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Old 03-05-2013, 07:53 PM   #646
TommyDuncan
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Good folks at Saline Springs!

My buddy Dirtbag crashed a few miles from there. Some nice folks drove him to the springs in their camper while members of our group rode all the way back to Goldpoint to get a truck.
He was in a lot of pain so the same people drove him to Bishop to get him medical attention, which was very nice of them considering they just got there.

He had a broken hip and the biggest bruise I have ever seen...
...it covered about half of his back and he's not a little fella!

Since the spring is just a brief stop on a 200 mile ride we call "The Death Ride" I never knew there was more than one spring. I will have to check it out.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:20 PM   #647
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Texas!

Sorry I've been slackin' on the updates. We've been through several dozen small towns and even though we haven't been going very far every day, it always seems like there aren't enough hours to really sit down and get internet stuff done. It'll get better once we move into more populated areas, I haven't seen a Starbucks since Roswell. I'm at least going to reply to PMs tonight.

We headed through Roswell, Carlsbad (caverns tour was awesome), took a 40 mile or so dirt road from Marfa down to texas 170, which is one of the best, most rollercoastery roads I've been on yet, lots of rolling dips and delightful curves. I could ride that highway all day!

Met up with NomadGal/Esther and had a blast today cruising through Big Bend National Park, including a pretty nice dirt road today. Further plans in the state involve looking at some pictogram art in Comstock, visiting Sonora Caverns and possibly heading to South Padre island at Esther's recommendation. Further recommendations are welcome! Oz and I have nothing but time...

There has to be more stuff here than just empty ranchland/scrubland/desert! I am starting to miss trees...
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #648
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Sorry I've been slackin' < SNIPPED> heading to South Padre island at Esther's recommendation. Further recommendations are welcome! Oz and I have nothing but time...

There has to be more stuff here than just empty ranchland/scrubland/desert! I am starting to miss trees...
Be aware that Spring break is in full swing and South Padre to Galveston is going to be full of drunken college kids and campgrounds will be full. I suggest an alternative, riding east into the heart of the TX Hill Country around Kerrville or Fredricksburg and ride the three sisters, HWY's 335, 336, and 337 between Leakey, Vanderpool and Utopia which are in the top five highways to ride in Texas. Incredible views and elevation changes, many biker friendly places to camp or eat. There's a great vintage bike museum in Leakey. Enchanted Rock State park is an hour or two away with more indredible views and camping, primitive or otherwise. The spring flowers are all starting to bloom so you have great smells to go with the great views. Riding the hill country in the spring is the closest thing to heaven there is in TX. IF you want trees, Lost Maples state park is near Utopia, as is the Frio River lined with fantastic campgrounds and huge cypress trees. It is truly the jewel of TX.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #649
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Be aware that Spring break is in full swing and South Padre to Galveston is going to be full of drunken college kids and campgrounds will be full. I suggest an alternative, riding east into the heart of the TX Hill Country around Kerrville or Fredricksburg and ride the three sisters, HWY's 335, 336, and 337 between Leakey, Vanderpool and Utopia which are in the top five highways to ride in Texas. Incredible views and elevation changes, many biker friendly places to camp or eat. There's a great vintage bike museum in Leakey. Enchanted Rock State park is an hour or two away with more indredible views and camping, primitive or otherwise. The spring flowers are all starting to bloom so you have great smells to go with the great views. Riding the hill country in the spring is the closest thing to heaven there is in TX. IF you want trees, Lost Maples state park is near Utopia, as is the Frio River lined with fantastic campgrounds and huge cypress trees. It is truly the jewel of TX.
Hey, thanks for the tips! I have been digging the wildflowers along the way so far! I'll definitely check out the areas you mentioned. Sounds way better than tourists...
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:57 AM   #650
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+1 on South Padre this time of year, stay away! Glad all three of you are having a great time. Carlsbad is amazing, I remember the first time I went as a kid. Grew up in Albuquerque, we call the biggest of the scrub brush trees!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:22 AM   #651
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+1 on South Padre this time of year, stay away! Glad all three of you are having a great time. Carlsbad is amazing, I remember the first time I went as a kid. Grew up in Albuquerque, we call the biggest of the scrub brush trees!
I'm really looking forward to the Sonora Caverns. I ran into a lady who said something like "I've got 30 years of caving experience, on six continents, and Sonora is the most beautiful cavern I've seen", so that should be interesting.

I just wish I could take better pictures of caves. Need a bigger sensor, blah. I'll try the crappy point and shoot I have this time, maybe it'll help.

Also, it's not a tree unless I can string a hammock up to it, in my book... I miss being able to use that hammock!
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:29 AM   #652
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Relaxing at the Springs and Back to Civilization (Nov 1 & 2)

The Mainiacs had mentioned that I should drop by their camp in the morning, as most of them were leaving. After waking up, I did just that. I enjoyed a nice breakfast of leftover potluck food and some orange juice. They were already getting into the alcohol Ė champagne and tequila shots. A bit too early for me...


We bid farewell. Definitely glad I bumped into them, they were a fun crowd!

I decided to spend this day simply relaxing. One of my first priorities was a shower, which was super awkward, as there was zero privacy whatsoever. The shower was located next to to the main gathering area, and people were constantly walking by. It was nice that there was a hot shower available though, and I tried to brush off the self-conscious feeling that everybody was staring at me as I bathed.


Next to the shower was a cute little tub, good for a soak if the other pools get too busy! Iím not quite so sure about people using soap to wash though, I think these drain out to the fire break with the rest of the water. Not really so great for the environment.


I walked around a bit and noticed that there were koi living in the stream created by the pool runoff. There was also a kiddie pool and some benches to enjoy the surroundings.


I filtered water from the sink, which probably wasnít necessary as people drink it unfiltered all the time, but Iíd rather be safe than sorry. I charged my electronics with the solar panel and read part of a book. I spent a long time soaking in the Crystal pool. Paradise.

This is the source, where all this magnificent hot water comes from. No swimming is allowed.


After dark, I was soaking with a few guys and mentioned that it was amazing that a place like this exists at all, in the middle of nowhere, especially for free. One of the guys agreed "Yeah, I think this is what that those expensive resorts try to be, but they just canít quite capture it." Somebody mentioned that one of the reasons the hot springs were so relaxing is that the water contains lithium. Hmmm...

One of the guys (who I have unfortunately forgotten the name of) was running around with a small UV light looking for scorpions, which apparently fluoresce bright yellow. There were dozens of tiny scorpions around the camp, though they mostly kept to themselves, in the wood pile and brush. We decided to go on a night hike to the Wizard pool, where the extra-hot water was a nice contrast to the breeze and cold beer. Much entertainment was had trying to identify some of the thousands of stars visible in the night sky Ė without light pollution, the air was so clear you could see the Milky Way. Our return to camp was illuminated by the full moon.

The next day, I managed to find a tiny patch of cell signal and got a belated text from my friend. Apparently, one of the people we were going to go hiking up Mount Whitney with had contracted pneumonia, so the trip was postponed for another week or so. I wasnít sure about this plan, the mountains had already gotten a dusting of snow, and the later it got in the season, the more we were pushing our luck. Either way, I had more time to stay at the springs if I wanted to. I was very indecisive, I had only planned to be out here for a few days and was out of food. Damn!

In the end, I decided that I didnít want to be one of the infamous "moochers", asking people for food handouts, and that I could always come back some other time when I am better prepared. I didnít feel like waiting around a week for my friends either, it seemed time to move on. After I spent a few hours saying goodbye to various people Iíd befriended, I packed up my camp. My neighbor gave me this piece of art heíd done as a going away present. Awww, thanks!


Due to my indecisiveness, my departure was quite late. It was slow going down the springs road due to sand. For whatever reason, it seemed a lot worse than it did on the way in, though Iím not sure how that could have happened. Maybe I was just too tired to care as much then!


I stopped to take a break before tackling Saline Valley Road. I think this is a primitive grader? It looked pretty heavy.


Back on the main road, I was greeted with my good friend sand again. Lovely. Some day I will be able to go faster than 10mph through sand, but today was not that day.


This dip was exciting! It was pretty steep. Just hold on and donít stop.


I was chasing the setting sun. It was already late when I left, but now, the sun was fading behind the mountains.


Some parts which were an effortless downhill on the way in became a bit more stressful on the way out, such as this steep hill. Lots of loose rocks, but I found myself not even paying them much mind. Just gas it. I really didnít want to be facing this road after dark.


Bye Saline Valley! Iím sure Iíll be back someday!


I was on a mission. I managed to get through the canyon before darkness fell, but not quite to the abandoned buildings. In fact, in the dark, that same sandy corner I had trouble with on the way in snuck up on me and I had a "hey, wasnít there some sand around her-SHIT!" moment, and almost lost it. I managed to kick the bike back upright though, and no harm was done.

Thoroughly chilled, I was happy to find pavement again. Back in town, a sign informed me that it was almost 10 PM. I considered my options, and rather than crash in on Nip unannounced, I decided to find a place to camp along the way. I took a side road advertising a campground, and then a sandy dirt trail, ending up making camp in a wide clearing underneath some high-voltage power lines.

I made camp, a bit paranoid that somebody would harass me for camping for free so close to a "real" campground, but my worries were unfounded. I fell asleep to the electric crackle and hum of the lines above me.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:24 PM   #653
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Hey Fey, found some internet in Van Holt, but very slow.
Looks like I took more than a hundred pics on our ride, so they will have to wait. Thought I'd give you this one

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #654
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Here are some pictures of Fey and Oz during our ride onto Big Bend National park. Fey in the lead!















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Old 03-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #655
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Gooood Stuuuuff!
Glad to see ya got Oz onto a dual sport bike!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #656
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Here are some pictures of Fey and Oz during our ride onto Big Bend National park. Fey in the lead!
Hey! It was great to hang out with you, even though it was brief! Thanks for the photos, and I hope our paths cross again sometime (relatively) soon! I hope I didn't scare you off too much. I promise I don't wake up drunk that often!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettn Jim View Post
Gooood Stuuuuff!
Glad to see ya got Oz onto a dual sport bike!!!
Yeah, he's been digging it! He still misses his Ninja, especially in the really twisty pavement bits, but at least it's one small step towards de-squidding him, haha!

Look, I even got him wearing a jacket for the first time in his five years of riding!

By the way, the Hill Country was a good call. TONS of bikes. TONS. But, really nice riding.

Sneak peak:

Big Bend with Esther!



Cruisers in Del Rio, apparently we stumbled across an annual rally...



Hill country!



Oz has been unable to sleep due to excruciating tooth pain so we're going to try to find an ADVer to crash with tomorrow and see if we can get some of his teeth extracted. Here's hoping!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #657
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"Oz has been unable to sleep due to excruciating tooth pain so we're going to try to find an ADVer to crash with tomorrow and see if we can get some of his teeth extracted. Here's hoping! "
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Ya sure it's not sinus infection?? If indeed in the mouth.. floss and gargle peroxide... and most importantly eat LOTS a GARLIC! My buddy was going in for x-rays and maybe antibiodics... but cleard it up himself when he started thinking straight again!
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:41 PM   #658
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Ya sure it's not sinus infection?? If indeed in the mouth.. floss and gargle peroxide... and most importantly eat LOTS a GARLIC! My buddy was going in for x-rays and maybe antibiodics... but cleard it up himself when he started thinking straight again!
He has several teeth that are straight up half missing and nothing but black cavity... somehow after years of this the root hasn't died yet. Normally it doesn't bother him too much but the last week or so he's had to sleep propped up or the pain is just too unbearable.

Normally yeah gargle and garlic is what I do but I think his is a bit too far gone...

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Old 03-23-2013, 12:29 PM   #659
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Waiting in the ER in Lufkin, TX for Oz to get his teeth checked out. He describes the pain as "feeling like somebody is driving a drywall screw into my jaw", probably hella infected. He ate enough painkillers to fear liver damage and the agony continues. Hopefully they'll fix him up good.

On the up side, apparently there's a Rainbow Gathering like 3 miles away from where we've been camping in the Angelina National Forest. We've been confused for hippies twice now. I've never been to one of these but we're gonna check it out.

This should be interesting.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #660
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On the up side, apparently there's a Rainbow Gathering like 3 miles away from where we've been camping in the Angelina National Forest. We've been confused for hippies twice now. I've never been to one of these but we're gonna check it out.
This should be interesting.
I love rainbow gatherings, people always tell me I'm a hippy, so who am I to argue with them.
Last time I was at one of those gatherings I got myself some fitted handmade moccasins, awesome!!
Keeping my fingers crossed for Oz!
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