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Old 01-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #46
Evomx971 OP
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Originally Posted by selkins View Post

If you head out west, I highly encourage a few days in and around Marfa. Depending on your personal preferences, you could stay at the Thunderbird (hip, cool), Paisano (old school comfort), El Cosmico (artsy, funky) or Riata Inn (boring...). Wherever you stay, spend a day just wandering the town. Art museums and galleries, a great coffee shop/laundromat, restaurants ranging from the down home to haute cuisine. For a town of 2000 in the middle of nowhere, it is incomparable. Also, great day rides to Big Bend National Park (via Presidio and the River Road) and the Davis Mountains loop (which James Dean would drive in his Porsche every night during filming on the movie "Giant"). One warning, the town is slow and many places closed Mon-Wed. Fridays and Saturdays are best.

Wherever you roam, enjoy your adventure!
Thanks!!! Everyone keeps telling me about Big Bend so it's definitely going to be a part of my "Wander"... I thought it was funny, I asked Mike-in-the-big-hat at Hondo's what was at Big Bend and he said "there's nothing, and a whole bunch of it". Then he went on to tell me it's hard to explain Big Bend, but just that "don't take me as some sort of fruit loop, but the place is 'spiritual', you know?"

I hope to find out!
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:48 PM   #47
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Big Bend is one big ass rugged park. Not as pretty as some other national parks and I've only been there one time but there is a wierd spiritual vibe about the place.There are some hot springs in BB right on the edge of the river so bring your speedo. Personally I wouldn't do any backroading by myself because of the desolation but thats your call. I'm guessing there will be plenty of riders there to hang with. When in New Mex look up Buls4evr. He's a very good rider..... considering his age.... and probably knows south N.M. better than most. There are a number of roads that go south from I-10 to 90 but one I've wanted to explore is just a couple exits west of Sonora. I don't know the road number but I think it goes by the Sonora Caverns? The Caverns are a great place to visit so take the tour. They are beautiful caves and well worth the stop. Make sure you fill up in Sonora because gas might be hard to come by between there and Langtry.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #48
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I am glad to see all these suggestions of where to go and what to see. Have a great time Kelly and please keep posting. All us Iowans are riding vicariously with you.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #49
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Really glad to see things are going well and you are having a good time. Great read, love the pics and good or bad I think I have been on enough edventures with you to know what you are really thinking about some of these places and scenarios.

The local history is awesome, amazing some of the things that have happened and the people that have been involved in things that have shaped this country.

Do you have any plans to head south of the border?

Hope it warms up for you. I am heading west to the Snowy Range this weekend for some snowmobiling. It was -7 out there today so that should make the 30's sound a little better.

This is Rod by the way, in case the bald thing didn't give it away.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:23 AM   #50
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Really glad to see things are going well and you are having a good time. Great read, love the pics and good or bad I think I have been on enough edventures with you to know what you are really thinking about some of these places and scenarios.

The local history is awesome, amazing some of the things that have happened and the people that have been involved in things that have shaped this country.

Do you have any plans to head south of the border?

Hope it warms up for you. I am heading west to the Snowy Range this weekend for some snowmobiling. It was -7 out there today so that should make the 30's sound a little better.

This is Rod by the way, in case the bald thing didn't give it away.
Hey Rod! I brought my passport so might go to Old Mex for a visit at some point. buls4ever in NM has offered to guide me down for some grub as I pass through his area and I might take The Girlfriend down to Casamar's in Ensenada with a ride back through Tecate when we're in San Diego.

Have fun on your snowmobile trip, hope it does warm up a bit for you. Do you guys use any type of electric jacket liners or anything or is it just the grips???
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #51
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WNWT Day 8

Monday morning, guess I better get up, get ready and go... NOT to work Sorry. Can't help it.

28 degrees outside and partly sunny in the morning. Decided to fiddle about before going for another Hill Country ride. Got up to the high-30's so struck out on a 164 mile loop through Llano and Mason with about 30 miles of dirt road mixed in.


Here's that Bavarian restaurant/inn next door to my place that I ate at Sunday night...


A few miles north of town I went by Enchanted Rock. It's 325 feet high and apparently the native americans thought it was haunted because at night, when the rock would cool off, it would make a bunch of weird noises. Supposedly they made sacrifices to appease the "spirits" that lived in the rock. I was fresh out of virgins to sacrifice and didn't want to cough up the $6 to drive through so just snapped a couple pics from the road. If you squint and use your good eye, you can see a hiker/climber on top of it in the second pic.




Nice ride up to Llano, swoopy two lane through the beautiful Hill Country. They had a great courthouse...


Another great two lane over to Mason. A lot of the roads today were "open" range. Cattle guards in the road then anything goes. Had to be particularly aware... don't want to hit a cow (heavy, mostly immovable object, would get mad at me) or a cow pie (slick, stinky). Best to avoid both.

Stopped for gas and a Gatorade in Mason, then got on the James River Road among a few others. This is a dirt road that runs through a couple of huge ranches. Reminded me a lot of the better roads in Baja. On the Triumph with street pressure in the tires I had to take it fairly easy. Several sections were washboarded fairly bad and there were a few rutted sections. Great ride, made you feel "in" the landscape rather than seeing it from afar the way paved roads can do.

The road crosses through the James River in several places. Some dry right now, some not.













This area really reminded me of a section in Baja not far from Coco's Corner called Frog Canyon


About halfway through the dirt road section, I came up on this crossing:


As I was researching routes, I'd read that there was a 80-100 yard crossing and I guess it didn't register with me really how far across that is. Apparently it "should" only be about a foot deep all the way across. You can't see in the picture, but there's about a 3 foot waterfall just to the left the water is running off of. I just about turned around... but then common sense kicked in

If there's a waterfall, that pretty much guarantees a big plate rock under the water and more importantly, the only vehicle I'd met on the road was a semi tractor-trailer rig. Not quite sure what he does if he meets another car or truck on that road. The trailer sounded like it was about to shake apart on the rocks and washboards. I could just barely see his tracks where he'd crossed it. Well then, doesn't sound like it should be bad at all. Yippee Kay Yay...

...and since I didn't fall or drown out, I'd say it wasn't bad. I wouldn't be surprised if it was deeper than a foot though. Definitely over the axles and skid plate. Had my legs up on the tank and my pants still got pretty wet.

Right as I was taking a pic, a rancher came through and waved, got about halfway across and I think he saw I was still taking pics so gave it hell.


Met several other ranch hands out on quads and sideXsides, all waved and seemed friendly to the guy out screwing around on the motorcycle. The "Star Ranch" was one of the big ones that I'd say owned a bunch of the land I was going through.


Get back in the sticks and you really get to see some wildlife. A few large deer herds ran through... couple of huge bucks in there. I came up on 15 or 20 head of cattle in the road and for a bit I think they thought I was a ranch hand trying to herd them... had an impromptu cattle drive going for a bit but I probably wasn't yelling the right profanities at them and they got wise and pulled off to eye me a little better. Saw large herds of goats with very cute white kids running about. A roadrunner went across in front of me... right after I saw a dead coyote. Hmmm. beep-creepy-beep. A really pretty fox ran through. Burros. Freakin wild kingdom back there. Too cold for the snakes I reckon.

Back on some higher speed pavement for a bit, then got on some great one-lane no center-line type roads. My favorite was Crenwelge Rd. Super-super fun. Not all that far from Fredericksburg.

Didn't get as warm as it did on Sunday at least not how it felt. A few more clouds had the sun turned down a bit. I was fairly comfortable all day except my feet just kept getting colder and colder. I love the radiant electric heat in my room... like sitting around a campfire. Trying to balance warming my feet with getting a 1st degree burn...


Monday night has a lot of places closed, but Bejas Cantina was open for some Tex Mex... the queso was just 'ok' but the salsa had a heavy black pepper taste which I like and was one of the best I've ever had. The Girlfriend and I can put away the chips and salsa when we go to the mex places.


I'm a connaisseur of huevos con chorizo so decided to give theirs a try. Usually they come scrambled... these were crispy tortillas, then fried egg and ranchero sause with the sausage on the side. Never had them this way but they were good.



Tuesday should be the last really cold day and then start a warm up. I think I'll hang around Fredericksburg one last day and see some local sites, laundry, maybe wash the bike, maybe a short ride, maybe take a nap.... Wednesday I'll start moving south again with my first stop being San Antonio. Excited to see the Alamo and Riverwalk again. Visited when I was around 12 with the family.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:16 AM   #52
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Be sure and stop on the Porch of the down town Mercantile in Terlingua. Great place to have a Lone Star and watch the Sun set!
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:09 PM   #53
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Important question.....

My future enjoyment of this ride report depends on one question.

Are you a Hawkeye or Sucklone fan? Don't pussy out and say Panthers or God forbid, Bulldogs.

Enjoying it so far. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #54
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You should have stopped at Enchanted Rock, its a great lung sucking hike. Same with Lost Maples. I like that kind of shit. The first view of Enchanted Rock when your approaching from the south is awe inspiring. What a view! The Willow City Loop is just around the corner from ERock. Love your pictures of the crossings. Its good to see that the water is flowing down there again. Check out the WWII museum in downtown Fredricksburg..Have you been stopping and reading any of the historical markers? Texas hill country has a very colorful but tragic history. With a little urging I bet buls4evr aka Jeff could be talked into going into old Mexico. Post up a picture of that old Jack Piner if you see him....Enjoy your excellent adventure.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #55
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Awesome pics again and that pic you reference as reminding you of Baja triggers some very vivid memories of a section we rode down there. Not sure if it was Frog Canyon but I can clearly remember the cliff walls and rocky base.

I don't use any electric clothing while sledding, I ponied up for some high dollar Klim gear and it has been worth every penny. Mountain riding is active enough that you generally generate a fair amount of heat and you usually aren't going high speed so other than some high speed trail riding back to the parking lot after working up a sweat boondocking and digging out the sled a few times you usually stay warm with the windproof gear.

Glad you didn't hit the ACME anvil that killed the coyote, wouldn't be good making the rest of the trip with an oval front wheel.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:32 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbonker View Post
My future enjoyment of this ride report depends on one question.

Are you a Hawkeye or Sucklone fan? Don't pussy out and say Panthers or God forbid, Bulldogs.

Enjoying it so far. Thanks for taking the time.

Well Fishbonker, if that is your real name, I didn't attend any of the major state schools and I'm not a huge stick-and-ball sports fan anyway. My canned answer to this question is I'm an IOWA fan. Whenever or wherever an Iowa team is playing, I want it to win. So what about when Iowa plays the Clones??? I probably lean slightly towards the Hawks but I'm likely rooting for the underdog, whoever that might be.

There, I hope you enjoyment may continue forth.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #57
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There, I hope you enjoyment may continue forth.
Indeed it shall!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:38 PM   #58
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Awesome pics again and that pic you reference as reminding you of Baja triggers some very vivid memories of a section we rode down there. Not sure if it was Frog Canyon but I can clearly remember the cliff walls and rocky base.
Yep, that's the section I'm talking about Rod. Right after that you decided to slam dance with the desert and broke your leg, necessitating a 15(?) hour drive back to San Diego. I can honestly say you're the only man I've ever held up to take a leak.

Be careful in Wyoming. You're brittle.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:15 PM   #59
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Thumb Gotta make it down there on the bike......

Great to see you are enjoying it down there. I used to truck through there a long time ago on I-10. Never made it on a scooter yet but it's now on my list. Looks like a great area to ride.
Ride safe man and avoid the if you can.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:52 PM   #60
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WNWT Day 9

Tuesday morning, woke up to 32 degrees and cloudy. Temps skyrocketed up to 34 degrees and held there. Little bit of light sleet late in the day. Stayed cloudy and windy all day so pretty much made it a "rest" day.

I was hoping to do the Willow City Loop but just couldn't get exited about riding.

The hotel owner let me use his washer and dryer to do a load of laundry so got that mundane chore accomplished. Decided to check out the National Museum of the Pacific War that's located here in Fredericksburg. More history geek!

Just to drive by the place on Main street, you don't get a feel for how good a museum it is. The first part is the old Nimitz Hotel. This is the hotel ran by Admiral Nimitz's family. Admiral Nimitz was the Commander of the Pacific naval theater for WWII and he grew up in Fredericksburg and worked at the hotel as a youngster. His grandfather and father had added onto the hotel a couple of times and it has sort of a steamboat look to it.


Love the old stone buildings in Texas, this little place is across from the Nimitz hotel. Lots of these in the little towns I've been riding through.


I won't bore everyone with a bunch of pictures from the museum, but will just say it's much bigger than what the building on Main street would lead you to believe. There's an entirely separate building called the George H. Bush gallery that walks through the entire Pacific Theatre of WWII in incredible detail with full size planes, tanks, boats, artillery, etc all indoors and very well presented. Recommend.

My grandfather served in WWII on the Philippine Islands. I was excited to see a combat knife exactly like the one handed down to me on display:


But wait, there's more! A block away, there is a mostly outdoors (brrr) exhibit called the Pacific Combat Zone. They have a fully restored PT boat (only one in the country) that was interesting. JFK was hurt on a ship similar. This is PT309 and JFK was on PT109.


The virtual tour of the ship here is good. Use the navigation and you can 'turn around' and get a 360 degree view of each shot. http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/virt.../index_fs.html

They had one of the engines from a PT boat on display (each ship had three of them). It's a Packard V-12, supercharged, and 1200HP. The engines were of such high build quality that they were UNLIMITED TBOH (time before overhaul). Almost unheard of for military equipment.

Fully restored landing craft for storming the beaches in the Pacific:


And this is the view the soldiers had when they stormed the beach... minus the waist deep water, actual beach, and machine gun fire.


Needless to day, the museum basically took all afternoon and I had to rush to get through part of it.

There was a "patio accessory" place I had been driving by that intrigued me. This place was huge. Had to take my GPS in to make sure and not get lost. Couple of acres at least.


Room upon room of stuff, plus everything that was outside. Anyone thats been to my house knows I've got a thing for "sleeping mexicans". They had a metal version, but couldn't quite figure out how to get him on the bike and not have him fall off.


This sure would look good on my workshop (because it reminds me of The Girlfriend of course):


No purchases made. This time.

At the suggestion of exoff-roadgoat I tried the Catfish Haven not far from the motel.


Had a catfish and shrimp combo platter with a Lobo beer (cuz I'm the one man wolfpack travelling Texas) brewed here in Fredericksburg. Great food. Good beer.


Good rest day but ready to move on tomorrow.

Little tid-bit I found interesting while Braveheart was on AMC tonight... there is actually a word for "throwing someone out of a window". Defenestration. Hmm, must have happened enough that they needed a word for it.
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