San Antonio and picked upo 90 to Del Rio
Did ya'll know that the fully loaded range of a F650 is somewhat less then expected
219478001-M.jpg

don't worry - we didn't run out like some people...we are just debating the relitive merits of back tracking to Del Rio for gas or pressing ahead

Finally - Marathon, after a marathon ride. What this - another90 miles to the camp site:giveup:
219478028-M.jpg


We finally arrive a tthe camp site and are greeted by this
219478071-M-1.jpg

Food was awsome all weekend - Billy'll make somebody a good wife:lol2:
I thing Calgary-Yogi was particularly enamoured
219478105-M-1.jpg


A quite night was spent with the howls of the coyote's and the javalinas and as morning broke things became a blurr of action
219478127-M.jpg

BMWbabe and Brandy putting together coffee and french toast:eat:

Finally got going (after all keys were returned:eek2: )on overfull stomachs to our fist stop in Studly Butt for gas. The place was going to the dogs but had lots of Spirit
219478152-M.jpg

Ara (Bemerchef's companion) and She Who Shall Not Be Named (SWSNBN for future referance)

Made it to the lookout on River Road on the way to lunch in Presidio (yes this thing is all about food)
219478239-M.jpg

Molly looks like a Coast Guard helicoptor pilot, SWSNBN & DFW-Warrior

Next morning we had a photoline-up of the usual suspects
219478336-M.jpg


Next morning the hard core crew made for Hill county
Bridge over the Peco's river
219478524-M.jpg

I think there was a sign on the bridge saying that there was no jumping from it - one of those "Hold my beer and watch this" Texas things I'm sure;-)

Right after this pic we stopped for lunch (again) in Del Rio. Things got a little intresting as we left the Chillies and made out way to the parking lot. I will not go into any more detail right now (SWSNBN'd moment)

A few meals at OST in Bandera later we find BMWBade involved in some strange Druid ceremony

Of course sk8terboy was not far behined
219478663-M.jpg


Ofcourse this also entailed another honey check in call - between Sparky (at home base) and BMWbabe
219478686-M.jpg


After another time zone challange (who wants to break camp at 4:00am thinking it's 6:00am

Finally the last day we make our bloated way back to one last stop
219477695-M.jpg


2350miles total - what a ride, what a crew. Thanks for putting up with me and the odd one-liner

Moose
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 1: The Pre-Quest for the Quest For Chili

A plan was hatched and oh, what a plan it was: The Quest For Chili.

The moons had aligned and the trip for Tom, Duke, and myself got underway in the late evening on Halloween. For me, this meant already being in my pajamas at work and simply transitioning those same PJs to the cab of the truck for the long drive west. We all hit the powder room one last time, loaded up, and headed out.

218290738-M.jpg


Duke’s (dixonduke) plan for the weekend involved both paved and unpaved riding, hence the need for a truck and trailer. Having already ridden the boring, flat, and straight route there and back myself in the past, I gladly accepted his offer to add more bikes and riders to his mode of transport.

218290737-M.jpg


The Katy Freeway.
Interstate 10.
The highway that connects two oceans.
It’s a freeway without character, but it serves its purpose well. Without lifeless freeways we could not so easily span the continent on journeys, trips, and adventures.

Every now and then these continental arteries are closed. A minor stroke, if you will, in the flow of the country‘s travelers. One such coagulation presented itself in San Antonio and forced a few loops and detoured backtracking just to stay on the same road we’d been on for the last three hours.

218290753-M.jpg


Very appropriately, we decided to watch the first episode of Long Way Down on a video iPod thingy - like a docking staion, but we piped the audio through the truck’s aux input. If there was a way to travel more comfortably across this huge state on wheels, I don’t know what it could possibly be.

218290752-M.jpg


The GPS displayed the ever-increasing altitude as we crossed through the Hill Country. As it was now well past midnight, the deer were everywhere and I was glad to have the protection of the cage around me. If I’d been on the bike, things could get ugly out there.

218290813-M.jpg


As the clock continued to tick away the minutes, late night ended somewhere and early morning had taken its place. Mollie was awake and checking in while preparing to throw a leg over and meet the other Houston-area riders for their two-wheeled version of our midnight ride. A few minutes later, Graeme checked in from their meet-up point to check on our progress. We were getting off the freeway for another break and some fuel. Even with an auxiliary tank, we were towing and climbing so fuel economy was lower than normal for the big diesel. As we pulled into the fueling station and aimed for one of the truck lanes, the truck began to shudder.

218290851-M.jpg


Well, you see the truck ran out of gas.
Yes, in the gas station.
Fort Stockton, TX.

No, I wasn’t driving nor did I have any affect whatsoever on the determination of fuel economy or location selected for the next fuel stop. Let’s just get that out of the way so y’all don’t have to remind me that I don’t pay attention to a fuel gauge.

What I didn’t know at the time was that unlike my car and bike, this truck wasn’t going to start back up just by adding more fuel to the tank. There was priming/bleeding to be done and for that, tools are needed. Tools that might normally reside in the truck when one has not cleaned out his truck in preparation for a long haul with cab-mates.

Here he is trying to get a pair of pliers to get it done, but unsuccessfully.

218290855-M.jpg


It’s pitch black outside, but pre-dawn hours in an oil, gas, and mining region means trucks coming and going - and with those trucks goes tools. Duke quickly befriends a local and help is on the way.

218290961-M.jpg


I don’t know his name, but the guy in the striped shirt was our hero. They had their truck backed up to Duke’s, tools out, and air bled from the system within minutes. I was trying not to be rude by flashing a camera on these guys, but I was reminded that it’s all just part of the adventure. Documentation is required.

218290931-M.jpg


Our good Samaritan took a face full of diesel for us. I felt horrible, but I was glad he was able to get us back up and running. Karma. Think about it.

218290987-M.jpg


The Good Sam adequately thanked, we got to washing the fuel off the truck and topping off the tanks. It was decided at that point that we’d NOT rely on the gauge for the aux tank for the remainder of the trip. Twice as many fuel stops makes for half as much worry about making it there.

218290998-M.jpg


The sun started to rise and I decided we’d play a game to pass the time and stay alert. It worked to keep us kids quiet for long drives to the grandparents’ place way back when, so I introduced the game of Geography to my driving mates. They seemed to catch on quickly, but it began to peter off when our brains decided this wasn’t the time for thinking. How many hours have we been awake?

218291047-M.jpg


My body now physically exhausted, I started to doze off. I was losing the battle to keep my eyes open.

Pilot to copilot: We’ll have none of that now, ya hear?
But, I…
Nope, you made it this far, we’re inside the park so you’re staying up.
Fine. Be that way.

My eyes closed again. I couldn’t fight it.

Suddenly, the truck veered sharply and Duke let out a quick yelp. I jumped from my sleep and looked over to see him chuckling.

If I kill him now, there’s no way Tom and I will be able to unload the bikes by ourselves. I guess I’ll have to let him live for the time being.

218291109-M.jpg


The front gate was unmanned and the visitors center was closed.

218291122-M.jpg


Mother nature welcomes us with her beauty.

218291147-M.jpg


We headed for the camping area and settled on three adjacent unreserved spaces within easy walking distance of the restrooms, yet far enough away as to not let the lights disturb our sleep. We quickly filled out envelopes and dropped them in the box, then set to the task of unloading the trailer and setting up camp. I had renewed energy. We were here. I knew that once we’d gotten the tents up we wouldn’t have to worry about it for three days. I quickly learned to watch my step - the thorns were large and sharp enough to punch straight through my slippers and river shoes on separate occasions.

218291244-M.jpg


Storage lockers were located at each campsite to keep the roaming javelinas from getting into everything. Being the city girl that I am, crawling furry things and the idea of them going through my stuff freaks me out. Yes, I know we’re camping. I’ll get used to it.

Despite wanting nothing more than sleep, our bellies reminded us that we hadn’t eaten a meal in quite some time. We unhooked the trailer and made a run for the store just up the way, with a quick stop into the visitors center to pony up our dues.

Here Duke shows me some tall thorned cacti just outside the window. During his last visit in the Spring, they were in full bloom. Now they just look like sticks with throns.

218291178-M.jpg


We got back to base camp and made lunchmeat sammiches, then hit the sack for a nap. We didn’t want to waste the day, but we’d be dangerous on the road with as little sleep as we’d gotten.

It was hot. The vents on my tent’s rainfly weren’t allowing enough air in. No matter how still I lay, I was sweating outdoors in November. This is nuts.

It was a forced sleep, and not very restful. I awoke and stood outside my tent just enjoying the light breeze for a few minutes. It was apparent that I wasn’t the only one who needed more air.

218291353-M.jpg


It reminded me of the dog sleeping in front of the fridge in the winter to keep warm. Duke had found a spot in the shade on his cool metal toolbox.

218291310-M.jpg


With the sun already well into its descent, we geared up, turned up the helmet tunes, and went-a-wandering on some of the roads inside the park.

218291365-M.jpg


218291412-M.jpg


Facing the camera into the sun washed out this “3 mouseketeers” shot

218291516-M.jpg


With this much sun in the lens, my bike actually doesn’t look dirty…

218291570-M.jpg


Here, Duke and Tom are:
a) Discussing the layers of rock formation on the adjacent cliffs
b) Deciding where to go from here
c) Plotting to ride off without that slow girl that gets nervous when the elevation changes by three feet or more

218291591-M.jpg


I like riding when I can just relax and enjoy myself. The park itself has some rolling hills, but nothing like the mountains we’d get to later in the trip.

218291666-M.jpg


Although not an all-out mecca for riders, Big Bend offers a great combination of scenery, twists, turns, history, nature, and seclusion.

218291693-M.jpg


218291705-M.jpg


218291746-M.jpg


We stopped for pictures in/at the tunnel. It looked scenic and there was almost no traffic to speak of.
218291774-M.jpg


218291821-M.jpg


218291831-M.jpg


Note: Either Duke has gone deaf at an early age or those noise-cancelling earphones he’s got are worth their weight in gold. Time and again I’d try to get his attention when out of his line of sight, but it was no use. I think I finally threw a glove at him once before the weekend was over.

218291879-M.jpg


Stunning. The colors in the pic are way off because of the light. I offer no apologies - go see it for yourself instead of just reading my version!

218291880-M.jpg


With the sun and haze as it was, the mountains in the distance seemed layered as if painted that way.

218291938-M.jpg


We decided to head to the hot springs, but it meant taking an unpaved road. The GSA and Strom were up to it, but was Tom’s Connie up to it? We let him decide for himself.

218291959-M.jpg


218291996-M.jpg


218292030-M.jpg


Must be that Adventure Connie…

218292067-M.jpg


These two old Harleys made it in this far, too.

218292104-M.jpg


Someone had been decorating with downed palm fronds outside the old store

218292333-M.jpg


The walk down to the springs was not very dirt boot friendly. These are the times when I long for my touring boots, but they offer so much less protection compared to the A*s. Ugh.

218292341-M.jpg


He backed up so far to compose a pic, the thorns tried to overtake him.
Duke: 1
Thorns: 0

218292454-M.jpg


Petroglyphs carved into the rock wall. Sadly, vandalism has made its way into places like these. Disgraceful.

218292572-M.jpg


http://squeaky.smugmug.com/gallery/3747422#218292704

Yup, that’s pretty high up there.

[ATTACH=full]205553[/ATTACH]

On the other side of this narrow river is Mexico.

[ATTACH=full]205554[/ATTACH]

We didn’t think it would be warm enough to take a dip, nor did we have time with the setting sun. Next time I’m going for a dip.

[ATTACH=full]205555[/ATTACH]

The R12GSA. Playing in dirt, just the way it likes.

[ATTACH=full]205556[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=full]205557[/ATTACH]

Shadows grew longer

[ATTACH=full]205558[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=full]205559[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=full]205560[/ATTACH]

We thought we would have seen the Houston group on the road by now, but they never passed us. We headed up to the Chisos Basin Lodge, but to Duke’s disappointment (and my relief) we got stuck behind a slow-moving SUV for the tight switchbacks.

[ATTACH=full]205561[/ATTACH]

We parked the bikes and strolled into the Lodge for a quick snack and some rehydration, all the while enjoying the view of the sun setting all around us through the walls of glass.

[ATTACH=full]205562[/ATTACH]

Riding back down the switchbacks in darkness was not my idea of fun, and my grip on the bars was almost painful. I was constantly reminding myself to relax, but I guess I didn’t want to listen. As long as I kept Duke’s multiple driving lights within my line of sight I could pace him, but as he started to slip away I had to slow down my pace.

Heading south and arriving back at camp, we were greeted by a bunch of smiling faces and meat-a-cookin’ on the grill.

Chef Biwwy

[ATTACH=full]205563[/ATTACH]

Dinner was capped off with chocolate cherry cobbler, and soon after it was gone folks started to fade away to the solace of their tents. It had been a long day for us all, and there were roads waiting for us in the morning.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 2: River Road (the paved one)

Waking up before the sun is up is not something I often look forward to, but on the road it was different. It was the promise of more riding, more fun, more frolic. Out here we rarely had to look at the time - the sun was going to dictate what we did and when.

I got the Jetboil going and had hot cocoa keeping the chill away within minutes. Graeme’s balloon-inflating stove eventually got his water to a boil, but he will probably want to find and fit all of the stove’s parts before his next trip.

Well, unless his next trip is in a hot air balloon. Then it’d be ok.

218293507-M.jpg


Video. Sorry, I don't know how to rotate a video. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1687015307170206244

Bill was hard at work shredding potatoes for hash browns while bacon was crisping and Brandy was frenching the toast on a nearby camp stove.

218293677-M.jpg


The reason Kris’ new nickname is Sk8erboy:

218293689-M.jpg


With the group riding the paved River Road (170?) today, Duke was set to take the KLR down the unpaved version here inside the park. The KLR had other plans.

218293616-M.jpg


[Scotty]She hasn’t got any power, cap’n[/Scotty]
218293615-M.jpg


Bill and Brandy made sure we ate like royalty all weekend.

218293660-M.jpg


We cleaned up, geared up, and grouped up for a pre-ride meeting. It was essentially a quick heads up of the day’s plan, a reminder about signals and pace, and setting up a general order of lead/sweep.

219055690-M.jpg


219055733-M.jpg


Most of us had decided to ride out with liners and/or heated gear. To date, my new heated grips had been too hot to leave on low for more than a few minutes at a time. This morning, I would be able to use them as they were intended.

Everyone’s got a different pre-ride ritual. For a “people watcher” like myself, this period of time can be quite interesting.

219055589-M.jpg


219055636-M.jpg


Exiting the park, I was grouped a few bikes from the back.

219055811-M.jpg


219055780-M.jpg


We stopped in Study Butte for fuel. As we pulled in, we noticed a familiar sidecar and were greeted by Ara (Beemerchef) and his dog Spirit. Read their story here.

219055888-M.jpg


219055861-M.jpg


219055990-M.jpg


Moose was occupied with a small problem - the lack of a passenger footpeg. Not that he needed it at this moment, but it would have been nice if it hadn’t decided to jump ship somewhere between the campsite and the gas station.

219055995-M.jpg


We headed west toward Presidio and detoured for a break at the Terlingua Ghost Town.

219056048-M.jpg


219056221-M.jpg


You’ll have to sit through lots of boring words now, sorry. My camera battery went dead while at Terlingua. I had a charger back at camp, but I hadn’t realized how low it had drained and hadn’t prepared for it to run out. Oh well. Hopefully the others will make up for it.

We headed out onto 170 and rolled through the hills to Presidio for lunch, stopping at a scenic overlook for pictures. There must have been thousands of pictures taken between all nine of us this weekend - we were shutter happy! LOL

We had lunch at the small Mexican restaurant in town, but I don’t recall the name of it. It seems almost everyone got “the special” except me. Always original I guess. I borrowed a camera to take a pic of the meal, so it’ll show up eventually.

After lunch we turned around and rode through 170 again, and I felt a little more relaxed this time. I’ve noticed that I tend to ride better after lunch for some reason, but the music selections being piped into my helmet also help a lot.

After we crossed through the park entrance gate, Duke and I split off for Old Maverick Road, which was unpaved but maintained by the park (according to reports). The loose rock wasn’t very difficult, but the sand was killer. I had the advantage of watching Duke bounce over washes and ruts to pick my lines and he was my advance warning beacon to deploy the outriggers and paddle my way through a sand trap or three. We went down to Terlingua Abajo and Santa Elena Canyon, with many sections making me wish I was on my XR. At one point I was veering out to avoid a rut and whacked my helmet right into a tree branch that was hanging down into the road. I’m glad I leave my visor down!

I think I was more worried for my bike than for me. I could hear rocks flinging back up into his belly and hoped he’d be Ok. I only have a plastic belly cover; my aluminum one is at home collecting dust on a shelf. Don’t ask. At the end of the unpaved section, I came up on Duke with his camera out - but he’d missed the shot (hmm, I wasn’t as slow as he thought I was going to be?) so he motioned for me to turn around and do it again. YAY! Finally, a riding partner that takes as many pics as I do! hehe

We wound our way back to base camp through Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive (I think?), up past the basin, then back down to the Rio Grande Village. He’d run ahead and I’d just roll along behind him, but completely out of sight. I kinda liked it that way, but I guess when he’d pull off and wait for me to catch up he wasn’t quite sure how long to wait - he had turned around to come looking for me, but found me just lazing along through the curves. He swung back around, then caught up to me and motioned for me to pull over.

I was confused as Duke dismounted and came up toward my bike. He reached down and in a blur, was stuffing my license plate into my pannier. Huh? It’s been safety wired since I lost three in a row back in the early part of this year. The plate had vibrated off with all the rocks and washboard gravel we‘d done, and (for who knows how long?) I’d been riding with my license plate flapping around in the wind behind me. It had hit my tire and hoisted itself in and out of the air like a kite. It looked like it had been mashed under a herd of rubber-shod elephants.

Oops. This should be good for a laugh or two back at camp.

We hit the store on the way back and picked up more ice, and somehow found a way to get four bags of ice back on the top of a BMW’s panniers, since neither of us had empty space in our luggage to accommodate it. Resources and brainstorming are key when the temperature of the beer later that night is at stake.

Once back at camp, we rushed to get what we needed and head over to the showers, since they locked up at 8. I had to beg and borrow six quarters, since I wasn’t prepared for there to not be a change machine for the vending machines and showers.

We chowed down on burgers and dogs, then told the tales of trips that we all love to hear while shining flashlights on innocent bugs that have wandered into our circle. It was like an eco-friendly camping episode of National Geographic.

The wind had picked up, but it was still warmer than the previous night. Sleep came more easily with the breeze around me, but while I was cool - I was never cold.
 
Last edited:

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 3: The Roads of West Texas

Breakfast was spectacular yet again, with Bill at the helm serving up eggs, bacon, and has browns.

219056237-M.jpg


Tents were lowered (to prevent the javelina from tearing them) before leaving the campsite.

219056218-M.jpg


Lined ‘em up and rolled ‘em out.

219056298-M.jpg


Video, best played at half-screen:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8410066592553709963&hl=en

A cool idea for a photo op that Bill thunk up. It was so empty out there, we were able to line up, dismount, all take pics, then all get back on and ready to ride before any other vehicles appeared. It was amazing, and it felt good.

220227765-L.jpg


Bill & Brandy waiting on the group to get saddled up and ready

219056384-M.jpg


I was allowed to ride sweep out of the park, but would have to fall back into the group after we fueled up, since the elevation changes would become a factor.

219056419-M.jpg


We stopped at the border patrol station, and although the Canadian got through without issue, the Scottsman got pulled off to the side for a quick check of his paperwork.

219056451-M.jpg


While Graeme was sitting in the shade of the check station, the rest of us were discussing Duke’s now-finicky final drive. He’d been burned on the road once before by the BMW’s infamous drive failure and he sensed a repeat sooner than later. He’d monitor the situation and turn back for camp if the need arose.

Rolling into Alpine for fuel

219056508-M.jpg


219056521-M.jpg


It wasn’t a great riding road as far as curves go, but it was scenic and it was getting us to the good stuff.

219058407-M.jpg


219058252-M.jpg


We found the “old soda shop” in town. We’d come here without knowing what it was called or where it was located, but how big could the town really be? As it turns out, the name of the place is the Fort Davis Drug Store and Old Texas Inn. It was small and quaint and perfect.

219058667-M.jpg


219058346-M.jpg


219058348-M.jpg


Pistachio shake that was sooooooo yummy!

219058404-M.jpg


L to R: Brandy, Bill, Incognito Graeme, Duke, Kris
219058491-M.jpg


L to R: Tom, Mollie, Al
219058503-M.jpg


The food was delicious and plentiful. I had a steak burger with tater tots and toast.

219058544-M.jpg


From here, we headed up to the McDonald Observatory. Tom headed back toward the Museum of the Big Bend, since he’d been up this way already.

This part was splendidly scenic - well, for the parts I could take my focus off the road for a mere instant, anyway. Once at the top, we watched Moose work on his airhead, saw a grown man in full cowhide lay on the pavement for a smoke break, and saw a big telescope and drawings of telescopes. Yup, in that order.

219058757-M.jpg


219058758-M.jpg


219058807-M.jpg


219058711-M.jpg


It was way high up. I coasted down to the next parking lot level.

219058997-M.jpg


The giant sundial was off by 20 minutes or so. Must be a daylight savings thing…

219059038-M.jpg


We went into the visitors center, but most of us just hung out in the gift shop while others looked around. A few of us picked up stickers to add to our panniers.

219059070-M.jpg


We headed back down toward town by way of the infamous loop.

219059118-M.jpg


219059184-M.jpg


In some parts, the road was long and straight, varying only in elevation by a few dips.

219059147-M.jpg


I took this opportunity to pull up alongside the line of bikes and see what I could capture one-handedly.

Mollie (BMWBabe)
219059297-M.jpg


Duke (Dixon duke)
219059293-M.jpg


Graeme (Calgary-Yogi)
219059301-M.jpg


Kris (Sk8erboy)
219059327-M.jpg


Bill (DFW_Warrior) and Brandy
219059337-M.jpg


On our way back into the park, I decided to send the sweep rider on ahead so I could stop for some pictures. (here’s where the mini tripod in my tank bag comes in handy)

*sorry about the incoming sun again
219059386-M.jpg


219059436-M.jpg


(and yes, that’s a bag of charcoal on the back of my bike. We made a pit stop at the grocery and liquor stores while in town)

Riding out here alone now, I fell into my “groove” and the roads got smoother under my tires as the classic rock tunes had me singing along inside my helmet. This was the riding I love. Nobody to catch up to and nobody catching up to me. It was less work and I was reaping more rewards.

219059445-M.jpg


Back at camp, Ara and Spirit had found our base camp by the tell-tale KLR that was left behind and Tom milling about, his trip to the museum complete. We had fun looking through pictures.

219059514-M.jpg


Story telling by the light of a propane lantern. This is what I call a vacation!

219059553-M.jpg


Spank decided that since this was the last night of our trip, he’d partake of the hard stuff.

219059618-M.jpg


Ribeyes, grilled to order and served with potatoes with onions and bell peppers. Delicious!

219059605-M.jpg


Ara and Spirit said goodbye and headed out for their journey home. I’m jealous beyond words that so many people get to call this place home.

219059681-M.jpg
 

Squeaky

2
Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
13,258
Location
Katy
First Name
Rebecca
Last Name
Nelson
Day 4: Long Way Back Home

Sunday morning. Time to pack it all up and head back to the lives waiting for us back at home.

218293793-M.jpg


Although loading up on the trailer, I wasn’t sure where I’d be debarking this train. I loaded the bike and only took my gear and tank bag into the cab.

218293777-M.jpg


Locked and loaded

218293927-M.jpg


We couldn’t have asked for better weather this weekend

218293993-M.jpg


Fog rolled over the mountains and through valleys

218294145-M.jpg


We stopped in Marathon for a quick look around at the Gage Hotel

218294183-M.jpg


A group of KLRs was parked out front, and at least three or four of them were new 08s.

218294300-M.jpg


The dash started alerting us to a problem with the trailer wiring. The incessant dinging was driving Duke crazy. No matter how loud we made the music, it simply couldn’t drown it out. Unplugged goes the trailer.

218294304-M.jpg


We stopped for lunch at a small mom & pop shop along the way, and this young lad was climbing outside on the window ledge. It seems he is here quite often, and does this every time.

218294366-M.jpg


The burger and onion rings were as good as any fancy place in suburbia. The couple that runs the small café overlap serving and cooking duties between the two of them.

218294375-M.jpg


Instead of going all the way back up to I10, we decided to head east on 90. It was a boring drive made tolerable by great conversation. We listened to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea on XM radio and already started talking about coming back here with smaller bikes to get through the unpaved River Road.

218294395-M.jpg


We decided to stop in Del Rio and found this motley crew

218294470-M.jpg


218294578-M.jpg


We chased trains

218294598-M.jpg


Got some karma

218294681-M.jpg


San Antonio went by in a blur

218294703-M.jpg


And before long, the outer limits of Houston were laid out before us. We made one last stop for some drive-thru lasagna, then rolled into town.

218294706-M.jpg


Thanks to everyone who helped put the trip together. When‘s the next one? :rider:
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,848
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
Man... I wanna go camping with Bill!! :eat:
HAHAHAHA.... When I put a ride together you can be assured of one thing, you WILL be fed some good food while you're there!!!

I'm glad you guys all had a great time. I still need to resize my pics and get them posted up here. Maybe tonight I'll have some free time to get to them.
 
Top