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Noting the size of the Texas Registry here :eek:, it reminds me there are some of us here in CO thinking of throwing some bikes in a trailer and truck and hotfooting it down to Marathon or so, staying three nights, and riding for two days in this area, before returning.

Any of you have ride reports or pics of the area? Is it a great place to ride? Tips? Thanks!
 

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Several of us rented cabins at Balmorhea State Park and rode the Davis Mountains for four days. I'll hunt up some pictures and post them later, but it was a great time with some great roads.

My favorite was the ride up to the McDonald Observatory. The perfect combination of good friends, a great road with good weather and not any traffic.
 

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Noting the size of the Texas Registry here :eek:, it reminds me there are some of us here in CO thinking of throwing some bikes in a trailer and truck and hotfooting it down to Marathon or so, staying three nights, and riding for two days in this area, before returning.

Any of you have ride reports or pics of the area? Is it a great place to ride? Tips? Thanks!
I lived and went to SRSU in Alpine just west of Marathon on the extended indentured student plan back in the 80's. At the time I had a 750F Honda and found every excuse to head down to BBNP. All roads in the park offer unmatched riding. Speed limits are 45 mph max if I remember, but who's watching (Besides the Border Patrol and a few park rangers)??

I assume you are staying at the old Gage Hotel in Marathon? If you are in Alpine in the late afternoon, try the Railroad Blues on the west side of town for a cold one.

Head from Marathon south to Panther Junction Headquarters and get oriented. Weather can be in the 80's even 90's in mid winter along the river or it can be snowing cats and dogs and below freezing up in the mountains. Be prepared. If weather permits, head up to the Basin in the central mountain area at 5200 feet elevation. There is a hotel and cabins there if you choose to stay. You will also want to head down to Santa Elena Canyon to the southwest corner of the park. Rio Grande Village is at the southeast corner and the road down there should not be missed either. Bring plenty of memory cards and batteries for all the pics your going to take: I'm serious!!

If you have time, also head west of the park through Study Butte, Terlingua (Hit La Kiva iand the Starlight Restaurant f you have time), Lajitas and ride the River Road to Presidio, about 2 hrs one way. Its like riding a roller coaster!!

Several years ago, we were down there and a group of Vincent riders were on their way across country and stayed in the BBNP area for an extra week cause its riding nirvana!

FYI, While riding in the park area, there may be Border Patrol checkpoints looking for contraband.

Every few years, we head down to BBNP with our bikes from Albuquerque, usually in October or April. Its a place that all riders should go at least once in their lives.

Enjoy your trip!

Bob near Albuquerque
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks much. Good background, rides, and perspective. Hopefully will make it there. The, ummmm, snow here (Another 30" happening now as I type this) kinda increases the desire to "scratch the itch".
 

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Here is a link to a hotel in Study Butte. I have stayed there & they are biker friendly.

http://www.cmcm.cc/big_bend_lodging_001.htm

Check the Texas Parks & Wildlife website http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/

The Indian Lodge or camping at the Davis Mountians or Big Bend State Ranch, which is along the FM 170, the river road, & it is a great ride. As DNM said, check out the Observatory at the Davis Mountains.

Check the National Park website for the lodge in the Basin at Big Bend National Park.

Staying in Study Butte, Big Bend State Ranch, or Big Bend National Park will keep you closer to that area.

There are 3 good places to eat in/around the Big National Park area:

La Kivi Restaurant & Bar (just west of Study Butte of FM 170, in a trailer park)

Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Bar (in Terlingua Ghost Town, off of FM 170)

The restaurant at the lodge in the Basin in the Big Bend National Park
 

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How Fun!!!

I just saw this thread!!!
I guarantee you, this would be a HUGE turnout from Texas if you wanted it to be!!!! Rob and I would be in for sure. There are a TON of houston, and Austin and Dallas riders. In the honorary ride for Jeannie, there were 19 VRODS and 1 Sporty (MEEEEE!!!!!)

Anyway....in the spring or early summer...let's dooooo it! :)


Then maybe I'll have some nice scenic pictures like youuuu Steve!
 

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Here are a couple of good day rides, the yellow route takes you buy Judge Roy Beans place Langtry. Sanderson has a couple of decent motels, I usually camp on a friends property when I go out that way.

Map

My friends place...
 

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I lived and went to SRSU in Alpine just west of Marathon on the extended indentured student plan back in the 80's.
My Late, Great Uncle, Paul "Red" Pierce was the Mayor of Alpine for 14.5 years and was deeply involved in Sul Ross.
 

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Interesting thread on Big Bend. The weather is a concern. I guess October is best. Temps should be okay. I would like April but I'm concerned about it being windy. From what I have read on Big Bend website and from weather data April has gusts up to 50 and 60 mph. Has anyone done that area of Texas in April? I wont be able to make an October ride. (I'm new at this HD forum it will be interesting where this post goes. LOL!)
 

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For about 6 years, the group I ride with had a Big Bend Run every Easter.

You are right about the weather, especially the wind..... some years it was so bad, visibility from blowing dirt was just about zero. One year we got to Alpine and the blowing dirt was so bad, we stopped at a motel and called it quits for the day. Next morning, none of the Harleys would start or run right. Pulled off the air cleaner covers, dumped a lot of sand out of the covers and filters.... bikes ran ok after that. That year I was following a friend with a Harley sidecar rig. At one point the visibility was so bad, I thought the glow from the right tail light was a lot higher than the glow from the left tail light. I asked him about it later, he said that's how far the sidecar was off the ground...... :eek: :eek: :eek:

Other years, the weather was perfect. Usually cool at night, upper 60's and 70's in the daytime. Take clothing for all types of extreme weather, you might not need a lot of it... or you could need all of it.

The park itself is beautiful riding, just watch your speed. Radar patrolled with enthusiasm. Back then, we used to ride in a rowboat across the river, then ride horses or donkeys up a hill to a Cantina in a Mexican Village. Mildly cool Cervazo from propane cooled fridges. Little kids came around and tried to sell us rocks for $1.00. I think I still have one of those, LOL ! ;)

You need any other information, just holler.... that is one of my favorite areas to ride. :D
 

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Holy Cow!!! DaveT that may be more of an adventure than I can handle! I still can't ignore it though. I thought I might plan for a time to go and just monitor the weather, etc. and head in that direction and when I feel it might get bad, I'll just turn around. Zenhog had thought late April might be good, but it does sound like considerable caution is needed. It would be a shame not to get to that area since it is relatively close (Baton Rouge LA). I don't know of any of my fellow riders that have been there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Man, I'm itchin to go... especially with all the white stuff there is around here and flurries falling now. Just got to juggle my vacation days and make some decisions.

Great tale Dave... How about that -- the side car up in the air from the wind! Gonna add one more :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:!
 

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Hank,

I wouldn't let our trip that particular year keep you from going, you might just hit a time when the weather is perfect !

One other thing I remember about that trip was the truck drivers talking on their CB radios..... I was riding the T-Model Ultra shown below, it was equipped with a CB and I was listening to the truckers most of the way. As one would see "them crazy sumbitch motorsickle riders fighting the wind", they would comment to others about us. While I got a chuckle out of them talking about us, it also served to let the others down the road watch out for us in the near zero visibility.
 

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I guess that's better than hearing "Hey Hal! Watch what I do to these motorsickle riders!"
TexRod, I have heard exactly that a lot in this area, mostly from the young studs who drive cattle trucks like maniacs up and down the two lane roads out here in the boonies.

Had one try to mess with me one day on purpose, every time I tried to pass him, he would come over into the left lane, blocking me. That went on for about ten miles before I suckered him to the left, then dropped behind and around him before I blasted past him on the shoulder while he was over the center line in the other lane.

......the advantages of a hot big bore project and wide, smooth shoulders on a recently paved road. ;)
 

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I live in Marathon and head up the maintenance department at the Gage Hotel. I get a 10% employee discount and will give it to the first person who looks me up - might save you a few bucks if you come out this way.
Names Richard and I'm the only guy in town with a springer front end.
Best riding is from September to maybe May - to me anyway. And the wind always blows out here.
Hope to see you guys one of these days.
 
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