A CannonRide Around the Bend (Big Bend Region)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Daamud

    Daamud Life is like a box of Old Milwaukee

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    #21
  2. GhostRiderFC

    GhostRiderFC Just a guy who rides

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    Now I'm really regretting missing this on my short trip last month. It looks like I'll get to see all the stuff I missed!

    Carry on!
    :lurk
    #22
  3. AZ-Twin

    AZ-Twin Dusty and Thirsty

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    Looking forward to this one Cannon!
    #23
  4. LumpyOne

    LumpyOne Been here awhile

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    And I was being so productive at work! :evil Now I guess I will have to sit on the edge of my seat for the next installment. :ear

    Great pics and back story, from the best! Keep it coming and of course SUBSCRIBED!

    Tim
    #24
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I looked around Fort Davis a little more before hitting the trail.

    This place wasn't open, but the lady cleaning it asked me if I wanted to come in and look around.
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    Typical historical society type stuff with a lot of interesting gadgets from years gone by. One thing I thought was useful was this water cooler. The water that seeps through the porous rock and evaporates cools the rock cooling the water contained by the rock.
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    This 1874 building served as a company store and then as the principal store in the area for over 100 years.
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    The dynamite shack out back was converted into a lovely cottage for an Appeals Court Judge and his wife who loved to visit the area.
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    The trading company built this hotel in 1912 to support their operations.
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    This 1910 jail was built to replace the one in the 1880 adobe court house. It was used until 1978 when modern jail standards closed it down.
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    1884 church. It seems that when I visited some other local towns, the churches were fairly well maintained even though much of the rest of the town was not.
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    This 1909 structure was the very first automobile garage in west Texas. Pretty nice structure for the time, place, and purpose.
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    Deer find the browsing better at the old school than on the drought stricken desert.
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    This 1911 courthouse is pretty nice. This is Jeff Davis County. It is named after Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States of America. Jeff Davis appears to have been very beloved in this area judging from some of the monuments. After he got out of prison (post-Civil War) he visited this area and commiserated with some of his former troops.
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    During the War of Northern Aggression, Texas was part of the confederacy. The United States Army abandoned Fort Davis and for a while condeferate troops moved in. The rebels took it over to block gold shipments to the union and to maintain access to the pacific coast. During the course of their stay they fought some apaches too. When the confederates left, they buried a couple of cannons that have still not been located.

    One thing that impressed me was that this tiny town was proud of their soldiers. I was surprised to see some of the ranks that such a small town produced.
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    They are also very proud on one of their WWII heroes.
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    This campground is right in town and was a decent place to stay.
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    Nice place, reasonable rates. Very convenient. A retired E-9 that did 30 years in the Air Force runs the place. My neighbor thought you had to "work with" him a bit. I told my neighbor that it was probably the 30 years in the service. :lol3 Good guy. Speaking of Air Force, those wooden buildings at the campground were relocated here from the Marfa Army Airfield that was put in during WWII to train pilots. I think we dropped somewhere around 80 installations in Texas during the war. Great climate for pilot training.
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    I think this town is around 5-6,000 feet in altitude. Can be a little cooler in the morning than what you might expect. [​IMG]

    Warms up fast with the sun though.
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    Good thing the CannonVan had a heater.
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    Ran into this medicine man's operation.
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    He had several nice posters like this one describing the things he could cure. He could break curses too. Since I was feeling pretty good I took a pass on it and went to find breakfast.
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    The nicest part of town near the square.
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    Good meals here.
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    They even have a soda fountain from years ago.
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    #25
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  6. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Bryan,

    Great detail as always, now for the rest of the story! :lurk
    #26
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Hi Kevin, thanks for tuning in.

    Glad you are along, hope you enjoy it!

    I know you have visited the area a couple of times and really enjoy it. Hope some fo this rekindles some pleasant memories for you!

    Like Don says, the prime season is probably October through April. The climate charts can be misleading because they don't account for what can be the oppressively hot sun and the temperature on the desert floor. Note that during periods of rain, there are some other hazards to deal with that we'll cover later on.
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    Thanks for coming along!

    Hello Questor my friend! Nice to see you tuned in. Hope you enjoy the report and get a chance to see the place for yourself.


    Enough popcorn? Maybe not. :D

    Hope you get to see it yourself soon!

    Thanks! Enjoy the fun!

    Thanks Tim! Hope you enjoy this one. I think it will take me a little time to get it out.

    Hi Mark! Glad to have you along!
    #27
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  8. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I'm in. I've got a friend who has a place just outside of Fort Davis. She just retired as a Command Sgt Major. She'll be interested to see what you've written. Thanks. Looking forward to the rest of the report.
    #28
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Tell her to stop in and chat with the retired E-9 that runs the Overland Trail Campground. :D
    #29
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  10. Happycamper

    Happycamper Have bikes, will travel

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    Looking forward to the rest of the report. :lurk
    #30
  11. kbear

    kbear Mudbiker

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    Hey Cannon, I'm along for the ride on this one!
    #31
  12. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm Supporter

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    Oh Yes. I am in and looking forward to the great report and photos that I know will not dissapoint. :clap
    #32
  13. Tn. Walrus

    Tn. Walrus Knuckle Dragger

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    Cannonride!!!!!:dllama


    :lurk
    #33
  14. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer Supporter

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    Tuned in with our favorite Cannoneer... have always enjoyed Ft. Davis... used to run the Prude Ranch Races every August.

    Looking forward to your reports from further south...

    NFE

    PS: The road from Kent south to Ft. Davis is a great moto road...
    #34
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  15. probe

    probe slowpoke

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    I'm in! I'll be heading that way,the last week of March. Love that region of Texas,Thanks for takeing me along on yer trip.:D
    #35
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Took a loop ride out of Fort Davis to check out some interesting places. I stripped some track off of this route before I posted it for some reasons I'll explain later on.
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    Starting out toward the observatory.
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    Davis Mountains State Park. I'll cover some lion trouble later on.
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    This park has a lodge that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 30s.
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    I think the CCC program was one of the best things that happened to this country. I think about 85% of this crew was hispanic. Camps were run by the Army.
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    The people that enrolled in the CCC often had only the clothes on their back and were usually under nourished. In the CCC they got clothing, excellent food, and a decent place to live - even in a camp. They also got the opportunity for classes after duty hours. They did a lot of great work and learned some excellent trade skills. I know I've covered some of their contributions in other ride reports. A menu and roster of men in the camp.
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    They used 120,000 adobe bricks that they made on site to build the first installment on this lodge. The bricks were made of clay, straw, and water.
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    There is a scenic drive that gets you up high in the park.
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    Looking back at the main part of the park. The lodge is in the background.
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    Camping.
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    Looking down at the fort at Fort Davis.
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    This is a hydroponic tomato growing facility out in the middle of the desert. Tomato plants are grown in water.
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    And I do mean out in the middle of the desert . . .
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    Looking at the town of Fort Davis.
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    The highway toward the observatory. Prude Ranch is down there too.
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    This is the Prude Ranch where No False Enthusiasm attended some events. It used to be a big cattle ranch but with the depression of the 1930s the place took a bad hit. The ranch owners decided to dump most of their land and concentrate on running a guest ranch which they had been doing on the side since 1921 anyway. People came by train from various places to spend some time relaxing at this facility. It is still going today. It all started in 1897.
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    #36
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  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for tuning in!

    Hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks! Hope you find it entertaining.

    This one should be fun.

    Thanks for joining in! I think that Davis-Kent-Balmorhea-Davis loop is a nice road ride that they promote in the area.

    Thanks for coming along! Hope you have a great trip this month.
    #37
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  18. Tn. Walrus

    Tn. Walrus Knuckle Dragger

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    What map are you using for your GPS software?
    #38
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Garmin Topo. It doesn't light up any detail on the Mexico side of the border though (and sometimes I was right along the border).
    #39
  20. torgo

    torgo Adventurer

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    Subscribed:wings
    #40