Big Bend Country
  by Marina Ackerson

     All you need is a plan.  The seed was planted two years ago where I first met Don Cameron on my way to Death Valley.  It came to fruition November 2007.  Five of us left from Don’s place in Deming, New Mexico, following his Veteran’s Day gathering and barbeque.  We (Sasha, Darryl, Steve, Don and Marina) did our pre-ride check before leaving.  Ranging in age from 37 to 65 we hail from Germany, California, Washington, New Mexico and Michigan.  All accomplished riders on four BMW’s and one Honda.

     Don had the trip well planned.  We blasted the super slab most of Sunday to Alpine, TX, which became our base for two nights.  With an 8 am departure scheduled, first stop was Marfa, TX, for a look see at the plaques and info about the mystery lights and McDonald  observatory.  We took hwy 67 to Presidio and the start of the “river road” touted in motorcycle magazines for decades as one of the premier motorcycle roads in the country.  Having done extensive touring on awesome curvy mountain roads all over the country, I had my doubts it would live up to the hype.  It did not disappoint

     The road twists and bends up and down along the Rio Grande with Mexico on the south side of the river and awesome rock formations along the way to Lajitas.  The day ended with a ride up 118 back to Alpine. 

     Tuesday morn took us through fog for breakfast at Vonnie and Paul’s quaint adobe house complete with a claw foot tub in the bathroom.  It is in the middle of nowhere 40 miles south of Alpine at the end of the electric line.

     Bellies full of food, souls full of great company and conversation; we made our way to Big Bend National Park and the Chisos Mountains.

     We toured the park and ended the day watching the sunset riding hwy 385 in to Marathon and spent the evening consuming a 5 star dinner in the courtyard at the Gage Hotel.

     The next day took us southeast on 90 for a stop at Judge Roy Bean’s Saloon and Museum at Langtry.

     On through the “hill country” of Texas, past the Lady Bird Johnson grounds and Fredericksburg for a night in Llano, Texas, with the only purpose being dinner at Cooper’s pit barbeque.  “Live to ride, ride to eat,” the motto of all good BMW riders.

     The trip coming to a close, we two-laned it 550 miles in to Alamagordo, NM, through cotton fields, oil wells, and a sunset ride through the twisty Sacramento Mountains and Cloudcroft for dinner at Chuck and Kyla’s, owners of Alamogordo Cycle.

     With a big grin on my face I waved goodbye to the guys and made my way north to Albuquerque.  Next trip in the making – Quincy, California and the golden hills, September 2008.  All you need is a plan.

     Many thanks to Don for planning and executing a memorable ride.  Marina Ackerson


[Ed Note:  Thanks Marina for letting us see what we missed this year due to the storms.  Next year let’s try again.]


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