Sunday, February 1, 2009

BBFO '09 Day 3 - Riding down to the park

Today started a little earlier. We were at the Chuck Wagon for breakfast by 7:30. A few of the guys ordered the toast and sausage gravy. I don't think they will be doing that again, it was more like sausage soup than gravy. My breakfast burrito was pretty good. I think I might try the oatmeal tomorrow although it's Quaker instant out of a box.

Yesterday everyone had filled up before parking the bikes so we didn't have to do that before we started. We headed down 118 to Terlingua where we stopped to top off the tanks before heading into the park.

By 10:30 we were heading into the park. For those that don't know, the speed limit in the park is 45 miles per hour. So don't get in a big hurry. It took us an hour to get to the other side of the park where we took a break and I visited the visitor center to get my park passport stamped. Everyone started talking about lunch so it was decided we'd head back and go up into the basin and eat at the park lodge. Big Bend offers so many different environments inside the park. As we rode up to the basin we saw more and more vegetation. It was in stark contrast to the other parts of the park where it is so arid.

Lunch was OK, several of us took advantage of the soup and salad bar. The chicken vegetable soup was really good but the veiw from our table was even better. If you are in the area it's definitely a good idea to have lunch at the lodge if for no other reason than the view from your table.

So we saddled up and started our return trip. The plan was to go back the way we came up 118. The alternative was to go up to Marathon and then cut over to Alpine. In my opinion existing the park on the east seems to take an extremely long time and is very boring compared to exiting on the west. So we left on the west.

We passed through Terlingua and decided no one needed gas so we kept going. Doug decided to pick up the pace and I felt it was my duty to keep up. It wasn't long before the group disappeared in my rear view mirrors. Doug and I rolled into Alpine, topped off the tanks and kept going to Ft. Davis.

When we got into town I pulled off and visited the Ft. Davis museum to get my passport stamped again. If you are into the old wild west you need to visit the place. Allow yourself plenty of time though, there's a lot to see. With the passport stamped, I looked around the indoor museum and then jumped back on the bike and headed to the motel. I waited around for the rest of the group to arrive and then Bill and I took a quick little 50 mile round trip up 17 toward Balmoreah and back.

The weather was great today. This morning started around 50 and got into the 60's by the time we were on our way back. Riding in the area this time of the year is a little hit or miss but it turned out great this weekend. Total mileage for the day was around 350 miles.

Tomorrow we'll start heading home and stay in Camp Wood. 

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