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)
Fort Davis National Historic Site
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
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
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- Big Bend Ride 2007
- Big Bend/Carlsbad Cavern Ride 2009
- Riding Information on Big Bend Area of Texas
- Tips on Long Distance Touring
- Riding Fit… Riding Smart
- Getting the Wife to Ride
Posted in Motorcycle Touring Logs
Tagged Alpine, Alpine Texas, Apache Trading Post, Brad Pitt, Davis Mountains, Fort Davis Historic Site, Fort Davis Texas, Fort Davis. McDonald Observatory, highest town in Texas, Hwy 118, Jackassic Park, Judge Roy Bean, Langtry, loop 166, Marathon, Marathon Texas, Marfa, Marfa Texas, motorcycle ride, Motorcycle rides, motorcycle riding, Motorcycle Touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle trip, Old Pete, Red Dog Saloon, Sanderson, Sanderson Texas, scenic loop 166, Texas, The Mexican, touring motorcycle
188 miles – Alpine, Ft Davis, loop 166, Ft Stockton
Hwy 118 view of McDonald Observatory
Day 5 Route
This is day 5 of our Big Bend National Park Motorcycle ride. My brother Gary headed back home because he had to go to work Friday night so we said our good byes and he headed off. Gary made it all the way back to West Columbia that day. 500 plus miles. This morning was clear and cool as we headed to Ft. Davis. Ft. Davis is my favorite place in Texas. “The coolest town in Texas”. Ft. Davis has this distinction because it is the highest (a mile high) town in Texas. Ft. Davis area is also grassier and has more trees than the surrounding area. During the summer it gets into the 90’s for highs and at night it cools off to in the 60’s and sometimes in the high 50’s. When it does get hot, it is tolerable because of the lack of humidity. We didn’t stop in Ft. Davis because it was early and we would be back around lunchtime after riding the 166 loop. We rode up to the McDonald Observatory for a rest stop but because we got there around 8:00 something they did not open until 9:00 so we just waited until 9:00. Some of us got a snack and coffee and then we rode the rest of the loop back to Ft. Davis. We had lunch, looked through the shops and Limpia Hotel and rode out to Ft. Davis Historical Park. The fort is my favorite fort in Texas. Many of the buildings have been restored and they are restoring more as time goes by. Every time we visit there is something new. After touring the fort we were off to Ft. Stockton to spend the night. We rode up Hwy. 17. Hwy. 17 is really scenic too. We rode to Balmorhea but did not stop. Balmorhea boast of having the largest spring fed swimming pool. From 22 to 28 million gallons of water flow through the spring-fed swimming pool each day. At Ft. Stockton we checked in at the motel and then walked down the street and ate Chinese food.
Scenic loop 118 – 166
Links to the other days of our 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 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“.
Posted in Motorcycle Touring Logs
Tagged 17, Alpine, Balmorhea, balmorhea state park, Big Bend, Big Bend Area, bike trip, Ft Davis, Ft. Davis Historical Park, Ft. Stockton, highway, Highway 17, Hwy. 17, Limpia Hotel, loop 166, mile high, Motorcycle, motorcycle ride, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, Motorcycle Touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle trip, ride, touring, travel
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”.
Posted in Motorcycle Touring Logs
Tagged Alpine, April, Balmorhea, Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, big bend texas, Big Lake, Boquillas Canyon, Brady, Chisos Basin, Concho River, El Patio Restaurant, Fredericksburg, Ft Davis, Ft. Concho, Ft. Stockton, Hwy 118, Hwy. 17, Hwy. 170, Lajitas Resort, Log, loop 166, Marfa, McDonald Observatory, Miss Hattie’s, motorcycle adventure, motorcycle Big Bend, motorcycle ride, Motorcycle Touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle trip, motorcycling, Mt. Casa Grande, national park, Ozona, Paisano Hotel, Panther Junction, Presidio, Raita Restaurant, riding, Rio Grande, San Angelo, Santa Elena Canyon, Terlingua, Texas, Tour, touring, travel, west Texas