Tag Archives: Hwy 118

Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 3

Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride Map Day 3

Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride Map Day 3

Below is my navigation system before GPS. I kept it on the gas tank for quick reference.

Day 3 Alpine , Ft Davis to Sanderson    Hwy       Miles
Alpine to Ft. Davis                                                       (118)           24 (Really nice ride)
Ft. Davis to McDonald Observ.                              (118)          ~12 (~ are approximate)
McDonald Observ. To 166 loop                             (118)          ~12
166 loop to 117 S. of Ft. Davis                                 (166)          ~51
Note: If we are low on gas, we can back track, a couple of miles, to
               Ft. Davis for gas.
Ft. Davis to Marfa                                                        (117)             21 GAS (~109 miles)
Marfa to Alpine                                                             (90)              26
Alpine to Marathon                                                     (90)              38
Marathon to Sanderson                                             (90)             54 GAS (118 miles)
Total                                                                           ~238

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Officer Quarters at Fort Davis

Officer Quarters at Fort Davis

We checked out of the hotel and rode up to Fort Davis, the highest town in Texas. What a beautiful ride it was up highway 118. We spent a couple of hours touring the fort. (This is Janet’s and my favorite fort to visit) If you haven’t ever been there you need to go. After that we rode up to McDonald Observatory. The road to the observatory is the highest paved road in Texas and another  ride in the Davis Mountains. After stopping for a short tour we took the beautiful scenic loop 166 back to Marfa. Loop 166 was pretty, but we ran into some construction and had to ride several miles on deep gravelled road. That was not fun! It made for some intense riding. The scenery along 166 is beautiful but I didn’t see much of it… I was too busy keeping the bike on the straight and narrow. 😉 We managed to made it through without any mishaps.

Ivan Janet Ginny Gary McDonald Observatory

Ivan Janet Ginny Gary McDonald Observatory

Our next stop was the Apache Trading Post west of Alpine. When Janet and I were here last September we stopped here and met a woman named Shirley. She and I got to talking about motorcycles. Turns out she used to ride and she told me I should ride out there sometime with Janet. So, of course, we had to stop by and tell her we had ridden out on the motorcycle. She thought it was great! We had a good time visiting with her. Shirley can also give you lots of information about the area and, of course, the Marfa Lights. We stopped at Jackassic Park (at the trading post) to visit old Pete. He’s the donkey that starred in the movie THE MEXICAN with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. He sang for us. Then we headed out to Sanderson where we spent the night.

There is not much in Sanderson except the Budget Inn, a convenience store and the Red Dog Saloon. By then we were only looking for food and a place to sleep. The only food we found was at the convenience store. Slim pickin’s here.

Tomorrow we ride home via Langtry home to the infamous Judge Roy Bean…

Here are the links to the other days of this ride.

Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 1
Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 2
Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 4

If you enjoyed this post you may like these too…

  1. Big Bend Ride 2007
  2. Big Bend/Carlsbad Cavern Ride 2009
  3. Riding Information on Big Bend Area of Texas
  4. Tips on Long Distance Touring
  5. Riding Fit… Riding Smart
  6. Getting the Wife to Ride

Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride April 2007

120 Yucca Casa Grande Peak, Big Bend, Motorcycle, Ride, Area, April, 2007

Yucca & Casa Grande Peak

This is our return, Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride. In June 2002 Janet and I made our first long ride together to Big Bend with my brother Gary and Ginny his wife, Larry Cooper (my Air Force buddy) and Larry Talley (Larry Cooper’s long time friend and now ours). It was a four-day ride that we learned a lot from… What to do and what not to do… The most important lesson was to add more days and ride fewer miles each day.

Big Bend has become my favorite place to ride in Texas. The climate, culture and scenery are the best.

Ever since that first ride we have wanted to return and apply the things we learned. On this trip we are riding seven days and limiting the miles per day to less than 260. I also added many custom features to the bike to enhance our ride. This is the story about that trip. Come follow along and see how we did…

Below are the links to each day of the ride…

Day 1 – 259 miles – Georgetown, Fredericksburg, Ozona

Day 2 – 257 miles – Ozona, Ft. Stockton, Alpine, Terlingua

Day 3 – 187 Miles – Terlingua, Santa Elena Canyon, Chisos Basin, Boquillas Canyon, Terlingua (all in Big Bend)

Day 4 – 182 miles – Terlingua, Presidio, Marfa, Alpine

Day 5 – 188 miles – Alpine, Ft Davis, loop 166, Ft Stockton

Day 6 – 165 miles – Ft Stockton, Big Lake, San Angelo

Day 7 – 195 Miles – San Angelo, Llano, Georgetown


If you liked this post you may also like “Big Bend/Carlsbad Motorcycle Trip September ’09” or “Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride”.