What Next Wander Tour

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

  1. TheGirlfriend

    TheGirlfriend Adventurer

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    I'm amazed you didn't strap the medal sleeping Mexican to the passenger seat on the bike OR ups him home!! At least if you mailed him, I'd have some company on these cold nights :evil
    #81
  2. mxjudge

    mxjudge Adventurer

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    Been 24 years since I was in Port Aransas but looks just like I remember it. The oldsters were younger though.
    #82
  3. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

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    Careful what you post on ADV Miss GF... you my end up with a rally at your place.:lol3
    #83
  4. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    Come on man! Bring us up to speed.....You've only got a week left to get to San Diego and meet up with the sweet thang.:sweeti... I hope your not stuck in S Texas? I see the weather in the deep south is going to be great this week.
    #84
  5. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
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    Iowa
    Woke up Friday to mid-50's and great sunshine in Port Aransas. Hotel lobby breakfast, packed up, and ready to roll. Did a loop around Port A to see it better in the light, then dropped down onto the beach and cruised the sand until one of the last accesses to get off. Port A has a really wide nice beach that goes a long way down the island.

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    There is a highway that then runs south down the spine of the island to the harbor at Corpus Christi. The dunes are tall on the gulf side so really not much in the way of views as you run down the pavement. Up and over the channel bridge and into Corpus Christi. At this point I have quite the dilemma. The USS Lexington, a WWII aircraft carrier is at CC. I know however, that if I go there, it's probably a whole day event (at least for me). My goal was to get to South Padre early enough to see a little bit of the island before nightfall in case I move on the next day. I decide that if I see an easy exit to get to the Lex that I'll at least go see it from the dock and get a pic. The Girlfriend and I will likely go tour the USS Midway while we're in San Diego so I'll get my floating airport fix then.

    Never saw any signage for Lex so rolled through CC and angled south. I'm sure there's more to see in CC than what I did off of 358 and 665 but all I saw was strip malls and gas stations for the most part rolling through that part of town.

    South of Corpus Christi, as I angled SW to get to hiway 77 that would take me down to Padre, the terrain was super flat. You know the optical illusion where land along the horizon looks like it's under water? I've never seen that as much as I did right through there. I was on one stretch of road for probably 20 miles that I swear didn't have a single straight utility pole. I don't know if they get wind through there or if the soil won't hold the poles straight, but they were angled every which way like a bad set of snaggle teeth. Should have taken a pic.

    The weather was perfect, getting into the low 70's as I made my way down 77. I pulled off in Kingsville for gas, rode into the King Ranch, decided not to do the tour, but walked through the museum instead. Interesting history and an amazing operation. After being in the corporate world, it makes me wonder what strategy, planning, and "status" meetings looked like on the ranch, especially back in say the 30's or 40's. I'm sure it runs not that much differently than any other corporation now. I'd never put it together that the "King Ranch Edition" Ford pickups you see running around are actually named for a real ranch.

    Easy ride south from Kingsville. Although the maps are deceiving... I kept seeing signs with mileage left to South Padre and looking at the map and my GPS and it sure didn't look like it would be as much.

    Around Raymondsville, saw one of the biggest electric windmill farms I've seen outside of the Midwest.

    Turned back east and started running through marshes with short stretches along bays off the gulf. Through Port Isabel, over the big bridge and landed in South Padre. At least for me, one of my favorite things is a warm sunny day, riding the bike, with a large body of water as the backdrop. Was really feeling good. As I went over the bridge, they had several warning signs about the pelicans. I was looking off into the channel and could see several floating around. One looked different though and kept disappearing. As I got closer, I saw that it was a dolphin swimming alongside the bridge. I'm not sure I've seen a dolphin before, so more goodness. The place I was staying was easy to find and my host met me at the gate to let me into his condo parking lot. 217 miles for the day.

    My host for the night, Doug, is the brother-in law of a girl (Beth) I worked with at Principal Financial. She knew I was going to be wandering around Texas and reached out to see if Doug would mind a fellow Iowan stopping by for a night. It really warms my heart and gives me faith in the human condition to see generosity like this. Other than a couple of quick phone calls, Doug had never met me before I pulled through the gate, yet opened his home and donated his time to me. We hit it off immediately, we found we have a lot in common, and I had a great time in South Padre. I can't thank Doug and Beth enough.

    After settling in, we took off for the Pier 19 restaurant which sits, as you might guess, on a pier. The pier however used to be the island end of the old bridge/road that connected the mainland with the island before the built the new arched bridge.

    I went with Doug's suggestion and got the pan-grilled Grouper with Ponchatrain sauce. Oh my. Not sure I've had grouper before or not. It was fantastic and went perfectly with the Blue Moon.

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    We did a loop through a park as the sun set and saw several dolphins swimming around. I'd say there was 7-10 of them right there. Most by themselves, one pair was synchronized as they swam across the cove. One was only about 30 feet off the shore. Neat to be that close. No great pictures of them, but if you squint and use your good eye, you can see them out there.

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    And the sun disappears over the channel...
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    Feeling guilty because I know The Girlfriend was absolutely love this place... :nod
    #85
  6. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    OH YES.... TEXAS IS BIG SAYS 971:D. AND THEN THERE IS THAT 50mph SPEED LIMIT IN BBEND TO CONTEND WITH:eek1. Hope he leaves a little time for NM and AZ too.
    #86
  7. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Riding and having fun all day makes Kelly a tired boy at night! I'm a little behind on my updates. I couldn't help staying in South Padre for two nights, then yesterday had a good day of riding and ended up back at my favorite little motel in Fredericksburg. Sometimes going back to a sure thing is nice. Letting it warm up a few degrees before heading for Fort Davis today. Probably do a loop through at least part of Big Bend tomorrow. You're right, I'm running out of time... oh well, I've got to get back to Iowa somehow so can catch things on the way back too...
    #87
  8. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Yeah it's big!!! And since you've volunteered to be my guide in New Mexico, I'm not going to miss that!
    #88
  9. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    That cactus is prickly pear. If you find any ripe fruit on it (a deep purple color), give this a try: Pick off the fruit using some leather gloves, as it has lots of almost invisible needles on it. Use a lighter to give it a scorch all around to burn those off. Then either peel it or just halve it and eat the stuff inside. Very tasty - kind of like a kiwi in flavor, but a beautiful deep red/purple color. Another thing folks do is peel several of them, and then pour a bunch of tequila over them and leave it to sit overnight. Makes some beautiful margaritas.

    The paddles aren't just good for cattle. If you stop in an authentic Mexican restaurant, look for nopales on the menu.

    A little more trivia: Gruene is a rough spelling of the German word for green. That part of Texas, along with New Braunfels area, were settling spots for German immigrants, who poured into Texas in the mid to late 1800s.

    Hehe, as you can probably tell, I'm enjoying your RR. As a native Texan who has lived away for 20+ years, it's great fun to follow along as someone "discovers" the state.
    #89
  10. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Great reading another 'escapee's' report. As to the 'Texas is big' thang, man, u are not going to believe how big. The 80mph freeways help get u across it but it is STILL big.:D
    Like me, u are prolly routinely gazing at the weather reports, wondering what you may or may not have to be riding into. For a heads up it looks like the slow moving high that has finally brought warming temps to the Southern Arizona area is slowly pushing east and may give you pleasant riding conditions. But you've got a long way to go before then so who knows what the crazy weather will do. They say Mexico is warmer.:1drink
    #90
  11. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    Will be 72 in Deming NM today. Day started in hi 30s and no cold wind:clap. Can U say riding weather?
    #91
  12. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Very cool, I'm going to start watching to see if I see any with fruit on it and will watch for it on the menus! Thanks!
    #92
  13. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    I've completely lost track of what day I did anything (which is exactly the point of a ride like this)... but weather has been great since I left Fredericksburg about a week ago and headed for San Antonio. The forecast for the rest of the week does look good. Unfortunately, it's looking pretty crappy for San Diego next week (rain and mid-50's)... but trust me, The Girlfriend and I will find ways to entertain ourselves.

    :crash

    :velvt

    :dllama
    #93
  14. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Anyone wanting to follow another 'wanderer', this is Toadrides report: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=809995

    The Stelvio was on my very short list when I got my Triumph. Never owned a Guzzi but have loved every ride on one. They ooze character. The #1 bike on my "must own before I take a dirt nap" list is a 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100i in that weird-as-hell brown-grey-green-black color. It's elusive, but I'll find one eventually...
    #94
  15. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    The Guzzis do have character. I like the Breva. Wish there was a dealer close by.....If you make it to BB don't forget to ride the River Road to Presidio, its a beauty...I hope to do a Tex trip in the spring.
    #95
  16. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
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    Iowa
    It didn't take much of a suggestion from Doug to convince me to spend another night in South Padre. :thumb Spent all day Saturday exploring the island... didn't even start the bike. Good to have a day off of riding. Woke up to 59 degrees and sunny and it only got better from there. Remember those flippity flops I packed... wore them all day :D

    View from the condo:
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    View of Breakfast by Doug... great tasting sausage!
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    The South Padre beach has a very fine grain sand, perfect for walking barefoot. The Gulf water wasn't even particularly cold.

    One of the most painful things in the world is getting someone to figure out how to take a picture using your phone. I suck at it when others ask me to do it. Show them where to press. They press someplace else and exit the camera app. You have to get the camera back up. Cue uncomfortable waiting. We were successful on the third try. Not bad.

    Doug and I...
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    All morning, you could see a tug pulling an old tanker ship in closer and closer. We went down to the channel as it was pulled through. There is a ship salvage company in Brownsville.
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    Took a drive to the north end of the island... it's a full time job keeping the sand off the road up there.
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    For lunch we landed at the South Padre Brewing Company. Doug did so well with the grouper recommendation the night before I took his advice again and had the Ahi Tuna Salad. Fan-freakin-tastic! Went with a flight of their microbrews. I wasn't a fan of the IPA but all the others were good.
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    Checked out the Port Isabel lighthouse. [​IMG]

    View of the bridge over to South Padre from the top
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    Drove down to the dock area in Brownsville. Supposedly the largest shrimp boat fleet in the world ports there. Saw where they'd parked the cargo ship we saw them towing in. First they yank the prop off, then they pull the front of the ship up into a dry dock, whack off a slice, pull it up a little farther, another slice, until it's gone.

    Several roadside fruit and vegetable vendors in that area... got some oranges, tangerines, and sweet corn. Stopped and got some shrimp... Doug made gumbo for dinner. The gumbo was delicious, just the right level of spicy. The sweet corn was not good. We knew any sweet corn grown down there was going to have an uphill battle for ever tasting right. Take some Iowa sweet corn down there and it'd blow their minds.
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    Great day in South Padre... now, how can I turn this sabbatical into a permanent retirement???
    #96
  17. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    BOOM... another great weather day in South Padre. Sun coming up over the gulf.
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    Hearty breakfast of oatmeal and a banana and time to hit the road. Need to lay down some miles today. As I pulled out of the parking lot, it was a major turning point for the ride. I went as far south in Texas as I could go... time to starting heading west to meet The Girlfriend in San Diego :sweeti

    Westbound and down...
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    Then mostly North up 16. Got to Hebbronville and considered heading westerly but decided to keep hauling north and end up in the Hill Country again. Going with what I know.

    Texas showed me several different faces in today's ride.

    Beach...
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    Desert...
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    Then back to the Hills...
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    The roads were all good condition and lightly traveled. Everything was high speed and straight but I had a really good ride. There really is something serene about the desert and the wide open spaces. Lots of new oil drilling happing in the area.

    Saw my first Javelina (wild pig) today. I tried to get a pic but he was elusive... wouldn't quite run off, just wouldn't stay still. Didn't want to get too close, I guess they are seriously nasty if they get P.O.'d.

    Crossed under I-35 at Devine. My house is about 2 miles off of I-35 back in Iowa. I checked with Senor Garmin and it's apparently 1029 miles away from this point. Hmm. Let's keep riding west...
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    Lots of motorcycles out on this warm day, was starting to wonder about Texas riders... good weather and this huge playground of a state but hadn't really seen many riders out till the temps got up into the 60's. I guess it's not really any different in Iowa...

    The miles came easy today and I saw that it really wouldn't take much to land in Fredericksburg where I knew where I'd get a good room to plan my attack on Big Bend. Stayed at the same place as before.. "hi, I'm back". 407 miles for the day.

    Was having a craving for pizza so went to the West End Pizza Company. Good pie, hit the spot.
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    Long phone call with The Girlfriend and off to sleep for another long riding day to get up to Fort Davis.
    #97
  18. Stan Dalone

    Stan Dalone Gotta get me somma dat

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    Wo says ya cant get thair from hair?
    Thanks for taking all us snowbound FF's along for the ride.

    As a recent "early-retired-unemployed-sabbatical-nojob-hobo, I cant wait to start my ride report this summer when The Girlfriend and I do Bawstin to Vancouver to Alaska to Acapulco as a warm up ride :lol3

    Ride safe !
    #98
  19. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

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    Do it if you can do it! I've got several friends that keep bringing up Alaska, so it's on the bucket list.

    If anyone is wanting to follow another great ride report (it's not like you're really expected to be working), this is one of my favorites. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=813572

    I really don't follow many (and I'm a little behind on what Gene and Neda are up to right now). Great couple that sold it all, took off from Canada, and are headed south. Be careful... you read this stuff and it makes you want to do it!!!
    #99
  20. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    2,113
    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    you MUST do Alaska! Promise you won't be sorry!