Big Bend NP- the Now'r Nev'r trip

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Phattyre-Phready2, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    WOW!!!! Finally caught up here!! I have to say you definitely have a different style. I've read a couple of reports from there but none quite like this one. The pictures really conveyed the beauty of the area. Stunning!!! :clap

    Thanks for taking us along. It was a great ride.
  2. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, k8E... back atcha'!:ken Glad you were entertained... could've used some help with Boomer in the canyon!
  3. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Fo' sho'... it was!
  4. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Good to have you along, VFR! The best 'ride' part is yet to come... FM170!
  5. PinIt2WadIt

    PinIt2WadIt Adventurer

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    Dang Dad...couldn't sleep thinking about the next chapter?:D

    Nice handle VFR...had a yellow 2000 model and miss that thing like crazy sometimes! (By 'sometimes', I mean ALWAYS)
  6. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    Excellent ride, I really enjoyed it.
  7. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    That's what you get for 'peeking' at my pics before I reached the photogenic section of FM170 from Study Butte to Redford! :wink:

    You done good PinIt... just keep on wringing yore Wee's neck!

    Thanks, perterra... glad you enjoyed. It's an awesome place!
  8. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    ... dead ends into 118 on it's east end in Study Butte. When I reach this junction, I stop and take off my heated vest. It's warmed up nicely. I check my email while I'm stopped... I wasn't expecting to be able to do this on this trip. I wasn't expecting the $12 charge for 'International Roaming Charges' on my Verizon bill, either!

    The last 2 times I tried this segment, it did the disappearing thing. I've been doing the typing part in notepad to lessen the odds and the writing is saved, at least.

    El heffe's casa?

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    One disturbing fact Dick told me about the BBNP... many of the stone ruins in the NP were inhabited and the people were forced to leave when it became a National Park.

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    The NP claimed eminent domain, paid them the going rate for land... next to nothing there... and gave them the boot!

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    I've seen old movies about the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) trying to force people off their land. But those were hillbillies who's ancestors were buried there... not illegal aliens, as many living just North of the river were, according to Dick.

    FM 170 West of Terlingua starts out looking like 114 between Enochs and Needmore, Texas. I'm not worried... I cheated and used google 'birds eye' to see what's in store from Lubbock, months before I finally get to ride it.

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    I did an internet search that didn't reveal that much... probably layered over... not something the National Parks system is proud of, no doubt.

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    I was hoping Cannonshot might've uncovered something and would report it when he passed all the ruins along the Rio Grande on his Ross Maxwell/ Old Maverick loop.

    When I passed this spot, it felt like I was in Bailey county! Just over this hill is the turnoff to Arch, NM... that's how much the terrain looked like the other West Texas... the one in the panhandle.

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    Cannonshot mentions the old store and Luna's Jacal, but no mention of eminent domain evictions. That might require some deep digging by an inquisitive trial lawyer?

    Then I top the hill... and instead of the turn to Arch NM and more sandy scrub... I see this!

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    He does mention a drug smuggler who retreated to his hideout just across the river from Castolon when he got hot. DEA agents and Mexican Federales attack him with a helicopter. They mangage to kill him and bring his body back. Gory history you don't find just anywhere. Cannonshot even mentioned them buying ice twice for the body after the chopper had engine problems!

    And I've totally lost the feeling of being in Bailey county?!


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    And then I drop into a wash that could be one of several places in Yellow House Canyon, which enventually runs through Lubbock.

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    But that was on the right... the left looks like river country!

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    I think I was trying to zoom the camera... good route documentation... by accident. Notice all the empty road in both directions, too! Sometimes 'whoops' shots turn out good for something.

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    I've read bad things about Lajitas and rode right on through... only pic I had and it's not very good.

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    That's where the river meets the road... and things start to get scenic!

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    I've ridden some sweet stretches of highway and it's hard to say which one is best?

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    But when all things are considered, the most important thing to me is 'how crowded was it?'

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    We did 'Tail of the Dragon' and it was some sweet road... 118 curves in 11 miles. And covered with traffic! Not just bikes... there was a Z car convention staying at Fontana Village. You could hear their fart cans all through the hills... so could the LEO's, who came out en force!

    The scenes here keep switching from Bailey county to Old Mexico... I pull over for a pee... don't have to worry about traffic here! You can tell by the dust that they only got a sprinkle... still no measuralble rainfall extends a record shattering drought. Worst in recorded history for most of Texas!

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    I thought I had a picture of the BBRSP sign, but don't have one. I think the State Park has already begun and borders 170 on the North for 30+ miles.

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    It's finally quit with the alternate Bailey county scenes... these are getting more spectacular by the mile!

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    Lots of old, black and white westerns were shot in this area. I used to saddle up the old butane stove in the living room and ride along with 'em!

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    Hopalong Cassady was probably awed by this very scene back in his day.

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    I've reached the stretch of 170 that's indescribably beautiful... in all directions! River valley's are without a doubt my favorite places on the planet... erosion does some fascinating sculpting!

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    Time for me to go do some 'less fascinating' wood sculpture. The best of 170 is yet to come! And my best 'picnic' spot of the entire trip...

  9. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    FM170 just keeps getting better and better.

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    Lajitas used to be home to a TMBRA mountain bike race. The race lost sponsorship and died about the same time some rich prick moved in and tried to make Lajitas a rich man resort.

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    Needless to say, it didn't work... and Lajitas is kind of a 'no-man's land' now.

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    I believe Fresno Creek was part of the infamous 'Lajitas mtb race loop'.

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    I've been put-putting for 5 days in 45 mph speed zones.

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    It's time to play where there's no traffic and no impending 'speed traps' around the next blind corner.

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    By George, I believe I've found it... motorcycle nirvana!

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    Lots of up and down, with sweet curves undulating in rythm with the river.

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    And the missing ingredient that makes this my NEW favorite motorcycle road... NO TRAFFIC!

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    I STILL haven't seen any jackrabbits the size of mule deer yet, either!



  10. GhostRiderFC

    GhostRiderFC Just a guy who rides

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    That last bit looks pretty darn cool! I like some curvy roads. There's a really cool bit of road headed into Gateway in Western Colorado that looks like that. Reminds me of something out of a Roadrunner & Coyote cartoon.
  11. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Funny you mention road runners. I ended the last post still searching for jack rabbits the size of mule deer. The closest thing I had to an animal strike on FM170 was a road runner... instead of crossing the road, it dashed out just enough to make me grab brakes, then ran on the shoulder like it wanted to race!

    We (3 Stooges Stromin' the San Juans) planned to ride from Ouray to Gateway in 2010 and bailed because of rain. I've longed to get back and ride that route to the auto museum located in Gateway.

    I'll get back to the report soon... been too tired after work to finish it up.
  12. wayno

    wayno Long timer

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  13. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Yep... this is where I'll camp when I come back. I don't think I could ever get tired of this view to the West!? Just imagine the sunsets...

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    I already posted this picture earlier to ask SKINNY about it. These are close to the highway, but there's not enough traffic on 170 for that to be a nuisance. And right after a rain, it would be a big plus.

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    It's right next to the Rio Grande. This one appears to have a vault toilet. In Big Bend, this is important. I've already mentioned the 'cat hole' method required for primitive camping in the NP. If you plan to primitive camp in the BBRSP, you have to have a portable toilet or rent one from them.

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    This spot is about halfway between Lajitas and Presidio.

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    A Natural Treasure indeed! And one of our most threatened natural resourses...

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    The above sign was put up before dual sport riding began to gain a foothold! If the BBRSP wants to, it can become a mecca for dual sport riders! They have 300,000 acres well suited for it and the surface has barely been scratched!

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    I reach Redford and decide to turn around. I'm enjoying the solitude and realize the closer I get to Presidio, the more that would change.

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    Poor old goat had a bum rear foot and could barely walk, much less run. It was visibly relieved when I rode past after taking it's picture.

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    Time for lunch... I stopped by the roadside park with the teepees, but it was too windy.

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    When I look for a motorcycle rest stop, it has to be sheltered from the wind, especially if I'm going to eat a sandwich.

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    Yep... the more I explore here, the further convinced I become that I missed my calling! I shoulda' been a geologist!

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    This location looks interesting... lots of cool formations. I begin to look for a good spot to turn around...

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    This is it! The best picnic spot of the entire trip!! Well protected from the wind...

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    Lots of cool stuff to keep you visually entertained while eating... including some old dwellings.

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    One even has a functioning fireplace! It might have a roof leak or two...

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    The neighbor looks like he had a boulder roll over his house...

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    but on further inspection, the house was built around the boulder.

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    All the holes in these rocks almost look manmade?

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    A good place to play hide and go seek... then I get the feeling of being watched... and realize many of those may be hiding creepy crawlers!

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    Some of them almost have to be man made?

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    Without a doubt, my favorite picnic spot of this trip!
  14. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

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    As I understand it, this report is a delayed writing. Could it be that I
    spotted you on 52 here in San Diego last Wednesday, or was that a clone
    with identical graphics?
  15. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Not me... I be busy making sawdust in Texas!

    I saw my first one at Deal's Gap a few years ago. As I mentioned, there are several around Ft. Worth, where the guy who created and sells the 'illuminite decals' is from. The lines fit so well... P40 Tomahawk Warstroms!
  16. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    My daughter-in-law, k8E, told me I need to finish this report. I got real busy at work where I left off and just never got back to it. About all that is left is the bad part and that was easy to put off.

    I was looking at the pictures and there are a few good ones between lunch and the mishap I should post, if nothing else.

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    I'd eaten lunch late and began to feel rushed as I had planned to check out Terlingua Ghost Town on my way back.

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    But views such as these deserve more than a quick 'hope I got it' rolling, left handed shot!



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  17. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

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    Still waitin'.
  18. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    It's a crying shame more riders don't get a chance to see this stretch of motorcycle nirvana! Problem is, you don't pass by here on the way to someplace... you have to cross miles of desert to get to it. And if you break down, you'd best know how to take care of it! The alternative is a LONG wait for an EXPENSIVE tow truck. I didn't see another bike in either direction west of Lajitas.

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    I can't wait to go back with the van, DRZ and mountain bike!

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  19. Phattyre-Phready2

    Phattyre-Phready2 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the patience, prsdrat!
  20. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    What bad things had you heard about Lajitas ?