What Next Wander Tour

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Evomx971, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. dudzadventure

    dudzadventure n00b

    Joined:
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    cold, cold Iowa
    A guy at work told me you should check out the Salton Sea area and the China Date Ranch farm once you get to San Diego. He is kind of a wanderer and said its an interesting place. Be careful on the internet googling "date ranch". I don't want to get you in trouble with the girlfriend!

    Keep up the posts and pics. We are all following you in the frozen tundra called Iowa.
    #61
  2. Fishbonker

    Fishbonker Adventurer

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    West of Big River
    I am enjoying this ride report, but what I am enjoying more is the number of fellow Iowans who are following along. I don’t want to hijack your RR but I don’t know where else to ask this question, is there another forum on this site where members who live relatively close to each other can connect? I realize here in Iowa we are all in close proximity to each other but it would be nice for a noob like me to have some locals from the hood that is Iowa to ask questions of.
    The Nimitz museum reminds me more of the island of an aircraft carrier or perhaps the fo’c’sle of a merchy.
    On another note, I subscribed to this thread. Doesn’t that mean that somehow this thread pops to the top so I don’t have to surf through all the ride reports to find it?
    I am such a noob. But I tell ya what; Fishbokner is as close to my real name as Evomx971 is to yours.:freaky
    Ride safe, and if ya can't ride safe, ride fast and fun.
    I'm so old that back in the day we were called "wobblers" not "noobs".
    #62
  3. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    Yo fishbonker check the regional forums and look for your area of the midwest! And...most importantly, WELCOME TO THE ADV! This place is way addictive!
    #63
  4. Fishbonker

    Fishbonker Adventurer

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    Holy crap! 200 plus pages of Iowa Roll Call! My evening, not to mention the next few, are shot to hell. Yeah, I read slow. Sothern Iowa education.
    #64
  5. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    Ha ha ha! Enjoy!
    #65
  6. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    Paging 971...... Not seeing any pictures-pictures, narrative?............ Swallowed by the immensity of Texas I suppose..:D
    #66
  7. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
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    Ha! Not swallowed by Texas, just one long, sometimes uncomfortable, hug. :D

    Woke up Wednesday to 22 degrees and frost on the seat. Ugh. Took my time getting packed up until it got into the 30's. Took a nice two lane road from Fredericksburg over to Blanco. The last part ran along the Blanco River... another really nice river running through this area. The banks of the rivers like the Blanco and Guadalupe are so neat and smooth, it's almost like they've been groomed. Makes them very picturesque.

    From Blanco I headed south into San Antonio... at the tail end of a funeral procession for a good ways of it. Saw my first glimpse of Spanish Moss hanging from the trees, something I remembered clearly from when I was down here as a kid. I should start seeing more as I move east I imagine.

    So far, this is the main cactus I've been seeing. It's been thick ever since I got south of Dallas. Apparently it's very good food and at least at one time, the ranchers would walk around with flame throwers to burn off the needles so the cows could eat it and not get hurt.
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    Easy drop into downtown San Antonio off of I-37. Found a place to park and walked over to the Alamo. The classic front view of the church.

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    Now, this is the image most people associate with the Alamo... however, as I learned during my visit, the actual church building itself played a relatively small role in the battle that occurred there. It didn't even really look like this. It didn't have a roof (it was never originally finished back in the 1700's) and the tall rounded center section (parapet) wasn't there. It was added later by US military when they put a roof on it and made it into a warehouse. During the battle, they had filled main area of the church with dirt up to the back wall so they could have some cannons aimed out the back, but those probably didn't really do much. The church's biggest contribution was as refuge for some locals that got caught up in the battle. They hid in one of the interior rooms and were released after the battle. The Alamo is considered a shrine and photos inside any of the buildings aren't allowed.

    The overall Alamo mission complex was much bigger during the battle and a lot of it is under downtown San Antonio now, but historians think the final stand and hand-to-hand fighting occurred in the Long Barracks building, which at the time was two stories tall.

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    Proof I was there and not just sitting in my recliner in Iowa eating cheetos and drinking Natty:
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    It had warmed up into the low-to-mid 50's and the sun was shining. It was very nice walking about all of the Alamo complex. The Emily Morgan Hotel sit's next to the Alamo... impressive building. That's the outside wall of the Long Barracks in the foreground.

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    All hopped up on history, I strolled down to the Riverwalk and did a nice walking loop. This really is one of the coolest city attractions around... and while I was ok checking out the Alamo on my own; taking in the Riverwalk is something that would have been much better with The Girlfriend.
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    My Clif bar at lunch wore off so I ducked into the Iron Cactus, which is a little fancier place that I'd normally frequent, but as I walked by Happy Hour started at 3:00 and it was 2:59. Seemed like a sign.

    Another really good pepper salsa (supposedly award winning) and at the bartender's recommendation I had the lobster tacos which were surprisingly delicious. Food and drink all for less than $10 even... sweet.
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    Decided to try and get out of San Antonio before rush hour. Although now I realize I should have checked out the other missions on the Mission Trail in San Antonio. Escaped to the east, then ran up to New Braunfels for the night. Found a Days Inn for cheap since it's getting remodeled. Cruised New Braunfels a bit. It's a much bigger town than I thought it would be, not nearly as 'lazy' feeling as Fredericksburg. Found a car wash and rinsed off at least the top layer of road grime.

    Walked up the street a bit for a small bite and a beer at the Ironhorse Grill and Saloon. I wasn't super hungry, but it was one of the "order as you walk in" kind of places and I panic ordered a bacon cheeseburger and tater tots. Great burger, and not bigger than my head, so that was good.

    Just 138 miles for the day... but 2,000 for the trip now.

    Thursday I'll head for the Gulf and plan to be in South Padre on Friday.
    #67
  8. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    Are you headed to South Padre for the beaches or to jump the border? Thats a long ways to go if its just for the beach which is just so so IMO. Just past Kingsville in Loyola Beach is Kings Inn. Good fish, but everything on the menu is deep fried, even the veggies. While your in Kingsville visit the King Ranch. One of the original ranches in Texas and at one time over 1,000,000 acres. We use to go to Matamoros to eat and drink in the old days. I hear that's not a good destination anymore?:2guns
    #68
  9. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    Hey 971 it was 55 in Deming today..... Headed for 60 tomorrow:clap. The BIG FRONT has passed. Good news for you. get ready to take the jacket liners out. Looks like you are having fun. See you in a while. No friendlies down there to stay with in San Anton? I would think you would get offers for lodging down there. Remember the locals know the good stuff! It never hurts to save a buck onlodging.Texas is legendary for hospitality and good chow. Try some chili con carne in El Paso.....feel the burn:clap.
    #69
  10. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
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    I have it in my head I want to go as far south in Texas as I can and I have a place to stay in South Padre through a friend from work. Need to check it out to see if it should be a destination for me and The Girlfriend someday. In Port Aransas tonight, really cool place, reminds me of a mini-Daytona. Will try to do a ride report tomorrow if I get a chance...

    After Padre, I plan to head more-or-less to Big Bend. Everyone has said there's nothing to see and it's sketchy along the Rio Grande through Laredo etc. Is there a route from Padre up to the Big Bend area that's more entertaining than not???
    #70
  11. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    Location:
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    Even the most empty desert has it's own form of beauty 971. Yes it is a long ways up the "Bend" but it can also be a time to reflect on the trip and just get in tune with yourself and the bike too:clap. Like I said.....Texas is really big. Don't let the HOMELAND SECURITY LISTENERS scare you either. Enjoy those long stretches of solitude....
    #71
  12. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,714
    Not a very entertaining route from Brownsville to Big Bend. If I were going I would head North enough to cut West and miss Laredo. Too hot and too many people/not enough roads!
    I would go
    N- 77
    W-186
    W -1017
    N-16
    W 59/44
    N-83
    W-277
    W-90
    S -385
    Into Big Bend Park

    Then up 118 to Study Butte
    West on 170 to Terlingua
    Then West to Presidio
    Then 170 West to Ruidosa , camp and check out Chinati Hot Springs
    If Gravel roads are no problem go North on Pinto Canyon Road to Marfa
    Go to Ft Davis and check out the Observatory!

    OK I'm done!:lol3
    #72
  13. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    When you get to Corpus take 286 south to 70 to Bishop. This is a little nicer than the interstate. Your in for one boring ride in S. Texas. It's will seem to take forever to get to BB.
    #73
  14. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Awesome, thanks for all the pointers! :ear
    #74
  15. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Thanks bigdon! I think I'll do this route to get up there. I've never ran the Triumph dry, but should go about 200 miles if it's getting it's normal mpg... I usually start getting nervous around 180. Which towns around BB have gas? Any specific stretches I should worry about? I'm thinking I might try to get a place to stay in Marfa, then do a couple of day trips from there.
    #75
  16. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    You should be able to find gas every 100 miles or so until Del Rio.
    Then Langtry, Sanderson, Marathon, Alpine, and Marfa.
    Don't leave Presidio without gas.
    When going to Big Bend gas is available in Study Butte, Panther Junction,and Rio Grande Village.
    Keep top half of tank full and you should be alright.

    Richard Gibbens has some really good Ride Guides vor the Big Bend and Hill country areas.
    They are available here http://texasadventure.net/cool-stuff/ride-guides

    Have fun!
    #76
  17. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    The national park lodge in BB looked like a nice place to stay. It's in the mountains and is in the most scenic part of the park. Nice motel in Study Butte too.
    #77
  18. iowawoodsracer

    iowawoodsracer n00b

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    Mar 4, 2007
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    Location:
    Carroll, Iowa
    Given your penchant for history I''d have suggested visiting the George Bush and LBJ libraries which are totally cool. But, alas, you've moved on past.

    Really enjoying your detailed and well imaged observations. Keep it up!
    #78
  19. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Woke up to 33 degrees and sunny in New Braunfels on Thursday. Pieced together breakfast from the hotel spread. Snugged up the chain on the Triumph a bit. It was warming up quickly so I tempted fate and packed away my jacket liner and heavy gloves. Yeah, I'm crazy.

    Rode up through Gruene. All you non-Texans, how do you reckon it's pronounced? My understanding is you pronounce it "green". I had guessed about 11 other variations, and none of them were "green". Gruene is a neat old town built on a bluff looking over the Gruene river. They had a riverside grill I would have checked out if it had been closer to lunchtime. This is their 'landmark' building. It's the oldest continuously run dancehall in Texas. Willie Nelson, George Strait, and many others have played here.
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    My destination for the day was Port Aransas. As I looked at the map, I saw I could make it an "Independence" ride and go through a couple of significant sites... Gonzales and Goliad. First stop was Seguin though. Named after Juan Seguin, he was probably the last guy to leave the Alamo as he rode off to try and get reinforcements. He went on to fight in several other battles, became a senator, etc. He's buried in Seguin. I stopped and saw the tomb, which is on a hillside next to the fairgrounds. I guess any day is a good day for rodeo...
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    As I rode toward Gonzales, I went through the 3 house town of Belmont and noticed an unusual amount of cars at the Belmont Social Club. That's a good sign. Hmm. I could eat.
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    This is the forensic evidence of one of the best bbq sandwiches I've had. She asked if I wanted the brisket sliced or chopped. I said chopped, which in the end, made the sandwich really close to a Sloppy Joe type consistency. Dang it was good.
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    Gonzales is recognized as the first "battle" of the Texas War for Independence. The Mexican army came to take a cannon they had given the town for protection against indians and the towns people wouldn't give it back. They whipped up a snazzy flag for the confrontation, ended up firing the cannon at the Mexican troops (possibly by accident), wounded one Mexican soldier, and then the Mexicans retreated. So Texas won the first battle.
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    Goliad on the other hand is the site of the "Goliad Massacre". A group of Texans fought nearby and had to surrender, they were marched back to Goliad as POWs. They were being taken care of when word came down from the Mexican general to execute them all. About 300 of them were marched out and executed. I really didn't have any stops planned for Goliad per se. I rode through town and crossed the San Antonio river where I briefly considered whether a loogey hawked along the river walk in San Antonio would have beat me to this spot or not. Not that I did...

    Then sweet baby jesus I came up more historical importance.
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    Presidio La Bahia. It's actually a fort and not a mission, although it has this church for the soldiers stationed here. This location was one of the most fought over forts through several wars. Luckily though, it's still in really good condition and was never turned into a warehouse or a Walgreens for awhile. The Catholic Church has always owned. All the walls and the buildings are there. Very cool to walk around this place...

    Keeping watch over my Triumph in the parking lot:
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    Monument to the massacred soldiers
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    The ride had been rolling hills with sweeping curves, but shortly after Goliad, I saw the speed limit sign go to 75mph so guessed the terrain was about to get flat and the road straight. Good guess on my part. The 800 has a super-sweet spot right at 81 on the speedo which is about 77-78 on my GPS. Rev Theory's song "Hell Yeah" came up in my playlist, sun was warm and shining and it was a great run on into Port Aransas.

    Port Aransas, or "Port A" as the locals call it is a neat town on the north end of the Padre barrier island. I didn't realize it, but to get to Port A you have to take a ferry. It was a slick set up though. Free of charge and you just pulled up just like you're at a stoplight, next thing you know, you're on the ferry and headed across the channel. I don't think I've been on a ferry on the bike before and it was a bit of a weird feeling having the boat move while you mentally thought you were sitting still.

    Ferry headed back to the mainland and the pilot house:
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    Port A reminds me of most beach type towns... like a smaller Daytona Beach. Took a short ride up the beach as the sun was setting behind me.
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    You can park and spend the night on the beach free for 3 nights a month and there were several RV's parked right off the side of the beach road. Pretty cool. Later on a heard a guy telling how he's figured out how to stay out there pretty much all the time and lives on $10,000 a year but didn't get all the details... "I live in a van... down on the beach..."

    It's been dry in Texas and apparently land sharks are becoming a real problem...

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    Found an ok place to stay and went for food at a seafood place called Castaways since it seemed to have the most cars in the lot. Well, I think it's the early bird specials pulling in the customers. Lots of snowbirds down here. And when I say snowbird, that means oldsters. Food was just ok. Walked out and heard some live music coming from the "Tarpon Ice House" across the street so walked over there for a beer. The band was the "Free Beer Band". Ingenious name. Noticed it on the sign as I left later... you mentally read it as "Free Beer, Band".
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    Nice day of relaxing riding. Started to get some bugs splattering on the windshield and passed guys mowing the ditches (been a while since I smelled cut grass)... I do believe I've escaped winter. One more days ride and I'll seal the deal.
    #79
  20. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    Yes, pronounced green. Port A has alot of restaurants but nothing special. The good ones are back down the road in Rockport....Snoopys under the bridge before you cross over to Corpus usually has good grub....
    #80