As you know, gentle reader, I occasionally digress from books to write about bicycles, travel, or other causes for personal celebration. Today is one of those days. If you just want the books, c’mon back tomorrow.
Last week Husband and I left town with a group of friends, as we try to do every February, headed for the Big Bend area of southwest Texas. Unfortunately I have missed the last two years: in 2012 I had just had knee surgery and couldn’t ride, and in 2013 I chose to go to Australia to see friends instead. So I last wrote about Terlingua and Lajitas back in 2011. It was so very good to be back in the big desert: big land, big sky, amazing great mountain bike trails, some of our very closest friends, and not much to do except slow down and enjoy ourselves. I thought I’d share a quick synopsis here with you, accompanied by some great photos. These were all taken by either me or my friends who I trust won’t mind. Thanks, friends. (As always, click to enlarge.)
On day 1, we arrived in Terlingua, checked into the cabins our team rents each year, and started packing up. Four of us (Husband, Holt, Damian and myself) were off for an overnight bikepack – camping out and self-supported, in Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Day 1′s riding was pretty consistently up, up, up; we did a lot of hike-a-bike:
Just a little wildlife:
Although not as much as one could wish. We saw bobcat prints, and I think I heard the guys say they heard coyotes yipping at night. (I am a good sleeper.) One year Husband and I saw a mule deer; not this year.
I had some issues with my rack, which afforded us the chance for this dusky repair job at a fortuitously placed picnic table up in the middle of the high nowhere:
Resulting in this repair (shot taken in the light of day 2):
But it all worked out fine. And what a sunset!!
Settling in for the night…
We ate, had a few sips of whiskey, and fell asleep under the mixed blessing of a very bright full moon that obscured the outrageous stars visible out there where the light pollution is minimal.
The next morning we got a leisurely start on a much more leisurely ride, generally downhill and starring views like this one.
Although day 1 had been challenging, I think we were all very pleased with our self-sufficient journey and solitude. I especially had a difficult time with all the hike-a-bike, which aggravated both my feet and my bad knee (and all that pushing of the very heavy bike bothered my lower back) – but I was with a small group of good friends & good people. They helped me out and encouraged me, and never made me feel like I was a bother. Thanks, guys.
On day 3, we did a much lighter-weight ride, with more friends, from the cabin – no gear required.
And at night, the whole pack of us enjoyed each other’s company.
I mean, really. Look at these views from the porch of the cabin complex.
It was another great trip, and our love of these parts is confirmed and strengthened once again.