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Day 3 Big Bend and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks Motorcycle Ride

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

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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.

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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.

Below are links to the other days of this ride.

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

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

Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride April 2007

120 Yucca Casa Grande Peak, Big Bend, Motorcycle, Ride, Area, April, 2007

Yucca & Casa Grande Peak

This is our return, Big Bend National Park Motorcycle Ride. In June 2002 Janet and I made our first long ride together to Big Bend with my brother Gary and Ginny his wife, Larry Cooper (my Air Force buddy) and Larry Talley (Larry Cooper’s long time friend and now ours). It was a four-day ride that we learned a lot from… What to do and what not to do… The most important lesson was to add more days and ride fewer miles each day.

Big Bend has become my favorite place to ride in Texas. The climate, culture and scenery are the best.

Ever since that first ride we have wanted to return and apply the things we learned. On this trip we are riding seven days and limiting the miles per day to less than 260. I also added many custom features to the bike to enhance our ride. This is the story about that trip. Come follow along and see how we did…

Below are the links to each day of the ride…

Day 1 – 259 miles – Georgetown, Fredericksburg, Ozona

Day 2 – 257 miles – Ozona, Ft. Stockton, Alpine, Terlingua

Day 3 – 187 Miles – Terlingua, Santa Elena Canyon, Chisos Basin, Boquillas Canyon, Terlingua (all in Big Bend)

Day 4 – 182 miles – Terlingua, Presidio, Marfa, Alpine

Day 5 – 188 miles – Alpine, Ft Davis, loop 166, Ft Stockton

Day 6 – 165 miles – Ft Stockton, Big Lake, San Angelo

Day 7 – 195 Miles – San Angelo, Llano, Georgetown

 

If you liked this post you may also like “Big Bend/Carlsbad Motorcycle Trip September ’09” or “Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride”.