ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-19-2007, 09:55 AM   #1
LoneStar OP
WhoopDeDoofus
 
LoneStar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,210
LoneStar's Little Tale: Blue Skies, 3 Sisters and a coupl'a dirt roads...

Sunday morning was misty, drizzly and rainy in the Kerrville area and my ride to Biker Church was a bit damp to say the least. I'd had plenty of mist, fog and rain the night before while riding back from Austin so I was bummed by the weather. But miracles do happen and by the time "chuch" was over, the skies had begun to clear and a beautiful day was forming.

Drawn by the great weather and blue skies, I headed south on 16, enjoying the smooth purr of the GS on the twists and turns of the road to Medina. The leaves were falling, the sun and sky were clear and the fresh cool air was invigorating.

I'm blessed to live in an area of Texas with the best motorcycle roads in the state, short of the Big Bend area. TX 16 leads south to Medina, TX where one can catch 337 to Leakey (pronounced "Lakey") and then connect with the roads 336 and 335. The three are affectionately known as the "3 Sisters" or "Twisted Sisters" and are the best rides around. Tight, high, twisty and with roller coaster valleys in some of the highest hills in Texas. I usually head their direction when I have some free time to ride.

Stopping to top off for gas in Medina, I headed west on 337 to Vanderpool and then on to Leakey. I had no plans for the day but can't resist riding any dirt roads I find along the way.
Leakey was dead for such a beautiful day - no bikes and mostly closed up. I had seen only 2 bikes on 337 - the rest of the afternoon was similar with only one or two other bikes on the roads. Maybe the misty morning weather had kept riders away... a good thing since I was able to ride with a sense of being alone.

Topping off at the Oldtimer in Medina

*KLR riders take note - they rent tubes here

I hadn't had a chance to explore FM 3235 and FM 2631 yet and the dual sport ranch road that connects them. These cut through and connect 336 and 335, so I headed north on 336 to find 3235. It was one of those days where you and the bike seem to be one. The ride was beautiful and smooth, the GS riding on rails through the curves, the cattleguards slowly marking the way north until 3235 appeared to my left.

FM 3235 was easy and fairly straight after 336, at typical Texas Farm-Market road. Wide, clear and in excellent condition. The blacktop eventually ended in a gravel and rock coated caliche road. Google shows the old ranch road as "Bullhead Road", but of course there are no markings. I continued on until the dirt road forked with "Fair Ranch" to the right and no markings to the left. Staying left I reached a cattle gate, locked only with a metal snap and chain and a sign asking those passing through to please close it behind them. Many of the backroads in southwest Texas pass through private ranch land and it is common to pass through gates as you ride. Just make sure you're on a county road or yore in a heap o' trouble boy...

After closing the gate, the road got rougher and narrower, deep white powder silt abounding and winding tightly through oak clusters and cedar clumps. As I approached a narrow, blind corner turning downhill, a teenager in a pickup came blowing around the curve in a huge cloud of white dust, locking his brakes and skidding in an attempt to get back in control before nailing me. We narrowly passed and he waved, quite shocked to see me suddenly appear in his familiar territory.



After the dust cloud settled, I changed my shorts and headed on. The road got rougher and looser, heading downhill and through several dry river washes filled with rounded stones. In places the road became two tracks through the grass and eventually led again into dry river beds. I stopped counting, somewhat thankful these beds were dry as I wouldn't relish crossing so many on a GS with water and the Green Slime of Death. Most of the washes were wide and full of stones, the road passing down lengths of them as a roadbed of sorts. For those who don't live in the area, it is hard to imagine the amount and ferocity of water that can flow through these beds after a storm. Flash floods are a part of life in southwest Texas.









They call these "baby heads" in Colorado... not sure what we call 'em here

***Spookyville alert! I just noticed the one looks kinda like a skull looking up at me - yikes***






The old ranch road required constant attention on the pig, with areas of loose rock piled in curves, downhills and in the ever present washes. It led through some beautiful terrain, made more interesting by the gold of the slowly setting sun. I stopped in a dry bed for a couple of pics and to water some cactus, then continued on until finally reaching a crossing with a bit of water, held back by a somewhat homemade-looking dam. Stopping for a couple more pics, I stretched a bit and took off my jacket to cool down. The road had become work in some areas and I had gotten a bit warm keeping the skittish front end of the GS on track









Classic Texas hill country scenery



A bump gate signalled the end of the rough road and back to civilization (barf) on FM 2631. FM 3235
connects to FM 2631 unofficially by way of the old ranch road I had just ridden, and 2631 was a nice wide, well maintained blacktop road. Few folks live off the road, so it seemed apparent someone of import and influence must live there, as the road is quite nice for such a remotely inhabited area. Probably a big rancher with some influence.

The deer had already begun to play on the roadsides, selecting who would be kamikazes for the evening, much to my consternation. Lots of fawns and doe, with a few wild turkeys for good measure. Before reaching 335, I passed a dual sport rider coming in the other lane, but couldn't tell what bike it was as we passed quickly - sorta looked like a BMW XChallenge or similar.


Bumpgate




Post bumpgate



Reaching 335 in the lengthening shadows, I headed south to Barksdale and decided to loop out west on the county road that then returns into Camp Wood. Google maps shows it as CR 210, but the sign says CR 380 and my Roads of Texas atlas doesn't list numbers but clearly shows it as a public loop road. At any rate I headed west on it, passing the Barksdale cemetery and eventually coming to a fork in the road. To the left was a water crossing and several yards straight ahead there was a sign with CR353 on it parallel with the water crossing. I headed over, but was blinded by the sun reflecting directly on the water the entire length of the crossing. Nothing like riding over a slime crossing entirely blind. Sheesh.

I stayed on the road as it got a bit rougher, passing another right fork eventually with a green county road sign saying "CR 385" - wasn't sure if the fork was 385 or the road I was on was 385. Eventually I hit a gate with warning signs all over it and since it was getting pretty late I decided to forego any potential adventures involving men with guns and banjo music. I'll save the remaining stretch for another time. I reversed and eventually got back to Barksdale where I headed south.





Camp Wood came up fast, and as the sun set I relaxed for a few minutes at the gas stop and had a Coke, watching the locals pull in in various old cars and return from the store with various items, mainly involving cigarettes. Since I don't smoke I don't know, but maybe the setting sun triggers a "better buy some smokes now" jones... At least that was what the locals were doing tonight





The ride back to Kerville from Camp Wood would take a while and the sun was very low, triggering my deer avoidance phobias. I still had to pass the high road twisties between Camp Wood and Leakey as well as the next batch between Leakey and Vanderpool, not to mention the road to Medina and then back up 16 and over "the hill". Oh well, just slow down and enjoy it!

And enjoy it I did. I had never ridden 337 so late in the day before and it was stunning. The low golden light shot narrow shafts through the gaps in the hills and hilighted the tops of the trees and curves. The air was crisp and cold down low and warm as you rose, alternating and adding to the intensity of experience.

As I eventually pulled into Leakey, a Highway Patrol car turned onto 337 in front of me heading towards Vanderpool. Darn! At least he'd keep me honest but I had no desire to poke along behind a trooper on the narrow twisty road for miles and miles. Little did I suspect how fast the dude drove 337! :O Approaching the highest part of the twisties I began to catch him, only to round a curve with several bikes parked on the roadside and the riders waving "down". Around the curve the officer had slowed almost to a stop and was turning around on the roadway. I couldn't see any obvious problems with the group of riders and apparently the trooper was turning around to talk with them. Much appreciated guys! Last thing I needed to do was centerpunch a State Trooper on a blind curve...

By Vanderpool, the softest pink highlights of the setting sun were gone and the cold air of night was falling. I saw few deer until the last 15 miles or so and enjoyed the ride home, crossing over "the hill" on 16 just at dark. What a great day of riding!

Today's ride:
LoneStar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 10:38 AM   #2
klrmtn
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Byron, IL
Oddometer: 224
Nice looking ride, glad you avoided the 4 legged vermin, more commonly called deer. Though they're not dear to me.
klrmtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #3
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,382
That's one great ride.. and love that 75th anniversary paint scheme on your GS!! Thanks for the pics and report
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 11:49 AM   #4
achesley
Old Motorcyclist
 
achesley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,385
Love running about in that area of Texas. Base in Kerrville and do a different route everyday for a week is a good way to spend the Winter out there.
Have you ever done the Hunt Rock Store or the Stonehedge and statues that rancher has out there?
I need to make a trip out there this winter, been awhile. Thanks for the memories and pictures.
Through out the USA I have never seen so many deer as the southern Texas Hill Country. In the winter I'm looking at a motel by 4PM ;-).
__________________

A '00 KLR 650 38,000 miles, A '07 1250S 75,000 actual, A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 75,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
achesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 03:57 PM   #5
LoneStar OP
WhoopDeDoofus
 
LoneStar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,210
Hey Andy - it is a great place to ride for sure. Spending a week would be good as you say since there are so many directions one can head
I pass Stonehenge every few weeks and usually drop in to the old store to get a snack and a break.

PM me if you head this way and maybe we can meet up
LoneStar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
achesley
Old Motorcyclist
 
achesley's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,385
sounds good to me, I'll yell when I get a chance to head that way. Over due for a run out there since I don't do many BMW rallies anymore.
__________________

A '00 KLR 650 38,000 miles, A '07 1250S 75,000 actual, A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 75,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
achesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #7
Lonestar2112
scatology expert
 
Lonestar2112's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Ventura County CA
Oddometer: 6,518
Looking forward

Bought some land in Dripping Springs. I can't wait until I can retire there and ride the Hill country. Thanks for posting the pixs. It is great to read about the backroads.
Lonestar2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
Lobby
Viel Spass, Vato!
 
Lobby's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Oddometer: 27,580


Right in my backyard, too.
__________________
Gracie's Gold
Lobby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2007, 05:04 PM   #9
LoneStar OP
WhoopDeDoofus
 
LoneStar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar2112
Bought some land in Dripping Springs. I can't wait until I can retire there and ride the Hill country. Thanks for posting the pixs. It is great to read about the backroads.
Dripping Springs should be a good investment based on Austin's growth - you'll enjoy Texas once you adapt
LoneStar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2007, 12:36 PM   #10
Lonestar2112
scatology expert
 
Lonestar2112's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Ventura County CA
Oddometer: 6,518
The first things I noticed: I had to slow down ~20 mph, it seems that we are always in a hurry out here. The second, EVERYBODY waves and says hi. Those are a couple of the reasons why we bought. Now we have to suffer the wait!
__________________
http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...SKgzdmS9ir0XK3

Wypierdalaj ty chuju jebany
F*CK CANCER
Lonestar2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2007, 08:31 PM   #11
Teeds
Don Quixote
 
Teeds's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: 427 miles ENE of Orla Texas
Oddometer: 1,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar2112
The first things I noticed: I had to slow down ~20 mph, it seems that we are always in a hurry out here. The second, EVERYBODY waves and says hi. Those are a couple of the reasons why we bought. Now we have to suffer the wait!
Don't wait too long.

I looked at Dripping Springs once for a while, but have my sights set farther out now.

Great report LoneStar! I love that area.
__________________
Tony Eeds aka Teeds - Proud member of the Peanut Gallery and the Pajama Economy
Good roads bring bad people
Bad roads bring good people
we are NOT human beings having a spiritual experience, rather we ARE spiritual BEINGS having a human experience - johnjen
Teeds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
Ginger Texan
n00b
 
Ginger Texan's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Oddometer: 2
Love the sisters

Have only gotten to ride it once on my own bike, but am going back for seconds during Bandera Ralley end of march 2012....
Ginger Texan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #13
LoneStar OP
WhoopDeDoofus
 
LoneStar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,210


3 Sisters and Hwy 170 from Terlingua to Presidio are my favorites in Texas
LoneStar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 07:25 AM   #14
VietHorse
Beastly Adventurer
 
VietHorse's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Recalculating... recalculating.... HCMC-Vietnam :)
Oddometer: 1,266
Joseph, I was there on the Three Sisters. Great motorcycle road in Texas.





__________________

********************
Link to All about VietNam

********************
VietHorse is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 07:50 AM   #15
LoneStar OP
WhoopDeDoofus
 
LoneStar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,210
Hey Viet! Very cool man! You probably passed my house if you came from Kerrville to Medina and then over to the Sisters. They are a lot of fun - my favorite Texas road is from Lajitas, Texas to Presidio, Texas along the Rio Grande river out in the Big Bend region. Hope you get to ride it sometime

Been reading your Viet Nam page and would love to get to take a trip over there
LoneStar is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014