Big Bend Chat

Other Parks of the Big Bend Region => Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A => Topic started by: OldJeepr on January 20, 2010, 06:45:27 PM

Title: Daydreaming
Post by: OldJeepr on January 20, 2010, 06:45:27 PM
We took a quicky one day drive into BBRSP a couple of years ago, mainly just driving the main road to Sauceda and on up toward Solitario.  It was enough to whet my appetite for more, though, unfortunately not my wife's (she is in love with the Chisos Basin).  As the daydream continues, she will be staying in the luxury of the Lodge, where she can dine at her leisure and paint her portraits of the mountains (she is an accomplished artist), while I pursue my passion of driving back roads.  We did this last year, though I didn't venture out of BBNP, and it was one of the most relaxed, enjoyable vacations we have ever had.  And that covers 49 years together, with several trips to BBNP.
Now, the shoals for my dream ship.
Because of the travel time between BBNP and BBRSP, I would expect any meaningful time in BBRSP would require an overnight stay there.  Where would be the best place?  What roads would give me the most 'bang for the buck'?  Do I really need two spare tires?
I'd be carrying 12 gal of extra fuel, but where is the closest place to fill up?  (The CJ7 has the aerodynamics of a brick, and mpg is not one of it's attributes).  If I have to poop in a bag, where do I dump the bag?  Can an old man sleep in a jeep and be able to move in the morning? 
Trying to move daydreams to plans.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: austin gorpchomper on January 22, 2010, 01:02:42 AM
We took a quicky one day drive into BBRSP a couple of years ago, mainly just driving the main road to Sauceda and on up toward Solitario.  It was enough to whet my appetite for more, though, unfortunately not my wife's (she is in love with the Chisos Basin).  As the daydream continues, she will be staying in the luxury of the Lodge, where she can dine at her leisure and paint her portraits of the mountains (she is an accomplished artist), while I pursue my passion of driving back roads.  We did this last year, though I didn't venture out of BBNP, and it was one of the most relaxed, enjoyable vacations we have ever had.  And that covers 49 years together, with several trips to BBNP.
Now, the shoals for my dream ship.
Because of the travel time between BBNP and BBRSP, I would expect any meaningful time in BBRSP would require an overnight stay there.  Where would be the best place?  What roads would give me the most 'bang for the buck'?  Do I really need two spare tires?
I'd be carrying 12 gal of extra fuel, but where is the closest place to fill up?  (The CJ7 has the aerodynamics of a brick, and mpg is not one of it's attributes).  If I have to poop in a bag, where do I dump the bag?  Can an old man sleep in a jeep and be able to move in the morning? 
Trying to move daydreams to plans.

Gas: Presidio
You can stay at the Bunkhouse in Sauceda for $25. Otherwise there are myriad backcountry sites you can access without 2 spare tires.
You can dump the bag (and take a shower for free) at Sauceda. I think the two spare tires are only for the more rugged roads.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: Al on January 22, 2010, 01:16:01 AM
And get ice.  BBRSP is very user friendly.

Al
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: guc126 on January 22, 2010, 03:14:34 PM
The ice is also free! In addition to the bunkhouse you can rent a bedroom for $100/night with a fireplace and queen size bed at the old ranchowner's home "the big house". You can also prepare your own meals at the big house kitchen. The house has 3 bedrooms but according to the staff it is rare that more than 1 br is occupied at a time. Good selling point for your wife. Its an attractive stuccoed adobe home with a lot of tile and very comfortable. Closest gas is about 10miles away at Presidio. Best bang for your buck 1 spare road might be the high clearance rated road into the solitario. The park rangers/ranch workers are excellent sources of information and country friendly.  Yes, very user friendly.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: OldJeepr on January 22, 2010, 08:51:50 PM
Thanks for the replys.  This daydream is really in the early, early planning stages.
First, there is no way my wife is going to be a part of the BBRSP adventure.  She definitely does not share my enthusiasm for back roads, and, although the Big House sounds great, the 'you can fix your own meals' part would be a huge spike in the coffin.  She would most definitely be staying in the Lodge at BBNP, at her choice.
Tentative plans, so far, would be for my son to come with me to run the back roads.  He has a Jeep Cherokee, lifted, running 33" tires, and mine is an old CJ7, also lifted, running 32x10.50 tires.  Our pleasure comes from meeting the challenges of the back roads and being able to see things not necessarily accessible to everyone.  Both Jeeps are well set up, including winches, sway-bar disconnects for rough terrain, and all the necessary emergency equipment.  We don't have a problem carrying an extra spare, just wondering if this was really necessary or just a (I'm trying to be polite here) CYA by the Park Service.  We don't have a problem with spending the night out in the back country, though a bed and shower in the Bunkhouse is an attractive option.
My concerns right now are that I haven't seen much real info on the roads or what is there.  Gotta get some better maps.  The downloaded map is straining my bifocals.  I guess what I am asking is, if you had a couple of days to drive around, where would you go with 4wd-hi clearance vehicles?  Short hikes are optional (I'm too old and decrepit for the long ones now).
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: guc126 on January 22, 2010, 10:00:03 PM
With those rigs you and jr have just about anywhere is accessible. That extra spare will bring some peace of mind if you drive extensively on the unmaintained roads. Tell your darling you can still get your 3 squares at the bunkhouse. If your up to it try heading out to the newly opened northeast section, the Cienega mountains. tell us about it.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: txhiker on January 22, 2010, 10:11:17 PM
Other than suggesting you read http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_0152k.pdf (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_p4501_0152k.pdf) a guide to unmainted roads in BBRSP, I can't add anything. It is a good link in case you haven't read it.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: Al on January 22, 2010, 10:28:09 PM
Here's the deal.  When BBRSP says a road is 4 wheel drive, believe them.  One of my Big Bend camping buds rented a 4 wheel drive SUV and did the park.  He lost 3 tires probably because he was driving too fast.  There are areas of the park where the roads are constructed in volcanic or igneous rock which is real hard and if broken, really really sharp.  Drive slowly and carefully down the back roads and you will probably be OK.  But there might be a rough climb or two in the back country where you can't help but spin your tires.  If you are real good with plugs and have an air compressor you may not have to change a tire.  But then again, remember how remote you are.

Al
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: austin gorpchomper on January 23, 2010, 08:47:42 PM
Remember, this isn't the NPS but TPWD; they don't seem quite as much in the CYA vein. And there really aren't any "better" maps; all the roads are old ranch roads, some not maintained in decades, some fairly regularly. In addition to the sharp knife-like rocks pointing up in the roads, you will frequently be driving over/around/really close to mesquite, ocotillo, and a trillion other succulents that will make short shrift of your sidewalls not to mention paint job.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: Al on January 23, 2010, 09:29:31 PM
For sure.  Potentially heavy pinstripping is unavoidable even down some of the 2-wheel drive back roads.  A couple of years ago, there was a brand new Toyota Tundra that had just come back to Sauceda.  Apparently the truck owner's bud had talked him into bringing his brand new truck to the ranch.  It was scratched to hell.  He was pissed!  Anyway, figure on it.  To me, pinstripping is proof a truck is being properly used.

Al
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: guc126 on January 24, 2010, 12:58:16 AM
Potentially heavy pinstripping is unavoidable even down some of the 2-wheel drive back roads. 
my tundra met the same fate on the 2wd back roads.
He was pissed! 
no sir! I was ecstatic!
  To me, pinstripping is proof a truck is being properly used.
bbrsp pinstripping = character marks, fond memories
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: jeffblaylock on January 24, 2010, 02:24:55 AM
I bought a new pickup truck 10 years ago yesterday. Within weeks, I'd driven it out to GUMO and taken it on the Williams Ranch Road. There was a large agave growing right beside the road, so I drove her into it, producing a long scratch completely down one side. That took care of worrying about her getting scratched. Now she had character!

(http://www.jeffblaylock.com/window/photos/0814.jpg)
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: 04LJ on January 24, 2010, 07:25:58 AM
Are you running real off-road tires or walmart trying to look cool AT's? Having the right equipment will drastically eliminate problems. this not an area for thin side walled street tires. with the exception of the tires , straps are about all you'll really need since you'll have a buddy rig along.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: dkerr24 on January 24, 2010, 09:49:19 AM
Are you running real off-road tires or walmart trying to look cool AT's? Having the right equipment will drastically eliminate problems. this not an area for thin side walled street tires. with the exception of the tires , straps are about all you'll really need since you'll have a buddy rig along.

lol !  ...   I call the 'WalMart trying to look cool ATs' - 'Dummer H2/H3 with 20s'.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: OldJeepr on January 24, 2010, 10:35:33 AM
Well, the pinstriping won't be a problem  The old clear coat finish is peeling and giving a 'desert camo' effect, so some additional stripes will just add to the character.  Just have to be careful not to pinstrip myself, as I prefer to run without top and doors (just a bikini top for some shade).  Hard to beat the open air feel - hear more, see more, smell more.
The tires are BFG Mud AT with heavy sidewalls.  They're getting a little worn, so will probably put some new shoes on before the trip.  I'm looking seriously at some with Kevlar sidewall reinforcement (they're just a few bucks more).  An extra wheel, and the two spare thing is covered.  I carry a heavy duty plug kit and a couple cans of fix-a-flat.  Right now, I have a cheapo air compressor, which would take a long time to air up those tires, so will probably upgrade.
If nothing else, old age has taught me to be more cautious.  In my younger days I would have been anxious to cover a lot of ground, but now I enjoy a slower pace.  Last year at BBNP, I drove the length of Old Ore Road in 4 Lo.  Not because I had to, but it was great to just idle along and soak up the atmosphere.  Because of scheduling problems, we probably won't be able to get there until mid-may, early June (hottest time, rainy season?), so we'll have to take that into consideration when planning routes.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: 04LJ on January 24, 2010, 07:50:23 PM
Are you running real off-road tires or walmart trying to look cool AT's? Having the right equipment will drastically eliminate problems. this not an area for thin side walled street tires. with the exception of the tires , straps are about all you'll really need since you'll have a buddy rig along.

lol !  ...   I call the 'WalMart trying to look cool ATs' - 'Dummer H2/H3 with 20s'.
:vomit: there are NO tire/wheel combo's to make one of those cool. :eusa_snooty:
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: 01ACRViper on January 28, 2010, 09:00:11 PM
Because of scheduling problems, we probably won't be able to get there until mid-may, early June (hottest time, rainy season?), so we'll have to take that into consideration when planning routes.

late may/early june will be hot, almost the hottest time of the year. rain won't start until august.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: RichardM on January 28, 2010, 09:03:30 PM
Because of scheduling problems, we probably won't be able to get there until mid-may, early June (hottest time, rainy season?), so we'll have to take that into consideration when planning routes.
late may/early june will be hot, almost the hottest time of the year. rain won't start until august.
Expect daytime temps in the desert to get well over 100 in May and June. Wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, and plenty of fluids are an absolute necessity at that time of year.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: OldJeepr on April 30, 2010, 05:04:45 PM
I am now, officially, a kid with his nose pressed against the glass of the candy store window.  The Jeep is ready!  New tires, extra spare mounted, carburetor replaced, engine tuned, jerry cans and hi-lift jack on the rack, extra water container in place, dash cam ready .....  And 31 days of waiting ahead of me!  The Sirens of BBNP and BBRSP are singing their seductive songs. 
Still haven't nailed down the itinerary, but the planning is part of the fun.  So many roads, so little time.
Title: Re: Daydreaming
Post by: homerboy2u on April 30, 2010, 06:33:22 PM
  So many roads, so little time.

 Ah, to read this and share a tear in front of the screen...so true. :beer_chug: