Posted by: caryandjohn | May 29, 2009

Austin to Big Bend, TX

Put in about 450 miles from Austin to Fort Stockton where I decided to stay the night. I took 290 west out of Austin, picked up Interstate 10 for a bit and then dropped off down on 377 out of Junction, TX so to get off of 10 for a bit. I took Rt 55 from Rock Springs and then 277 back up to I 10 to Sonora, where I had a couple of carne asada tacos and a nice chat with Rene, the cook at the Mexican restaurant there. Really nice guy. He let me know that Fort Davis was about 4 1/2 hours from there- which my was original intention- but it was getting close to 3:00 – so I was thinking that might be a little too far for the day. Also – I was thinking that since I was so close to Big Bend National Park- I should really check it out. Prophet said I should and Rene said that the park was beautiful and that the road from Terilingua to Presidio was voted one of the top 10 most scenic roads in Texas (lot of competition – huh? just kidding, really I’m just kidding!)

I ended up schlepping down 10 to Fort Stockton and getting a room at the Motel 6- which was great! As soon as I pulled up, I met another solo lady rider, Dee from New York on her BMW K1200 RS. We were both pleased to see each other- she is the first solo lady rider I’ve met on the trip so far, so I was stoked. After swimming for a little bit, Dee and I went over to the local steak house for a beer and a snack. We looked at maps and decided that we would ride Big Bend together. We came back to the hotel and had a couple of drinks with some construction guys that were working on a bridge down the way- Bob, James and John…. Bob, an ex- circus worker, car hauler, among other things – was a trip! Between every dip spit there was a halarious story.

Up and on the road at 8 am, after a picture in front of the Texas sized road runner, we headed down 385 south to towards Big Bend. First stop- the Panther Junction where we purchased postcards, souvenirs, park admission, and stamps at the local post office.

We had lunch at the lodge, did a great tour of the park – including a great water crossing! Leaving the park, towards Terilingua, ther was a big storm front heading our way. This made the ride even more exciting, trying to outrun the storm. The road was beatiful and we hardly got a drop of rain on us.. until we got onto 67 at Presidio- where it first started with a huge dust/sand storm and then followed by scattered rain.

On the way towards Marfa on 67, the rain had just stopped and we were getting along a good pace… through a construction zone and then right into the trap of a Texas State Trooper! He was acually pretty nice, and seemed more interested in us 2 women travleling cross country on motorcycles, than with giving us a ticket. He let us off with warning and sent us off on our way.

Dee was aiming towards getting close to Interstate 10 and so we forged on through Marfa, Fort Davis and up to Balmorhea, where we stayed for the night – another 400 mile day. We stayed at a super charming hotel – The Eleven Inn, where Dee and I decided to share a room- at about $56 a night, it was a fair deal split between the two of us. We got a 6 pack of Corona and walked over for a burger at the only thing open that evening. It was super yummy. We chatted with another group of local construction guys from out of town – one from North Carolina who agrees that Texans have no idea how to fix BBQ and North Carolinians have it down.

Back to the hotel, where we fell straight to sleep on the super comfy beds. We had a lazy start this morning, but we gain an hour today.. so not so bad. We got off here in Van Horn where we had brunch at Chuy’s Restaurant- home of the “John Madden Haul of Fame” and fantastic Chile Rellenos!

Now we’re off north to New Mexico via Rt 54 to Carlsbad Caverns and Roswell, NM. I’m thinking I’ll have to get new tires here sometime within the next 600-800 miles… I’m going to do some searching here on the Internet and see what I can find.



  1. Hey Cary-
    What an awesome adventure..I’m super green with envy!
    Keep on truckn and we’ll hopefully see you soon!

    Ride safe-

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