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Old 12-25-2006, 09:36 PM   #1
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All I want for xmas is to ride Big Bend

With a new dual sport in the garage since October and no good weather or roads to ride around Chicago. All I really wanted this xmas was to take my bike somewhere where it was warmer, where there was some nice scenery and plenty of dirt roads. …. Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas


Since I’ve never been on dirt before and this was my first dual sport bike, it was suggested that I not go alone. I started a thread on ADVrider and some folks seemed interested in joining me. The plan was to meet up in Terlingua, TX.


So the morning of Friday Dec 22nd, I was off to Texas, although it would take me two days to get there.




The truck packed up and ready to go in the pouring rain



Gettng in the holiday spirit
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:02 PM   #2
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Friday was a long and boring day on the road. Although I did see a motorcycle cop in St. Louis as I passed by the Arch, it was 50 degrees there and I saw many bikes on the road.



My day ended in Oklahoma City on friday night, where I crashed at a friend's house, but before that... I had to eat since I no real food all day.



Yep, that was all mine, I was hungry

Saturday had better scenery and I ended up in Alpine, TX for the night and I got to split a room with a friend, Becca, who had decided to check out Big Bend for a couple of days, riding from Houston.

I couldn't find the motel we agreed to meet at first, there was such thick fog in town after the rain, I couldn't see any of the buildings.



Becca's beemer and my truck in Alpine, TX

We decided to go here for dinner



It was very festive inside



The food and beer was good


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Old 12-25-2006, 10:06 PM   #3
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:24 PM   #4
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:24 PM   #5
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Sunday leaving Alpine. Becca was going to ride some paved roads around the Davis Mountins today and join us in Big Bend tonight, and I was heading to Terlingua.



It was a very chilly morning.









Sweet Texas twisties

I arrived in Terlingua, TX, two of the people from ADVrider that I was camping with, were already there.

After unloading the bike and unpacking, we decided to have some lunch.








Left to right: John, Anna (that's me), Ara and Spirit and Mike
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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With my belly full of bean burrito, we hit the road and rode out to Big Bend N.P. It was a perfect day so far, sunny and in the 60's. Today I was going to off-road a bike for the very first time I chose the Old Maverick Road since I was told it was one of the easiest in the park.



I do admit the ride started out a bit shaky for me. I've been riding street bikes for a long time and it's a very weird feeling to have the bike dancing all over the road like it does on dirt. But I kept going and even got in to 3rd gear on some of the smoother sections. Most of the dirt roads here are full of gravel and rocks, not much packed dirt.









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Old 12-25-2006, 10:48 PM   #7
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Awsome pics, keep the report coming...
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:01 PM   #8
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It was getting late so we returned to the camp site via paved roads and stopped for pictures a few times.



First stop was the Rio Grande and the Elena Canyon









At camp we set up our tents



We couldn't start a camp fire (some camp rule) so we watched Becca's neons instead, it's remote control



Mike made some chili, so we had something to eat. Many places here are closed today and tomorrow.

The tempertures dropped at night, but not too bad, not like last night. But the winds picked up, big time. Becca and I stayed all night in our tents, Mike headed for his truck in the middle of the night and John was already sleeping in his truck.

The winds pounded the tents all night, those were 40-50MPH winds, that you could hear coming from far away. I was really worried that my 250 lbs. bike would fall over. On top of the wind noise, I had a lot of sand coming though the mesh window in to my tent, needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:09 PM   #9
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Wow Anna, that's hard core! Props to you!
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:28 PM   #10
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I was the first one up this morning and I watched the sun come up, the winds were still blowing. I was surprised the tents survived all the wind and the bikes were still all standing. BTW, we're the only people with tents in the entire camp site.



My eyes were swollen from the sand flying inside my tent and I realized that last night I had left the chair bags from the camping chairs out on top of one of the trailers, they were not there this morning, they blew away. One of the camp chairs was mine, two were borrowed so I was determined to find the covers before they blew away too far.

I started to walk in the direction of the blowing wind, it was still so strong that it could push me easily in the direction it wanted. I found one of the bags stuck on some shrubbery a short walk away, I continued and found the others half a mile away and over on the other side of the hill.



Walking up the hill, the camp site is down below


Found them! What a way to spend Christmas morning
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Old 12-25-2006, 11:32 PM   #11
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Helluva good way to spend the holidays, you go Anna!
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:38 AM   #12
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The winds finally died down around noon, and everyone went their separate way, doing their own ride around the park.

I just rode Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and stopped for everything that looked good on the way, the ride took all day and I didn't get back until dark. It was not as warm today as it was yesterday, but a great day anyway.







Cool rocks











Did some short and easy dirt roads




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Old 12-26-2006, 12:47 AM   #13
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Pink cactus?











So that's it's for now, I'm going to leave the nice and warm rec room now and go climb inside my tent, I think it's like 30 degrees outside now
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:28 AM   #14
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Nice pics!! Welcome to the Dual Sport world, you picked a great bike,

You'll have to come up to Wisconsin for some of our DS rides next year, some are even in the Wildcat mtn area, I know you know all about that area!!

Keep the pics coming!
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:33 AM   #15
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cute girl with a charming smile and ATGATT: check!
big truck: check!
dirty dual-sport bike: check!

gotta love it!
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