Big Bend NP Trip – Sunday

The morning dawned clear and cold. Anna woke me with the exclamation “There’s ice on your bike!”

Anna was headed directly to the campground, but I had a day of twisties planned. After getting breakfast and fuel, I headed north on SR-118.

It got colder as I rose in altitude. I started seeing snow on the side of the road approaching McDonald Observatory.

I stopped at the observatory complex for about an hour, walking through the museum attached to the visitor’s center. A shaded area in the plaza in front of the visitor’s center surprised me with it’s coat of ice. Slipping, I flailed my arms to regain balance. The ice episode was on my mind for the rest of my loop around the Davis Mountains. I remembered how slippery ice was whenever the road was in shade (and obviously wet).

I paused briefly at the town hall in Marfa on my way to Presidio. I had lunch at the highly recommended El Patio restaurant in Presidio. The food was basic Mexican cuisine; nothing particularly spectacular.

The real treat of the day was the road after lunch. FM-170 twists along the Rio Grande for most of the 70 miles to Terlingua. It was *interesting* to be riding the border of another country.

I arrived in Study Butte around 5pm and quickly found the RV park where we were camping. Parking at the office, I scouted the campsite location to figure out the best route over the dirt access road. Anna and Co were out riding, so I parked the R1200ST beside her truck and dug my sunglasses out of the tank bag.

Just when I had decided to sit at a picnic table and read, a sidecar rig came buzzing down the road. Ara “Beemerchef” and Spirit “the sidecar dog” had arrived. Anna (from Chicago), Mike (from Louisiana), and John (from San Antonio, TX) appeared on their dual-sports moments later.

Dinner was Mike’s homemade chili, warmed in a cast iron pot over a camp stove. After eating, we sat around the camp stove (no fires allowed) and swapped stories.

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