Big Bend National and State Parks
Also a ride along the border to see "The Wall"
Winter 2018




At home winter was headed for my hometown in a big way---------- I had to go South soon or get trapped.
I loaded 2 bikes and my bicycle in my van and headed South and saw some cool stuff on they way.





Lukenbach Texas will never be the same.





Last time I was here there was some fantastic entertainment and it was hard to leave.
It was pretty chilly outside this time----but inside was a cozy woodstove with several pickers
singing and playing--------they were very good.






This is the outside stage---this guy was so bad he ran everybody OFT-------OFF.





It had been chilly misty and cloudy on most days going South and I enjoyed the fire.
I slept in my van every nite on this trip when not riding.

My son lives in Austin and we tried to get together for a hike and camping in one of the many state
parks I went to. They were all closed for the hunters. We so badly wanted to hike Enchanted state park
but that place was full of people and they wouldn't even let me down the road to it.
It just didn't work out for us.

















Kerrville, Texas City park-------it was every bit as good as any state park I've been too.
I've never seen a city park as big as this one------or as nice.
My attraction to coming here was the mountain bike trails---and the concrete trail along
the quadalupe river.








I'm an avid bicyclist but am too old to do what most mountain bikers would call extreme mountain biking.
But this is to my liking------I rode every trail they had and spend all day doing it.
It was a hoot----had the trails to myself.
I do not ride road bicycles or the roads you could ride them on.
Bores the hell out of me and is super dangerous.






One trail was labeled----extreme difficulty.
At first I wasn't going to ride it---------but did.
I just had to walk the bike up and down one hill.
I might could have rode it-------and I might could have busted my head open and nobody was around to find me.








I had a map--------the trails were marked extremely well and were color coded.
You just couldn't get lost------but I brought a gps just in case !!!!
Me and my wife learned our lesson getting lost once hiking--it could have turned out bad
as we got attacked by bees and she's allergic to them.





This place had everything to camp in.







Then I got on a concrete path that went right along the quadalupe river.
This is an old abandoned bridge-----not sure I was suppost to be out there-----it was off course.












It was about 14 miles round trip just for the concrete trail.












Wife told me not to do anything illegal---------yes dear.



































I love this kind of riding---reminded me of the times when my son lived in Kansas City, Missouri and we'd ride all over
town on little hiking and biking trails. We had so much fun doing that.






Heading West leaving Kerrville, Texas one of those little waypoings popped up on my gps screen.
You know----one that I put there 20 years ago ????
What was "Stonehenge"
Thought it was in Arabia or Pakistan or somewhere ????
Hell no----it's in Kerrville-------the internet is wrong.





Saw this so many times ----------it was dissapointing.
Ain't people got jobs to be at ??????








Crossed the Pecos river near Langtry, Texas.
The bridge was built in 1954 and is the highest bridge in Texas.
The original downstream got washed away a long time ago.
I had looked Langtry over really good years ago so didn't stop.












I was to meet a couple friends in BigBend State park later on ----------but had riding I wanted to do in
the National Park-------the weather didn't cooperate for that tho.
I entered the Park and passed a huge flashing sign------"All Campsite Full"

You've got to be kidding me----ain't people got kids and jobs ?????





I stopped to pay my $25 fee into the National Park and got 2 suprises.
One--------I forgot I was old and got in free----bingo----I knew this getting old would finally pay off !!!!
Two----------the gal said people were leaving in droves as snow and ice were moving in
a finding a campsite would not be a problem.
Great !!!!!!! I think ??








So I made my way up the mountain to Chisos Basin camground-----never been here.
What a beautiful place.






It was getting late in the day but I got a lot of hiking in before sunset.
Not legal or suitable for mountain biking and I wasn't going to ride my bicycle on the road coming in
as it was steep, super twisty and very narrow-----not good for bike and cars.




















It was a 4 mile roundtrip to hike to that gap----------called "The Window" I believe.
Hikers said it was a very difficult hike----rocks and very steep.
I decided since I was so old to get in the park for free--------maybe I should keep on the easy stuff.













See the deer ?










It froze that nite------so I got out my Little Buddy---------------------heater that is.|
There were no electric hookups in Chiso Basin.
Made a nice breakfast in the morning.

I so luv traveling in this van-----it's so inconspicuois I can pretty well park anywhere traveling
and camp and no one pays any attention to me--------------for free !!!!!
That bed is as comfy as at home---------and a cold drink is just 2 feet away.
My 3 bikes were in the back all comfy as well.
I pee in my pee bottle and all is well.

Big Rigs can't get into this campground.






The pics don't do what I saw leaving justice--it was beautiful and didn't look real.
Never saw anything like it before.
A freezing fog rolled in and anything above ground turned completely white and I wondered if I'd get out of there ??
Probably should have just stayed??
But I've ridden all over this place before ---------but not the state park.

















Bears ?????
There were signs in the campground not to leave anything out.
If the bears didn't get in it the Javelina's would.












So--------I headed for Big Bend State Park.
It would be 2-3 days before my friends would show up tho.




At the state park things were different.
For one thing for every 2,300 people at the National park there were just one here--------------little ole' me for 3 days.
I relaxed in the sun----and rode my bicycle.
The is a bunkhouse there that will sleep maybe 40 people ????
Heat---air---toilet---shower---full commercial kitchen---refrigerator--freezer--dishwasher--
tables--couches--chairs-------and oh yes-------a fireplace.
A real one.




The crowds and big rigs don't come here as it's about 50 miles of gravel and big hills to get in here.
It's HHHhhhUUUGGGggggeeeee!!!!!






So I relax and wait for my buddies--------whom I've never met-----well, except on the internet ---------but that worked out well for me once before !!
So what could go wrong ???
I brought 2 KTM"s ------a 350 EXC and a 690 Enduro.
The 350 was the ticket for this place and I never unloaded the 690 here--but did later, elsewhere.
I knew what I was getting into here----the last time I was here I unknowingly brought a bike that was too heavy for the terrain.
At least with me on it.




So here's the scoop.
2 brothers invited me down here to ride with them and I was estatic to have company here as I knew better than to
ride here alone. And they could both cook-----------really well--------we lost no weight while here.
Keith Sheets on the left----good rider on a DR650.
His brother called him "The man of International Mystery".......and I don't remember why right now ?????
I called him "007".







And here is his brother John Sheets-------from Houston, Texas.
They both grew up on a farm in Oaklahoma where Keith still lives.
John rides one of those round the world bikes that run over 150,000 miles without touching the motor.
A Yamaha WR250.
Man I wish I had one of those







These guys have been here many times and I ate dust most of the time
as John did the navigating.







There are many, many very remote campsites here. Most of them down a dead end jeep road
where nobody would see you and you couldn't see any signs of life on this planet.







We had a little paper map and the trails were so well marked it was hard to get lost.
I was amazed. The park is open arms to offroaders-----street legal that is.
A precident to me in a state park. Hundreds of miles of trails-----lot's of them pretty tuff.
You have to luv rocks--------and a little sand------not Baja sand, but sand none-the-less.






It froze every nite but nice and plumb toasty during the day-----a huge temperature swing.
After we'd start riding------ it was no time we were opening vents and shedding jackets.
Typical desert weather.







It is an old ranch after all and old stuff was everywhere.
Google this place-------the history of it is very interesting.







I was not going to leave here till I rode the
Road To Nowhere







It was not a walk in the park getting to the end of the "Road To Nowhere".
Very rocky and weedy with a drop off on the side of the trail a lot of times.
Lot's of rocks knocking you all around and you tried your very best to not be the guy that once said "Where's My Bike" ??









I thought I was going to nowhere-----------but I was wrong.















Me and John had a hoot getting here--------you can't ride any farther then this.
A drop off on one side and impossible terrain on the other.
Ta------Daaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!








Just me and John rode here that day as his brother arrived a day later and then went riding his mountain bike
with a guy he met there. They must have rode some tuff stuff as it took them most of the day to ride 14 miles.
I knew what they rode and knew I had no business riding with them---they were on another level.






The state park is a beautiful place------like to see it after a good soaking rain.
The desert after a good rain is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.






We had different scenery on the way back.
Todays ride was an in and out.














There's 2 mines up in that hill.
I fell over hard at zero miles per hour here and bruised my thigh pretty good on a rock.
Didn't turn out as bad as I thought it was at first.







I suppose this is a water trough for the ranch animals.
Lot's of watering places for animals out here----all high and dry now.









We rode for miles to the boundary edge of the park and a locked gate to view this rock formation.
Wasn't sure if the holes in it were natural or not ?????





























Keith would cook one nite-------then John the next.
I just ate every nite !!!!
But I did wash the dishes and my wife found out--------crap !!!
Red beans and rice and homemade cornbread.
We had enough food to live here a month.
It's a good 50 miles to Town------we never left---------------till--------we left :)

Wifi-------they said yes---------we said "almost never".
Verizon phone service-----they said yes-------we found---------pretty much never.






John is not just another pretty face------the man can cook------cajun style.
If it hadn't been for them 2 guys I'd would have been eating that cold cereal you see in the picture ----every day.






That's Keith's fat tire mountain bike.
Keith is more of a bicyclist than me and we found out we have ridden some of the same things.
One we both did is called the "Katy Trail" and you ride on an old railroad bed competely across Missouri.
It's a great ride and a story of me riding it is on my website.






If you needed it too cook--------it's here.
You used to be able to arrange meals here---------but no more.
To stay here was $35 a nite-----each.








Keith (left) met the guy in the white shirt who was an avid mountain bikeer and they rode together one day.
You can see my Ford Transit van parked outside-------I ever started it the whole time we were here.







Both John and Keith brought firewood here and they brought plenty.
We had a nice fire every nite------------and every morning.
They ended up hauling some of it home.












We rode here several days----------I'm not going to make a day by day-------blow by blow account of it-----no need to.
Just look at the magnificent scenery and trails.

























We got plenty warm most days--------and kept hydrated.
My poor wife said it was zero back home.

























All 3 of us took some falls in here----just tipovers------but John tipped over right where my helmet it and thought he broke some ribs.
I buprofen took care of that. He was a trooper and never complained.
























That day we came in kind of early and I took a 18 mile solo ride on my bicycle.








These guys made me nervous on my bicycle.











Breakfast............and the thinnest flapjacks in all of Texas !!!!









The next day we rode down that same road I did on my bicycle----------I never got to the end of it.
On the motorcycle it was esay peezy.









Keith loved this road and wicked up on the throttle going back------he was having a hoot.
He hadn't rode in a couple years and was glad to be back riding.






















The view thru that gap is Mexico.
We could see "The Wall" but would get a closer look later.
The trail went on ----------but we were at a point the didn't want motorized vehicles going and we respected that.
Besides-------------I was plumb wore out. :)



















At one time they had a pressuized water lime to this water tank as you can see the float valve.
I couldn't imagine where the line would have come from------we were miles from anything.










Here's a short video of the riding we did in BigBend State Park
Select HD if you have the speed.




We kind of hated to leave the state park-------but we had covered almost all of it over the few days we were there.
I had the idea of leaving and going to Marfa, Texas and camp.
There we could go see the "Marfa Lites"--------------------google Marfa lites---------pretty interesting.


The Marfa lights were kind of a bust---I've seen them better before.
But our campsite in Marfa had some cool lites out front.


And John wanted to badly ride the road I rode a few years ago along the Mexico border.
He asked me to guide them thru it and I was glad as it was one of the best rides I'd ever done.
So we camped at a campground just barely out of town to the East and took off in the morning for the
Mexico border. It was cold at first but warmed up quickly.
I saw the Javelinas and immediately turned on my helmet camera while getting out my tethered still camera
and got this shot of the Javelina herd.
The truck almost hit a couple of them------you don't mess with a Javelina--------they will mess you up.
You don't want to hit one on your bike as they are solid as a rock.










Out of Marfa this is going Southwest on hwy. 2810 which turns to dirt down the road.









And all of a sudden all this comes into view-----------it is beautiful out here.
It's why I like it.









There is pretty much only one rode going Southwest------the rest is private ranch land-------like almost all of Texas is.













Before hitting the road along the border going Northwest I turned down a road I knew of to Chinita hot springs.
John leads the way for a bit.






You talk about an out of the way gem.
This is the hot tub------they are cleaning it after having many customers stay here.
They have many cabins and it's hard to believe they have electricity here but they do.
It would be a way cool place to bring your wife here to stay.
It's miles down a dead end road--------you must call for reservations.








Just check it out-----they have a swimming pool too.










































We head south from the hot springs to the little ghost town of Ruidosa----------this store was not here the last time I was thru.
Boy were we glad it was there--------------and open.






And we got to look at women's purses for an hour---------you know you want to !!!!!!






We really loved our visit here---------this nice lady made us a pizza and we washed it down with cold sodas.
She owns the place and had hand made all the leather crafts in the store-------all hand stitched.
She said a machine never touches any of her leather products.
Oh----------we had ice cream too----almost forgot that.











She had everything-------purses------hand bags--soda's---pizza---beer------- guns and ammo----------everything a man could need












I couldnt' resist and bought a coin purse---------but my wife took it away from me when I got home.






So I tucked away my coin purse and we mounted our manly steeds road off towards Godzilla Hill.
The lady at the store had heard of Godzilla Hill but had never been there or seen it.









The last time I rode thru here I was puckered up good.
I was alone---wasn't totally sure how to get thru here------I was right on the Mexican border and nobody was out here.
I got in some sticky mud and had nobody to help me pick up my bike if I crashed out here.
Keith was getting a little nervous out here too----as he was afraid if we hit impassable mud way down the road we
wouldn't have enough gas to back track---and the gal at the hot springs said we there was no way we
could get thru as the road was completely under water----------but like idiots..........we soldiered on.
Keith had borrowed a rotopax gas can from me before starting this part of the ride as he was sure he didn't have
enough gas to make the loop even if we didn't have to backtrack on his small tank.
John on the WR250R probably could have went 700 miles--------me not so much.





Godzilla Hill---------it is awesome---------and very steep.
Get out here and see this thing----it's pretty scary looking up it at the bottom.
























See the Monster ?????
It is so cool thru here.




Holy poop------I sure didn't take many picture of the 50 or so miles thru here right along the border.
You could see sometimes where the road had been under water and there were hard mud ruts everywhere
where people had tried to get thru that could take you down if you weren't careful--------maybe they showed up in the videos ????
It wasn.t eezy peezy all the time.
I wouldn't take a 500 lb. bike thru here but I know some could with ease.
I rode my 690 KTM on this day.








But -------we made it back to Marfa and the next day each of us went our own way.
Sometimes meeting a couple guys on the internet works out just fine.
What a great time we had.



Here is a short video of our Border Road Ride--and Godzila Hill
Choose HD if you have the speed.