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Old 05-05-2004, 11:16 PM   #52
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,769
2nd April

Woken by a massive crash of thunder some time in the early hours, followed by a downpour of rain that lasted under a minute! By the time I got up at 0900, the only trace that it had happened were the rain marks in the dust on my bike. The sky is cloudy, though and, over to the West it looks threatening – and West is where I’m heading – I put on my waterproofs as a precaution…

I settle my bill at the Ranch office and head off, riding the access road more slowly on the now fully loaded Adv. I stop at the Longhorn Café for a gargantuan breakfast, before filling up at $2.08 :eek: per gallon and heading off down Highway 170 towards Presidio. The road first takes me to the ‘Ghost Town’ of Terlingua. It used to be a mining town and, when the mine paid out, the town dried up & died. After a while it became a tourist attraction and, as is the American way, people started setting up businesses there. So now, it’s a ghost town with nearly every building occupied…



Still, I’m rather taken with what one resident has poetically decided to name his property…



The road is spectacular, even by Big Bend standards. It follows the Northern bank of the Rio Grande, which marks the border between the USA & Mexico. The road often crosses dried river beds running South towards the Rio Grande. There are occasional puddles showing that these rivers were probably active last night, during the squall that woke me…



The wind and weather has carved the rock here into strange shapes…



The local tourist office has tried hard here – this picnic area has fibre-glass tepees in place of the flat board roofs normally used.



Here I meet up with Jürg & Janet Gertsch, who are over from Switzerland riding their Softail Harley from Miami to Los Angeles. They arrived about 4 weeks ago and will be departing from LA in 5 weeks time. We chat for a while, then exchange Email addresses and ride on.



The road continues North-West, maintaining its spectacular vistas…



Until I stop photographing them – I’m in danger of experiencing it all through the viewfinder of a camera…



This is cattle country and I often ride over cattle grids (called cattle guards over here), with a difference – they’re painted on the road…



…apparently the cattle won’t cross them…:
I reach the desert town of Presidio. The main street is dominated by the elegant City Hall.



I press North towards Fort Davis. Just before the Fort, I turn left down the 166 and ride the Davis Mountain Scenic Parkway. Predictably, it’s beautiful :P



It winds its way through a loop of about 80 miles, ending up as Highway 118, back at Fort Davis. Just before it does, you get to see the McDonald Observatory



built at the top of the highest road in Texas. The views are pretty impressive.



I go into Fort Davis to fuel up, then retrace my steps along part of the same loop, before heading off to the hateful Interstate 10 West. I ride the 37 miles to Van Horn (just down the road from Lorry Headlight) and check into a Best Western, where I manage to access the Internet for the first time since Monday. The computer link is in the lobby, however, so I just upload my pictures and will leave the journal updates until tomorrow night, when, if things go according to plan, I should be in Roswell…
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All text & original photos © Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014

MikeO screwed with this post 12-11-2010 at 02:37 PM
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