Six Okies get the bends

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DirtyDog, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,962
    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    Where do we go from here?
    The words are coming out all weird
    Where are you now, when I need you

    <HR>
    Loosely planned. Finely executed. No flats or broken bones. One citation. Good food. Good beer. Good weather. Good times.

    <HR>
    Six Okies from the Tulsa area headed down to Big Bend Texas for a 5-day trip. We hauled 5+1 bikes in a trailer and Dodge, respectively, and hauled some bodies in a borrowed Mazda.

    The players:
    Jerry (aka Fotobo, WR250R)
    Rick (aka Dirt2007, 950SE)
    Ralph (aka Jumpjet, DRZ SM/S)
    Tom (aka Tomski74, DR650)
    Brian (aka Newner, green KLR650)
    myself (aka DirtyDog, black KLR650)

    The plan:
    Day 1- drive 750 miles to Big Bend National Park
    Day 2- ride
    Day 3- ride
    Day 4- ride
    Day 5- drive 750 miles to Tulsa

    The drive South was uneventful aside from getting pulled over and accused of bike theivery. We rolled into Cottonwood Campground at 3:30 am.

    Sunrise came quickly and we feasted on breakfast burritoes before heading out into the dust. Our plan to ride one day in Mexico was thwarted by the US Passport system (and possible processing delays due to the blizzards?). I was the only one lacking a passport. Despite my urges that I would have ditched any one of my compadres to ride in Mexico, they insisted on unity and we scrapped the international component. This left Day 2 as a wander-fest. We stared at the topo maps a bit and just headed out. Managed to turn it into a 130 mile day and we were all a bit beat from little sleep.

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    We rode river road, Black Gap road, made a stop at the hot springs for a soak, and headed back to camp.
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    The group got separated for a while on Black Gap when Rick took a fall and attempted to disassemble his KTM. He boogered his foot in the process, so we're lucky he was ok.
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    Tom waits and watches for our stragglers.
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    We all survived Black Gap and headed into Panther (aka Pampers) Junction for fuel and respite. It was nearly 90 degrees by then.

    Newner's chain needed some adjustment.
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    Group pic.
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    Then we stopped at the hot springs before slabbing back to camp.
    The ladies were impressed.
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    Just the necessities for desert survival.
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    Day 1 was mild, but fulfilling.
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    Carnage pics of Rick's foot.
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    Didn't ruin our appetites. We paired into teams to handle the cooking duties. Each pair planned a dinner and a breakfast. We typically had lunch on the trail. First night was newner and myself. We made grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and beans. It was good.
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    Wildlife sightings. The javelina smelled it too and came out of the woods for a taste.
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    The rest of the night was spent telling lies, drinking beer and tequila. We had great plans for tomorrow.
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    Day 3 coming soon...
    #1
  2. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,066
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    Tulsa, OK
    :lurk
    #2
  3. lewismedlock

    lewismedlock Tiny dancer.

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
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    Bow and Arrow OK.
    Keep 'em coming.
    #3
  4. DrLewall

    DrLewall The Human GPS

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
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    Location:
    Drakes Creek, AR
    IN! :clap

    but I am jealous..might hafta go down there at least once..
    #4
  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,862
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Once is not enough. Glad our northern neighbors enjoyed the Best Of Texas. Great Beer choice on your bike. Headed there in 2 days.
    #5
  6. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
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    Location:
    okieland
    great pics..thanks for the post
    #6
  7. nnichols

    nnichols Slave to the Machine

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Moore, OK
    Jealous! :lurk
    #7
  8. reddirtjoe

    reddirtjoe motorcycle addict

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
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    2,706
    Location:
    Let's Ride some red dirt!!.... NorthCentOklahoma
    :baldy I might be unemployed and single afterwards BUT I am going next year!!:deal
    #8
  9. tomski74

    tomski74 Silesian American

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,622
    Location:
    North Tulsa where adventures happen every day

    Dirty Dog showing Newner and Jumpjet how to be intimate with the KLR :evil
    #9
  10. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    A few more pics from Newner's perspective on day 2...

    Trailside repairs after Rick's crash on Black Gap
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    #10
  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
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    4,141
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Glad to see someones getting to ride this winter too:wink:

    Love the looks of dusty tires:clap

    I'll be watching this one from afar.
    #11
  12. DrLewall

    DrLewall The Human GPS

    Joined:
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    Drakes Creek, AR
    So, how did rick crash? dodging a turtle or bounceing off sand berms?
    #12
  13. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,133
    A perfect plan for a mid winter ride :thumb
    #13
  14. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
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    2,488
    Location:
    NEOK

    Moved a little left and a sand berm sucked me in. Leaking a little coolant, pulled fuel tank, tightened upper rad hose and good to go. A 950 is heavy when it lands on your foot.
    #14
  15. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,652
    Location:
    Coweta, Ok
    Almost had that happen to me more than once. If you drift into one of those berms, it will try to grab the bars from you.
    #15
  16. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
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    1,652
    Location:
    Coweta, Ok
    I didn't get too many pics on day two because we had to cover so much territory. 286 miles for the day. Here is one on the way to Presidio.

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    #16
  17. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
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    13,795
    Location:
    Vigo
    :clap

    Loves me some Big Bend!

    John
    #17
  18. bullcreek'r

    bullcreek'r n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1
    looks like an awesome ride, great pics; going to have to make it down there soon!

    #18
  19. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,962
    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    Day 2 was in the books.

    Only 134 miles, but that's not bad considering we had 4 hrs of sleep after the 14 hr drive South. Plus, we apparently rode the most "difficult" road in the national park- Black Gap.
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    #19
  20. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,962
    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    <i>I need to wash myself again to hide all the dirt and pain
    'Cause I'd be scared that there's nothing underneath
    But who are my real friends?
    Have they all got the bends?
    Am I really sinking this low?</i>

    <HR>

    <b>Epic slab. Face-slapping foliage. Exploding fuel tanks. Rescue mission. Dual-sporting in the dark.</b>

    <HR>

    Day 3

    We awoke with muscle soreness from Day 2. Mix in a bit of hangover (I'll speak for myself here... :evil) from IPAs, tequila, plus the finest Texas swill that a remote desert convenience store could provide at a modest rate of upcharge. Rick was the most sore due to his foot injury, but he powered through, noting no bone-crunching sensations- just a severe sprain.

    Newner awoke from nightmares of a frightening, yet amorous javelina. We again had breakfast burritoes, coffee, and even camp espresso. We are a classy bunch.

    Our plan for today was to head into Big Bend State Park (BBSP) for the day. It's the neighboring, yet highly inconvenient, riding area which is touted as the best in the state. The cans of swill made similar claims, but we were optimistic about this one. After studying the GPS and maps around the camp candle the previous evening, we realized that it was a 90+ mile ride from our camp to the BBSP entrance. We pressured up the tires after breakfast and convinced our neighbor to snap a group pic before departure.

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    Fortunately for us, the commute to BBSP was via a beautiful, 2-lane desert highway which follows the Rio Grande.
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    Finally, we reached Presidio for fuel before heading into BBSP.
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    We bombed along for miles, despite the 25mph park speed limit. :rolleyes
    We had planned a loop with an extra alternate loop, time-permitting. We would finish neither.
    We started out on the main loop traveling the logically wrong direction, so we went ahead and jumped on the alternate loop which had some difficult sections.

    One of which was a long-since-travelled sandy wash. I was leading and the pea gravel was deep.
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    We turned back soon after this. Wash-outs made this road a less-preferred option for the group.
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    We regrouped (so I thought) and I gave directions through the next few turns since we were retracing our steps for a bit. I bombed ahead. This is where several issues occurred.

    Jerry was riding in the #2 position, Tom and Rick in the middle, and Ralph and Newner pulling up the rear.

    Before I departed, I told Jerry "left at the first Y and right at the second". We were bypassing part of our loop and picking it up beyond the wash. Since the right-hander was a hairpin and sort of hidden, I stopped there a bit down the trail and waited to be sure. When I saw Jerry approach, I took off down the trail. I made the mistake of not confirming that he 1) saw me or 2) made the turn. He didn't. I proceeded down the trail alone at a high rate of speed. It was fun.

    Meanwhile, Ralph was having bike issues and was still in the wash. Newner went back to assist. They had to wait out the flooded DRZ and took a break in the limited shadeof desert foliage.
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    They got the bike running and Ralph took off down the trail after us while Newner completed applying his gear. Apparently, unbeknownst to Newner, Ralph made an immediate wrong turn and was travelling in the opposite direction as the rest of the group. Newner proceeded in the correct direction, thionking that Ralph was ahead of him.

    Ok, flash back to me. I was having good fun on the rugged trail not knowing that Jerry had missed the turn. As per protocol, I decided to stop and wait for my riding buddies. Hmm. The minutes ticked by. The trail had sort of petered out for me and was getting more rugged.
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    After about 10 minutes of waiting, I started to backtrack. By the time I made it back to the missed turn, I knew something was wrong. I continued on in pursuit of my wayward compadres, not knowing that Newner and Ralph were still in the wash (after 45 minutes or more). At the next intersection, I was met by this.
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    Apparently, Tom decided that in absence of a flare, or signalling mirror, the best reflective device he could use was his own svelte, Polish torso. It worked, as that glare is burned in my memory forever.

    Tom debriefed me that Jerry and Rick had proceeded back to the visitor's center due to Rick's aux fuel tank spewing it's contents everywhere. Tom then asked me if I had seen Newner or Ralph, as he hadn't since the wash (an hour ago). Shit. Told Tom to stay put and I went back on a rescue mission.

    A few minutes down the trail, I'm met by Newner, who informs me that Ralph was in front of him (neither of us knowing that Ralph had made that wrong turn). Shit. So what if Ralph had turned down the correct trail that I just back-tracked? To be sure, I tell Newner to backtrack from whence he came to the next intersection and check there before heading back to regroup with Tom.

    Newner waited at the Y.
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    I jumped back on my solo trail, thinking I might find Ralph (who had the intended GPS tracks). I passed my turnaround spot from earlier and pushed farther. After riding through a 4' deep washout or two and finding myself at the base of a gnarly, washed out climb, I decided that I wasn't chasing Ralph. I turned around and managed to rip the cord out of my GPS. I ride back to the site of the ghastly, shirtless polack to find no one waiting. I hope that's good news. Surely Ralph was found, so I head towards the visitor's center. There, I find Newner and shirted Tom waiting for me. Ralph was still missing. Approaching 2 hours now. Rick and Jerry headed into Presidio.

    I began to debrief the BBSP ranger about our missing rider, not knowing at the time where he possibly could be.

    Only Ralph truly knows the intimate details about his walkabout, so I'll leave it to him to tell.

    Eventually, he arrived at the visitor center and we were all relieved.
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    We fully regrouped as we departed BBSP after some routing issues (ahem). The sun went down on the ride back to camp and we did most of the highway plus Old Maverick road in the dark. Ralph, Newner, and I attempted to ride side by side by side to maximize illumination and minimize dust. Didn't work so well. I ended up in a drainage turnout thinking it was a right turn and Ralph got beaned by a flying rock. Fun stuff.

    We feasted on 2 inch thick sirloins, baked potatoes, and more beer/tequila.

    I was immensely fatigued and sore from my day. I'm sure others were too.

    What did I miss?

    Plenty of miles on Day 3, mostly paved. My back-tracking probably added some quality trail miles, but it's not reflected here.
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    A few random pics from the day's ride.
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    My EPIC jump that Newner failed to catch on video... or even a pic for that matter. :ddog
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    Same goes for Ralph. :nah
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    If you squint your eyes just right, you can almost make out a bit of air under the front tire of Tom's DR.
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    #20