Ted's Big Perimeter Ride - Day 56




Got up with the sun, packed up my gear and headed South looking for breakfast. I stopped in the town of Artesia at a restaurant with a lot of cars and people coming and going. The food was certainly of a Mexican flair and I got a good dose of heat for starters. When I left, I noticed a BMW parked next to me (also I saw a guy with a motorcycle jacket on the other side of the restaurant), just noted in my mind. I headed south for about 100 miles, stopped for gas and a Gatorade. When I came out of the gas-station store, there was the same BMW at the next pump. I waited to see who came out of the store, and it was the guy I noticed in Artesia. We introduced ourselves and decided to team travel to Big Bend. Sam was on a multi-week journey, originating from Austin, TX. He has ridden to Sturgis, SD, Glacier NP in Idaho/Montana,, Yosemite in CA and was heading home. He wasn't sure about going to Big Bend since it was Labor Day Weekend, but with my prodding, he decided to go for it.

We arrived at the park entrance and were informed that the best place to camp was at the Chisos Basin Campground; because it was cooler there. The Park Official did not know if there were any camping spot available as they are all provided on a first-come basis. We started into the park, 90 miles before you get to see any parts of the park...We arrive at the campground, with campground FULL notices posted. We decided to troll the area to see if there might be a spot SOMEWHERE...

Well, we were very lucky. Some other campers had moved from the previous day and a VERY Kind woman informed us that Campsite 55 was available. I proceeded to fill out the Park Service Registration Form and After setting up camp, Sam and I decided to go to see the far Western part of the park before the sunset. It was further away than we thought! We got to the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook just as the sun was setting. Just beautiful, but just past optimal camera recording. The Rio Grande here is only a fraction of what it was in the past, but the cliffs and vistas are just superb. Secured the campsite for $7, the senior fee; great deal.


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Distance:
    Today = 431 miles,
    Total   = 10,964 miles
Riding Time:
    Today = 11-Hours, 34-Min,
    Total   = 13-Days, 21-Hours, 23-Min
Breaking camp at daylight - not glamorous, but functional.
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Next door camper, Nancy and biker Sam.

Nancy and her husband also GAVE me a gallon of gas so that I could make it out of the campground without worry. MANY THANKS to you both.
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Sam with his BMW as we get ready to head from Marathon into the Big Bend NP.
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View from campsite...just lovely.
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And the stars at night - just like I remember from my childhood vacations in Vermont.
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