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Old 04-05-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
City Man OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: El Paso Texas
Oddometer: 52
Big Bend Ride April 1st 2010

Started off as a nice day and continued to stay that way. Departed at 8:01am with the anticipation of a truly nice motorcycle ride and meeting up with a fellow forum member (From the backpacker site) to camp and hike with, it was a late start due to seeing City Woman off to work. The first 100 + miles was just interstate riding from El Paso to Van Horn.

Getting Gas at Van Horn.

From Van Horn I got onto the scenic rout US-90 to Marfa Texas, this was some nice motorcycle riding. The promised high winds had not shown it’s ugly head yet so the riding was just spectacular so far.

Stopped at this historic marker – Van Horn Wells, explain how there are two different stories on how Van Horn got it’s name.

Back onto the road and adventure. Just mind boggling views as I traveled.

Thought this was cool. United States Air Force Tethered Aerostat Radar Site.

From Marfa I headed down US-67 to Presidio. The winds are kicking up but not so bad as to put a damper on the ride. (The weather report was calling for high winds with gusts of 60mph)

Parked in the middle of the desert. I guess a good toy for quick getaways.

Elephant Mountain just before Presidio.

From Presidio I took US-170 following the Rio Grand river to Big Bend, this is truly a nice motorcycle rout to take. Just sorry I did not take more pictures of the road.

And of course I hit some road construction and a small delay in traveling.

A nice rest stop.

Looking at Mexico across the Rio Grand.

Big Bend around 4:20pm – almost 8 ½ hours from my start this morning. Went to the camp site to hook-up with a fellow backpacker only to be informed that the person who had reserved the camp site had canceled his reservation and that about an hour earlier someone had gotten the spot and was off hiking. The Ranger was discouraging me from hanging around the camp site so it looked like there will be no camping tonight due to all of the camp sites being full. Time to hit the road again to find a motel room for the night.

I really did not feel like getting a room at Sawmill so I headed on SR-118 towards Alpine, after all I still had a few hours of daylight left. Now this is another good motorcycle road.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:35 PM   #2
City Man OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: El Paso Texas
Oddometer: 52
Running out of daylight towards Alpine. As I run out of daylight the temperature is also dropping fast. Before the trip was over I had developed a death like grip on my heated grips.

Still did not feel like getting a room for it was just too early to settle down for the night so back onto US-90 headed toward Marfa. Past Marfa I stopped at the PRADA display that is in the middle of nothing, almost surreal to run into a display out in the middle of nothing but desert.

This is when the cruse-liner started to take in sand, abandon ship, left foot was slipping, she went down. Oh great, out in the middle of nothing and my cruise-liner is down. Tried to pick her up to no avail. Of course she has a dry weight of around 950+lbs and I weigh in at about 140lbs. I had to remove all my gear before I was able to pick her up.

Now after getting her back on the road again it had the effect that all of a sudden it was not quit as cold as it was before the incident. Funny how that works. Off to Van Horn. After gassing up at Van Horn I was still not ready to call it a day so off onto the freeway towards El Paso.

This was a mistake, by now I have been riding for around 15 hours and starting to feel it. The road was dark, windy and cold. I was no longer feeling safe with the dark, cold, wind and Semi-Trucks it was time to throw in the towel. I stopped for the night at about 12:00pm in Sierra Blanca less then 90 miles from home. (16 hours on the road)

On the last rest stop before El Paso, as I was leaving I noticed this sign were I parked the bike. My bad.

All in all a nice ride, though I am a little sorry that I did not get to camp or hike.
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