Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cycling through Big Bend--The Path Less Pedaled

Big Bend National Park
Last week, at the National Bike Tourism Conference (where we spoke on Far West Texas cycling assets) we ran into our old friends, Russ and Laura of the Path Less Pedaled.  We first met them during their 2010 trip through West Texas, and have been in touch ever since.  They had a great time pedaling through all of our Texas Mountain Trail region, and gave us permission to share highlights and photos of that trip.

Some excerpts:

"Way before we ever reached the border into Texas, we started hearing all sorts of comments about what we would find. The reputation that Texas has gained outside of its borders is really quite extraordinary, and we had no idea what to expect. A bunch of yahoos with shotguns? Pick-up trucks running cyclists off the road? Cranky ranchers eager to kick you off their land? Nope. Just gorgeous wide-open country, amazing vistas, wonderful roads with wide shoulders, and some of the nicest and most accommodating people! Turns out, our foray into West Texas has provided some of the best cycling so far, and fantastic connections with other folks. If you have a chance to come out this way, we highly recommend it. In fact, we think you should consider making it your next vacation destination!"

Starlight Theatre, Terlingua Ghost Town

Big Bend National Park
"There is so much to explore in these parts that you could easily stay for weeks, so we suggest having a lot of time to putter around, or having some sort of rough plan. From Terlingua Ghost Town, we decided to head east into Big Bend National Park. There is a $10 entry fee for cyclists (or buy an annual pass for only $80!), and there are numerous camping spots throughout the park. We opted to head up to Chisos Basin, an utterly breath-taking location in the belly of a ring of mountains. You will hurt if you climb this road on a bicycle, but it will be absolutely worth it when you get to the top and have the chance to experience this amazing spot. Camping is $14 per night, and there is drinking water and a sky full of stars. (Head up the hill to the lodge to dine in the restaurant, explore the visitor center, pick up some supplies at the small store, or just snag a room in the hotel.)"

Cycling into Terlingua

"As we prepare to head out of West Texas toward Hill Country, we’ve been thinking back about how beautiful and wonderful this area has been. It’s a harsh terrain, where water is scarce and you have to plan extremely well because of lack of services. We have battled a lot of wind that whips its way across these open plains. Mostly, we have been stunned by the vistas we have seen and people we have met. Cycling through West Texas feels epic, as if we’ve stumbled upon a part of the US that few people experience (and even fewer know exists!). We have loved out stay in West Texas and hope that other folks will be inspired to head out here for their own adventure (just be sure to carry a lot of water!)."

Catch up with Russ and Laura at their website,
Or follow them on Facebook:
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Read the entire post on their trip through our region here.

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