Wayne and I arrived home in Riviera Beach Friday, late in the afternoon but my internet was down and I am just now able to place our final entry in this blog. The ride to Big Bend and the Peguis Canyon south of Ojinaga, Mexico was great. Good weather, Good company and fine running bikes.
And the next adventure? Maybe El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan of Mexico. When? February, 2013, of course with Ricardo. After all besides being my good friend, Ricardo speaks the language and knows the way.
Friday Morning, the weather was warm and clear and the bikes were humming along like finely tuned BMWs. We were on a mission. Get to Dilley, TX early so Moto Hank could have a look at the final drive on the R1200GS. Soon we were in Crystal City, the self appointed "Spinach Capitol of the World". And there he stood, Popeye waving at us. Of course we had to stop for Wayne to have his picture taken with Popeye.
By 10:30 AM we were rolling up to Moto Hamk's shop in Dilley, TX. After a quick inspection Hank decided that he needed to install a new oil seal in the final drive and also suggested that the bike needed new brake pads if I wanted to stop using my rear brakes. Both were simple tasks for a master oil head technician like Hank. But Hank was busy installing tired on a 2012 R1200GSA owned by Dennis Drake out of San Antonio. Not problem Hank can muti-task. But first, Lunch! After all there were many adventures we had to relive.
Finally by 2:30 PM, we were back on the road, riding across Hwy 624, worn and mangled by the massive oil field traffic. The weather was great, warn, not hot, and clear and we would soon be home.
Leaving Alpine Thursday morning, Wayne and I were retracing our route. Back through Marathon, Sanderson, Langtry and Comstock--heading toward the Texas Hill Country. The weather was threatening. Cloud heavy, seeming to be just above heads, black with rain but we luckily made it the three hundred miles to Campwood without getting wet.
Finally in the Hill Country, the sun broke through the clouds and the day was perfect. Campwood, Rocksprings and Leakey, home to the "twisted Sisters",Texas' premier riding roads. The "Twisted Sisters, Highways 335, 336 and 337. One hundred miles of twisted and mountainous narrow roads. A rider's delight.
Wayne loves this area and I am fond of it too. But before departing we had to make a run up to the intersection of Highways 41 and 83 to Garven's General Store! Why? The best BBQ sandwiches in Texas, bar none.
Two sandwiches later and we were barreling 76 miles down Hwy 83 to Uvalde, Texas. Uvalde would be our stop for Thursday night. A good night's rest and Wayne and I would speed to Dilley, Tx to Moto Hanks BMW Shop, simply the best BMW oilhead shop in Mexico or the southwest USA. My steady mount has a slight oil leak in the final drive. Hank has the proper oil seal. I will just bet that he knows how to install it.
By nine this morning we were gassed up and crossing the border into Ojinaga, Mexico. But first the beautiful Aduana Senorita had to satisfy themselves that the bikes were our's and legal. And horrors! I could not find the VIN number on the R1200GS. Fifteen minutes later someone came to our aid and located it right on the steering head. Finally free to ride in Mexico, we toured around the small city and headed south towards the mountains and Peguis Canyon.
A beautiful ride on this cool and clear morning. Up the steep mountains, around tight turns hugging steep and deadly drop offs! Past cliffs of stone, more tight turns---a great mornings ride. Suddenly we arrived, the Peguis Canyon overlook. A shear split right in the middle of this hugh granite mountain. A winding and narrow canyon carved over 1500 feet deep through solid granite. An astonishingly beautiful natural beauty right in the midst of the Chihuahuan Desert.
After 45 minutes of looking in awe and wonder, we were back on the BMWs headed back over the twisty carrettera headed for downtown Ojinaga. Yes, we needed to walk among the shops, visit an iglesia and stop and have our boots shined. by noon we were clearing United States customs and were back in Texas.
The Texas city of Marfa beckoned but first Wayne had to have a small snack. A 12 inch beef and cheese Sub, chips and cookies--just a snack. Finally heading towards Marfa, we stopped to explore the old silver mining ghost town of Shafter. Then back on the bikes, we soon were in Marfa visiting Pasano Hotel, the legendary and stately mansion that housed Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean more than 50 years ago while "Giant" was being filmed.
Evening was approaching so we headed to Alpine, Texas, the home of Sul Ross University and checked into a Best Western. Wayne has just spent the last 90 minutes taking an online exam for an accounting class that he is taking.
And tomorrow? Maybe 300 miles or so back towards Rocksprings and the famous "Bat Cave".
Riding west on Hwy 90 Monday morning, the weather was cool, cold, but clear. The ride was great. Both bikes were running perfectly. By 9:00 AM we were at the Pecos Canyon overlook (see pictures) and were soon off for Langtry and the Judge Roy Bean Museum. Judge Roy Bean, "The Hanging Judge" or "The Law West Of The Pecos". Wayne seemed to enjoy it, spending almost an hour touring the museum and taking photographs. Shortly before lunch we were on the bikes heading to Marathon and the Gage Hotel. A quick stop for lunch and we were headed south to the Park. Sixty miles down the road and we were entering the Big Bend National Park, one of the most beautiful areas of Texas.
First, a stop at Park Headquarters to register and get a Park Map, then we were on our way riding through the Park headed to the surreal settlement of Terlingua. Arriving in Terlingua by 5:30 PM, we obtained a room at Easter Egg Valley, quickly unpacked and were back on the bikes headed to Ghost Town and the Starllte Theater, a first class saloon and restaurant. Three hours later we were stuffed, satisfied and headed back to our rooms for the night.
Tuesday we were back in the Park to visit all the canyons, mesas, mountains and other sights. And we did it all: Rio Grande Village, Boquillas, The Lodge at Grand Basin, Santa Elena Canyon.......By 4:00 PM, we had ridden 190 miles in the Park and were heading down River Road to Lajitas. A Quick stop at Lajitas and we were on the road again. The River road, 50 miles of a motorcycle rider's delight. high rises, sudden drops, with unexpected twists and turns, all in directions one never expected. The bikes were howling, Wayne was having a ball and I was just out on a typical West Texas ride. By 6:30 PM, we were in Presidio, the small West Texas town right on the Mexican border. Quickly finding a room, we were in for the night. Morning will come early and we will be off to Ojinaga Mexico. To Ojinaga and then south on MX 16 towards Chihuahua. Our destination, the beautiful Peguis Canyon.
Ninety five degrees , warm, clear and a perfect day in South Texas. Absolutely, but that was Saturday and not today! The morning started early at 7:00 AM. But a front had passed through in the early hours and the temperature had dropped to 58 degrees F. The coldest temperatures that we have seen in South Texas since early March. But Wayne and I were off, riding through very overcast clouds and the occasional light rain. Cold, damp, and cloudy but we were having a ball.
Headed west past Kingsville, Benevides, Freer, Encinal, Carrizo Springs and on into Eagle Pass. Riding right through the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields. Past hundreds of recently drilled oil wells. Past villages that two years ago were broke, mostly abandoned to slowly decay away. But wait! These same villages are now booming, filled with oil field workers and small businesses are popping up like weeds. Small, aged farmers who only months ago were broke are now in the money, some actually millionaires.
Then suddenly we were past Eagle Pass headed on the final 55 miles to Del Rio. The bikes running perfectly in the crisp weather, the weather may have been cold and damp, but the day was perfect. Arriving in Del Rio mid afternoon, Wayne and I checked into my main abode, the Del Rio La Quinta and quickly stashed our bags in the room.
Why? Because we were off on another adventure, heading to Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico and then on to Presa Amistad.
A boot shine, a tour of Acuna, and the bikes were suddenly off heading west through Acuna, out MX 2 through the industrial area, speeding towards Presa Amistad (in English, Lake Friendship). Presa Amistad, a huge reservoir built jointly by Mexico and the United States in the late 1960s. A reservoir of beauty and majesty that inhabits miles of both countries. A lake that is renowned for its Largemouth Bass fishing and beautiful stone cliffs. Wayne and I rode right across the dam, stopping twice. ONce for photographs and again to present our passports to reenter the USA.
Then 30 minutes later, we were in Rudys enjoying Baby Back Ribs, Texas Briskeet, and banana pudding. Now back in the La Quinta, Wayne is studying for an accounting exam and I am still thinking about today's ride. And tomorrow? The Pecos Canyon by 9:00 AM, Langtry, home of Roy Beene ( the hanging judge) by 10:00 AM, then off to Big Bend. But wait! We have to stop in Marathon, TX at the Gage Hotel. As you know, the Gage is home to the finest eating establishment in Texas.
Normally this blog is used only to record international trips--usually 10,000 miles or more. But this time I am making an exception. Why? So Brandon and Justin can ride along with their father (and my son) Wayne. Yes, Wayne Weaver and I are off for a short ride. Maybe 1500 miles--perhaps a bit further. We will ride out from the Bay Sunday morning. The Spot has been replaced, so you can easily hit the "Find Me" button and see where we are at any time.
The Texas Hill Country, a turn or three into Mexico (maybe a ride over Presa Amistad), on down to Big Bend National Park (over 1200 miles of road in Big Bend and only 96 of those 1200 miles are paved). And yes, a stop in Terlingua for a night, perhaps a month. Terlingua, an old ghost town that now is home to about 225 aging hippies. What is that sharp pungent smell in the air?
Then down the River Road, the most scenic ride in Texas. A stop in Presidio for lunch at the Patio, then on across the border to Ojinaga, Chiauhua, Mexico. We will continue south on Mexico Hwy 16 to the massive 2000 foot deep split in the stone mountain, the Peguis Canyon.
Finally heading back into Texas and a fast ride to the old ghost mining town of Shafter, then on to Marfa. Marfa, a quaint and artistic city right at the foot of the Davis Mountains. Marfa, home to the Marfa Lights, a natural phenomenon that has baffled man for hundreds of years. Marfa, the location for that great movie "Giant", starring Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean and Rock Hudson. Marfa, the location for much of Cormac Macarthy's "No Country for Old Men", starring Tommy Lee Jones. Marfa, home of the Judd Art Institute. Yes, we must spend at least one night in Marfa.
Then where? Maybe north to Fort Davis and a ride through the Davis Mountains to the McDonald Observatory. Why? I suppose because it is the one place in West Texas that I have not yet visited.
The weather will be nice. Fall is here in West Texas. Most days will have a high in the 80s and lows between 50 and sixty. Rain? I doubt it.
And our rides? Wayne will be on the Goose, a 1993 BMW R100GSPD that has carried me to the far points of South and North America. And I will be on the 2005 BMW R1200GS that I acquired from Gary Waters a couple years ago.
Why is Wayne on the Goose, my favorite bike? because the Goose has made this run three times before. Wayne may not know the way but the Goose knows the roads well?