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Old 03-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #76
Phattyre-Phready2 OP
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Day 4 plans...???

I awake with Hooter heavy on my mind. Relax, pentUp! I've named the male GH owl Hooter. He's changed his tune, this morning, tho? Not nearly as insistant and no purr at the end?? Mussa busted bof of em yestidy! Big Mama answers from nearby, but the 3 hoots on the end are replaced by contented chirping sounds. The chirrups say, "We already have owl eggs bakin' in the oven, honey". Atta boy, Hooter!!!

I'm greeted by overcast skies when I unzip the rainfly. Good ol' Lucky kept me dry during a wind driven rainshower! I named my tent Lucky, because it'd never been rained on... a few light sprinkles, but nothing like last night until last night. While I'm drinking my coffee, I notice one of my riding boots is sticking out from under the rainfly... waterproof boots hold water in well, also... looks like we got nearly an inch!

I make me a second cup of coffee and one for Dick, the old gent I'd met on day 2... the one who's been coming here 23 years. We talk for over an hour... let me reiterate... I listened to Dick tell Big Bend tales for an hour. Very interesting stuff, much of it verifiable online. One story might've been a tall tale? He and his wife, along with another couple, were in the hot springs I'd skipped the day before. A 3rd couple came in nude, as many people did in those days. When she got out, she demurely dashed behind a bush where she'd left her clothes, startled a bobcat and was attacked! She came screaming back to the pool and jumped in wearing the angry bobcat on her head! The sight of so many people splashing and thrashing scared it away. The woman suffered some nasty scratches and the indignity of the men staring at her mammary glands and gluteus maximus while pretending to be concerned about her scratches. (hope that's suitable, pentUp? I dint say the T&A words)

Anyways, I didn't take any pics on day 4 until almost noon! My plans have been ruined, as most plans usually are. The cool part is, without prior committments, it feels good to have no plan, to just wing it. Be able to just kick back and listen to a good storyteller do his thing! I would've guessed him to be around 70. This is the most unbelievable thing he told me all morning... he's 88 years young! I so wish I'd taken his picture... I'm just not good at that... feels like you're invading someone's privacy... even if you're not.

No pics in this installment... I just had the report do that magic disappearing act again earlier. This time I'd been working on it all afternoon!!!

Mucho Mas manana!
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:38 AM   #77
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Day 4- Friday, 2/17

Our coversation rolls around to the weather when it begins to sprinkle. Dick gives me a quick weather forecast... he's just back from riding his bicycle to the visitor center flusher... he appreciates good toilet paper too! As he's leaving the rest room, the ranger drives up with the latest NP forecast printouts... he grabbed several for the patrons at Cottonwood. The sprinkles turn into BIG raindrops. Dick says, "That's my cue", hands me the forecast printout and rides toward his motor home. The rain stops before it starts and I quickly rainproof camp and head west on Ross Maxwell towards Santa Elena Canyon.

I go less than a mile and come to a pulloff on the Rio Grande side. The big raindrops start up again, so I pull over. I have my raingear today! Before I can get it out, the rain stops.

The previous evening's showers are already working their magic. New blooms amid the dying branches!





Even this reed that looks long dead has green sprouts that probably weren't there yesterday.





The river would be up to here normally!



This cactus is near death... and won't last another brutal summer here unless it rains substantially





This one is healthier, even though it's only 4' away from the fried one... it's using the mesquite for a tiny bit of shade during the heat of the day.




Although there's no sign of life in this prickly pear, a good rain would produce new growth from the old roots.




I'm glad I decided to stay at river level today... it's warm here and smells like spring. Looks cold and rainy in the higher elevations.

I realize I missed some great photo ops this morning while visiting with Dick. I also would'nt have checked out this old dwelling if not for another of his stories.





He said he likes to sit in the front doorstep and try to see what would convince them to build in that location.




Close to Cerro Castellan, which means it was close to Castolon, a calvary impoundment that eventually became a trade center and post office. This shot is from the back of the house.



About as close to the Rio Grande as you'd dare get and the warmest area in the winter. It's close to the only reliable water source for miles... and those 1-2 hour dusks from the sun setting behind the 1500' wall of the Sierra del Carmen would make the evenings cool off sooner. Very important if you want to exist here year round.




Dick asked if I'd been to Santa Elena Canyon yet. I told him I'd ridden in on Old Maverick and stopped at the overlook. He asked if I felt the pull... said everyone feels it to some extent. I distinctly remember that feeling during my first close encounter with it at the dead end of Old Maverick on Day 1! You can see the Santa Elena gap well from this front yard, and although it's not as strong here, I can feel it pulling at me, tugging on my curiosity strings with a gentle, yet powerful urge. Good recommendation, Dick... I can see why they built here!




I remount and the zumo tells me it's time for gas! Huh??? I quickly do the math, not believing the zumo or the bike's Trip 2 odometer I ALWAYS reset at fillups. It adds up... so I turn back toward Castolon and do Ross Maxwell again, unwilling to risk riding Old Maverick in the rain.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:39 AM   #78
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Gassed out?

Looks like I've done it again... figuratively cleared the room by breaking wind in the ride report!?

I had a PM from RoadDamage that gave me an idea to put this train back on the tracks. He mentioned one of my heroes, Ben Franklin, and his writings on the subject.

It may be difficult for some to accept that one of our founding fathers conceived of and wrote the following; nevertheless, it is so.

An excerpt from:

…It is universally well known, that in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the bowels of human creatures, a great quantity of wind.

That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid smell that accompanies it.

That all well-bred People therefore, to avoid giving such offence, forcibly restrain the efforts of nature to discharge that wind.

That so retained contrary to Nature, it not only gives frequently great present pain, but occasions future diseases such as habitual cholics, ruptures, tympanies, &c., often destructive of the constitution and sometimes of life itself.
Were it not for the odiously offensive smell accompanying such escapes, polite people would probably be under no more restraint in discharging such wind in company, than they are in spitting, or in blowing their noses.

My prize question therefore should be, To discover some drug wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common food, or sauces, that shall render the natural discharges, of wind from our bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes.

That this is not a chimerical Project, and altogether impossible, may appear from these considerations. That we already have some knowledge of the means capable of varying that smell. He that dines on stale flesh, especially with much addition of onions, shall be able to afford a stink that no company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on vegetables only, shall have that breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate noses; and if he manage so as to avoid the report, he may any where give vent to his griefs unnoticed….

Can you imagine if someone was able to accomplish Franklin’s vision? It would become a new industry in its own right, and entrepreneurs able to get in on the ground floor would make billions!

A Monday morning, late summer, 2075. Elaine has just arrived at the office, eager to show off the new designer fragrance her boyfriend got her in Paris. As she passes through the cube-farm, she pauses, lifts her leg, and lets one go. An exotic aura of smell spreads across the office, conjuring images of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or some far-off Shangri-La where painted fairies dance upon Lotus blossoms under azure skies…

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Phattyre-Phready2 screwed with this post 03-12-2012 at 07:49 AM
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #79
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Change of plans... for better or worse?

Speaking of gas... I should have plenty since I've been doing 45 mph on most of this tank. (in my other tank, too, after the burrito with the 3 pound name I had for desert last night) If I'd been doing highway speeds, this would cut it close! (if it thunders and I feel compelled to release the wild animal again, I'll be beyond close... I may release the greasy portion of said burrito, along with said animal?! You see, Dick interrupted the routine this morning and I pray the gas station has good toilet paper) I didn't even think about gas when I rode past Panther Junction yesterday!?? ( now I can't QUIT thinking about gas puns, especially when pentUp keeps scolding me via PM... after reading ol' Ben's musings on flatulence again, it's stuck in my head like a bad song playing over and over again... Bodily functions are not funny... bodily functions ar...) You kinda' brought this on yourself, pentUp! Looks like you'd just unsubscribe eventually... or reply publicly on this report!

Whew... I feel better now! Sorry... rant off.

The clouds hide the top of Goat Mountain.



The Chisos Mountains are totally obscured by clouds today! They're up there somewhere.



I reach the junction of Ross Maxwell and Maverick Highway. I've decided to turn west and fillup in Study Butte. Then try to find a wifi spot and check my email while I have lunch. I haven't done this stretch of Maverick Highway and it's much more scenic than I expected.





Old Maverick Road runs right beneath the distant ridgeline. It's sloping (the rolling, left handed pic above is, too) on this east side, but vertical on the west with cool rock formations. I past by them with only a couple pics on day 1, hurrying to find a campsite before dark. This afternoon, I plan to take Old Maverick to Santa Elena Canyon, only this time slow down and enjoy it.



I come to a pullout on the left and stop. The view to the south... meh.



The view to the north... a little better. Everything goes better with...
Jessie!



Here's the reason for the pullout, looking east.



The Big Bend is full of what they call 'badland canyons' and I find them fascinating. I snap a rolling shot of this one on the left... a lousy pic, but I'm trying to emphasize that even when it appears to be flat in Big Bend, it's still very interesting.



And soon after the one on the left, one on the right...



Then I come to an exhibit about them around the next curve!





Just a little bit of rain last night gives a perfect example of the exhibit's description. I've read there are some awesome displays of these color changes in Terlingua Abajo... I'm headed that way today!



And to think... I would have skipped this 12 mile section of Maverick Highway between Study Butte and Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive completely in the original plans...




then again, I wouldn't be right here, right now, if I'd filled up yesterday on the return trip past Panther Junction.




What if they sold gas in Castolon??? They don't, but if they did, I woulda'... and wouldn't be here! I'd be wishing the clouds weren't blocking the top of Santa Elena Canyon!?? Sure makes you think about how everything has a way of working out, seemingly... HOPEFULLY... for the best! At the risk of being rude, I bet ol' GhostRiderFC wishes he'd decided the other way... who knows, we might've crossed paths at the gas station in Study Butte!?

Please don't attempt to adjust your set... you've now entered the Outer Limits.
Imagine, if you will...



And this is the BADDEST badland of them all!



In all the above scenarios... I would've also missed a delightful afternoon on Old Maverick Road... which ALL timed out for the best light in Santa Elena Canyon! All totally by accident... or was it...

mentally play Twilight Zone song here







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Phattyre-Phready2 screwed with this post 03-12-2012 at 08:02 AM Reason: added some gas for pentUp
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #80
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Amazing!

I'm really enjoying the photo tour! And, of course, disappointed that you didn't get soaked. Those weather reports really led me to believe that it was going to dump there. I'm going to have to see about getting back there before it gets too hot.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:56 PM   #81
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Study Butte for lunch

I leave the land of 'what-ifs' and come back to reality, then Study Butte. I stop on the outskirts of town at the Study Butte Mall's gas pumps. They're not pay at the pump and I've become spoiled to this convenience, especially when on the bike. Besides, their price is $3.99 per gallon, so I roll on into Study Butte. The station at the junction of 118 and 170 has modern pumps and $3.89... still feels like rape after Lubbock's prices that had just barely broken the $3 mark. It would really sting in my van with it's cavernous 30 gal. tank that'll barely get 400 miles if the wind's just right. Jessie burps at 4.98 and I trickle in an even 5 gallons. Not even close... still had .8 gallons or ~40 miles left with the good slow speed mileage... 264 miles means 52.8 mpg! Not bad... and for 20 miles of that, I was banging the rev limiter in 3rd a bunch!

As I'm leaving the pumps, I smell Mexican food and my mouth begins to water. I leave my shield up and follow my nose to a combination motel/diner/camp supply store/ local watering hole... this doesn't look too expensive and smells delicious! Ice is only $1.95 for 10lb... a bargain price around here! I park in front and check my cell coverage... more bars here than in Lubbock! What appears to be the cook is sitting at one of the tables on the patio smoking a cig. I ask her if she minds if I check my email. She shrugs and says not at all if you order something to eat first. It's a bit windy here, so I go inside to eat. The waitress is flirting with a greybeard with a pony tail. I finally get her attention and make a gesture asking if I should seat myself and she nods. I open my email inbox and it's got good news!

The waitress finally brings the menu. Eeek... the frugal, old out of work carpenter who's been riding pillion on my shoulder screams, "Told you ya' shoulda' waited to use their wifi!!!" Apparently I've fallen into a tourist trap. The handwritten menu prices are way out of line! I decide it smells too good and order a combination burrito and a DP (doan drink tha water!). Domestic beer is $5 a bottle and imports are $7.50! I'm afraid to ask the price of Dr. Pepper! Here's what I got for $8.03:



Chips are extra!? While reading my email, one of 2 guys at the corner table asks what I'm riding. The one doing all the talking says that's way too heavy to have fun on around here! He says he rides the best Big Bend bike... a WR250. I concede I've wished I had my DRZ a couple times. His buddy finally speaks up... says he has a green DRZ and grins like there's a punchline coming. I take the bait and say I've never seen a green one. He says it has Kawasaki written all over it and a bell dings in my memory bank... Kawi made a deal with Suzuki for a few years and sold street legal DRZ's with Kawi plastic. WR asks my plans and scoffs when I mention Santa Elena. "Your gonna' hike with ALL this good riding around!!!???" I add that I AM tired of 45mph and considering 170 to Presidio the next day. He tells me how dangerous that road is and a bunch of horror stories about it while I'm eating... "and there's wild burros running around everywhere... and jack rabbits big as mule deer!" I give him a look and ask, "First time here?" and it flies right over his head... "Nah, we'uz here 6 years ago... been sayin' we'uz comin' back and finally got here last night!" Hmm... silence. I think the barb finally sunk home! I ask him where he's from to sink it a little deeper... Illinois and the guy on the KawiDoc is from Wisconsin. You'd a thought he was a local! I almost asked him where he'd found the 'shrooms' and decide I better be nice... this dude prolly weighs all of 135 pounds! And an out of proportion portion was lip.

After they leave, pony tail turns around and says he lives near Redford on 170... "Been driving that road nearly every day for 21 years. I can count on one hand the number of road killed burros I've seen from it... still haven't seen any of those jack rabbits he spoke of?!" Claims it's one of the best 50 mile stretches of road in the US. We chat bikes for a while... turns out he's a sub-contractor, too. He does a little bit of everything to stay busy, but considers woodworking his specialty. Came for a visit on his Beemer in 1990 and moved there 6 months later... been there ever since. He was cool... it felt like talking to an old friend. He asked how long I'd been a carpenter. Told him since I was big enough to pick up a sander, but started full time for my Dad when I graduated from high school in 1972. Same class as him, but he was the youngest in his class... he seemed really proud of that?! Turns out he's 3 days older than me! Didn't get his picture, either and I know he wouldn't have minded... I just... didn't???

I'm not sure what the delicious smell was... it certainly wasn't my combination burrito, which was bland and wimpy compared to the monstrosity I'd created the night before... hell... the name weighs 3 pounds! Combination Burrito...phehh... I'll show you a combination burrito! In case you missed out on that episode, I'll repeat the name. (sorry for the server space, GB!) It was new to me and if Mr. Franklin thought stale meat and onions made it bad, he shoulda' been with me at the gas station rest room where I offloaded the mean part of this one! Whew... and into a water saver toilet that was almost as bad as dry docking it, too! It was a Big Bend Maple Cured Beanie Weenie Burrito al Carbon with soy sauce...WITHOUT RAW ONIONS, thank goodness or I might've had to see if Spot will work like MedicAlert! HELP... I've gassed myself and I can't get up!



How you like that one, pentUp... at least you can't accuse me of sayin' mine don't stink! And I just gotta' disagree with you... bodily functions can be funny in the right context... can you not agree?? Or at least agree to disagree. If you can't EVEN do that, at least man-up and make your scoldings pubic by posting 'em here.

WARNING: HIGH RISK OF POSSIBLE INMATE FLAMAGE AND POTENTIAL TEMPORARY BANNING!

I finally had to ask for the check after Ponytail left and when she brought it, she said just leave the money on the table... probably hoping all I have is a tenspot? She acted all pissy... like I stole her boyfriend or something?!? Not my fault he wanted to tell me about FM 170! Sure not the way to get a tip! I left exactly $8.04. Do the math, honey... if you can with your shoes on! I overtipped... didn't have anything to cut a penny with!

Whoops... and I promised to try to keep this positive. My apologies! The hot sauce was pretty good.

As I was gearing up to leave, a woman saw my ADV decals and said, "I'm an inmate!" I thought about ADV saluting her... better not. So I look her in the eye and say, "Not armed and dangerous, I hope!" She grins and offers a high five. I rat-a-tat finger tap her ten, offer 5 low and say, "Nice to meet you, I'm Phattyre-Phready"... I've yet to meet an ADV inmate that's not cool! She then tells me her and her husband's alias' on ADV, but I've forgotten. I had planned to use the notes recorder on my Blackberry in those situations, but brainfarted! Uh oh... sorry about that, pentUp!

Maybe I'm safe... this slipup isn't actually a bodily function... more of a bodily malfunction.

OK... that's enough 'let's have some fun with pentUp' for today... and past time for some dual sport fun on Old Maverick Road. But first... some pics on the way out of Study Butte.



Growing up on a farm seems to have given me Dr. Doolittle powers, or maybe a better simile would be the horse whisperer... it's more about body language than actually conversing with them like Eddie did in the remake. The donkey in this shot is saying, "Oh, yeah man... he stopped! What's he gettin' out... A CARROT... oh, please... I LUV CARROTS! Rats... never mind, Hornlong-tonguelong... just another would-be photo journalist on a motorcycle..."

I ride on... wishing I'd conducted an interview and comfirmed it with the donkey... yet still convinced someone, probably multiple perps... has been HAND FEEDING THE ANIMALS! Call in the calvary!

Oh, yeah... I'm outside the NP boundaries where... it's "ok to not be ok"... occa sionally. Still, you can clearly see the results of the human interaction... the poor donkey probably had carrot withdrawals for hours!?




These pics are in the bottom of the 'baddest' badlands mentioned earlier. Looks like the clouds are clearing.





All Visitors subject to entrance fee... unless you were a human guinea pig for a flipped out eye doctor with grand delusions of winning the Nobel Peace Prize for curing an incurable eye disease (deep breath) and are pemanently, totally blind in one eye as a result and obtain handwritten proof from another specialist in triplicate form, photocopies not accepted (deep breath) and bring to furtherest NP Headquarters from your home in your home state along with SASE. In that case... you're eligible for a Golden Access Pass, regardless of age!



For some strange, unknown reason, I have mixed feelings as I approach the Park... kinda' like I'm about to ride under a big magnifying glass... you can run but you can't hide! It's a shame... our National Parks shouldn't instill such feelings? Or maybe that's just me...






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Phattyre-Phready2 screwed with this post 03-12-2012 at 09:01 AM Reason: got another PM from pentUp so added a part I skipped
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #82
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Hippy, dippy weathermen... don't believe 'em!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRiderFC View Post
I'm really enjoying the photo tour! And, of course, disappointed that you didn't get soaked. Those weather reports really led me to believe that it was going to dump there. I'm going to have to see about getting back there before it gets too hot.
Thanks, I think...

Guess I deserved that for including your weather blues in the 'what-if' segment. I know, I know... you were disappointed because you, too, wished the Texas drought would end, even if Phread gets soaked in the process!

Another case of listening to bad advice for the GhostRiderFC, but it's not from a pretty lil' girl this time... it's the hippy, dippy weatherman from Albequerque!
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:38 PM   #83
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Ha Ha!!!!!

I have my Acesss Pass, good for any National Park and there are a total of 5 agencies that honor it.......it just cost me a


leg....
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:27 AM   #84
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Ouch!

Yep... you need a sidecar! How's that progressing!
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:53 AM   #85
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slow !

I have it hooked up on my bike. It's gonna be a little slow for a few days, wet weather, and a cow stepped on my foot.....long story, I learned that I ain't no fricking cowboy. I have to work on alignment issues, and do the wiring. I am taking it a little slow at this time, I have waited this long, and I want it to be right.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #86
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Gotta get it right...

if that's where yore wife, kids or pooch might ride!

Sorry to hear about the foot... if it's the left one, phsycologists might say you have issues with your femininity? I'm too lazy to go back and look... your bad leg is the left one, isn't it??
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:35 AM   #87
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It's the left one....

Yes it's the left one.....and if you look, I drive a vette, it's cheaper than a wife, and my girlfriend will be the monkey......lol.



You see I got my papers.......it called a freedom document, or divorce decree.........I can even carry multiple girlfriends, as long as they don't fight....
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #88
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I re-enter the Big Bend NP west entrance. Ponytail said the NP stands for Nazi Park in his book and warns me not to speed there. Too many rules and too many rangers that never had any say in things growing up. He said this type seemed to fit the bill in the National Park hiring process... and when they get a little authority, it goes to their head! I get a perfect example of one at the entrance gate. I comply with their rules (you're supposed to tell them your plan if you get on backroads) and tell him my plan to ride Old Maverick to Santa Elena. "I don't recommend it on that bike" he says with hardly a glance at the tires/skidplate/bash guards! I simply ask "Why?" He puffs up like I called him a liar or something! "There's a 50% chance of rain tonight" he states defensively. I look at the rapidly clearing skies and say I think I'll chance it, kiddingly. He becomes almost irate! "This is a dangerous places to take chances... blah, blah, blah... that bike's not made for the terrain." I politely interrupt him at this point and tell him I rode it 3 days ago with full luggage and camp gear. He looks pissed and says,"it's rained since then!" I ask how much they got? "This is a big place, it varies!" I'm beginning to tire of this and thank him for the advice."OK, but don't say I didn't warn you!" I salute him sharply (not the ADV one!) and roll away. To heck with telling them my backroad plans anymore! That backroad rule was written before the advent of Spot!


Sorry about the vent, but it's hard to be positive when faced with situations such as this. I almost skipped this part because of the negativity, but GhostRiderFC deserves to know, as well as other inmates considering a trip here! Knowing what to expect makes it easier to deal with and plan accordingly.

On the subject of planning, here's some local knowledge (the best kind)... Ponytail said about the only time he sees LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) on 170 are for accidents. He has never had a ticket on that 50 mile stretch and it's much funner faster... several straights with roller coaster ups and downs! Lots of border patrol, but they don't concern themselves with speeders. They're paid to catch illegal aliens and pretty much stick to that.

He also added he'd had 2 tickets in the NP. One for 52 in a 45 and the other for parking in an undesignated parking zone... it was a graveled pulloff... he walked up a gulley a little ways. When he got back 5 minutes later, the ranger was writing the ticket and threatened him with another ticket for hiking off of a trail! He beat that one! The 52 mph cost him $125 and his insurance went up!

I turn onto Old Maverick Road and find comfort in knowing Spot can reach 911 from anywhere in the park and give first responders my coordinates if it's bad bad... another button is roadside assistance, free for the first 50 miles and none of the 'within 20 feet of pavement' crap you get with most insurance company roadside assistance plans!

Tell me... would you worry about rain if faced with this scene?



I intentionally snapped the pic of the road drainage to show they didn't even get enough rain here to dampen this waterbar drain last night.

There was, however, enough moisture to darken the oxides in the badland canyons. The contrasting colors weren't like this Tuesday when I rode in!





This road does have some spots that might be trouble during a hard rain, but they've spread gravel deeper in most of these locations. Might be a little sketchy on a Ully with Pirelli Angels? You'd certainly need considerable dirt experience in a few places on that bike.



I come to a spot Dick had mentioned... Luna's Jacal. According to Dick, Gilberto Luna raised 60 children here and lived to the ripe old age of 106! I thought he was surely embellishing, although I didn't say so...



I googled it and he was kinda' correct. I could see where the numbers got confused, sorta'. After seeing the jacal, I bet he had the 'ripe' part correct?! Here's what I found on Cowtown Pattie's Texas Triffles:


In 1947, at the age of 108, Gilberto Luna drew his last breath within the walls of his own Big Bend penthouse suite, an aged but sturdy jacal (prounounced hah-KAHL) he built himself with mud adobe, stones, dried lechiguilla and creosote - materials that were close at hand. In the distance, a spectacular view of Santa Elena Canyon rises above the desert floor, made more beautiful with each sunrise and sunset.

Farming near Alamo Creek, Gilberto Luna raised melons and beans...and children; 38 in all, born by six different successive wives. He made peace with the raiding indians, and the bright full Comanche Moon in the autumn night sky was not feared by the Luna family.

Some would say Gilberto was impoverished, uneducated. Perhaps so in the measurements of modern-day existence, but I doubt Gilberto would agree. He awoke to nature's grandeur each day; his ability to survive and flourish a testament not only of tenacious human will over immense obstacles, but also a tribute to intelligence and a special communication with the land.

I am humbled by Gilbert Luna.
posted by Cowtown Pattie

Me, too!!! In fact, I'm almost envious... he was surely NEVER lonely? And he got to smoke the 'peace pipe' with the Commanches!
Imagine Cheech Marin telling Chong the story of his 4 times removed 2 times Great Uncle Gil:

Hell yeah, man... dem Commanches knew my Great, Great Uncle Gil had the best chit from micho akan seeds! So did everybody else, man... you tink he REAALLY raised 38 kiddos growing just frijoles and melones... chiiiiiit!?? You doan tink so, eh... tell me why dem commanches keel everybody else, but not no Lunas!??? Cause their peace pipe worked so good!!! Hell yeah, man... my other unc wif no teefs tol me 'bout it jus' d'other day... he still gots that bery peace pipe... he chowed me it and you wanna' talk about feelin' peaceful, just from lookin' at it... (yeah... ok, I killed a roash on da' way over, but it was the pipe for shure, man)


Dick warns me not to sit in the doorstep here... said the place smells bad, always has. He thinks tourists are using it as a toilet?! I don't have to sit there to see why Luna chose this location. It's beautiful here... hard to see it in pictures, but it's truly spellbinding!



Yea... truth be known, I'm jealous of him... I mean, it's obvious he wasn't suffering from erectile dysfunction! Not that I am... OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They gave me a Viagra ink pen, but all I can get it to do is draw straight lines?

here's Cheech, continuing his narrative on his great uncle Gilberto...
Yeah, man... he was chort, but he had some mui grande huevos! He wored out 6 wimens... and 1 of em close to the last was as big as 3 wimens... when che hugged im, he disappeared... no chit, man! Hey... where'd Gilbert go?! Oh, there he is!!!! He was potent, too, man.... if he took a pee in the watermelon pash, there' be lil' baby watermelons all over dose vines the next mornin... an...an... Hey, dude, this is top secret... thas how he make the micho akan he grew so good... he peed on it, too!

What a backyard for the kids to grow up in... I wonder if they were good at rock climbing? Most likely...



Just down the road to the south is a pouroff... I'd bet my bottom dollar he had some sort of cistern here?



His location was in a bowl, surrounded by cliffs on the north and east for protection in winter, open to the prevailing breezes from the southwest in the heat, which is 8 months of the year here. I can feel the southerly breezes circling out of the grotto... and get a whiff of the stench Dick referred to... rancid urine! Has to be tourists... this jacal has been restored by the NP.

About a half mile south is another dwelling, even closer to the likely cistern location. I park and get up close and personal with this one. I get a distinct mental image of Gilberto playing with his grandchildren here and imagine this was most likely one of his older childrens' home? It rivals the other location... it's backyard is better and this location is even more protected from cold north winds. Lookit... Bizzarro Pacman!




Nearly all of the dwellings are roofless. I'd noticed this and assume they just rotted? After all, they were weaved out of river reed and lechiguilla stalks! Most likely had to be replaced every year, if not every storm!? As I examine this ruin, I try to imagine what it would be like to be huddled with 20+ family members during a raging, wind driven, midnight thunderstorm... and suddenly, the roof blows off! It's bound to have happened at least once?! It was the strangest feeling... surreal... unlike a normal daydream! It felt almost like Senor Luna were feeding me these thoughts? Kinda' creepy... but I brush away the goosebumps and strive to open my senses to the experience.



I thought that was Terlingua Creek to the west, but Cowtown Pattie called it Alamo Creek?




I allow my minds' eye to see a flash flood roaring down Alamo Creek and imagine the doubting fear the Luna's must've felt when those happened! Will it reach the house again?!! I look around with a feeling of certainty that they were flooded more than once!



There's still some wood from the window lentel... would've been long gone if campfires were allowed! At Guadalupe NP last spring, I began to see the logic in no wood fires in camping zones where wood is scarce... my appreciation for that rule has grown at this ruin!




This one even had wooden corner shelves... I envision them holding foodstuffs and I get a mental image of a cut watermelon that is so vivid, I even smell it!? Or so it seemed for a second or two.






Then I look at their view to the south toward Mexico and feel the magnetic pull of the canyon... almost as strong as if someone had shouted my name... time to head that way!



I'm so into the mental imagery, that the shout seems part of it. Then I turn toward the road and there's a ranger with his hands on his hips, giving me a 'what the hell do you think you're doing!' look. And this one even looks like Barney Fife... complete with sidearm! Did Don Knotts have a son?


I carefully extract myself from inside the ruin walls... sure don't want to knock anything over at this point!!! He gives me at least a 10 minute butt chewing... I endure it, realizing it will end sooner if I play doormat for him... one of the hardest things I've ever done! Must've been the same one that got Ponytail illegally parked? Even asked me a couple times if I knew he could write me up if he wanted to. I knew better than ask what for, just yes sirred him until he finally let me go.


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Phattyre-Phready2 screwed with this post 03-12-2012 at 10:24 AM Reason: added some Cheech
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:26 PM   #89
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Gestopo

Gee I thought Hitler had died, sounds like he has been training the new Gestopo. i had no idea it was that bad there, thanks for sharing. Oh and shame on you for walking on that dirt, just because you pay your taxes doesn't mean it is yours and can be walked on. Maybe you should get some mirrored sun glasses so he can admire himself.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:04 AM   #90
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Terlingua Ranch

Yeah... that sucked! I mentioned it to Dick... he said he'd have called his bluff! "Go ahead... give me a ticket... I've done nothing wrong!" Then he blew me away... he's a retired lawyer!!! Said that one would be easy to beat. I never would've guessed he was an attorney.

If I ever go back, I'll stay at Terlingua Ranch. It's more centrally located and closer to gas and supplies. You can camp there for $5.00 per person, which includes use of the swimming pool and shower house. It's right off of 170, my new favorite 50 mile stretch of highway! They only have 200,000 acres, but you're allowed to walk on any one of 'em!

Thanks for understanding, arraflipper. The mirrored sunglasses would've only made it worse?? The mirrors would have shown him a dorky little penis with ears, pushing it's luck!

You know how you always think, I shoulda'...!!! after a scene like this? I shoulda' turned on my voice recorder before I left the ruins and got that little twerp fired! But once again, and barely 2 hours later... I brainfarted on the voice recorder! Dick (the older gent, not Don, Jr.) later said it would've been inadmissable evidence... yep... he was an attorney! Then, again... I wonder? He didn't try to charge me for advice?? Yeah, he is! First one's free... standard procedure. Prolly a good thing we didn't speak of anything legal thereafter? ;)

GB.... why no smilies on edits??
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