03-21-2012, 08:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: South Texas
The lady ranger at Persimmon Gap said that they'd just finished working on the River Road East and that it was smooth. She was right, and it was hard to keep from opening up the throttle. There's a speed limit for a reason. It didn't happen often, but it happened more than once, and each time it was unexpected.
The landscape was very interesting. Vast open space separated us from the mountains in the distance.
We stopped at the Mariscal Mine for lunch, but we didn't go up to the mine itself. Instead, we ate on the porch of one of the old houses that dot the landscape at the base of the hill and looked up at the mine, about halfway up the side of the mountain. The mine was operational at the beginning of the 20th century. Sitting there, eating tuna salad and crackers, I had a hard time imagining life 100 years ago for those who scratched their existence from the toxic red soil of the cinnabar mine. Humans are resilient and all that good stuff, but did these guys complain about their lot in life or were they happy to have a job?
After the mine, the terrain seemed to alternate between long flat stretches between wide and dry washes lined with sand, rock, and gravel. First, you'd go down into a wash
and then you'd come out of one
Sometimes you'd see sand, kitty litter, gravel, and rock all in a few yards of trail
Sometimes you'd find just a lot of sand.
Some of the washes were very wide and had steep sides. Made me think that a lot of water might have crashed down that, before.
Some of the entrances to the washes were pretty steep: The first half of the video is me going down into the wash, and the second half is a recording of my pop coming down the same course. It seems I talk to myself a lot more than I'd imagined.
Finally, after a whole day of offroad riding, we arrive at Santa Helena Canyon, about 65 or 70 miles for the day, and 11 or 12 hours after starting the day.
And then we head to our campsite at Terlingua Abajo.
It was a good day, and I'm not going to read my book.
P.S. After my spill on the the Old Ore Road, I lowered the windscreen, and my riding improved greatly. I recommend it to all.
In the next installment we'll slab it up the Rio Grande to the Pinto Canyon road, where we hit the dirt again and head to Marfa.
mudmullet screwed with this post 03-21-2012 at 08:46 PM