Saturday Sept. 19 Marathon to Chisos Basin Lodge (66 miles)
Today is day 3 of our Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks motorcycle ride. Come follow along and enjoy the scenery and ride.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below are links to the other days of this ride.
- Big Bend and Carlsbad National Parks Motorcycle Ride
- Day 1 Thursday Sept. 17 Georgetown to Junction (271 miles)
- Day 2 Friday Sept. 18 Junction to Marathon (258 miles)
- Day 4 Sunday Sept. 20 Chisos Basin Lodge to Van Horn (234 miles)
- Day 5 Monday Sept. 21 Van Horn to Lamesa (259 miles)
- Day 6 Tuesday Sept. 22 Lamesa to San Angelo (231 miles)
- Day 7 Wednesday Sept. 23 San Angelo to Georgetown (199 miles)
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.
If you enjoyed reading about this motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park you may like our other motorcycle rides there too.
- Our first motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park
- Spring motorcycle ride to Big Bend National Park April 2007
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Have Goldwing Will Travel… I hope we see you down the road somewhere.