KLR takes a circuitous route to Big Bend

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by scarysharkface, May 15, 2013.

  1. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    The original plan was to ride from west-central Indiana out to Utah for a week. Snow between here and there kind of screwed that up, so instead I hauled the KLR past the snow to my nephew's place in Tulsa and rode from there. I did not make it to Utah.

    Day 1 on the bike drops me into the lovely Alanreed, Texas, zip code 79002. A guy working on fences in the area tells me that the snakes are worse this year than he's ever seen them, and to watch my step after dark. My decision to fleabag it for the night is instantly validated. :deal

    [​IMG]

    The room is clean and quiet.

    [​IMG]

    Beer and a Snickers for dinner, and I think I'll sleep with the window open.

    [​IMG]

    Even with the late start (cold and raining in Tulsa today) I still make some decent progress towards whatever it is I'm progressing towards.


    John
    #1
  2. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    And yes, I most likely have brought way too much stuff. I've got a chair, tripod and two complete camping setups packed (tent stuff and hammock stuff) in that red duffel, not to mention enough clothes to last a week without wearing anything twice. The Camelbak is empty except for water and sandals. I've got spare tubes, gear shifter (me learns from experience eventually) and other miscellaneous things I don't really need but that somehow fit on the bike without much protest. I've got my Canon dslr and a couple of lenses, as well as some electronics..

    John
    #2
  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    After solving the world's problems with one of the locals over a cup of coffee and a yogurt, I head out across the flatlands. I pass the cars-sticking-out-of-the-ground-thing outside of Amarillo and make a mental note to stop if I'm in the area again later.

    [​IMG]

    I make it to Winslow and make it a point to stop and check out the corner.

    [​IMG]

    Again I fleabag it and take a walk in search of dinner.

    [​IMG]

    It's May 5th, so that presents some challenges but I find an open restaurant even on this Sunday evening.

    [​IMG]

    Next door is a storefront church..

    [​IMG]

    A better view with better light..

    [​IMG]

    I thought this building was neat. I believe it's the visitors center..

    [​IMG]

    Better numbers today..

    [​IMG]

    John
    #3
  4. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,710
    Location:
    Minn.
    Great pics!
    #4
  5. Zojirushi

    Zojirushi Surly Sailor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    El Paso Del Norte
    How's the wind out there this time?
    #5
  6. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,700
    Go John Gooo! :freaky
    #6
  7. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Day three on the bike is mostly just me trying to get to somewhere warm and not forecast to be rain in the next day.

    I froze my butt off riding through the Flagstaff area, but as things warmed up I did grab a burger in Seligman, Arizona.

    [​IMG]

    I considered taking the Route 66 tour towards Vegas, but my phone showed rain on the radar so I just kept heading west..

    [​IMG]

    Then south.

    [​IMG]

    A Shell station in Needles for lunch as YES played on the speakers at the pumps was a nice break. The trip south continues.

    North of Blythe I checked out some camping, but the fees were of the fleabag hotel magnitude, so I moved on.. The river was pretty though..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Dutt.

    [​IMG]

    Splendor..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some pics from my walkabout.

    [​IMG]

    Dinner.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    John
    #7
  8. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    By the way, just to throw this out there, I'm using Mobil 1 synthetic oil, a Shinko 705 on the rear, an Avon Gripster up front and I countersteer.
    #8
  9. Dillard

    Dillard Seeker

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    'Bama
    you definitely travel at a faster pace than I do. and you don't seem too loaded down. I keep trying to downsize my bags because there's lots of room in those big-ass bags so why not throw in an extra pair of pants and a t-shirt, and more socks, a pillow, and another couple of t-shirts...

    heading west and south, alone on your bike. bravo brother, that's good stuff.
    #9
  10. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    It's a new day (not sure which one and no reason to really care at this point) and I cross back over into Arizona. I'm curious and head over to the Kofa NWR to take a look-see.

    [​IMG]

    The riding is nice and being here is relaxing..

    [​IMG]

    High-speed packed dirt and gravel for the most part, as I approach the actual NWR.

    [​IMG]

    Beauty shot..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Information.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The office..

    [​IMG]

    I opt to backtrack to the Interstate and put some miles on, rather than solo it through the refuge.

    I ride some back roads through Gila Bend and such, through Ajo and Why, Arizona..

    [​IMG]

    A fill-up in Why, and the face shield gets a good (if not sloppy) cleaning before I sit down for a tea and snickers bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Somewhere east of Tucson..

    [​IMG]

    Camped in New Mexico..

    John
    #10
  11. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Thank you!

    Lots of wind and a fair amount of rain every day until I hit California. And cold up until I got near Nevada. Strange weather everywhere it seems.

    :wave Hiya Don!

    That's the thing, I suppose. I want to get the stuff I'm not particularly interested in behind me as quickly as possible. Once I'm where I want to be I do slow down considerably. Some days the KLR is perfect, some days it's too much of a dirt bike and some days it's too much of a street bike. And always it's too much of a pack-mule!

    John
    #11
  12. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,954
    Location:
    the Root, Western Montana
    Great report! Man, you are covering some ground. I love the unique town names in Arizona. :clap
    #12
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    The sun is up and my skills at staking a tent in the wind are lacking.

    [​IMG]

    Not a whole lot to see as I head east, my sights set by now on Big Bend. I guess it's become my safe place of sorts, because whenever I just show up things just seem to work out. But I've got some riding to do to get there.

    Texas Welcome Center just north of El Paso..

    [​IMG]

    Wonderful lunch in Van Horn..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quick stop just outside of Valentine..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While there, a couple from Iceland pulled-in for pictures. I took their portrait in front of the place then we hung around and chatted a bit. I had never noticed the business cards lining the east side outer wall..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I let the day end in Marfa..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My pics are a bit out of order, but I believe these are today's numbers..

    [​IMG]

    John
    #13
  14. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Al from Marfa Public Radio joins me for breakfast and picks up the tab. Great conversation about many things and it's just reaffirming that people are good.

    Heading towards Pinto Canyon Road..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eventually pavement ends..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cactus are blooming..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sights from the road..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm told that if one experiences difficulty along Pinto Canyon Road one only needs call out and someone will be dispatched to assist. Once being "the" route for smuggling, it's widely believed to have microphones and other monitoring devices placed pretty much up the whole length of the road. I don't know if that's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty soon I'm in Ruidosa and low and behold the road is paved. Figure I'll see how far the pavement goes and I end up riding to Candelaria before turning around..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That fence at the bottom? That's the border. This area is isolated enough and monitored enough that it's not a problem.

    [​IMG]

    This road is either curves or hills, and fun. I only got air twice, I promise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Off to Presidio for lunch and petrol..

    John
    #14
  15. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    A quick lunch and fuel then I'm off along the river road FM170. I stop at Closed Canyon for a look-see and a walk..

    [​IMG]

    It's warm here.

    [​IMG]

    It's a neat little slot canyon feeding into the Rio Grande..

    [​IMG]

    Just a short walk off the road and very easy to access, it's pretty neat..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of reptile life here..

    [​IMG]

    Then it's back on the bike and off to the porch..

    [​IMG]

    I'm not a cola drinker by any means, but owe it to myself to enjoy the real thing. Yes, it's good stuff..

    [​IMG]

    Many places are defined by the quality of the rest room graffiti..

    [​IMG]

    Neat old Jeep parked out front. I do believe this is an original Bantam..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before too much of the day is gone, I head out to El Punto Coyote to visit with friends..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hang my hammock under their ramada. Not a bad view to be had..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Today's numbers..

    [​IMG]

    John
    #15
  16. Gentri in GA

    Gentri in GA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    261
    Location:
    Deep-ish South E Point GA
    Fun little ride. Hope to hit some of that myself this Fall!
    #16
  17. woodschip

    woodschip Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    In The Briar Patch--Mid-Tenn
    From all us high-class fellow KLRistas,thanks for sharing your adventures and nice pics with us ! Glad to see you are upholding our high standards by exhibiting some impressive "top speed" numbers. Must say I am very envious of your travels. RIDE ON Brother KLRista.:clap:clap:clap
    #17
  18. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Thanks, guys!

    I'm just now getting around to uploading pics from my dslr and will fill-in some of my prior posts with a few images from that. Then if some of my night shots from El Punto Coyote look decent I'll recommence the story with those and move forward.

    I seriously considered using a milk crate on back, but the chair and tripod would have been problematic. Actually, maybe not. Perhaps if the chair and pod were strapped on ahead of the crate, then I'd have had room for my other junk in the crate itself and it would maybe have been less of a hassle to get to stuff. Maybe next time.. :lol3

    John
    #18
  19. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    All night storms roll across the northern horizon, but mostly there are stars above those distant clouds and lightning..

    [​IMG]

    Just a wee little bit of lightning visible in this one, near the bottom of the frame..

    [​IMG]

    In spite of my late night, I'm up ahead of the sun and lay in the hammock listening to the sounds of the desert as it rises..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Breakfast in the ghost town and an extended visit with one of my hosts rule the morning before I head off to the park. I'm thinking I might get a tent site in the Chisos Basin for the night, as today is going to be a hot one..

    [​IMG]

    Tent site number 01 is mine, mine, MINE I tell you! :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Nice views..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    John
    #19
  20. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,416
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    I stowed a bunch of stuff in the bear box at the camp site, then beat feet for the border..

    [​IMG]

    At the crossing, a border agent confirms that I've got everything I need to get back across legally and reminds me that the border closes at 6 pm, then points to the door. Outside is a trail to the river..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is what I've been waiting for.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wind is a bit of a problem, but we get it going and by now I'm pretty jazzed about the whole endeavor.

    [​IMG]

    The choices are to walk to town, ride a burro or take a truck. I don't know how much time any of this is going to take, and it's late afternoon already, so I opt for the truck..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is indeed a different world..

    [​IMG]

    Downtown..

    [​IMG]

    Earnesto, my self-appointed guide, insisted upon a visit to the trinket store to buy some of the local wares. I dropped $6 on a bracelet then convinced them I was out of money. For all intents and purposes I was. Here's Earnesto and the two girls running the shop..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's time to return, or I think it is, and we head back to the border..

    [​IMG]

    At the crossing I get to meet Victor, who would sing at the opening of Boquillas Canyon in years passed. It was nice to be able to shake his hand and say hello.

    [​IMG]

    My chariot awaits..

    [​IMG]

    As quickly as I'm out of the boat another is aboard and the cycle continues..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Welcome home..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A short walk back up the bank to the border station..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Walk inside..

    [​IMG]

    Once inside, the agent scans my passport and I'm planted in front of a kiosk that's transmitting a live video stream to somewhere official.

    [​IMG]

    Soon enough I'm cleared and it's time to head out to the lot and figure out where to next..

    John
    #20