Big Bend

DAY ONE, learning how to negotiate in the desert sand:
Sunday November 11, 2002, temperature in the mid-50’s at 10am
We headed north on Terlingua Ranch road trying to get a feel for the bikes on this washboard shellrock road. We took a right on Marathon Road and headed northeast for the back entrance into Big Bend National Park. We were getting used to the road and picking up speed when we hit some deep sand and Ron was suddenly swerving wildly. He managed to regain control without going down. Several miles into road we stopped to take pictures of landscape that looked like the moon surface. This road was shellroack and sand, good in places and poor in others. We found many washes and curves with deep sand that took steady speed and maneuvering. There were good views of mountains, buttes, and desert landscape. Ron spotted two huge golden eagles. We crossed into Big Bend National Park before hitting the paved road. In the 23 miles from Terlingua to the paved road we saw no vehicles and only a few distant desert hovels.

We headed south on Hwy 385 to Panther Junction. Speed limit was 45 mph on all park roads, but enforcement was negligible. In the three day we rode the Park we saw several Park Rangers in SUVs, but they were always in the busier areas. At Panther Junction we turned east heading to Rio Grande Village. We met Nancy’s parents at the campground there. The javalinas (little wild pigs) were raiding the tent next door. After I took the photo shown here another eight came walking out of the tent. Park rules say to collapse tents during the day to keep the pests out – they actually knew how to open the zippers too. We saw lots of road runners here too.

We continuted east to the Boguillas Crossing and watched tourists being rowed across the Rio Grand and riding burros to town for Mexican lunch. We decided not to make the crossing. Another mile or two east and you come to the end of the road where the Rio Grande slices through the mountain. This area was originally a river flowing over flatlands. Movement of tectonic plates caused uprising of land area with river continuously eroding through it. This left a narrow gorge through vertical mountains that we see today.

Returned via Study Butte, Hwy 118, and Terlingua Ranch Road.

We were awakened shortly after crawling into the tent by the noise of an animal walking on our tarp. Nancy shinned the light on the wild skunk. At first Nancy was concerned but “Sammy” became a camp site regular every night. He would wonder under our feet as we had dinner and never sprayed us. Other animals that we saw around the campsite were Javelina’s, jack rabbits with huge ears, road runners, and a coyote. We were surprised that we didn’t see any snakes the whole trip.

SUMMARY:
Total mileage for the day 150.
Study Butte gas was $1.54 per gallon while other places in TX were $1.01 to $1.19.
No newspapers.
Groceries mainly in small stores in RV areas and gas stations. Not much to pick from.
Study Butte was desolate and boring, glad we didn’t stay there.
On the back roads stay away from the road edges and be careful on the curves and washes.

DAY TWO, Hen Egg Road
Monday, November 12: Temperature at 8 am was 52 degrees.

We left Terlingua Ranch on the first real adventure on day two. Rod, the ranch manager who plotted our course, was giggling the entire time he was showing us the route in the map room, so we knew it would not be an easy ride. We purchased two USGA maps which covered any area that we might get lost in today and we had the good old GPS receiver loaded with fresh batteries too….. and lots of water and food.

We took Lake Ament Road out to Hwy 118. This 10.5 mile graded road had some unusual scenes. One property had an old school bus and windmill. The owner seemed to have collected old tires for years in the hopes of building a Mother Earth recycled tire home and then lost interest. Then we came into a large boulder field where car and house size boulders had broken off from a large, steep mountain and rolled across the road. We finally came to Lake Ament, with doorless outhouses and covered picnic areas surrounding a 3 acre dry lake bed. We just couldn’t quite picture it as a scenic lake or family picnic area.

We went north on 118 about 1 mile and took a left on North County Road, aka Hen Egg Road. This really took us into the desert – flat, dry, deserted, and perfect for naked riding.

We continued west and the road suddenly became more mountainous and rocky. We really had to watch for the washes where you suddenly dropped into a steep downhill for 20 feet and encountered loose gravel, sand, boulders, and very rough riding across the wash. Coming up and out of the washes was just as bad. We had problems finding the main road and at times had to double back and take GPS readings and plot our location on the map. Then we entered a real maze of roads going in just about every direction and as far as you could see. We took many GPS readings and somehow managed to stay on Hen Egg Road (more or less). At one point we made a wrong turn and ended up at a dead end looking over the edge of a steep canyon. We had similar problems for the next 5 miles but with luck we finally intersected the north/south access road Rod had told us about. Here we headed north looking for the Top of the World. We continued north several miles and ran into a very difficult climb where we very carefully turned around and came back down.

Heading south on the north/south access road we passed many hunting camps (sure glad it wasn’t hunting season) and difficult washes. We found the easterly crossover road which intersected the road leading back north to Hen Egg Road. This was a very technical ride where Nancy lost her license plate when bottoming out in a wash. The next 20 miles we re-traced our morning route and the ride became difficult as we became more fatigued. Arrived back at Terlingua at 5 pm to pop brews.

Traveled a total of 90 miles in seven hours, only hitting 3rd gear a few times.
Damage – one license plate bracket and fender broken, one loose hand shield.
Bodies seriously hurting from continuous muscle strain.

NOTES:
Map, GPS, water, food, first aid are all essential. We observed no wildlife today. We might have seen 6 places where people were living, but no signs of life other than one house at the beginning of Hen Egg Road. Very technical riding in many places – not for the amateur rider. Shifting should be accomplished before technical areas. We slowed at curves, declines, assents, and washes – all hazards. At several corners we encountered very steep drop offs as much as 100 feet. Going over the edge would have resulted in serious injuries.

To summarize, be prepared, ride safe and cautious, keep your bearings. We cut this ride short after realizing that the planned route would have been too long. Keep alternate routes in mind, we were glad we did! We sure were glad that our cycles had been completely serviced – with safety check, and new tires before riding into these remote areas. It gave us a sense of security – one less thing to worry about.

DAY THREE, Park Tour, Tuesday November 13:

Left earlier today, around 9:00 am. Took Lake Ament Road out to 118 and gassed up at Study Butte where the cowboys never take off their hats. Entered Big Bend Park and payed $5 each for a one week pass. Asked conditions of River Road, and were told they were good with the only bad section in the Park being Black Gap Road which leads from River Road to Glenn Springs Road. We were told it was probably passable for motorcycles – and we would find out.

Entered park and went south on Old Maverick Road, a high speed graded shellrock road – a real rarity in these parts. Stopped at Luna’s Jackal and Terlingua Abajo a deserted town and campsite. Road into campsite was passable for trucks and SUV vehicles with small trailers, not recommended for cars or RVs. This is very remote – bring everything you need. Water was running on Terlingua Creek, not recommended for bathing or drinking – keep the water clean for the animals. Continued south to paved road and Santa Elana Canyon where Terlingua Creek meets the Rio Grande. Here the Rio Grand passes through a huge canyon some 300 feet high. The cottonwood campground had room for 30-40 RVs, but we saw only one RV and one tent. Cost is $8.00 per night. Nice campground but a little too remote and uncomfortably close to the border crossing.

Continued on paved road easterly to Santa Elana crossing. Here you can be boated or walk across the Rio Grande into Mexico and take a horse or donkey to the town of Santa Elana. Santa Elana looked very small, but it does have electricity and is Rod’s favorite place to hop across for a brew and a fahita.

Next stop was Castalon an old military outpost. There is now a small general store there where you can buy minimal provisions. We continued north on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. This is a Texas version of the Tail of the Dragon – long, sweeping curves thru some scenic desert areas. We did meet one Park Ranger with radar but we were taking it easy. We then continued easterly on 118 to Panther Junction. This offered scenic roads of high peaks and Chisos Basin to the south. Watch out for javalinas, tarantulas, and road runners along this stretch of road. Some 22 miles thru the desert brings you to Rio Grande Village, which is the more popular camper and RV site. Here there are full hook ups for RVs and a large camp area with restrooms and pay showers, BBQ grill, and tables. There were some 30 RVs and tenters in this area along with a good grocery store, gas, and laundry. After living in a “dry” North Carolina county for the past 12 years – we were amazed to find a Park Service grocery store selling beer and wine – and good beer too!!.

East of Rio Grande Village is Boquillas Crossing to Mexico. Here you can be boated across the Rio Grande and ride a donkey into town for lunch and cervesa. The road dead ends a few miles east of the crossing at the Boquillas Canyon.

Things to remember:
Bring your food there is not much to choose from and check the expiration dates on any food you do purchase.
Beer is available just about everywhere – gotta love Texas.
Gas is expensive, about 20 percent or higher above other locations.
Not much for restaurants if you are looking for local food.

DAY FOUR, River Road, Wednesday, November 14:

Today was going to be a big riding day. We would be basically circling the entire Big Bend Park, heading east on the Dagger Flat Trail, south on Old Ore Road, west on River Road to Castolon and then north back to the Ranch.

After filing our “flight plan” with Rod at the Ranch we left at 8:40 am heading north on Terlingua Ranch Road and then north easterly on Marathon Road to 385. This road was much easier after several days of riding in the area. We took 385 south to Dagger Flat Trail. This shell rock road took us 7 miles to a dead end camp area at Dagger Flat. Here the vegetation was very different, thicker and very reminisent of old cowboy movies.

We back tracked west to the Old Ore Road. Heading south on Old Ore Road found the riding much more technical but nothing too difficult. We stopped at McKinney springs, touted in the guid book as a reliable water source. We found only damp sand. Continuing south on Old Ore Road brought us to some great views

looking southwest at the Chisos Mountains which we planned to completely circle today. A few more miles brought us to the ruins of old McKinney Ranch with various cactus growing in the ruins of the home. The terrain became more difficult as we continued south to Hwy 118. We passed a gravesite with a fresh wreath. The Old Ore Road was a good dual sport road, with several sections of varied and technical riding – sand, ups, downs, rocks, washes, etc.

We hit 118 and headed east a few miles and then turned south onto the east end of River Road. The first 10 miles were rather boring with wash board shellrock road. The road became even rougher as we neared the Rio Grande.

We had lunch at Solis, a beach on the Rio Grande covered with burro shit. We were just too tired and hungry to find a better place to eat. This was the site of the poorist campsite we had seen. After choking down a sandwich we continued westerly over some rough roads to the Mariscal Mine. Continuing west on river road became more technical with beautiful views of the Chisos Mountains to the north. We also encountered different vegetation with flowers and different cactus. We stopped at Black Dike to find the second worst campground – in fact none of the camp sites on the Rio were any good.

By the time we reached the paved Santa Elana Road we were tired, sore and sunburned. We got a soda at Castalon before heading home. As we entered Terlingua Ranch Road we could see a storm building to the east with lightening and huge brightly colored clouds. We decided we needed to secure our campsite with extra tie downs for the tent.

SUMMARY

  • 200 mile day with approx 140 miles of dirt – all we could take for one day.
  • We were disappointed with the ride on River Road which we thought & heard would be the highlight of the trip.
  • Old Ore Road was much better dual sport riding.
  • Scenery was great along both roads.
  • Navigation is a no-brainer in the park – every road and campsite is well marked.
  • Various weather conditions could make rides in the park completely different. We were riding in very dry conditions which made for easy riding.
  • High points were the scenery and lack of human presence.
  • We were amazed that people could survive and live in this area without modern technology and conveniences.
  • The area is desolate, dry, water unreliable. Food and other necessities must have been brought in long distances, requiring several days journey.
  • It must have been tough in the old days!

DAY FIVE, Terlingua Ghost Town, Lajitas, the Big Hill
Thursday, November 15

We slept in and got going a little later this morning. We had some rain last night but thankfully the storm was not as bad as it looked the evening before. We decided to play tourista today, write postcards, check out some sites, and purchase some souvenirs. On our way we saw loose cattle along 118 who “stampeded” as we rode by.

We found a post office in Study Butte and then headed on 170 to the Terlingua Ghost-town. Terlingua is a a small “bohemian” type of town with a couple excellent craft and gift shops next to the ghost town (the restaurants looked good too). The ghost town cemetery was unique – very Catholic with shrines adorned with trinkets, money, and candles. Terlingua was very artsy with many craftsmen in the area. We purchased some Mexican wraps for our coming winter couch potato days and Nancy’s favorite souvenirs – stuffed animals, a javelina and road runner, along with javelina pin and a T-shirt (yes we buy lots of T-shirts too). We met some fellow motorcycle riders at the Ghost Town and Nancy gave them Tail of the Dragon stickers and magnets. It’s surprising that folks 1500 miles away knew about the “Dragon.”

After the Ghost Town we continued west to Lajitas Resort. Lajitas is an upscale resort town with all the modern conveniences – even a golf course and private jet port. It was a little too ironic to stop at the overlook and see the poverty of Mexico on one side and a green golf course on the other. We felt a bit “out classed” with our dirty dual sports but had fun regardless. We took pictures of the illegal border crossing where you can ride, float, or wade across the Rio Grand and is within walking distance of the small Mexican village of San Carlos. There is no “Border Patrol” presence at these crossings.

We spoke with a guy who works for the nearby Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center as he was measuring the water depth. He often crosses the border at this location and said we would have no problems on our dual sports, but we should be aware that if the Border Patrol suddenly appeared and wanted to be pissers they could stop you from re-entering and force you to make a 70 mile detour to the next official crossing at Presidio. We were tempted, but decided to take pictures and continue our journey west on 170.

We met some more motorcycle riders in Lajitas and they told us we needed to check out the “Big Hill”. They claimed the road from Lajitas to Presidio was an excellent motorcycle route. After we handed out some more Dragon goodies we continued west on 170 towards Presidio in search of the “Big Hill.” This paved road offers a few nice twisties and a rather steep climb and descent on the ” Big Hill” passing by the Madera Canyon with walls up to 1500 feet. The Rio Grand was more presentable here than any place we had seen thus far. We turned around at the “Big Hill” and returned to Terlingua where we found an excellent coffee shop called the Terlingua Springs Coffee Shop and Market located 1 mile before 118. We love good strong coffee, and finding good coffee in the middle of the desert was like finding an oasis. We continued back to the Ranch via 118 stopping to take pictures of the infamous “Gate 9” or Lake Ament Road. We rode a total of 135 fairly easy miles and returned home at 5 pm.

On our return to camp we noticed a few more cabins at the ranch were occupied, probably a sign of more traffic coming for the upcoming Thanksgiving week holiday. We picked the perfect week to visit. The first week in November is the “Chilihead” contest in Terinlgua with thousands flocking to the area. Hunting begins the week following Thanksgiving break which draws a big crowd too. Another good time to visit is February – the desert spring. Spring break is busy and should be avoided in March. The winds can be rather strong in March and April. May and June are the hottest months of the year. August can be nice because the afternoon clouds tend to keep the temperatures moderate.

DAY SIX, Black Gap Road, Chisos Basin
Friday, November 16:

As we were packing for the daily ride a fancy helicopter circled several times before landing at the Terlingua air strip about 9:30. No one got out, so Ron rode close enough to it to read US Customs. Rod said they had never landed there before and he had no idea what they were doing there. On our return that evening we heard that they had been lost and landed to get directions. So much for efficiency on the border.

Left the ranch close to 10 am heading south on 118. We saw two fighters flash by overhead and wondered if something was up. This was not too long after reports of nuclear bombs possibly coming across the Mexican border. We re-entered the Park and headed east past Panther Junction and took a right onto Glenn Springs Road, a graded shellrock road. We took a right onto Black Gap Road where signs warned that this a 4 wheel drive road and not maintained – sounded like our cup of tea. From the very beginning we found the road the most difficult we had encountered in the Park. A few miles in we encountered large rocks in the road along a steep ridgeline. We had no problems, but rode with extreme care. It was tricky enough that we really didn’t want to come back out the same way.

Four miles into Black Gap Road we hit the toughest spot of our entire trip. The road twisted through a cut with vertical sides through a steep ridgeline. Attempts had been made in the past to ease travel by concreting over the roughest part, but weather had eroded the approach. Rocks had been piled at the eroded end to form a crude ramp leading up to the concreted area. This was fine for 4 wheelers, but posed a problem for our dual sports that would have to climb across about 8 feet of loose rocks the size of footballs to get onto the paved section. We studied this difficult spot for a long time, not wanting to be wusses and backtrack the way we had come. We considered gunning it over the rocks, but they were loose and a fall would land us right onto the concrete. We tried walking a bike up, but lost traction with no weight on the rear wheel. We hiked around both sides to see if there was a better way to go around, but there was none. We did notice motorcycle tracks on one side of this obstacle, but none on the other side indicating the previous riders had turned around.

We finally decided to go for it. Ron rode his bike while Nancy acted as a spotter up on the concrete. Ron took the narrow sandy approach to the right of the rocks and made it up onto the concreted area but was unable to make the sharp left turn to avoid a big rock. He braked, stopped, and then eased his way around the obstacle. He then rode Nancy’s bike up the same way, made it up on the concrete, lost traction, and made a soft lay-down. We got the bike righted, walked it up a few feet in first gear, and then Ron was able to continue. This route is definitely not for the meek. We looked at this challenge long and hard for at least 30 minutes before attempting to pass. After that the ride was fairly easy all the way to River Road. This difficult section would have been much easier if we had been heading north on Black Gap Road and had to come down across the pile of rocks. Extreme care still would have been required. We think it is easier coming down a technical section. Going up it is easy to loose traction and stall. This is no place to get seriously injured. It is an hour to get help, another hour and a half for help to get back to you, and two hours to a medical facility.

We then headed east on River Road past the old Mariscal Mine and Solis and took a left on Glenn Springs Road. This was an interesting ride seeing the cloud covered Chisos Mountains in the distance. At the intersection of Black Gap Road we saw 2 dual sports heading the way we had just had so much trouble on and wanted to warn them about the difficult sections, but they did not stop and simply waved – we wondered if they made it through, our guess would be not.

We continued north on Glenn Springs Road retracing our steps from earlier in the day. We took -pictures at a boulder field and then headed west on Juniper Canyon Road. This turned out to be the roughest road we had been on all week. Six miles of graded road through bedrock made for a 5-10 mph run for most of the way. Nancy commented that this section was aerobic and our arms, shoulders, and neck were aching by the time we reached the dead end. The ride back out to Glenn Springs Road was a test of our endurance. Ron was all over the road and had one close encounter with a cactus. This was a “technical rock garden” as they say in mountain bike terms.

We were too tired and running out of time to venture up Pine Canyon Road so we hit the pavement and headed at high speed for Chisos Basin. The 6 mile ride up twists through an opening on the north side of the Chisos Mountains. There are inspiring views as you climb through vertical cliffs on each side. Oddly enough here we saw the first trees of our stay. We also saw warning signs for bear and mountain lion. This road has a series of cut backs crossing over a ridge and then descending into the basin where you will find a grocery/gift/restaurant/campground/lodge/info center. The temps up here were at least 10 degrees cooler than on 118. We had to buy long sleeve shirts to help us stay warm on the ride down. Most of the people we saw in the basin were hikers. We were disappointed with the basin, not a place where we would stay. It seemed too touristy and we like to be out on our own.

The campground looked good, but cold. This might be a good central place to stay if you wanted to make several loops to through the park. It is the most centrally located facility. We came down and headed back to the ranch, arriving chilled, sore, and fried. Get the beer out!

On the way home we had encountered heavy crosswinds that we had noticed before but today they were worse. At 80 mph a severe crosswind can put you in the wrong lane in a hurry. The winds were always stronger in the afternoons. Rod told us that the spring can bring high winds.

Roads today were more challenging than many in the park but still not comparable to our favorite – the Old Ore Road. Campsites were friendlier along the roads today; we were not impressed with any of the campsites along the river road – too close to the border and too far from home. We started out wearing our riding suites and after we became more accustomed to the roads we switched to jeans and sweatshirts which were much cooler. We did see Park Rangers here and there during the trips, always on the paved roads in their white trucks/SUVs.

DAY SEVEN, Terlingua Ranch loop around Black Peak
Saturday, November 17, Our Last Day

We settled up the bill with Rod for 8 nights of camping and took pictures of him in his map room as he described the last day’s planned route which included delivering mail to one of the property owners who lived some 20 miles away. Rod snickered as he pointed out the route, so we knew it would be another challenging ride. We would stay on the Ranch property all day.

We headed north on Terlingua Ranch Road and took a right at a sign labeled “LTM” which Rod told us stood for Little Texas Mafia…hmmmm. Took a left at the next intersection and a right at the next onto East Cedar Springs Road. This was easy riding with only a few washes. We stopped at Cedar Creek, a deeply eroded rock formation, and found evidence of animals coming there to drink. Continuing north on East Cedar Springs Road we found good dual sport riding. We came to Cedar Springs Ranch gate and took a GPS reading. It showed we were at our destination, but couldn’t see any signs of life. The ranch we were looking for was just over the hill. We did note electric poles that indicated life so we continued to crest the hill and eyed the small ranch below.

The ranch owners were Neal and his wife Chris. They lived on the old Wilson Ranch home place. We chatted with them for 30 minutes. Chris is a schoolteacher in Terlingua where she has a total of eight 4th graders and the entire school population K-12 was 185. These kids used to be bused to Alpine, the longest school bus ride in the country, catching the bus every day at 4 am and not getting home until 6:30 pm. They’d take sleeping bags to get some more sleep on the ride. The drop out rate was 60%.

Neal and Chris told us about the canyon views we needed to check-out and said the roads we planned to take should give us no problem. We left heading north from their ranch and passed an airstrip – a common site in this desert area. Not much of a airstrip, simply a fairly level graded clearing in the desert about 40 foot wide and very useable, even though it is common for planes to simply land on some of the better ranch roads. Rod even said they taxi up to the gas pumps at the ranch office to refuel.

We went across a sand dam with a small watering pond that probably stayed dry most of the year. We then arrived at Rotten Draw, a 50 foot deep eroded crevasse with a natural large hot tub at the very top – probably a great place to cool down after a rain. Today it was dry. The draw twisted around and finally came out as a cut into the big canyon – a 300 foot near vertical wall leading down to the flat desert where ranchers were growing crops and cattle herds were grazing – quite the view. Neal had told us that he often sees B-1 and B-2 bombers flying lower than our viewing point.

Getting back on East Cedar Springs Road we came up to another point overlooking the valley just to the east of Black Peak, a steep mountain which we planned to circle. There were some more great views of the valley below. Continuing around Black Peak to the north the roads became more difficult and less used. On the west side we encountered a steep drop into a wash with loose rock. It was a difficult ride but we went ahead after studying the section and we both managed a clean run. We then found the main road gated with a “private, no hunting” sign. We opened the gate and rode down about a quarter mile before seeing two houses with trucks parked outside. We decided to backtrack and find another way down, which on the map appeared to be OK.

On the alternate route we came upon two very steep drops through bedrock with large loose rocks scattered all along the long downhill. Our options were to turn around and go through the private property and maybe get shot or to walk the bikes down 300 yards. We opted to walk the bikes down rather than possibly anger the local property owners. From the high point we could see that the road improved once we got past this difficult section. But once we were back on level ground we did encounter several difficult sections and in one place the road actually disappeared into underbrush – obviously near a spring. We were riding amid the bushes and cactus hoping that we were still on what should have been the road.

We were tired after negociating the difficult sections on the west side of Black Peak and were eager to get back to camp. We passed by Neal’s ranch and took a right on West Cedar Springs Road. Our hopes for an easy return were soon dashed as this road was much more difficult than our morning ride north. We ran into many loose washes, loose rocks, long sandy areas, and a few steep, rocky climbs. After a few wrong turns here and there we finally managed to find Cedar Springs. There was plenty of water in a deep spring and lots of deer tracks.

Continuing south on West Cedar Springs the road became increasingly difficult. We finally came to the gate that rod had told us about, saying it was ok to ride through. We decided to take the road easterly to intersect East Cedar Springs Road – we had seen enough surprises for the day and wanted to return to the easier road we had taken earlier. On the crossover road we saw 4 mule deer heading up the steep slopes. They had no problem negotiating their way up the steep, rocky hillside. We wished them luck as deer season would be underway in a few weeks.

We thought we had it made when we found the main road home. But after a short distance, Nancy’s clutch cable snapped. We managed to get the bike in neutral and started. Nancy pushed and Ron popped the bike into first gear. We took it easy the last 10 miles home but made it back with no problem

What we planned to be an easy day had turned into a very hard day of riding, but well worth the effort because of the unique sites that we visited. We rode 60 miles approximately 4 hours riding time.

Back at camp we packed up everything except the tent and cook stove and set our watch for 4 am. On our trip out we were treated to the Leonid meteor shower – with about 1 meteor per second slashing across the crystal clear desert sky. Listening to the radio on the way home we heard others say that they had not seen very much, but it was quite the show in the desert.

Highlights of todays ride:

We could see how the springs were easy to find by the early settlers. You can see it for miles because of the vegetation and trees.

The canyons were spectacular. At the edge some of the large rocks had cracked making it scary to even walk on them, but they would probably be there for another thousand years.

We met two dirt bikers back at the ranch who stopped by our camp to chat. These guys didn’t even carry a map (don’t think they knew how to read one anyway) and had no consideration for riding on private property or riding off road, down dry creek beads. We think bikers should have more consideration when they are guests at Terlingua Ranch. We were always careful to stay on the roads and not to trespass when we encountered gates or fences. We had the urge at times to dig up a souvenir cactus, but respected the land enough to not disturb the natural settings. These guys also told us that any bikes that aren’t street legal in the Park will be confiscated. Anyone wishing to ride the roads in Terlingua Ranch should stay at the ranch, or at least go to the office and offer to pay a minimum fee to use the roads or better yet, buy yourself 40 acres for as little as $2,500 and become a member of their landowners association where you will have legal use of the road easements.. The roads are maintained at the property owner’s expense.