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Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Big Bend Backroads

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SHANEA

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Big Bend Backroads
« on: February 09, 2006, 10:01:35 PM »
Don't know how long this link will last.  Texas Highways Article.  

http://tinyurl.com/cmug7

http://tinyurl.com/9nepg

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BigBendHiker

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 07:05:40 AM »
Thanks for posting.  Interesting articles!

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chisos_muse

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Back Roads
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 01:36:24 PM »
Yes I would suggest to anyone who has a 4x4 and a sense of adventure to do as many back roads as you can. Lots of purdy things and lil places to explore. Watering holes with lots of animal tracks, Luna's Jacal, Mariscal Mine, etc. The day we drove River Rd was prolly one of the best days of my life. The driver nearly pissed his pants during the t-storm and flash flooding.... (I loved every dang second of it!!!!!)

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Offline Bobcat

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Re: Back Roads
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2006, 02:19:05 PM »
Quote from: "chisos_muse"
Yes I would suggest to anyone who has a 4x4 and a sense of adventure to do as many back roads as you can. Lots of purdy things and lil places to explore. Watering holes with lots of animal tracks, Luna's Jacal, Mariscal Mine, etc. The day we drove River Rd was prolly one of the best days of my life. The driver nearly pissed his pants during the t-storm and flash flooding.... (I loved every dang second of it!!!!!)


Dang nabbit muse.  You're liable to get yourself in big trouble doing such dangerous activities : \ !!!!
Location Location Location

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Offline randell

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 02:41:51 PM »
4x4 is only part of what you need.  You also have to know what you are doing and it's best to have big mud-grip tires.  We barely made it through Glenn Springs Road last September in a Ford Explorer 4x4 with factory tires.  Here is a partial trip report of that incident:

Quote
We came to a few hair-raising descents and I thought we would flip the SUV for sure. Fortunately, we had a guy with us who owns Jeep and uses it all over the place. He refused to drive, but coached me over some nasty rocky-sandy areas. At one point our front tire was up in the air spinning uselessly. Then came the big challenge. It had rained recently and we came to a sideways hill with mud. Somehow I had to go through a muddy hole and to up a hill sideways at the same time. Everyone got out to let me die alone. I plotted a course and went forward in 4-low. Didn't make it. I was instructed to back up. I slid sideways and wound up against an 8 food bush-clogged embankment. I tried to angle my way back more, but I was wedged in. My heart was racing. We did have food and water for a few days, but how long would we have to wait? Had I ruined my rental car? Did I just buy a freaking new car? I asked our 4-wheeling expert to drive. He refused. He kept saying to try to back up more as that was my only way out. I said "screw it" and gunned it. With mud flying everywhere and tires spinning I somehow bounced my way up to out of the hole. I saw a 25 yard stretch of mud coming up next so I just kept going until I was on dry soil. My whole body was shaking I was so nervous. We had almost dorked up our whole trip. The rest of the guys jogged up to the SUV and were celebrating, giving me high-fives. I was just trying to remember how to get tequila out of agave to calm me down.


Full report here:
http://www.zerr.net/blt/template.cfm?id=83&section=1
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline dave2

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4x4
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 04:45:20 PM »
Just a note about all the 4x4 adventures: I've got a Ford Explorer with 4x4 and what I've learned (I'm not real experienced at this sort of driving) is that the 4x4 can take me places where I really didn't want to go. I've almost flipped a number of times, once on a ridge that would have been a REAL hard landing.  So, my humble advice is don't take on more than you're ready for.  On some of those roads, an extra spare and a shovel are required equipment.

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Offline randell

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2006, 04:56:51 PM »
We actually had all of our provisions with us so we could have made it for a few days.  We most likely would have just walked back to the main road if nobody came by.  Safety wasn't really an issue, just getting stuck and screwing up our schedule.

My main concern was that I would damaging the rental!!!

One of these days I'm going to get me a nice jeep and tow it out there to use on the backroads.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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SHANEA

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Soooo,
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2006, 04:58:59 PM »
So, why wouldn't the 4x4 expert take the wheel?  Or, was he just a "back seat driver"?  I guess you didn't end up having to buy it, as we used to say on TDY assingments, "it's a rental".   I remember one time we were on Black Gap going down the steep incline/decline? and we were on top of the camper of an old blue Chevrolet when we decided we didn't like the "angle of things" and hopped off and let the driver take it from there.  Yes, sometimes 4x4 can get you into trouble.  But, then again, I wouldn't have another vehicle w/o 4x4 so that I can get out of trouble that I get into in 2x4.

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Offline RichardM

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4x4s
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2006, 05:01:26 PM »
Best advice I've heard on using a 4x4 is to use it in 2wd until you get stuck, then switch to 4wd to get out of trouble.  Of course, I drive a Toyota Camry, so YMMV.

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Offline randell

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 05:08:18 PM »
We got out fine.  The only damage was I knocked the fender loose in another section of the road.  We fixed it though.  Got the whole thing nice and muddy.  Too bad I was too nervous to think to give the camera to someone to get it on film.  That would have been some sweeet pics.

I think my friend was just afraid he would damage the rental and didn't want to be responsible.  We kept it in 2x4 most of the time.  It was just those muddy spots that sucked.
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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SHANEA

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Re: 4x4s
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2006, 05:12:29 PM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
using a 4x4 is to use it in 2wd until you get stuck,


Acutally, I usually keep it in 4x4 auto to let it make decisions on it's own.  But, if it looks like I'm going to be in a dicey area where I might get stuck, then I'll go ahead and put it in 4x4 HI to make sure I don't get stuck, then rely on 4x4 low should I get stuck.  I'd rather NOT get stuck in the first place, especially in mud - momentium is everything.  Once you lose momentium, your tires will be slick with the mud and 4x4 may not do much good.

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chisos_muse

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Re: Back Roads
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2006, 07:18:40 PM »
Quote from: "Bobcat"

Dang nabbit muse.  You're liable to get yourself in big trouble doing such dangerous activities : \ !!!!



I know Daddy..... :roll:

I'll also say yes it is important to be PREPARED! We also had a rental and had to go through some pretty high water and were VERY lucky! We ran into a couple in a Land Rover from Canada and they told us of a vehicle abandoned on the road ahead a few miles....no room to get around so we turned back and hit that storm. I agree with Randell.....we had provisions and could have hiked it, but it would have sucked to get the dang thing out.....
Next year Mommy's gettin herself a new Jeep with those big @ss mudder's, a 2 inch lift and a winch...then I will tackle the back-back roads again :D

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Anonymous

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2006, 04:47:57 PM »
I've driven the full length of the river road a couple times, black gap, glenn springs, old ore, maverick (in a Nissan 240sx  :shock: ).  Most of the driving in either a 4x4 Ford Ranger or a 4x2 Nissan Frontier.  I must say both trucks are excellent for this type of driving, though I've always been lucky and never had to deal with more than a few damp spots.  I'm not so sure my Nissan pickup could make the Black Gap running North to South.  I think the key is to take it easy, go slow, if you get to a dicey section, just get out, look around, decide exactly where you're gonna place your wheels, have your buddy get out and direct you, etc.

The back roads are very rewarding and if you take the time to explore them, the park will really open up for you.  

oh and this is a great site, glad I found it!  My next trip to BB starts wednesday!

-Brian

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2006, 06:34:12 PM »
i agree with Brian ^
                           
going slow and thinking through things can save your neck in many situations. i've only encountered mud in BB once, and it wasn't bad at all. i'm just lucky i guess  8) though i do enjoy putting my Zj through it's paces  :lol: The road up to the South Colony Lakes in the Sangre de Christo wilderness is the most hair-raising thing i have ever encountered  :twisted: an hour and a half, ~3000 ft of gain, mud, 5 foot boulders, 2 foot drops, and several 3 fot deep creek crossings  :twisted: good thing the only this that was damaged was a fender when i slipped off a boulder :(

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Offline CurtR

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Big Bend Backroads
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2006, 03:24:23 PM »
Where is Luna's Jacal?

 


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