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Thought I would share an old trip story:
Wednesday, March 28, 2001, 5:30am I left Irving, TX in dark rain and 39degrees F. Weather reports indicated sunny skies and warmer temperatures to the west. Planning stages of this trip to Big Bend National Park had bejun 4 months before. I had rendezvous commitments to meet several riding buddies along the way. By the time we reached the KOA Campground at Fort Stockton, TX nine riders had joined in.
The second day started with dry weather and rising temperatures. After some brief mechanical adjustments we were on our way through Alpine and Marfa, following US-67 to Presidio. Thirty miles from Presidio I had a rear flat. But an Angel, in the form of a yong man with a triler, saved the moment. After a tire repair in Presidio and some outstanding Mexican food we were ready for the roller-coaster ride of FM road-170 to Terlingua. The engineers of that road must have been motorcyclists. It's a ride not to miss.
Motorcycle repairs had delayed our entry to the park. With the high volume of spring visitors we were too late to get a campsite. So it was off to the overflow camping area at Rio Grande Village. We were able to obtain a designated campsite the next morning. That added picnic tables and less primitiove rest room facilities.
The spring flower blooms were spectacular. Park employees reported the most beautiful natural landscaping in ten years.
Big Bend National Park as approximately 50 miles across, and offers river, desert, and mountain atmospheres. The Rio Grande River forms a 240-mile southern boundary. Park distances are vast, so motorcycle travel requires careful planning in regard to fuel and water.
There is lodging at Chisos Mountain Lodge in the basin, near the center of the park. There is an excellent restaurant at the lodge. Campgrounds are located at Castolin Village (west side), in the basin (near the center & highest elevation 540ft), and at Rio Grande Village (east side). Convienience store groceries are available near each camping area. Summer time temperatures can be very hot for motorcycle travel. Activities include hiking, river running, bird watching, and of course, sight seeing.
Saturday morning began with a buffet of breakfast burritos prepared at camp. then a two-day leisurely ride was planned to return home to north central Texas. As you well know plans don't alway go as expected. Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm with sunny skies and 75 degrees, we were east bound on US-67, 26 miles from San Angelo, TX when a 9-point buck suddenly appeared in front of Fourstar's 70mph Road King. From next in line behind him, I watched Fourstar collide into the rear quarter of the deer. Then the bike went down so fast and so hard it's impossible to describe. Fourstar stopped rolling on the center stripe of the road, 100 feet beyond the dead animal. His bike, flipping and sliding, stopped in the bar ditch on the opposite side of the road, 200 feet from the deer. I managed to stop 20 yards beyond Fourstars without hitting him or the strewn debris. Dialing 911 on a cell phone, I ran back to Fourstars. The remaining five riders, to the rear, blocked and flagged traffic, as Fourstars lay motionless in the middle of the road. Everyone was pretty busy for the next few minutes. Fourstars was conscious, afraid to move and having difficulty breathing. One passer-by wanting to help, had to be threatened when he insisted on removing Fourstars' helmet.
The local authorities and volunteer emergency technicians were Johnny-on-the-spot and dealt with the situation very efficiently. Fourstars was medi-vac helicopter delivered to San Angelo Hospital. Two of us stayed at the accident scene until all the personal property was secure and report questions answered. By the time I arrived at the hospital, x-rays indicated a broken wrist, kneecap, and one upper back rib. Fourstars' helmet, leathers, gloves, and boots had done thier job. His helmet had some big-time damage, but Fourstars had no head injures. The medi-vac helicopter was a caution due to the violent roll and unknown injuries.
We assembled at a local motel Saturday night before the last leg home. It was unanimously agreed that Big Bend's spring beauty had impressed everyone, and our favorite sport is due much attention to caution and safety! The remaining trip home was accomplished with eyestrain due to paranoid visual searches of approaching dangers.
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