Day 3 Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks Motorcycle Ride

Saturday Sept. 19 Marathon to Chisos Basin Lodge (66 miles)

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Map Day 3 Marathon to Chisos Basin Lodge

Today is day 3 of our Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks motorcycle ride. Come follow along and enjoy the scenery and ride.

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Gage Hotel

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Courtyard of the newer part of the Gage Hotel

Jo had us all up by 5:30 am (6:30 Georgia time) this morning. She mistakenly thought we were leaving for breakfast at 6:00am. As it turned out, nothing was open until 7:00am.

We ate breakfast at Johnny B’s. The food was good. It was just a small hole in the wall where the waitress knew everyone by name and the cook knew what they wanted before they even sat down to order.

While we were eating we noticed a commotion out front. We came to find out, George and Laura Bush were staying at the Gage Hotel, just up the street. Evidently the Bush’s were leaving the hotel to visit a nearby ranch. The waitress said they would be staying at the Gage Hotel for several days. It was kind of exciting to know a former president was just a few feet away.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride

Greenhouse of a Bed & Breakfast in Marathon

After breakfast, we walked to the Gage Hotel to take pictures and walk around. The shops were still closed by this time so we went back to the Carriage House. On the way back Shirley noticed a strange-looking building and decided to investigate. On the way there, we met two local women who were out walking. They explained to us that the building was part of a Bed & Breakfast. Someone had come in and bought an old house and renovated it to turn it into a Bead & Breakfast. They had made it into a kind of Spanish style structure and painted it red, blue and yellow. They just started adding on to it using the same color scheme. The structure now under construction was two stories high and made of papercrete.

One of the women was upset because it blocked her view of the mountains. She has lived in her home for 75 years and liked to look at the mountains to determine the weather. Her home was over 100 years old. We had a nice visit with the two women. From there we walked to the Bed & Breakfast and looked around. It was a strange-looking place but they did have a “green thumb” because the green house was beautiful.

After that we walked over to a bookstore where Janet bought Hallie Stillwell’s second book “My Goose Is Cooked” and a book about Texas Ranger John Rogers.

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Hwy 385 to Stillwell Store & camp; Big Bend

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Hallie Stillwell Museum

Then we loaded up and headed for the Stillwell Store & RV Park. There is a museum in honor of Hallie Stillwell. She was a local character who died in 1997 at the age of 99. The RV Park and store are on the ranch Hallie and her husband owned. Her granddaughter, who shared a few stories about Hallie before we toured the museum, runs the store and RV Park. Hallie led a very hard but interesting Life.

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Restaurant at Chisos Basin Lodge

Our next stop was Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park. At an altitude of 5,400′ and surrounded by high, rocky cliffs. Chisos Basin is near some of the park’s most spectacular and popular trails – the Lost Mine Trail, the Window Trail, the South Rim Trail, and the Pinnacles Trail, with its access to the park’s highest point, Emory Peak (elev. 7,825′). Also in the Basin area is the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, the Camper Store, and the Chisos Basin Lodge, which houses the only restaurant in Big Bend National Park.

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Where we stayed at in Chisos Basin Lodge with Mt. Casa Grande in background

We stayed in a cottage with three beds and one bath. It was quite cozy. Outside the cottage was a beautiful view of the “Window”. The “Window” is a view between two mountains. Shirley aptly named it “The Lords Window”.

We had lunch at The Lodge and as usual the food was great. The Lodge has glass walls on three sides so you get a great view of the surrounding area.

Tomorrow we head to Van Horn, Texas. Come ride along and share the fun with us.

If you are thinking about riding to the Big Bend area, checkout the links below. The links have valuable information on the Big Bend Area of Texas and tips we have learned about long motorcycle rides over the years.

  1. Motorcycle Travel Information For The Big Bend Area ofTexas
  2. Long Distance Motorcycle Touring Tips

If you enjoyed reading about this motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park you may like our other motorcycle rides there too.

  1. Our first motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park
  2. Spring motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park April 2007

For even more content please checkout and LIKE our Facebook page.

Have Goldwing Will Travel…  I hope we see you down the road somewhere.

Day 2 Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks Motorcycle Ride

Friday Sept. 18 Junction to Marathon (258 miles)

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Map Day 2 Junction to Marathon TX

Today is the second day of our Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks motorcycle ride. Come follow along and enjoy the scenery and ride.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle road trip

I-10 Heading from Junction to Ft. Stockton

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Picnic area just east of Ft. Stockton

We had breakfast at another restaurant just down the street. We gassed up and headed to Marathon. It was cool and great riding weather. The only stops we made were at a picnic area just outside Ft. Stockton for lunch and then in Ft. Stockton we stopped at the Wal-Mart. It never fails, we stop at least one Wal-Mart on our bike trips. This was no exception. Shirley lost part of her heel on her boot and needed something else to wear. From there it was off to Marathon after a few misdirection’s from Gladys (The name Kristy & Janet gave my GPS).

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Converted Carriage House where we stayed.

In Marathon we stayed in a converted carriage house which was built in 1898. We could have stayed in the main house (Captain Shepard’s Inn) but it was not available  due to renovation. The Carriage House was interesting… Nothing fancy but it was fun staying all together in one house.

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Inside the Carriage House

We had planned to go to “Shirley’s Burnt Biscuit Bakery” but it was not open. Shirley the owner was on vacation. That was a disappointment because she makes wonderful fried pies. If you are ever in Marathon, a stop at Shirley’s Fried Pies is a must.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride

Shirley’s Burnt Biscuit

After we got checked in and unloaded everything we went to explore the town, but everything was pretty much closed. This was around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. We ended up buying some frozen pizza from a grocery store called “the French Grocer”. After dinner we stayed out on the porch of the Carriage House and talked. If Jo had brought her dominoes we would have played “Chicken Foot” but Jo didn’t pack them so… We were in bed by 10:00 (11:00 Georgia time)

 

Tomorrow we head to Big Bend National Park. We will be staying at the Chisos Basin Lodge. Come ride along and share the fun with us.

If you are thinking about riding to the Big Bend area, checkout the links below. The links have valuable information on the Big Bend Area of Texas and tips we have learned about long motorcycle rides over the years.

  1. Motorcycle Travel Information For The Big Bend Area ofTexas
  2. Long Distance Motorcycle Touring Tips

If you enjoyed reading about this motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park you may like our other motorcycle rides there too.

  1. Our first motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park
  2. Spring motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park April 2007

For even more content please checkout and LIKE our Facebook page.

Have Goldwing Will Travel…  I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

Favorite Photos from Our Motorcycle Travels

This is a collection of our favorite photos from our motorcycle travels. Over the years we have ridden many miles, to some of the most scenic places here in the U.S.. We have taken a lot of photo’s… Some of them , in my opinion, are good… But then it is hard not to take a few good ones when you have such scenic subject matter. Many of these pictures are found in post in this blog. Each picture caption has a link to the post for those of you who would like to read and see more… or you may want to ride or drive to see them. The post have many details to help with planning your trip.

For more photos of our rides, checkout “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. And don’t forget to give us a LIKE to see more of our future adventures and travels…

Below are some of the rides we have done over the years. There might be one for you. Check them out.

If you liked these rides there are more to come. Don’t miss any ride post. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

“Have Goldwing Will Travel”… Ride safe…

Day 1 Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks Motorcycle Ride

Thursday Sept. 17 Georgetown to Junction (271 miles)

Big Bend National Park, motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Map Day 1 Heading to Big Bend National Park

Today is the first day of our Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks motorcycle ride. Come follow along and enjoy the scenery and ride.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Gas stop in Georgetown when leaving. Headed to Big Bend National Park

We headed out about 7:30 after stopping for gas and ice for the cooler. The weather was just perfect, not too hot or cold. The route we took was not a direct route so we could see a different part of the Hill Country. We left Georgetown via Hwy 29 and took the back roads from Liberty Hill to Marble Falls. From Marble Falls it was on to Fredericksburg to the Pioneer Museum. We got to the museum before it opened so we had a cup of hot chocolate across the street from the museum while we waited for the museum to open.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

A home in Pioneer Village in Fredericksburg

The museum is on 3 acres of shaded grounds, landscaped with plants native to the Texas Hill Country. It allows you to see the life of Fredericksburg through exploration of historic structures, authentic objects, photographs, and much more.

While on the museum grounds we checked out an event to showcase the museum facilities for various events such as weddings or other gatherings. Shirley got a demo massage while we snacked on some of the free snacks there. We were starving by that time and the snacks tided us over until we could stop later.

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Picnic just outside Hunt

From there it was on to Kerrville, Hunt, Vanderpool, Utopia, Leakey and Junction where we stayed the night. Just before we reached Hunt we stopped at a picnic area by the Guadalupe River for lunch. The road from Utopia to Leakey was scenic as it wound its way through the hills. The elevations there was about 2500 feet so the temperature much cooler and nice.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

The Deer Horn Tree Junction Texas

We stayed at the Legends Inn. Legends Inn was mentioned in Ride Texas Magazine as a great place to stay for the buck. We visited with a couple of bikers at the motel and talked about our current and past travels in the area, ate dinner at a restaurant recommended by the woman at the motel front desk. It was ok but not as good as she described it.

Tomorrow we head to Marathon, Texas. Come ride along and share the fun with us.

If you are thinking about riding to the Big Bend area, checkout the links below. The links have valuable information on the Big Bend Area of Texas and tips we have learned about long motorcycle rides over the years.

  1. Motorcycle Travel Information For The Big Bend Area ofTexas
  2. Long Distance Motorcycle Touring Tips

If you enjoyed reading about this motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park you may like our other motorcycle rides there too.

  1. Our first motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park
  2. Spring motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park April 2007

For even more content please checkout and LIKE our Facebook page.

Have Goldwing Will Travel…  I hope we see you down the road somewhere.

On The Road Again – DIY Goldwing Repair

Yes, back on the road again. Goldwing repair is necessary just like on all bikes.The Honda Goldwing is a great touring motorcycle and it is the only bike for me. It is a well designed bike except for one really big thing… maintenance… I miss my old bike when it comes to maintenance…

Goldwing air filter  replacement

Air filter compartment in the bowels of a Goldwing

Case in point, changing the air filter. On the old bike (2000 Kawasaki Nomad) you removed one screw, removed the cover, removed the old filter, installed the new filter, replaced the cover and screwed in the one screw… Not so easy on the Goldwing. The air filter is in the bowels of the beast, requiring dismantling a lot of stuff. Once you finally get to the air filter there are 7 very hard to get to screws to remove the cover. Because of the tight fit, the old filter is a pain to remove and the new filter even harder to get back in.  Needless to say. it took a long time to complete. I’m so glad this does not need to be done frequently. Frequent maintenance (oil and filter change, battery and coolant check and adding) aren’t too bad. Hopefully Honda will rethink doing maintenance on newer models.

Note: If you do anything on the Goldwing, label all the bolts and screws as to where they go. It’s not obvious, but there are many different sizes and lengths. They look the same until you try putting them back. It is a bugger figuring which ones go where.

Replacing front fork seal, Honda Goldwing, maintenance, anti-dive

Leaky left front fork on the Goldwing.

The other repair was to replace the fork seals. Apparently the Goldwing has a common problem with the fork seals; or I should say, the left fork seal. When breaking hard and the anti-dive kicks and if you are on a rough road; that can blow the left fork seal. Why the left you ask? The anti-dive mechanism is only on the left fork and works by locking the left fork.  I have had to break hard several times. Once for a big Elk in Wyoming and for several idiot drivers. I don’t remember doing it on a rough road but once going over a railroad track. Anyway the left forked was leaking and needed the seal to be replaced.

I did some research on the subject and found many remedies but I didn’t like most of them that disabled the anti-dive. I decided to repair everything with stock parts. If it happens again I may revisit the other options.

I have never done any work on forks before. I was going to have the Honda dealer do it until they quoted me the cost of $600 plus. I was afraid to ask about the cost of replacing the air filter. I decided to make good use of my shop manual and do it myself. The parts were less than $100 from Wing Stuff. I also bought the Traxxion fork serve tool kit. The tool was a big help when installing the parts. After checking online for tips and information, I gave it a try. It really wasn’t too bad except for constantly referring to the shop manual or online video.  Just take your time and do it right.

Honda Goldwing, left fork removed

Left fork removed

This video was a big help. The video shows how to install  “Progressive Monotube Fork Cartridge Kit” for the Goldwing. It showed how to disassemble the forks. Watching the video was better than reading the service manual for the disassembly.

Honda Goldwing, left fork

Left fork ready to disassemble

I was going to add a few links about the fork problem but there are so many it might be better if you “googled” them yourself. Here are some terms I used…

  • Goldwing fork leak
  • Goldwing anti-dive problem
  • Goldwing left fork leak

I thought about making this a how to post. There is so much good information out there, I really can’t add much except for my 2 cents worth. So I will leave it at that. I actually enjoy working on my bike but with the Goldwing it can be real work. I would suggest doing it yourself if you are mechanically inclined. Just take your time to do it right. Rush it and there will be do overs and it could affect the safety of your bike.

So what are your experiences with maintenance on the Goldwing or other bikes. We would love to hear about it. Got any tips or tricks?

Have Goldwing will travel. I hope we meet somewhere down the road…