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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gregdee, Mar 7, 2013.
Unreal bad luck on that front tire.
Hex Axle Tool
Chisos lodge restaurant has some pretty decent food and some fine views.
Great ride report. Nice to see fellow Triumph riders reports. Sorry you had to contend with the wind. That makes life pretty miserable. Looking forward to more of your report.
Oh, thanks strider, deano for info on the hex axle tool. Went and bought one online immediately.
Way to go you guys! Great maiden voyage for the new Tigers, square tires, wind and all. We were down in the area the week before and it was windy and cold that week too!
Great ride report!
Having been born and raised in ABQ, I know the roads up in Tijeras Canyon from riding a bike to hitting them on motorcycles. I miss the NM mountains.
Looking forward to following your RR!
We were at Chisos Lodge when you came riding in. The red bike rider was standing as you came into the parking lot, great looking bikes. Our trip west was interesting even though we were in a car... hail in Ozona and 50mph winds in Fort Stockton. Thanks for the excellent report and great pictures.
Thanks for the compliment. Fortunately the weather turned out to be relatively decent for the rest of our trip. And since I appear to have gathered at least a small following I'd better get on with the business of progressing this report.
Please do!! I love a good ride report and one that has two Tigers as main characters is far more appealing to me. My Explorer has been parked for eight months so I am forced to live vicariously through others adventures and yours is shaping up to be a nice one. I do wish you had taken at least one photo showing Kerry's gin but she keeps hiding behind her helmet. I know she is grinning cause that Tiger is so well equipped anyone would be thrilled to hit the road on an adventure like the one you two undertook.
We awoke bright and early with intentions of boiling up some water using our camp stove to make coffee and oatmeal. While waiting for the water to boil I started thumbing through the info booklet in the room to see if there was information about booking campsites and I stumbled across a menu for the restaurant. Turns out they have a breakfast buffet. I am a total sucker for breakfast buffets so we threw some clothes on and ran up the hill.
After filling our bellies we packed up all our gear and got on the road. There were a couple of other ADVers on site but they must have departed while we were at breakfast as they left us a note on Kerrys bike. Turns out they were a couple of inmates from Temple, TX, BoulderF and his friend. We ran into them shortly after leaving the lodge parking lot so we chatted a bit. They too had camped out in the same wonderful wind storm on Sunday night so we commiserated over our fond memories of eating tent roof all night long. At least our tent had survived the ordeal but it sounds like BoulderF had a broken pole! :huh
We left the basin with the plan of riding out to the Rio Grande Village, out and back through Boquillas Canyon, up Old Ore Rd, back down on the highway to Panther Junction, and then west to pick up Ross Maxwell Drive down to Castalon and the Cottonwood campground.
Being somewhat unthrilled about the gravel-clad back country camp spots we decided wed give one of the established campgrounds a shot. After rolling down out of the Basin we stopped at Panther Junction to see about booking a camp site for the night so we wouldnt have to deal with it later on. Turns out you cannot book these spots ahead of time, you have to go there and put a tag on a stake. Live and learn.
As we were saddling up La Jefita stated we should ride up to Old Ore Road and ride it north to south instead of the other way I had been planning. Didnt make much difference to me so we headed up towards Persimmon Gap and cut out onto Dagger Flat Rd which would take us to Old Ore Rd.
Once heading south on Old Ore Rd I grew a bit concerned as the road was rockier than I was expecting. I squared off on a large rock early on with a troublesome loud bang. I stopped to check my rim and saw that it was fine, but by this time Kerry was leaving me in her dust so sucked it up and kept riding. I had my tire pressures at about 25 psi front, and 30 rear. These pressures served me well in this terrain.
I shot a bunch of video throughout this trip but bottom line is that I have no idea what I was doing so the video really sucks. It is so bad that it actually makes you nauseous watching it. None will be shown. I have however been consulting with a videography expert, Ride Freak, and will in the near future produce some worthwhile video for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime my stills will have to suffice. The really bad news is that I shot almost no stills along the Old Ore Rd as I was filming. Too bad because there was one cool section where we dropped into a drainage going down several switchbacks to the bottom and then a few more going up and out the other side. Kerry rode it like a champ and I managed to keep her in my sites. Twas a thrill. I believe it is advantage 800XC in this terrain.
Here's a couple more from along the way. Had we been a bit later in the season more flora would have been flowering.
Even looked like there was some nice camping out this way.
We stopped to gas up at Panther Junction. Kerry noticed one of these Javellinas out back and managed to get a shot. He's kinda cute I think.
We briefly headed west towards Study Butte and soon turned south on Ross Maxwell Drive. Here too I shot a long stream of video but I managed to get in a fair number of stills as well.
This drive is really quite scenic and I encourage anyone visiting the area to take the drive. There are also several hiking trails along the way but so far we have not figured out how to leave our bikes and riding gear behind to get in a decent hike. Things to work on.
We soon arrived at the Cottonwood campground. We did the obligatory lap scoping the place out and then settled on a nice grassy section near the end.
Turned out to be a great spot as the grass was deep and soft and we had a great view of what I believe is Castolon Peak just to the east of the campground.
We met one fella from Louisiana out travelling in his 4WC truck camper. He rides a Vespa back home and was quite enthralled with our Tigers. Shortly before that amazing reflected sunset a nice older couple pulled in across the street from us. We helped them move their picnic table out of the way so they could park their camper with their rear window looking up at the peak. Must have been a perfect view for them.
We scored some adult beverages at the store just around the corner and had a merry evening. We took a fair number of selfies. Here are a couple I am willing to share.
It was a pleasant night, probably in the 40's, NO WIND, and NO SAND! There was an owl hanging around as I kept hearing him hoohooing away throughout the night. Nice campspot.
Nice report looking forward to the next instalment!
Let me go back to our run down Old Ore Road. This was a fine dirt road, maybe 30 miles in length. Not too tough on the big bikes but challenging enough that you had to keep your wits about you. Kerry came around a corner to find herself in a patch of sand. She went wide and had to correct.
Swift corrections in the sand are not easy. The reward was a nice lay down of the bike....
and a tumble to the left.
Followed by a swift crawl back to the right.
Nothing was hurt but a bit of pride. Sand makes for nice soft landings. You can see the lines her front and rear tires took in the sand on the left side of the image. That was some soft stuff, no wonder she went down.
Thanks for posting that on the internet. Divorce papers are on the counter But I'm keeping the bike!
Based on these pictures I obviously need to come up with a more graceful method of reaching the kill switch
Great Area, Great Report. That sand takes a little getting used to. Thanks for sharing.
Quick question: How did the Jesse's panniers handle the "tip-over"?
The boxes handled that particular tip over just fine, but after 5 or 6 others (one from me goofing off in a parking lot) the left side box is starting to show a little wear. On the 800XC we both seem to fall only to the left for some reason.
I must have been brushing some brush in some sections as I now have some good desert pin stripping on my black boxes. The pin stripping shows up real well with the dust on them. You may be able to make it out in some of my next shots. I have been thinking about making some sort of plastic/rubber bumpers to put on the corners of these boxes. So far they have survived us just fine but I think in a bigger/harder/faster crash they will succumb to the impact denting nicely.
We awoke to a nice warm sunny morning at the Cottonwood campground on day 5 of our trip. We took our time making coffee, some oatmeal, and finally packing up. Kerry ran off for some photo ops whilst I prepared the morning brew. She brought home this great morning shot overlooking the Rio Grande.
We noticed a couple of odd things around the campground that morning. First off, there was this really old guy who had spent the night sleeping in the drivers seat of his red Ford Focus. The other three seats were jammed with boxes and stuff. Pretty odd. He would occasionally get out of the car, walk around to grab something from the stuff at one of the other doors, walk back around to the drivers side and sit back down again. He was there when we arrived the previous afternoon and was still there just hanging out when we left. It's like his whole life was in this car.
As we were packing up our stuff we noticed another vehicle drive over and park and the far end of the campground just past our spot. This person never exited the car, they just sat they as if they were waiting for us to leave. We decided that since we had taken the primo spot that he was definitely waiting for us to leave.
Soon enough we were on the road heading towards the Santa Elena Canyon as we heard this was a good spot to be in the morning. The road there was nice and schwoopty. Things started out nicely on this day.
A rare shot of me.
Some paved goodness to start off the day.
Our bikes were beginning to get pretty dirty. Notice the mild case of desert pin stripping setting in on the boxes.
A shot of Santa Elena Canyon.
As soon as we left this trail head parking lot the road turned to dirt as we headed for the western boundary of the park. We came across this sign that was fitting for what we were about to encounter.
I really liked this section, mostly because of the giant flowering Yucca's.
The views from the road.
We passed the Louissiannan dude we met at the campground the night before. I dig his 4WC camper.
After exiting the park we drove around Terlingua, the ghost town, and Lajitas for a while trying to find a good place for lunch. We also tried to figure out where we'd stay if we were to stay another night but frankly mid-day nothing looked all that appealing which was probably a mistake as I have heard great things about the night life in Terlingua. Anyway, we grabbed some tasty Mexican food and then headed up the river road from Lajitas to Presidio. What a gem.
Miles and miles and miles of twisty goodness. Up and down and around, with views of the Rio Grande to the left and Big Bend Ranch State Park to the right. And I believe those are Texas Blue Bells along the roadside in this second image.
After rolling through Presidio we continued in a northwesterly direction towards Ruidosa. The road was empty and desolate. There is absolutely nothing out here.
Upon reaching Ruidosa we stopped briefly to examine the maps. We were looking for the 2810 road which would take us back over to Marfa. We chatted up a local who was out working on his diesel (the tractor-trailer kind, not the F350 kind). It was getting late in the day so we were getting a bit concerned about taking on what we expected to be a 50 mile section of dirt road after 5:00 p.m. with only an hour or so of daylight remaining. Never know what you will run into. We asked him about the Chinati Hot Springs but he didn't know much about them except how to get there. He thought it would take us about an hour to ride out the 2810 road to Marfa. We decided against the hot springs for the evening despite a good recommendation from someone on this forum. Turns out this might have been the right decision since after doing a little further research it seems they require reservations.
Leaving Ruidosa we were soon treated to grand views of sinuous dirt roads winding up into the hills.
We climbed up and up for maybe 30 minutes. The road never became too difficult and was actually quite pleasant, especially with the changing light this late in the day.
To our amazement after cresting the summit on dirt the road became paved. The views were grand and the riding was swift. I know I broke the speed limit just a little letting the big Tiger run free along this wonderful stretch of highway.
We made Marfa before dark bringing to a close another fantastic day of riding.
It just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for great pics and report. I'm planning a trip down there for the Fall right now!
For much more detail on the sights, towns, and local history I recommend this thread: Big Bend area
For us half the fun was getting there and then getting home again. We may have left the park but we still have an awful lot of riding to do before we get home. Stay tuned.