Saturday, March 11, 2006

Big Bend—Black Gap Road …

After the relief of getting Lee’s DRZ working again, we continued north up Black Gap road. We came to the much vaunted “killer” downhill. It’s a narrow section with high rock walls and a blind curve near the bottom.

We stopped about 30 feet from the curve and Lee walked down to take a look. He walked back saying something that sounded like, “ … no problem …” He mounted the DRZ and disappeared around the corner.

Without taking a look, I fired up the Beemer and eased downhill. There was a bit of roughness, then a gap and a sharp drop to some rocks set in concrete. I swung my weight back and hit the gas as the nose dipped, and then was through it. I thought, “Well that wasn’t much.”

A short while further on, the road climbed in a right-hand curve, and we rode straight into it. I found myself hitting rougher and rougher terrain, and having to increase speed and commit strongly to my line without having any moment to check what lay ahead. The right side of the trail seemed rougher, and there was a nasty rock and cactus-filled ravine on that side too, which may have influenced my decision to stay left.

Suddenly, the left side started getting rockier , and I had to get really hard on the throttle and go up on the banked left wall. I remember thinking, “I hope I don’t hit something that bounces me off to the right, or that’s really gonna hurt.”

The bank didn’t get rougher, and the GS and I didn’t get spit off the cliff. Here’s what it looked like.

Next, we took pavement to the Chisos Basin lodge for lunch. Nice views…

After that, a long, boring loop through the north end of the park, and Terlingua ranch road. Then, Terlingua, showers, and the Starlight Theater.

Tomorrow—Old Ore Road, or “The Sand Trap”

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