Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

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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Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice

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Offline presidio

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2007, 05:35:28 PM »
Check with the Rangers about Old Maverick Road when you get there.  They've been listing it as 4WD only.

Given their overly conservative ratings of road conditions, that probably means you will have to slow your sedan down to 40. And, since they will have scared off all the other sedan drivers, you will have the road to yourself.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline East Texan

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2007, 05:51:35 PM »
Thanks guys.  Your experience and advice are going to make my trip much better than if I had just showed up there.  This chat site is awesome along with all the members.

I can't believe it's still a month before I go.  In the meantime, I will explore this site and fly over the park on Google Earth.

I'll keep a journal and post my trip when I return as an official bender  :icon_lol:

 :photoflash:

Friends don't let friends shoot JPEGs

If it doesn't stick you, sting you, or bite you, then it must be a rock.

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Offline Roy

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2007, 06:40:05 PM »
Check with the Rangers about Old Maverick Road when you get there.  They've been listing it as 4WD only.

Given their overly conservative ratings of road conditions, that probably means you will have to slow your sedan down to 40. And, since they will have scared off all the other sedan drivers, you will have the road to yourself.

Usually I'd agree.  However, when I was there 3 weeks ago, the operative term was "swamp".  Don't know if it's dried out yet.

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007, 06:51:08 PM »
Get going at least an hour before sunrise;  check the park's Daily Report for the time.

In case you are not familiar with the park's Daily Report, you might want to check it out.  It contains useful, helpful, and sometimes necessary information.  The parks service posts them up at Panther Junction, The Basin, Rio Grande Village and Castolon.  It can also be accessed through the park web site.

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Offline MarkB

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2007, 08:39:07 PM »
Thanks guys.  Your experience and advice are going to make my trip much better than if I had just showed up there.  This chat site is awesome along with all the members.

I can't believe it's still a month before I go.  In the meantime, I will explore this site and fly over the park on Google Earth.

I'll keep a journal and post my trip when I return as an official bender  :icon_lol:

 :photoflash:


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Welcome to the board! There is an incredible amount of good advice here; take the time to explore the posts, etc. Feel free to also review the nearly 1000 photos of the bend and area over at the following website: http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos.  Many members of this chat board  are also members of the MSN group ( by the way special welcome to Big Bend Ambassador ShaneA for recently joining) Membership is free, open to the general public and you may post as many photos as you wish up to your hotmail or net passport limit which can be from about 50 photos to hundreds of photos if you have the extended hotmail acct. Enjoy your first time in the Bend. I have been going there for more than 20 years and each visit is a unique experience. Beware however it may become a habit that you must  visit on a regular basis if you get  hooked by the Spirit of the Bend; she is a charmer!
--Mark 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 08:58:44 PM by RichardM »

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Offline East Texan

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 04:43:46 PM »
17 days to go until I make my first entry into BiBe1.  I should get a merit badge for reading every post on this board - some twice.  I'm geared up and ready.  Just got a 40 gig portable drive to unload my camera chips. For a photographer running out of memory is almost as bad as running out of water.
Stand-by!  Lots of pics in a few more weeks.

 :eusa_dance:
Friends don't let friends shoot JPEGs

If it doesn't stick you, sting you, or bite you, then it must be a rock.

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Offline riverrat

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 07:21:36 PM »
Check with the Rangers about Old Maverick Road when you get there.  They've been listing it as 4WD only.

Given their overly conservative ratings of road conditions, that probably means you will have to slow your sedan down to 40. And, since they will have scared off all the other sedan drivers, you will have the road to yourself.

Usually I'd agree.  However, when I was there 3 weeks ago, the operative term was "swamp".  Don't know if it's dried out yet.

 Better late than never but unless it has rained again, OMR should be drivable. When we were there at New Years we drove it without any problems other than a couple of screws jarring loose from the dashboard. :icon_rolleyes: We passed one van that had to be going all of 5 MPH and then while we were at Luna's jacal, there had to have been at least 6 vehicles FLY by.

Geez louiz people, slow down and enjoy the scenery! The road does not get smoother the faster you go.
Living so close to paradise, it is unbelievable.

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Offline STARLITDARKNESS3

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2008, 03:22:27 PM »
We passed one van that had to be going all of 5 MPH and then while we were at Luna's jacal, there had to have been at least 6 vehicles FLY by.

Geez louiz people, slow down and enjoy the scenery! The road does not get smoother the faster you go.

Actually... 

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode58

http://www.drivl.com/myths/

But...  I totally agree riverrat, slow down and enjoy.   :icon_smile:
"Are we there yet?"  ... by my Kids

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Offline riverrat

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2008, 01:07:09 PM »
Leave it to the Mythbusters (i love that show!!) to prove me wrong...

I guess those that flew by had seen that particular show  :icon_wink: .

Living so close to paradise, it is unbelievable.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2008, 01:39:57 PM »
The road does not get smoother the faster you go.

Perhaps not the faster you go, though that often is the case. More properly, a washboard road WILL feel noticeably smoother when you find the speed that allows your suspension to match the harmonic of the bumps. Instead of bouncing to the bottom and top of each ridge and trough, or hitting the top of one and maybe the bottom of the 2nd or 3rd one, you find a speed that essentially lets you clip the tops of the ridges, thus significantly smoothing out the ride.

Is is harder on a suspension? I don't know. But, intuitively, it seems that by consistently clipping the high points you actually are minimizing the suspension travel and that should translate into less overall stress. There's a lot of unsprung mass in tires and wheels, compounded by the gyroscopic effect of rotation, and controlling that takes a huge amount of dampening control in the suspension components, which means things will wear out faster.

I once was on a gravel road that was posted (one of those unpaved county roads) as 15 mph. It was so badly washboarded the vibrations in the vehicle were incredible at that speed; everything not secured was bouncing around. Since there was no other traffic in sight, I found that 40 mph achieved a level of smoothness that was remarkable. Below that, there was no speed at which your fillings weren't shaking out, even down to 5 mph (though being stopped was VERY smooth  :rolling:).
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline aggiehiker

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Re: Newbie's First Trip - Needs Advice
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2008, 03:38:56 PM »
There's a lot of unsprung mass in tires and wheels, compounded by the gyroscopic effect of rotation, and controlling that takes a huge amount of dampening control in the suspension components, which means things will wear out faster.

Uh, yeah, what he said.

 


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