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Author Topic: 2011-Big Bend  (Read 2970 times)

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Offline kneescrubber

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2011-Big Bend
« on: January 19, 2014, 01:09:02 PM »
Every year Susan and I try to take a vacation together that's at least 1 week long. At the beginning of last year we were discussing where we wanted to go. Usually it's New Mexico and/or Colorado. I remembered her once saying she'd never been to Big Bend, so I suggested that. She was more than enthusiastic about the idea. Since I'd been going there since I was a kid but it'd been a few years since my last trip there, I was looking forward to it too. The plan was to pack the bike in the truck and drive down. We'd spend 3 days of hiking and I'd spend 3 days of riding while she did her painting thing. So the first week of October we were on our way.


We stopped in Marathon for gas and we cruised thru town so I could show her The Gage Hotel and found a pizza place to grab a bite. That's the owners bike out front.
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We were staying at the basin lodge and 1 of the big draws in the basin is the view out "the window". It's a gash on the west side of the basin that allows you to see out to the desert below.
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The first day would be an introduction of sorts for Susan. We went down to Santa Elena canyon and took a hike into the canyon. It's not very long or strenuous but I wanted to make sure Susan would be able to handle it before we tackled a more lengthy hike planned for later in the week. If any of you remember my avatar when I first joined STn, it was a Kbike with a broken drive shaft and mutilated swingarm. It happened in '96 between Castolon and Santa Elena.

That's the canyon off in the distance.
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Your's truly and his partner in crime.
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One of the other draws for Big Bend at this time of year is the annual migration of the Monarch butterfly. They're everywhere.
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That short hike went well so on the way back we decided to hike part of the trail to Mule Ears.
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Day 2 was a ride day for me while Susan had picked out a couple of places to hike and paint. My route would take me up thru Alpine, around the Davis Mountains loop, back to Alpine, Presidio, Lajitas and back to the lodge. One of the interesting things along this route (besides the scenery) is the things on the side of the road.

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This guy was about 100 yards off the side of the highway.
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Lunch at Cueva De Leon in Fort Davis.  :drool:
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McDonald Observatory. Ran into a couple of guys from BC. They'd been to Key West and were on their way back home.
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Stopped in Terlingua on the return leg to have a beer and listen to the front porch bs.
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Yep, it's a Honda.
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Day 3 was a hiking day. We would try and tackle The Lost Dutchman Mine trail. I'd done this one as a kid a couple of times. About 6.5 miles round trip. I'm not sure of the exact elevation change but I believe it's around 2000'. At least the hard part is the first half.  :crazy:

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More butterflies.
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One of my favorite subjects to shoot is dead trees.  :headscratch:
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Pretty much the end of the trail.
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We were pretty hungry by the end of the day. Hot links and sauerkraut.  :thumbsup:
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Day 4 was another ride day for me. I went back up to Fort Davis, Balmorhea, Kent, Fort Davis and back. When I got back to the lodge their was a group of old British iron (and 1 old boxer) in the parking lot. I shot some pics and hung around, hoping to meet the owners but never did get the chance. I was told by 1 of the other vacationers who'd met them that they'd ridden out from San Antonio.

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Day 5 I took Susan to Alpine, Fort Davis and McDonald Observatory. She was tired of hiking.  ;) We stopped at Sul Ross University in Alpine so she could see the Museum of the Big Bend. If you're ever passing thru, you should stop and see it, it's well worth the time. And I even have a couple of photos in it.  :)

We noticed this rock formation on the way back. We think it's Shrek's house.
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Last day I got up early and rode to Terlingua to catch the sunrise. Why? Another one of my favorite subjects to shoot is old cemeteries and Terlingua's is a good one.
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Our plan at the end of the day was to go to the hot springs near Rio Grande Village and watch the sun set on Boquillas Canyon. I'd been telling Susan about the hot springs from day one. She loves hot springs.
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Imagine her disappointment when we found the spring was filled with sediment. I was PISSED!
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So we went ahead on to Boquillas Canyon and hiked in. Short and easy.
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We then headed back to get a better view of the Sierra del Carmen's with the sun setting on them. It's something you have to see to believe. The color is absolutely incredible.
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However, on the way back to the basin we were rewarded with a thunder storm over the Chisos.
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We loaded up and headed home the next day.


If you ever have a chance to see the Big Bend area you should take it. You won't be disappointed. And their are good rides down there. They're a little spread out and not as plentiful as other areas but definitely worth the trip.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline stromgal

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 08:46:08 PM »
Beautiful, thanks for posting. Gives me some ideas as I'll be there in April.
The Lone Rangerette

Offline R Doug

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 07:24:46 AM »
What a beautiful part of Texas. 

I love this shot.

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Offline st2sam

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 08:23:36 AM »

     :clap: Thanks for sharing.

The Big Bend area is on my bucket list...
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Offline bomber

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 02:22:10 PM »
Thanks, Knee! I'll be in Big Bend in April, and am really looking forward to it!
We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 03:13:35 PM »
Thanks, Knee! I'll be in Big Bend in April, and am really looking forward to it!

Taking the dirt bike? If so, I have suggestions.  ;)
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline bomber

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 03:17:36 PM »
Thanks, Knee! I'll be in Big Bend in April, and am really looking forward to it!

Taking the dirt bike? If so, I have suggestions.  ;)

yessir -- couple of KLRs, with slow, overweight pilots to match!

my buddy is from over Industry way, and is only glancingly familiar with BB . . . any knowledge is gratefully received!
We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 08:23:20 PM »
Thanks, Knee! I'll be in Big Bend in April, and am really looking forward to it!

Taking the dirt bike? If so, I have suggestions.  ;)

yessir -- couple of KLRs, with slow, overweight pilots to match!

my buddy is from over Industry way, and is only glancingly familiar with BB . . . any knowledge is gratefully received!

Industry Texas!? Holy shiite, I used to ride that area back in the 70's, 80's & 90's with the BMW Club of Houston. Good friends in the area. Cat Spring, New Ulm & Bellville.  :thumbsup:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Orson

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Re: 2011-Big Bend
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 06:03:49 AM »
Good stuff  :thumbsup:

Big Bend wuz the destination of my first motorcycle trip, so always nice to see such fantastic pictures.

I also took an epic one week rafting trip thru the Santa Elena Canyon and on down the Rio Grande, so lotsa good memories.

Thanks for the great pictures   :clap: