November 12, 2012
Two of Adventure Cycling's final tours for 2012, the inaugural trips for the Big Bend Loop van-supported tour, just wrapped up. For the first trip, I was lucky enough to fill the shoes as co-leader alongside veteran Southern Tier leader, Dave Points.
The 9-day tour in far west Texas consisted of top-notch road riding on quiet, lightly trafficked roads, excellent camping (and two nights spent indoors), and some truly world-class scenery, both in and outside of the national park.
Dave and I met a few members of the group in El Paso on the morning of day one, and we left the bustling city for the three and a half hour drive to Fort Davis, our trailhead for the tour. After arriving at Stone Village Tourist Camp in Fort Davis, we met the rest of our group, who had elected to drive their own vehicles. We held an introductory meeting, went over the route for the following day and then walked down the street for a buffet dinner at a local Tex-Mex eatery. On Sunday morning, the group departed Fort Davis, riding on a beautiful stretch of the Southern Tier Bicycle Route to Marathon, our oasis for the night. Several riders made a mid-day stop in Alpine for a tasty treat at Bread & Breakfast, the local bakery and cinnamon roll haven.
The following week of cycling took us through the grandiose Big Bend National Park, the lively, still-inhabited ghost town of Terlingua, along the scenic River Road through Big Bend Ranch State Park to the border town of Presidio, and on to the groovy town of Marfa, our last night’s camping location. We had some extraordinary camping on the trip, including one campsite right near the banks of the Rio Grande and another in Chisos Basin -- where a hike to see The Window is not to be missed!
If you’re looking for a spring or late fall cycling adventure and some serious scenery, then look no further. We are offering the Big Bend Loop tour three times in 2013:
Big Bend Loop I, April 1-9, 2013
Big Bend Loop II, October 19-27, 2013
Big Bend Loop III, November 2-10, 2013
Photos by Paul Hansbarger
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team -- Mo, Paul, Madeline, and Arlen -- tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's tours Department. Check out our 2013 Tours!