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Old 03-05-2011, 07:51 AM   #1
Cogswell OP
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Appalachia to the Desert, Cogswell rides to Big Bend.

Winter has had a tight grip on us here in Tn. this season. Cold temps and above average precipitation of the frozen variety. Work has been slow for me so I decided to make an escape to warmer climates, somewhere I have never been before.
After reading ride reports and looking at pictures I decided Big Bend National Park would be a good place for me to explore. Thanks to Tiger Lilly and her ride report, I decided I would camp at Rio Grande Village campground because of the amenities they offered.
Total trip planning was done in about a month and a half. I have some family in San Antonio that allowed me to stop over there and ride the Tx. hill country and see the Riverwalk, and Alamo.
I also stopped in Slidell La. to see my friend luaP, and stay for the night.

2/15 -2/16/2011
The first day's ride was boring slab from Knoxville to Slidell La. Most memorable event of the day came at a gas stop in lower Al. I had filled the bike and was taking a break in front of the store when I heard a voice behind me say" You must really be going fast to need a parachute" refering to my camel-bak.

Ready to leave.




I left luaP's early so he could get to work and set out for another boring day of slab to San Antonio.
One bright spot was I got to stop in Houston for lunch with one of my old ADV friends.



Food was great at Larry's BBQ buffet, Thanks John.






After lunch the slab ride continued west. As I was leaving Houston proper a fellow on a 600 sportbike passed me at about 10+ my speed. About an hour later I came over a rise and saw him on the side of I-10. I did the right thing and stopped to see if I could help him. He was leaned off the left side of the bike fiddling with the kickstand. Seems his kickstand spring popped off dropping the stand and engaging the safety switch which killed the motor when the bike was in gear. I went back to my bike and got a zip tie, and he was back on the road in minutes.
He couldn't thank me enough for stopping to help him.



I arrived in San Antonio before dusk and settled in at my aunt's for a couple of days stay.

Mike
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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2/17/2011

The next day was spent with my Aunt & Uncle sightseeing in downtown San Antonio. We traversed most of the Riverwalk, ate lunch along the river, and saw the Alamo as well. My uncle as a long time Texan knew most of the history of all the buildings in downtown, very informative and a great way to spend a day if you ever get down to San Antonio.

















Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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2/18/2011

This is one of the days I had really been looking forward to, riding the Texas Hill Country. After some great french press coffee, I set out on a pre-planned route, Hwy 16 out of town, to Hwy 337. North on 336, east on 41, and south on 335.
I was getting hungry after a couple of hours and looked for a place to eat breakfast. I finally saw a little place in Medina that looked like it would fit the bill.



The waitress was friendly when I went in and said sit anywhere. I soon had coffee and a menu. After a few questions about the local food I settled on smoked brisket.



Then eggs.



And Then..



After filling my belly it was time to ride.



Great sights along the way.





Unusual wall in the middle of nowhere.



Look closer...





Low Tide !



More great scenery.







Relics on the roadside.








Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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2/19/2011

Today I was leaving San Antonio for the next leg of the trip to Big Bend National Park. I took Hwy 90 across southern Texas rather than I-10. I guess it was the lesser of the two evils.

I awoke to another day of overcast skies and a light mist in the air, the roads were a bit wet as well. I did not take any pictures until after passing through Del Rio at the Pecos river.









The sun finally came out about the time I was passing through Sanderson Texas. It warmed up quite nicely, and I passed the time taking some pictures while riding the long straight roads.

This is quite different riding for me living in Tn, where there are more curvy roads than straight roads.








I arrived in Marathon Texas about 4pm. Fueled the bike and got some groceries in town for meals while camping for the next week. The French Co. grocery store had a limited but good selection of food, and the nice woman even made me a sandwich to eat before I left for the park.

I guess I didn't think about the distance to the campground earlier but, after getting into the park the speed limit is 45 mph for the next 55 miles to the campground. I didn't push it too much as I didn't want to contribute any more funds than necessary to the National Park Service.

I arrived at the Rio Grande Village campground just before dusk. Enough time to set up my tent, inflate the air mattress, and unload the bike before dark. I would wait till the morning to register for my campsite and get my park pass for the bike. As I came into the park all the check-in stations were closed, that did allow me an extra day on the pass.

Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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2/20/2011

My first day in the park. I decided to take a pavement ride down to Presidio on Hwy 170 to check out the scenery.

First, breakfast at camp while loading some pictures on the computer.



Campsite #29, my home for the next week.



Critter proof food storage is provided.



Leaving the campground towards Panther Junction.




Nice rock formations along the way.





Canyon south of Lajitas on Hwy 170.









Hoodoos...









Cactus varieties.







Holy rocks.





It was hot on the way back to the campground !



Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
Cogswell OP
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2/21/2011

Today I was going to meet Lt Dan of GSMmotorent at the campground and ride the Old Ore Rd. from south to north. I was a bit hesitant about riding my 600 pound pig off road in the middle of nowhere for 26 miles with my limited dirt skills. Sometime you just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it !

Lt Dan gassing up at the campground store.



And away we go.



About 5 miles in, deep sand means nap-time for the GSA.



Oh, I almost forgot the salute.



No damage done, lost momentum, came to a stop, and lost my balance too. Got to the point of no return and just laid her over. That was luckily my only incident of the trip.

Great scenery was found along the road.







Break Time.





More great scenery.











Back on pavement at the northern end, Lt Dan is happy.



I went into Study Butte for lunch at Kathys Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe and rode through Chisos Basin on the way back to the campground.

Kathy says Hi !















Headed back to the campground.




Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.

Cogswell screwed with this post 03-05-2011 at 11:45 AM
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
TrashCan
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Good start on your RR Cogswell. Looks like a good time.

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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2/22/2011

Today I decided to take a long road ride up to the Mt Davis area and the McDonald observatory. I left the campground and headed to Marathon, stopped for lunch and then on to Alpine and the Ft Davis and the McDonald observatory.
Mostly boring ride all the way to Alpine. Picked up some good curves north of Town with great scenery in the hills.
I took a brief walk around at the observatory and decided to not take the tour as I had a long way back to camp.








Stopped in Alpine on the way back at a "real" grocery store and fueled the bike with reasonably priced fuel, $3.29/gal.
The road out of Alpine is fairly scenic at first, then turned into long straights melting into the horizon.







Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:55 AM   #9
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2/23/2011

Today I got a slow start and rode from the campground into Study Butte for lunch. I saw Lt Dan and his wife leaving the rental trailer when I was passing and joined them for lunch at a little place called Rio Bravo. Great homemade Mexican food at such a tiny place.





After lunch I decided I needed more dirty/dusty action so I went back into the park and took the Old Maverick Rd. to Santa Elena canyon. It was a lot easier than the previous Old Ore Rd, but still had tons of washboard and my old nemesis, that talc like sand.



You can see Santa Elena canyon as the notch just right of center in the picture below.





Now on to the canyon entrance after a short walk.







Standing in the Rio Grande.








Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive out of the canyon is probably one of the best paved roads in the park for curves and scenery.





Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
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2/24/2011

Today I took the short hike to Boquillos canyon which was only a mile or two from my campground. I decided to do it early in the day when the temperatures were bearable.



Canoes on the Mexican side.



Looking north into the canyon.





Caves in the cliff walls.



Trinkets for sale along the trail placed by Mexican nationals. Illegal to purchase by the way.




After the hike I rode into town and had lunch at Kathys Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe and ended up spending several hours talking with some locals and other riders.


Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
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Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #11
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Good job

Glad you got away from the weather and had a good time. Isn't it neat when it feels as if you're cheating old man winter?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:12 AM   #12
Cogswell OP
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2/25/2011

Today i knew some of Lt Dan's friends were coming in from Austin so I rode into Study Butte in the morning to see if I could hook up on a ride. I got to the rental trailer just in time as plans to ride to Presidio on Hwy 170 along the Rio Grande were made.
We quickly suited back up and were on the way. It was a little more spirited pace than my previous trip down there so few pictures were taken.

The Patio in Presidio, 3/4 mile from the border crossing with and AYCE Mexican buffet...WOW it was good.



Sonny raring to go after lunch.



It is close to Mexico after all...



Looking at Lajitas on the way back to town.



Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrashCan View Post
Good start on your RR Cogswell. Looks like a good time.

Thanks Neighbor !

I'm in Knoxville, have we met ?

Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #14
Cogswell OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go-4-It View Post
Glad you got away from the weather and had a good time. Isn't it neat when it feels as if you're cheating old man winter?
I think I'll start planning next years trip now, it was that good.


Mike
__________________
Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club
The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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2/26/2011

Last day in the park for me, the week just flew by having so much fun.

Yesterday David and I had planned another road ride as Lt Dan and Sonny were going to tear up the dirt with a 160 mile loop.
David rode from his camp outside Study Butte to Rio Grande Village campground and me me at 9am. We were going to visit all the high spots in the park again as it was the last day there.

We rode the short distance to the Boquillos canyon overlook and stopped for a bit. David told me stories of him camping in the local WMA 10 years ago hunting Javalina, and going into the town of Boquillos Del Carmen when the border was open. He said they ate like kings and the woman only wanted $10, they gave her a $20.
The Mexico souveniers were placed at the overlook with the "honor system " pay jars as I had seen on the trail. There was a Mexican national across the river watching to see if we bought anything and put some money in the jar.





From there we rode up to the Chisos basin to look around. Higher elevation made for more comfortable temperatures. It was close enough to lungh time that we decided to eat there as we knew dinner would be later in the evening. Luckily there is a restaurant at the lodge.



After lunch we rode the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive back out to Santa Elena canyon for another visit.













We ended the ride in Study Butte at Lt Dan's rental trailer waiting for the last bikes to come in for the day. Dan and his wife cooked a wonderful dinner that was washed down with a cold beer as we told stories.

After dinner it was already dark and I had 50 miles to ride back to my campsite at the other side of the park. I said my good byes, suited up and rode off into the darkness. Probably the most eerie ride I've had, riding across the desert on a dark night with no lights for miles.

Mike
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Cogswell Rides To Big Bend
See my airhead project here
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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