LoneStar: The Chinati Mountains

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

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    I spent a few days in west Texas, exploring, camping and testing some photo gear.

    I'll post story and pics shortly, but for you ADD types here's some video I shot to get you started:





    More soon amigos...
    #1
  2. Gilberto

    Gilberto Adventurer

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    Texas
    Sweet video! Thanks for sharing...
    #2
  3. airjammer

    airjammer Been here awhile

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    H-Town TX, The Grand Junction, Colorado USA
    Robin Trower. Nice touch.
    #3
  4. txplants

    txplants Pastafarian

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    ...thanks for sharing.
    #4
  5. roberts

    roberts GS'er

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    Fantastic! :clap
    #5
  6. dfwscotty

    dfwscotty Long timer

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    Denton, TX
    Nobody likes a show off.

    Enough foreplay, get the show on the road!
    #6
  7. jamrol

    jamrol DesertDude

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    Santa Teresa, New Mexico
    Nice teaser- can't wait to see the rest!
    #7
  8. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

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    Scotty you made me cry but I got over it :evil
    #8
  9. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

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    Nothing like a good ride to the Big Bend region of Texas to clear the mind and rid oneself of the garbage that collects from life's clutter.

    In the past, my trips to the area have been fast and relatively furious, squeezed in between work projects, with the need to see as much as possible. But this time I wanted to enjoy the area with no agenda or schedule and to play with the GoPro and Sony, trying out a few things and experimenting with video a bit.

    I planned to camp, shoot some video, a few stills and edit on the laptop to get a feel for the realities of documenting a long future trip both on still and video on the road. Shooting still and doing a ride report isn't difficult, but adding video into the equation was something I wanted to try.

    I decided to hit Marfa first, just because I've never spent any time there other than a lunch or gas stop on the way through heading somewhere else. A friend had sent pics of "El Cosmico", the hipster campground located on the edge of town and I decided to give it a try.

    With that in mind, I loaded the bike and hit I-10 west to get out there as quickly as possible. If anyone has stumbled across my threads lately, my GS has been suffering poor fuel mileage for a while, and despite my best efforts to resolve it, it still has been getting crap mileage. I-10 west from Kerrville has an 80 mph speed limit and headwinds, so gas mileage drops anyway and this trip I hit several stations along the way to keep topped up.



    ThunderPig in it's overloaded glory
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    I didn't get on the road until noon or so, and by the time I passed Ft. Stockton and took the highway south for Alpine, the sun was slipping fast to the horizon.





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    Turning west on 90 into the setting light of the sun, I felt the tinges of excitement and freedom that each ride brings.




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    Approaching Marfa in the face of a beautiful sunset, I was feeling the fatigue of the day's 80 mph buffeting, but the wide open spaces and a beautiful west Texas sky made me feel the peace that freedom brings.





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    It was nearing dark as I rolled into the El Cosmico campground and luckily the tatted hippie chick in the registration room hadn't closed shop yet. El Cosmico is a funky chic campground, with tent camping areas, teepees, safari tents and 50's era travel trailers, owned by the owner of several funky chic boutique hotels in Austin. Prices are commensurate for a chic spot, but tent camping is $12 which is a plus.





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    It had been a long day, and I was tired, so I decided to splurge and stay in a safari tent the first night, rather than set up in the dark. Yes, I wussed out.




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    I was the lone camper that evening

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    After unpacking I inquired about any places open for a meal and was told that only the restaurant and bar at the old Paisano Hotel were open this particular evening.




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    I fired up the unladen beast and rumbled into downtown Marfa, parking in the darkness on a side street and finding a table on the patio to avoid the few folks inside. The meal was good, and it felt great to be in another world.




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    For those unfamiliar with Marfa, Texas, it is an enigma. It is the classic west Texas town, with just enough buildings and businesses to support the local ranchers, but was put on the map as the place near which the film "Giant" was done. Rock Hudson, Liz Taylor and James Dean stayed in the Paisano for a few months while filming.

    The New York artist Donald Judd moved there in the 70's and Marfa soon developed somewhat of a mystique for the art intelligentsia and has been a draw for tourists and seekers for quite some time. Amidst the old buildings are small galleries, small and pricey dining establishments and urban style places to stay. Having grown up in Texas, it seems surprising that such a tiny classic Texas town has enough interest to draw any visitors, but I suppose it is the extreme contrast to urban dwellers that makes it seem interesting. But more on that later...

    Marfa's other claim to fame is the "Marfa Lights", a series of well established reports of strange orbs of lights and various optical and luminous shenanigans in the vast prairie south of 90 on the east side of town. The state, for safety reasons, finally built an official viewing area to clear the right of ways of cars and midnight gawkers.

    I will say I spent several hours freezing my butt off looking for them over the years, and though never having the dramatic encounters others have had, I have seen some distant lights moving very rapidly and doing odd things in general.


    More soon amigos!
    #9
  10. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

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    San Diego, CA
    Bring it on Lonestar. This old Pasadena boy has been running I10 for
    the last 50 years and only made it through Marfa and Marathon twice!
    Big Bend has always called, but the duty of family has kept me on the
    interstates.

    I'm in.
    #10
  11. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    :lurk

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

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    Apr 25, 2012
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    885
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    So Cal
    And great start :evil
    Thanks for sharing :clap
    #12
  13. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I awoke early to use the potty, in the hip chic bathroom/shower stalls that have as much privacy as a cattle pen, and frankly look to be one lol. The two bathrooms are separated as loosely, and it could be a peeping perv's heaven (not that I know anything about that btw). But it fits with the laid back stoned hippie feel of the place, and I can easily adapt, ponytail notwithstanding.

    It was a bit cool early, as Marfa sits about 5000' in elevation IIRC, and is the recipient of winds coming down from the plains and plateaus further north as well as the Davis Mountains, so I dragged the laptop into the small lobby area and stared bleary-eyed at the wall where I fantasized hot coffee would be waiting. Eventually it did materialize and tasted pretty good.

    I popped open the Mac and checked emails, hoping for the chance to rescue a Nigerian prince's millions from an account, so I too can become wealthy, God Bless Me… No luck however so I decided to people watch as a few stragglers came in from the 50's trailers looking for java. I lifted my feet for the cleaning lady to mop under them, and watched a nicely dressed Spanish looking man check his email on his Mac, everything about him pristine and perfect, expensive watch, perfect leather organizer and pen, each hair in place, and pondered the yin and yang of the lobby, he and I in perfect contrast, keeping the world from spinning off it's axis.

    I walked outside and looked up at the dull, gray, hazy sky, a bit bummed as I was anxious to get out and shoot some pics. One's percentage of good shots on overcast days is slim, especially in a vast flat landscape that screams for contrast and color, so I decided to hang in the lobby.

    In short order a young lady came in with her camera and Mac laptop, dressed absolutely as if shopping in Neiman Marcus, perfectly made up, skin tight fashion jeans with top and expensive scarf wrap. Suddenly I was feeling underdressed for a chic hippie campground, as both she and the Spanish guy were quite squeaky clean and spiffy. God knows I'd tried to keep my favorite UnderArmor tshirt in good shape, but it has a furry strip of fabric pulls right down the center of my six pack abs from various zipper catches and lens caps flapping against it. Oh well, I was on vacation.

    Bored of leering, I went outside to check the sky again and ended up at an old porcelain Corona table with a British couple, he having a bushy black beard and round Lennon sunglasses. I asked how they'd ended up in Marfa, and they said they'd flown to California to be with the wife's dying mother, and after her passing decided to drive across the U.S. to see the country. They'd rented an SUV, and left California with intense warnings of how dangerous America was. They'd been warned that their car was guaranteed to be broken into, so somewhere along the way they had decided to make color copies of their passports and send the originals back to California for safekeeping by her sister…

    Needless to say, I felt a bit sorry for them that their journey had been so jaded by fear and bullshit, but I also said that they did need to be a bit cautious near big cities. He continued with the story, and that they'd had good luck until they reached the Border Patrol checkpoint on I-10 near the junction with I-20, where he said the agents treated them as criminals since they only had copies of their passports. After lengthy interrogation they were told they would be allowed to go to Marfa with an escort and had to remain there until their passports arrived.

    When they found out I lived near Fredericksburg, they asked about local cuisine and produced a list of restaurants and dives across the U.S. they planned to visit. Turns out they were chefs in England and wanted to sample great or at least different foods on the trip, I suggested they hit Alamo Springs Cafe outside Fburg for a great burger and music, and if possible to hit Cooper's BBQ in Llano, telling them on a good day it was some of the best in the world depending on which cow had died the previous day.

    After talking them to death, I headed for downtown Marfa to walk around a bit and hope the skies would clear, hitting the courthouse to climb to the top of the tower where some friends had gotten married, but it was closed that particular day. My amazing charm and looks could not persuade the County Clerk nor the judge standing next to her to allow me to go up.

    So I wandered the empty streets, peering into vacant buildings through cloudy windows and reading faded signs, checking the galleries only to find them all closed. As an aside, if you visit Marfa be prepared for almost everything there to generally be closed, opening only at odd hours and random times of the week.

    Bored and ready to ride (as you are from reading this), I decided to head south for the Chinati Hot Springs to check out the place where I planned to spend a couple of days camping. I'd heard of it and seen it on the map but in previous trips was never able to take the time to ride out to it.

    The cloud cover began to lift into high veils in the sky as I raced south on Ranch Road 2810 through the vast plains of the big ranches on the plateau. I stopped briefly to putz around with my GoPro for a bit of ride capture on the narrow blacktop road.




    One thing about the area Marfa is in, is that if you like wide open spaces, you're in heaven. Beautiful open areas with great skies, the occasional windmill or pronghorn antelope and long stretches of open road.

    Heading southwest, I eventually reached the end of the blacktop as the road begins to edge off the plateau and down into Pinto Canyon as it heads for the Rio Grande and the border of Mexico. I stopped to take in the view and noticed my custom made filter mount for the GoPro had somehow let loose of the filtration I was using, tossing it somewhere in the last 30 miles. Oh well.



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    The high hazy clouds had left the landscape somewhat flat in color and the winds with continuous dust created a soft and distant feel to the canyon, as I headed off for Ruidosa and the river road north of Presidio.



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    Pinto Canyon is a favorite road of mine, and I enjoyed the vistas and terrain, eventually passing the cut off road that heads for Chinati Hot Springs, but decided to go all the way to the border before returning back north to the Hot Springs.



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    Eventually I rumbled into the entrance to the springs, and parked in front of the adobe style cabins. I was the only vehicle there in the hidden little oasis. I walked around, looking at the campsites and community kitchen, listening to ringing in my ears in the dead silence of the little canyon it resides in.




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    I eventually wandered up to the main house, to the sound of intense barking from a large dog inside, it's female owner's voice shushing the dog, or at least attempting to. When she opened the door, I told her I was planning on staying in a couple of days, and she said they stayed steadily booked but if I was camping there was no problem this particular week. Good to hear. I told her I'd be back then wandered to the hot spring pools and enjoyed the utter silence.




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    The sun was slipping low and I figured it was time to start the trek northward for El Cosmico.



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    Running through the canyon was beautiful, and a ride I always enjoy. I paused at the top and shot a few photos in the setting light, sitting on the edge of a steep hill and looking out at the timeless landscape, puffs of wind whistling in the Spanish Dagger and dry grass.



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    I fired up the rig, and headed north to the blacktop and the beautiful open land and sky ahead.




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    The fields on each side became a beautiful gold as the sun skimmed lower, my attention and bike being drawn to the shoulder for photos and just to watch the light change.




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    Each time I see this lone tree, I wonder if it's the one the Coen Bros used in a scene from "No Country For Old Men" as some of it was filmed in the area





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    Eventually I crested the large hill before descending to Marfa miles ahead, passing the lone white Yukon and Border Patrol officer stationed at his watching post just over the crest. I waved to him nonchalantly, figuring my bike was probably the most interesting thing he'd seen all day. I also figured at some point he'd stop me out of curiosity and I may as well start the brown-nosing now.



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    I arrived back at Cosmico, swapped clothes and checked email on the patio, watching as a stylish couple arrived in a rental car and proceeded to unload. The girl, a stunning blonde Brigitte Bardot-esque model type in painted on black clothes, matched her companion, a tall thin man with sunglasses and black hair, he too in skin tight painted on jeans and shirt. As they struggled to put their luggage into the little wagons provided for campers, I heard them arguing in French and wondered if, in fact, they had flown all the way from France to this little berg in west Texas. Paint me blue and call me a Smurf, but I can tell you I'd sure as hell fly to somewhere else in the world if I had enough money to choose.

    Somewhat tickled by the idea, I chuckled inside and watched as another rental car pulled in and a thin wiry guy and two girls got out, their clothes also betraying the fact they "warn't from around hyar" either. The threesome proceeded to mumble and unload a tent and backpacks and head for the tent camping area.

    I was getting hungry and again asked the hip chick inside where to eat. She repeated the litany from the night before, asking herself what day it was, and then looking at the clock, then telling me I'd missed the one place that had been open that day and for 3 hours that afternoon. Again it seemed the bar at the El Paisano Hotel was the only place open.

    I again repeated the same physical litany as the night before, this time eating inside rather than the patio and choosing a corner from which to eat, since I appeared about as attractive as a wet rat after riding all day. My thoughts wandered to the next day, when I hoped to get a bit more serious about shooting a bit of video.



    More mañana amigos...
    #13
  14. gregdee

    gregdee Motocampist

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
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    520
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    Tijeras, NM
    Please tell us more about the hot springs. I passed through there last February but had not made a reservation so we flew on up Pinto Canyon to Marfa. Considering heading back there some day with intentions of staying at the hot springs but I am always a sucka for more information.

    Nice story so far. Keep it coming.
    #14
  15. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    Love the pics. I miss Big Bend.
    #15
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    9,168
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    San Antonio
    Really good story telling and photos, Joseph.

    I sat in the Paisano two nights ago having just returned from Mexico via Ojinaga (and left Marfa the Monday before on the way to entering at Douglas Arizona/Agua Prieta Mexico); Marfa was the starting/ending point of the journey.

    I checked out the other "top tier" restaurant in Marfa, the Cochineal, but decided it was too "New York Proper" for me.

    The lone local banker (he's still in Marfa} was the extra cast as the guy first murdered on the side of the road by Anton Chigurh in "No Country For Old Men".

    Beyonce herself (a Houston girl) was in town last year and in fact, stayed at the El Cosmico as well.

    Morely Safer of 60 Minutes did a great piece on Marfa recently, check it out on YouTube.

    I stayed just outside of town at the Riata. While pulling in from Mexico, there was a bunch of models being photographed with the vast grasslands as a backdrop.

    Go figure - it's Marfa.
    #16
  17. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

    Joined:
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    Hey Trice :D

    Where'd you go from Douglas? I rode out there a couple years ago and did the border roads from near Douglas to Nogales and beyond and am thinking of heading back

    Would like to hear about your loop :deal

    Marfa, what an interesting place indeed. You meet the biggest variety of people out there :lol3

    About to post the next bit...
    #17
  18. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

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    Greg I'll be posting more on it shortly - great place :deal
    #18
  19. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus

    Joined:
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    Morning consisted of my usual routine: stand up, try to remember who I am and to put pants on before going out in public. Wonder if they'd notice at Cosmico? Probably.

    But the coffee was good once again, and I warmed my fingers over a hot Mac downloading pics and trying to think of witty comments for the report. I got stuck on the first line, which started with "I..." (cause it's "all about me" :deal) and was about to think of the second word when the wiry guy who'd arrived the evening before popped into the Cosmico lobby, fiddling with the artsy door latch that every person who enters does, and proceeded to look around, exploring the general vicinity of the coffee pot and then boldly and loudly asked the tatted hippie chick if they had any "hot tea"…

    The words thudded to the ground with no response, and he seemed a bit lost, so I stood up and told him to hang on, that I had some individual tea packets in my tent, and would he prefer English Breakfast, Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast tea? He looked at me like one would look at Frankenstein asking for a dance. He said "well, any is fine actually." Using my brilliant powers of deduction I figured he would actually need three and headed for my tent to find the 8 year old packets I'd been carrying around in my tank bag for 6 years, glad to pawn them off on someone and still look like a hero.

    When I returned he thanked me in a slight yankee accent, and made up a couple of cups and disappeared. I was still stuck on "I…" when he returned with the two girls, all carrying Mac laptops and cell phones with notepads. The two girls spoke in lovely British accents, or maybe it was two lovely girls who spoke in British accents, or maybe it was two lovely British girls who spoke in lovely British accents - it was early what can I say - but they proceeded to start making calls, checking emails and talking to various folks about "shoots" and I realized they were doing production for some form of media.

    About the same time, the girl who'd been dressed so designerly the previous morning, came in with her cameras and laptop, followed shortly by three guys in the current style of bushy beards, tight pants and plaid shirts, all sporting old film cameras including a Hasselblad 500CM. They all began discussing shooting and such, and I enjoyed eavesdropping, finding it interesting to see them shooting film with retro gear. As a photographer for 30 years, it was fun seeing the art still alive, and I started talking to them a bit. Turns out the girl had been driving to Marfa and needed gas, pulling off the highway at what she thought was a gas station only to find it abandoned. Shortly after stopping, an old van pulled in and the three guys had piled out, they too needing gas and fooled by the sign. The guys were on the way to Austin from LA to play a gig, and she told them about Marfa, so they had followed her and were going to spend a couple of days in town. Cool.

    About that time, one of the Brit gals came over to thank me for the tea, and I acted as if it were nothing (now concerned that they not die from "old tea poisoning"). In conversation it turned out that the two girls were filming a documentary about the most famous lion tamer in the world, a guy from Texas who'd lived in the early 1900's, and so impressive that Haile Selassie the Emperor of Ethipoia had given him his two royal lions as pets.

    That was news to me, but at this point in my life and especially in Marfa, I'll believe anything. The guy with them was a filmmaker from NYC, and they'd flown in to Midland, rented a car and driven down the day previous. She told me that they had a week and were going to drive from Marfa to Houston and then down to Brownsville and then maybe El Paso. I asked if she realized just how big Texas was, and just how much driving they would be doing in one week. We continued talking, and it turns out both girls had worked in production for films in London, before striking out on their own in documentaries.

    She said that they had managed to record a video of an amazing phenomena, and it had gone viral, being picked up by news agencies and television the world over. The money they'd gotten from this had financed their current trip. She showed me the video and I got chills watching it.

    It's called "Murmuration" and was filmed on her iPhone after all their camera batteries had been used up filming that day. Truly stunning.
    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/31158841" width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/31158841">Murmuration</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/islandsandrivers">Islands &amp; Rivers</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    They asked if I had any suggestions as to travel from Marfa, and I told them to hit Presidio then Terlingua by Hwy 170 and catch the sunset from the porch, dinner at the Starlight and then thru Big Bend out to Marathon. From there I told them to take 90 east to see the old sights, telling them to stop at Langtry, seat of Judge Roy Bean, and was about to explain a bit of history when the wiry guy jumped in, excited and said he'd studied Roy bean extensively in college, and was excited to know they would be passing through Langtry.

    After I'd gotten a lengthy history lesson on Bean from him, I told them that if they went through Brackettville to find the ranch where the recreation of the Alamo was and to charm their way in, since it was now closed to the public. I told them it was a Texas symbol and may be useful for imagery in a story of Texas.


    The skies still sucked, being overcast and gray, but I hit the little Mexican restaurant in town for a breakfast of huevos rancheros, with possibly the hottest sauce I'd ever eaten. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaa! :eek1

    After I could see again, I floored it for Pinto Canyon to start shooting some video and testing some mounts. I flew past the Border Patrol suv and waved again, cresting a hill to find a woman trying to have a peaceful walk with her retriever who of course bolted onto the road to all of our surprise. All I can say is thank God for ABS brakes. When she had him under control I waved and floored it again.


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    I spent time slowly exploring the dusty roads, hoping the sky would clear but to no avail. Most of the afternoon was spent stopping and setting a camera or laying on the ground adjusting a GoPro, and by the time it started getting late and the light began getting good, I was worn out from dragging my fat ass on and off the bike all day.


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    I'm sure I looked suspicious to whatever technology the Border Patrol uses to monitor the roads, and sure enough an SUV arrived to question me. The guys were all young, sweating and tired looking, so their questioning was half hearted and they moved on, but I surreptitiously watched as they drove higher in elevation and eventually stopped to glass me for a while.


    (This is my surreptitious look)
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    I spent the afternoon shooting some video and fiddling with things mostly, but eventually the light began to improve late in the day.

    Forgive my lack of imagery but the day was spent with video - so tough titties


    I continued shooting as the sun began to set, and worked my way up to the plateau to take a break and watch the sun set.

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    Indulge me a bit on the sunsets...



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    I don't know what it is exactly, but there is a magic to this area of Texas, especially in the evenings, that enters one's soul and never leaves.
    It's found when you sit in silence and watch the hills change in the light, and yet never change.

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    It was after dark by the time I hit the asphalt on the way back to Marfa, and I was wishing for more headlight, my Wunderlich duals an improvement over the stocker by far, and just as I began to relax a bit, a large herd of javelina rocketed from the brush and flowed across the road like a stream. I barely missed them and the adrenaline popped me wide awake to say the least.

    I stayed intently focused on the road for a while and eventually saw what seemed to be a large black blob in the road ahead. I blinked multiple times to make sure it wasn't fatigue, but the dark mass seemed to stay ahead of me.

    I began to wonder, and hit the throttle to see if I could discern what it was, if anything.

    As I sped from about 65 up to 80, I began to see more and more shape as I got closer, and by the time I began to get close, I saw that the black shape was in fact the tail end of an old flatbed truck, and as I moved into the opposite lane and closed on it, I could see there were no plates, no tailights or lenses, no glass windows and it was painted in flat black and primer brown. Whatever truck it was, it had been blacked out and any form of reflectivity removed and it was going about 65 in complete darkness with no headlights or lights of any form.

    By this time I was peeling past it and trying to figure it out when I looked ahead and saw another flatbed a few yards in front, traveling fast and totally blacked out as well... only this truck had a high tech dune buggy of sorts on the back - flat dull black brown as well. I felt a bit weird and really pegged the throttle to blast past and get on ahead. Both trucks were old 60's era flatbeds, beat up and painted flat black and dark brown and were hauling ass down a pitch black road with no lights of any sort.

    As I wondered how shocked they were to be overtaken by a motorcycle coming out of the canyon behind them so late, I also was a bit wowed and figured I'd just passed some sort of secret military observation unit or something, because all I know is they had to be using NV goggles to drive that fast with no lights.

    In short order they disappeared in the darkness behind me and I raced on at higher speeds than normal. Marfa was still a long ways away, as it is roughly 30 miles of blacktop from the canyon entrance.

    After a while, I saw the reflective stickers of a Border Patrol truck ahead, and began slowing as I knew there was no way he'd let a motorcycle coming out of the canyon in the dark go past. In fact I debated just pulling over and rolling up to him to save him the trouble, but also knew he'd be very tense and I had no desire to be shot.

    So I slowed to about 60 as I went past and watched in the rear view as his lights came on, the beams wavering back and forth as he slid around gassing it. Shortly after, the red and blues began flashing a good 1/2 mile behind me, so I pulled off into the long grass and waited, remaining on the bike and keeping both hands on the bars for his sake.

    After stopping a good 20 yards behind, he made a wide berth with flashlight to my right, hand on his gun and began asking me questions. I asked him if I could remove my helmet, and he agreed, and I told him I'd been photographing in the canyon late and got caught after dark. After he'd checked my license and talked a bit, I saw him relax and the tension dissipated. We ended up talking for a long while, illuminated by his headlights in the dark. I joked that I had debated just pulling over to his car, but had thought better of it. He laughed and then we talked motorcycles and travel. He said he was from Chicago and had never been anywhere before taking the job with Border Patrol, and he and his wife and kids were assigned straight to Marfa. I laughed out loud and said what a change that must have been. He said that it was a shock, but now they'd fallen in love with the area and lifestyle and didn't want to leave.

    I told him I'd probably surprised some of his buddies many miles back by overtaking them in the dark, and mentioned the blacked out vehicles and dune buggy. He stopped and expression changed a bit, then said he didn't know of any operations like that. He paused then said it probably was some ranch hands moving some equipment to another pasture. Could be I s'pose... Hard to imagine ranch hands with a need to run fast and dark in pitch black with no lights... and seems like two headlight bulbs would be a bit cheaper than a couple sets of Gen 4 NV goggles.

    We shook hands and I headed for Marfa and straight to the Paisano for dinner, cutting out the middleman...


    More tomorrow friends
    #19
  20. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,168
    Location:
    San Antonio
    I can't tell you how delicious I find this report (and photos/video). Sat and sipped coffee enjoying endless bits this early morning, while the world was waking up outside - the piece about the tea bags (8 years old!) had my dog lifting his head and looking at me because I was laughing so hard.

    Story telling skills par excellence :freaky
    #20