I recently moved to West Texas, so I decided to explore Big Bend National Park. I made it down late, and pitched camp at one of the primitive campsites. I came in after everything shut down. Awoke the next morning, geared up and rode to the Ranger Station to pay my fees. A sign on entering the park said if you arrive after 5PM, then you need to self register. I couldn't find anywhere to self-register at the primitive site I wanted to camp...so since the campsite was vacant, and you can't reserve the spots more than 24 hrs in advance, I reasoned the site was open. When I told the Park Ranger what I had done, she said I broke the rules and could be fined. I apologized, assuring her I meant no harm, and I was there to pay for my entrance and the camping fee...you should have seen her reaction...this clearly was outside the Standard Operating Procedure. She needed to get her supervisor to deal with the problem. Long story short, I had to move my camp to another site. It was a late start, but I rode the Ole Ore Road: I finished the ore road, and started on the east river road. As I was riding along, I felt something wrong with the bike, like the front wheel was grinding against something. Before I could get stopped, the front wheel locked up and sent me top side ass over tea-kettle. My helmet: My helmet skid mark: What is wrong with these pictures? Turns out that when I re-installed the forks recently, I neglected to lock-tite the bolts that connect the front brake caliper to the forks. One of the bolts had completely rattled out, and the other was about 50% out. The result was locking up the front wheel. I was grateful it happened on dirt at 30 mph versus highway at 50 mph. I couldn't find the missing bolt, so I borrowed from Peter to pay Paul: Take a bolt from the passenger peg: And use it as the missing bolt for the caliper: My wrist took a beating in the wreck, and by the time I got the bike straightened out, it was throbbing. I always carry a first aid kit with manly colored first aid supplies: I was hurting pretty bad, felt a bit nauseated, and I didn't have any vitamin I (ibuprofen). I went to turn the bike around, and noticed my front wheel was now skeewumpus. I loosened up the forks so I could straighten out the wheel, and the triple clamp dropped down onto the forks. Motherscratcher! I am alone, I am hurt, and now I need to jack this bitch up so I can lift the triple clamps back to their appropriate height. I got it done but it took about 30 minutes, a few logs, some rocks, and lots of cussing. My right wrist was screaming by the time I got geared up and back on the bike. "I'm done," I thought. I turned her around and started heading back to camp. But once I got up on the pegs, and took the first few hits on the wrist, it started feeling better. Since I didn't feel like puking anymore, and I still had lots of gas, I turned around to finish my ride: Made it back to my new camp, set up camp...again, and ate some dinner washed down with a handful of Vitamin I. The next day, I wrapped my wrist properly with sports tape and headed for the Black Gap - unfortunately I forgot my camera . The wrist was still hurting pretty bad, and the route I had planned for the day only took a few hours, so I was back to camp by early afternoon sucking down ibuprofen, whoppers and energy drinks while reading in the tent . Spent the evening at the Hot Spring looking at boobies and scorpions...I wasn't very quick getting pictures, and the boobies really weren't worth photographing: Final day: Black Gap was a riot, so I taped my wrist, remembered my camera, loaded up with lunch and hiking shoes, and headed out. There are a bunch of warning signs about Black Gap, but even solo, on a 400 lb bike, I really think there is only one place worthy of mention: This little step is about 3-4 feet high. The approach is in the sand, but once you get over the step, the park service has laid concrete down...so the recovery is easy. Steeper than it looks, blah, blah, blah: The newly revalved suspension from Super Plush ate it up like a chocolate-covered eclair. As a frame of reference, I tried to run up a similar step in Lockhart Basin before I had my suspension done...The result was a bent shift lever. I told James that the thing I hated most about the stock suspension on the SE was the way it bucked me off when climbing technical, loose rocky terrain...problem apparently solved After the step: The rest of the ride was just fun and fast. Lots of fun pea gravel and sandy washes, long wide open stretches, great turns for drifting, fantastic views. I rode to Santa Elena Canyon and hiked up the river, then rode the Old Maverick Road to Terlingua Ghost Town, then found the backway into the park near Terlingua ranch. All fun roads, nothing technical, and I will finish with just showing pictures. One last word...I am originally from the mountain west, but have lived all over America. The lack of public lands outside of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado is an absolute travesty. There were so many beautiful areas near Big Bend that are completely inaccessible to the public. Pretty damn sad in my opinion.