I don’t know about you but I find that as I get older winter seems to be a longer and longer season. When I was a young whippersnapper (yeah, my grandfather used that term too), I was into alpine and Nordic skiing so I kind of liked cold weather and snow. Lately though, not so much. Around the end of January I’m usually getting just a bit of cabin fever and although I live far enough south that I can ride even during the winter months on good days, I definitely suffer from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) to some degree.
For the past several years Roger Hazlewood has graciously hosted a crew of mostly MSTA folks at his Terlingua, TX compound for a week or so of riding in and around Big Bend National Park. This probably started years ago as an Eldon Rix just-for-fun event and is now mostly a dual sport outing but only because those tend to be the folks most interested in riding that time of year. The street riding would be excellent too if someone wanted to do that.
Last February (2015) Mickey Tyler and I could stand no more winter so we decided to join the Big Bend festivities. Most people camp on Roger’s property. Good for them. Personally, I prefer walls, heat, warm showers and a comfy bed so Mickey and I opted for lodging at the 5-Star (Ha!) El Dorado hotel in Terlingua Ghost Town. It did provide the essentials, however, and it was just across the road from Roger’s place so it was all good.
The day before we were to depart, we got a pretty good snow at home which blocked Mickey’s trailer and bikes in his garage. Yeah that was a pain for him – had to find someone to plow his drive to extract his trailer. Then, when he came to pick me and my bike up before dawn we found the cul-de-sac at the end of my street was blocked too so he had to disconnect his trailer to turn around there. Bother. But, we eventually got away and headed west before the sun came up so we were happy for the time being. It’s a long, long way to Terlingua from the mountains of east Tennessee and the most direct route (~1700 miles) is through Dallas. However, late in the day when I checked the weather I saw that Dallas was expecting a big ice storm later that night. We elected to circumvent Dallas and headed due south out of Memphis to Baton Rouge where we would pick up I-10. Had we planned on I-10 from the outset it wouldn’t have made much difference in our mileage. Unfortunately, changing plans in Memphis added about 200 miles to our trip. Even so after we passed San Antonio on day two we encountered snow and icing conditions on I-10. The mighty Honda Element never missed a beat however and we arrived at Terlingua around 9pm. A couple of brews in the adjacent High Sierra Bar (not sure if that refers to the location or the patrons???) and we called it a successful journey.
So, a picture blog of our trip follows. Did we have a good time? — Oh yeah, what a great break from winter. I hope to go back again.
The annual Big Bend gathering is scheduled for Feb 22-28, 2016. Contact Max Hendrix or Eldon Rix (in your MSTA Blue Book) for more info.
Well Chris and I are here in Munich. My flight was fine but very uncomfortable! I can not imagine how anyone larger than me could ever spend that much time in those miniature seats! I always thought I wouldn’t have Jet Lag. Well I’m here to tell you it sure made things rough on me this trip. The advice give was to push through and don’t go to sleep until the evening.
Well we got in around 7:30am so it was a long day
Munich is a cool place! We are staying in an older hotel that is on the edge of the old Munich area and its jumping with activity. We investigated the train station for this mornings train ride to Landshut to Maier Honda Yamaha to pickup our rental bikes. The in the evening we went to see the night life. It’s a hoping place for sure.
Well I’m all set boarding pass is printed I’ve check-in. Delta says I’m ready to fly! I know I am! Just went to bed and thought of two things I needed to do. One was to try to find where to post the “more” like I said in my first post. I did add a comment as I thought that’s where I continued the blog. Jay our WebMaster says no just do a new post. I guess I wonder how it is supposed to be linked to the first post? If anyone knows… well let me know. I might be able to check this during one of the waiting times that there is when flying.
Well I thought I would give this a try. I’ve never blogged, is that a word? Anyway here goes.
Since before I started riding I read and heard about riding in the Alps. Yes, those Alps the ones in Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Italy! One day in like February this year I was saying something about my desire to Ride the Alps. So Patricia says, “You should go before you can’t”. I say, OK… let the planning start. I wanted to see if I could afford to do this. I never wanted to do a guided tour I just wanted to go Ride the Alps. The more I looked the more I realized I could do this.
So then in April I’m almost set to start making reservations I had set it up for a 10 day ride. Patricia says to me, “What’s the most expensive part of your trip?” The airplane ticket, I say. The she says, “Well then you should stay longer”! Who are you and what did you do with my Patricia? So now it’s a 20 day trip. I fly into Munich, Germany and rent a bike and start my ride on July 1st with my friend Chris Jernigan.
On a wet and chilly August, nine of us left Dallas, Texas, for the National Championship TT in Peoria, Illinois. The plan was to cover just over 600 miles and just short of St. Louis via the interstate. This left us with only about 300 to do the following day as we followed the Mississippi river and back roads finally settling in and enjoying the ride. Upon arrival some of us went into Peoria that night for the pre-race festivities that the promoters set up along the river. The next day was another bucket list item. This race, which started in 1947, holds the title for the longest running dirt track race. It is held in a small valley owned by the club and provided viewer friendly racing. After the races we all went separate directions with everybody headed south but myself. It was already about 4:00 P.M. so I headed toward Indianapolis.
Living in Nevada, or the Quad-State area (California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona) a bucket list trip item is Death Valley. In the past I had gone part way to Shoshone, California to eat at “The Famous Crowbar Café and Saloon.” It is an old time establishment that has good comfort food.