Originally Posted by Rusty Shovel
In the late afternoon we came upon the last section of the day, 1-3, which includes Nine Mile Road. This unimproved stretch of road was easily the most technical of the trip. It ran along the banks of the Toledo Bend Reservoir in the Sabine National Forest. The "road" was narrow an pocked with deep mud sections and standing water. Counselor and I were having such fun that we almost didn't notice the stretch of barbed wire running directly across the path.
Sorry, we didn't take a picture. We ended up driving along the fence line until we found a break. We drove across a field to rejoin Nine Mile Road. Before long, however, we were forced into a confrontation with a local landowner/foreman. The area was clearly being developed for housing and the developer didn't want folks driving through his land. He claimed the road was closed since he owned all the land abutting the national forest road.
I didn't argue with him. I played nice and dumb until he allowed us to continue to our destination. I don't know that I agree with his logic of the legality of closing a public roadway simply because he owns the land on both sides. I may have to call the Sabine County office and find out whether his closing the road was done legally. If not, my next trip loadout will include a letter from the county commissioner and some wire cutters.
From the research I have done on this and the LEOs I have talked to about this. In Texas, land owners cannot close a PUBLIC ROAD just because they own the lands on both sides of the road.
They can however, put up a NON-LOCKED fence or place a cattle guard over the road to keep livestock from getting loose. I forget the %, but if the road is traveled enough, they are not allowed to put up a fence or a cattle guard.
I wouldn't have argued with the guy either. If he kept insisting however, I would have simply told him to call the cops and then got on my bike and proceeded on my way. I would have even written down my plate number for him to give the cops. Always be very PC about everything and don't lose your cool. I have done this before, 9 - 10 times the owner does nothing and leaves you alone. 1 - 10 they call the cops, but I have never had any issues with the cops. After I tell them what I'm doing they normally start asking me questions about the trip and bike and the topic about the land owner is forgotten. So no worries.
RR is awesome. Can't wait to do this ride when I finish up this project I'm working on.