Saturday, January 31, 2009

BBFO '09 Day 2 - The River Road

Last night Fred announced that we'd be getting a late start this morning and breakfast would be at 8am. This morning Fred knocked on the door just after 7 to tell us he just woke up and still needed to get a shower. He didn't think he'd be ready by 8. "Retirement Fred" seems to be a different fella.

At 7:45 we were all standing around ready to go so we rolled out of the parking lot and stopped at the drug store cafe downtown. We pretty much had the place to ourselves at first. Three different ladies took our drink orders but we finally got our drinks and then our orders were placed. By 9:30 we were done with breakfast and heading out of town.

The plan was to go down 118 through Alpine to Terlingua and then ride the River Road (FM170) over to Presidio. When we got down to Terlingua we gased up the bikes and waited for Fred. Along the way he had decided to pull off and just take a break. He rolled into town and after a litte discussion, we geared up to go see the Terlingua ghost town. It turned out to be nothing more than a convenience store that catered to tourists. So we decided to head over and see the mayor of Lajitas. When we got there it looked like there hadn't been a goat in the area for quite some time and with no goat there was no reason to stop. We continued on up the road to the look out point for another stop.

After another little break, we resumed the ride. The weather was good, the road was good, and traffic was minimal. Geesh the day sucked! Just a few miles before we rolled into Presidio, we took a detour down a gravel road to avoid the missing part of the road that had been washed out from the flood last year.

ring ring... ring ring... while writing this blog tonight I got my first Skype call. How cool, I get to see my sweetie pie. That will be great when I'm on the Alaska trip. I wasn't sure how I was going to go for 4 weeks without seeing her. Isn't technology grand?

So back to today's ride. After the dirt road we rode into Presidio and stopped at El Patio for lunch. The place was moderately busy with locals and the food was decent for the price. After lunch it was decided that Fred, Dick and Doug would head on back to the motel, and Bill, Randy and myself would take the Ft. Davis loop before calling it quits for the day. In Marfa, Randy and Bill pulled off to get gas while I kept going with the group. When I reached 166 and 17, I turned west onto 166 and stopped at the little rest area a few miles down the way. I waited about 10 minutes before Bill and Randy rolled up. We visited for a while before deciding to get going before it got too late.

Since it was 4:15 as we pulled out on the road I decided we'd take it easy to watch for deer. Just a few miles down the road we saw our first deer in a field with some cattle. And then we saw a doe and her fawn a little way down the road. I decided the speed limit or just a little over would be more than sufficient for this little 50 mile loop. On one stretch of road we found several deer along the side of the road next to a row of cedars. These snuck up on me and I didn't see them until I was along side of them. Fortunately they stayed next to the cedars and I kept on going. Although just a little slower.

The pace remainded mild until after we passed the 166 and 118 junction. That's when the road got twisty and tight. I dropped it to 4th and carved the corners. When I got to a straight away I'd ease up and wait for everyone to catch up. Then when the next set of corners came I'd crank it up again. We didn't see any deer until we came to a water crossing where a confused doe was getting out of the way and then reversed her direction and ran back across the road. There were a few more twisties to straighten before rolling into Ft. Davis. What a great end to a great, I mean shitty, day. When I have a choice, I will definitely chose to ride into Ft. Davis via the loop. It's just great.

I went on into town to gas up, and get a lottery ticket. Who knows, maybe tonight I'll have the right numbers and can try to wear out the GS on the roads around here.

Today's mileage was just over 300 miles. Temps started at 20 degrees and climbed into the 60's. The sky is clear and the temperature is already falling so I expect we'll reach the low 20's or even the teens in the morning. Hopefully we won't go to breakfast before 8. We are planning to go into the park tomorrow to explore the east side and while I'm there I'll get my park passport stamped.

And NO, the GS did not take any naps today. But it did get a work out with the new shocks.

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