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Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Day 10 – At the Border of Mexico (Presidio, TX)

13 Oct

We spent the majority of the morning taking care of final preparations to cross into Mexico tomorrow.  We shipped a few more items that we though may attract the unnecessary attention of Mexican military and got a small amount of cash in small denominations for food and gas.

Instead of taking the major highways to Presidio, the border town, we took a scenic route through Big Bend National Park.  For lunch, we stopped in a little town called Marathon.  It was in the middle of nowhere with population of 470 people.  At Big Bend, we met a group of British tourists that were touring the US on Harley Davidson motorcycles.  The started their trip in Las Vegas with Dallas, Texas being the final destination.  They were followed by a truck probably full of tools, spare tires, and food.  I wish we had someone that followed us as well. 🙂

After we exited the Big Ben National Park, we rode approximately 70 miles to Presidio.  There was a clear change in the landscape and were riding along the Rio Grande river that separates Mexico from the United States.

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Rio Grande that Separates US and Mexico

We stopped off the road to take pictures and videos while standing 100 feet (30 meters) away from the Mexican border.  On the way, we saw many border patrol cars camouflaged in the bushes.  The road was very windy with many hills and we enjoyed our ride.

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At the Big Bend National Park with Rio Grande in the Background

We stopped at Riata Inn Hotel in Presidio for the night.  The owners were very nice and the accommodations were clean.  For the rest of the evening, we planned our trip for tomorrow and booked the hotel in Creel, Mexico where we plan to spend two days touring the Copper Canyon (approximately 320 miles from Presidio).  We also went through all the documentation we may need at the border and the military check points.  Gintaras and I are a bit concerned about the situation in Chihuahua, which is on the way to Creel,  but we plan to ride through it hoping there will be no drug-lord shoot-outs so we are not caught in the cross fire.

Routes taken: US 385, Highway 170

Miles ridden: 226 miles (364 km)

 
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Day 9 – Approaching the Mexican Border (Fort Stockton, TX)

12 Oct

In the morning, we went to the local post office to mail a few items to lighten our weight.  We mailed approximately 4 lbs, which made our side cases weight about 39 lbs each.

After riding for about 2.5 hours, we stopped in a small town in the middle of nowhere – Roosevelt.  We took a few pictures of the local convenience store/gas station/post office, where we bought some cold water.

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Post Office in Roosevelt, TX

On the way to Fort Stockton (about 150 miles from the border), we saw many windfarms…100s of turbines.  They were massive.  Prior to arriving to our destination for tonight, we almost ran out of gas as the gas stations are more than 30 miles apart.

We arrived to Fort Stockton around 5:30 pm and had dinner at K-Bob’s Steak House.  Prior to returning to hotel, we stopped at a local gas station where we picked up some water and engine oil. We spoke to some locals about the border situation.

Routes taken: US-290 W, I-10 W

Miles ridden: 357 miles (575 km)

 
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Day 8 – Easy Ride (Austin, TX)

11 Oct

As we exited our hotel and started safety checks of our motorcycles, a gentlemen walked up to us and said that last night he went to our website (our side cases have a map of what we are doing with the link).  His name was Ted and he asked us if it were really the two of us who are doing this trip.  We responded that we are the ones.  We gave him the card about our trip and he asked us if we can give him an autograph. Both Gintaras and I signed the card.  Ted recently completed a motorcycle tour across the US from the West to the East coast.  It took him 35 days.  As we got on our motorcycles, Ted took a few more pictures of us with his nice SLR camera.

It took us about 2.5 hours to get to Austin.  Easy ride!  We took the cab to downtown where we enjoyed the city as we wanted to take a break from motorcycles.  Austin is a beautiful town and is home to Texas University in Austin – the largest university in the United States with a student body of over 50,000.

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Congress Avenue, Austin, TX

In the evening, we went through the cases one more time and picked out a few items that are going to be shipped back home first thing tomorrow morning.  At night the rain washed our bikes…

Routes taken: I-10 W, highway 71 W

Miles ridden: 155 miles (249 km)

 
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Day 7 – Good Bye New Orleans – Hello Texas (Houston, TX)

10 Oct

We left New Orleans around 9:30 after performing the daily bike safety checks. For lunch, we stopped at Lake Charles in Louisiana at a cozy restaurant  – Steamboat Bill’s on the Lake.  We ordered the Captain Platter, which had shrimp, oysters, and fish.  We enjoyed the food, and especially the cold drinks as the weather was in the 90s F (+30 C).  We stopped for gas one more time and arrived to Houston at 5:45pm.  We covered good distance today.

We checked in the hotel and ate at a local Japanese restaurant.  The food was ok.  Gintaras and I enjoyed the water the most as it was the best thing on their menu.  Plus it was cold.  After dinner, Gintaras worked on the photos / videos for the website and I worked on attaching the video camera mount on Gintaras’ helmet.  I decided to glue the mount on the helmet as the mount would most likely fall off otherwise as a result of high winds while riding and rain.  It is best to play it safe.  It takes 24 hours for special glue to dry so Gintaras will not be able to use the helmet camera tomorrow until the glue dries completely and “integrates” with the helmet.  Our objective is to finish all the final preparations for our long journey abroad before crossing the border into Mexico.

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Vadim performing the daily exercise – tire pressure check.

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Routes taken: I-10 W

Miles ridden: 368 miles (592 km)