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Old 03-11-2012, 06:48 PM   #121
back2thefuture
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Since you didn't post a pic of your blue KLR, i'll show you what it would look like,

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Old 03-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by back2thefuture View Post
Since you didn't post a pic of your blue KLR, i'll show you what it would look like,
Add a little shock oil mixed with dirt and that is pretty close. I blew the rear shock on the river part of this loop. Not sure if it was because of some of the unexpected deep erosion ruts or the constant hammering of stutter bumps in some areas or a combination thereof. I'm sure three gallons of gas and a tool belt on the rear rack contributed as well.

I pumped shock oil out as I rode for a couple of days before the bike transformed into a complete pogo stick.

Made for some interesting riding on the rough stuff later on. All good fun.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #123
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forgot to mention, the pic is from Pinto Canyon rd.

SHOCK!!!!! What did you do after that? I'm pretty sure mine doesn't have the miles on it yours does, so i know it will go sonner than later...
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:07 PM   #124
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I think reading the river loop section of your report has answered my question, but I will ask it anyway. In June, 2009 I rode my 2008 KLR from my camp in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend down to the start of the dirt river rode on the east side and across the river road to the west side. From there I rode to Study Butte and followed FM 170 up to Candelaria and headed up the river road from there. It was 5:30 when I got to the top of Godzilla Hill (your name for it is nicer than mine). I agree with you Godzilla Hill and Fletcher Ridge are about the same except Fletcher seemed longer and the rocks on Godzilla seemed much larger.

It was 5:30 PM in the middle of June and hotter than a two dollar pistol. I only had one liter of water left and I was fully loaded with saddle bags, a large tail box and a dry bag with camping gear. The route I had laid out was the same as yours up to Chispa. I did not know if the rest of the trail would be like Godzilla or more like the river road down in Big Bend. I rode back down and took the Pinto Canyon Road to Marfa for the night. The next morning I headed for Colorado to ride on the TAT.

So my question is, the rest of the river route up to Chispa is like the River Road in Big Bend and I could have continued on and made it to Chispa by dark - right?
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:33 PM   #125
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Cannon -

I continue to be impressed that you took the KilLR into the Cienaga Mountains. Then again, I've seen Blue KLRs in interesting places with interesting pilots. Take Jerry Nutt on Black Gap Road for instance...



How about that for ATGATT while riding solo in Big Bend?

I've been to BBRSP twice and was planning to get into the Cienaga area the second time but messed up my ankle. That's pretty rough stuff out there.

I do really like how the mountains down there get that purplish, layered look as they stretch back into the haze.

Justin
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:01 PM   #126
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Cannon -

I continue to be impressed that you took the KilLR into the Cienaga Mountains. Then again, I've seen Blue KLRs in interesting places with interesting pilots. Take Jerry Nutt on Black Gap Road for instance...

How about that for ATGATT while riding solo in Big Bend?

I've been to BBRSP twice and was planning to get into the Cienaga area the second time but messed up my ankle. That's pretty rough stuff out there.

I do really like how the mountains down there get that purplish, layered look as they stretch back into the haze.

Justin
You know Justin, I really wanted to be riding my DRZ on the more rugged stuff. There were a lot of opportunities for sporty fun and the smaller and better suspended bike would have been much easier to handle.

But, I was trying to cover a broad array of riding opportunities so I made the KLR choice to kind of compromise in the middle.

All in all it worked out fine. I guess that overall a bike like the KLR (medium sized dual sport) would be a good choice for a trip to the region and would work very well in the national park.

If I was going to BBRSP to ride, I'd have a lot more fun on something smaller and more trail capable.

I noticed that a few of the riders I passed in the NP had gotten down to T-shirts in the heat of the day.

I wore my armored coat that had big panels that could be zipped open to give it a large mesh surface area front, rear, and on the arms. As long as I was moving I was comfortable. I didn't use a Camelbak and used a two quart canteen and sometimes some water bottles instead. I think a Camelbak gives a better delivery of water as the frequent small drinks seem to be absorbed on a better timeline than larger swigs at longer intervals. As always, one has to remind oneself to drink before you get thirsty.

When I was on the primitive roads brushing against cactus and thorny plants that leaned into the trail was an issue. For that the knee guards and a tough coat with a high collar seem good. Big moto boots were handy and hopefully they would provide a little snake protection in the event I dabbed a foot in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I sure wouldn't want to miss a turn and take a trip into the cactus though . . .
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:18 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoMotor View Post
I think reading the river loop section of your report has answered my question, but I will ask it anyway. In June, 2009 I rode my 2008 KLR from my camp in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend down to the start of the dirt river rode on the east side and across the river road to the west side. From there I rode to Study Butte and followed FM 170 up to Candelaria and headed up the river road from there. It was 5:30 when I got to the top of Godzilla Hill (your name for it is nicer than mine). I agree with you Godzilla Hill and Fletcher Ridge are about the same except Fletcher seemed longer and the rocks on Godzilla seemed much larger.

It was 5:30 PM in the middle of June and hotter than a two dollar pistol. I only had one liter of water left and I was fully loaded with saddle bags, a large tail box and a dry bag with camping gear. The route I had laid out was the same as yours up to Chispa. I did not know if the rest of the trail would be like Godzilla or more like the river road down in Big Bend. I rode back down and took the Pinto Canyon Road to Marfa for the night. The next morning I headed for Colorado to ride on the TAT.

So my question is, the rest of the river route up to Chispa is like the River Road in Big Bend and I could have continued on and made it to Chispa by dark - right?
I think I answered this and somehow deleted it thinking it was a double post.

Anyway, I think I said that I thought you made a good choice at the time.

It is about 60 miles from Godzilla to the US highway, and configured as you were (and solo) I would guess your speed would average around 20-25 MPH. Don't forget the slow downs for hazards and the stop and look at stuff pauses.

Even though most of the road shows as a county road on a map, it is mildly rugged for a distance after Godzilla. As you go further on it is like the river road in the national park, and near the far end it is more like a gravel road with some serious teeth rattling stretches of stutter bumps.

Hopefully the pix will communicate some of this to people interested in riding that stretch.

I found that it is best to allow a little more time than what many people that ride forest roads and dirt two tracks are used to.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:19 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by back2thefuture View Post
forgot to mention, the pic is from Pinto Canyon rd.

SHOCK!!!!! What did you do after that? I'm pretty sure mine doesn't have the miles on it yours does, so i know it will go sonner than later...
Continue the mission. Had to adapt as riding speed and style had to change. Also lost some traction on some of the steep climbs due to hops.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:56 AM   #129
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THANK-YOU THANK-YOU FOR BLAZEING THE TRIAL, TWO WEEKS LEFT BEFORE OUR TRIP. AND I'M HANGING ON TO YER EVERYWORD
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:42 AM   #130
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I could be wrong, but this looks like the spot on Pinto Canyon RD where the gravel ends, and turns to blacktop.
Two years ago we had a snowball fight here during a break. The next year it was close to 100..
I guess the message here is, be prepared for any weather if you go..



This is great. I am in awe of how organized you are.. I tend to wing it a bit on trips..
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #131
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THANK-YOU THANK-YOU FOR BLAZEING THE TRIAL, TWO WEEKS LEFT BEFORE OUR TRIP. AND I'M HANGING ON TO YER EVERYWORD
Thanks. Hope some of the information is proving helpful to your own planning.

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I could be wrong, but this looks like the spot on Pinto Canyon RD where the gravel ends, and turns to blacktop.
Two years ago we had a snowball fight here during a break. The next year it was close to 100..
I guess the message here is, be prepared for any weather if you go..

This is great. I am in awe of how organized you are.. I tend to wing it a bit on trips..
Yep, that is the Pinto start/gravel spot.

I think I had temps that ran from a low of 21 degrees in Fort Davis to a high of around 80 in the NP. Temps vary a little with changing altitudes, but the sun was usually pretty hot - more than the air temperature. And of course, on sunny days the desert floor is a little hotter.

Thanks. Lots of information to keep track of. I read a lot of books and other material researching this thing and sometimes it is difficult to keep it all straight.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:55 AM   #132
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Central Riding in BBRSP

Took another ride, this time in the central area of Big Bend Ranch State Park.


First we'll take a lap around here and back to the lodge.








Some of the back country roads, 4WD or otherwise, are better maintained than others. This section was good.


The ones that are least maintained or most rugged are highlighted in yellow on the BBRSP recreation map.








Signage is pretty good.






When you get to this fence, you are a the top of Suicide Hill. The ranger warned me about the hill and gave me this handy navigation tip.


As usual the camera view doesn't really capture the steepness.


The hill isn't that big of a deal, but it is steep with loose rock so it needs to be handled with some care. One hops and slides a bit on the descent.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:47 AM   #133
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While I can certainly identify with having a fuel container strapped onto the back of the bike...



I can't begin to imagine taking the KLR down this with fuel container strapped onto the back AND a blown shock..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot View Post
The hill isn't that big of a deal, but it is steep with loose rock so it needs to be handled with some care. One hops and slides a bit on the descent.
Hops and slides a bit is probably a bit of an understatement..



John
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #134
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While I can certainly identify with having a fuel container strapped onto the back of the bike...

I can't begin to imagine taking the KLR down this with fuel container strapped onto the back AND a blown shock..

Hops and slides a bit is probably a bit of an understatement..



John
Good thing I didn't need to haul it in BBRSP. The KLR may have some shortcomings, but range isn't one of them.

Nice tidy set-up with the Rotopax.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:20 PM   #135
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More of Central BBRSP

King Kong Hill




Spur trail that continues beyond King Kong.


Descending King Kong.
































The park has an airstrip near the headquarters. One group that included 10 airplanes and three helicopters flew in for a pre-arranged meal at the park.


I don't know where they docked all those aircraft as it is a pretty simple set-up. Perhaps a "docking pilot" was required.


The bunk house.


Former ranch (park headquarters).


Office/store.


Interesting furniture outside the bunkhouse.


A little mid-day snack before heading out again.
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