Big Bend Chat

Big Bend or Bust! => The West Texas Fandango (aka Road Trip) => Topic started by: Hollidaydriver on June 20, 2007, 03:06:00 PM

Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Hollidaydriver on June 20, 2007, 03:06:00 PM
After a 2-day Big Bend visit, we are leaving for San Antonio with a night stop in Sonara.
On the forum the i-10 seems the fastest way driving to Sonora, but is the 90 and up the 277 not worth driving?
Strange Question maybe, but  i'm from Europe and are speed limits in Texas (which is a Big State) often checked by the police as in Belgium? Meaning, we have rather strickt speed limits and the fines are heavy!
Thanks
  :wink:
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: The Scorpion on June 20, 2007, 03:10:54 PM
I-10 is faster, but the 90 to 277 should be a lot prettier. I have driven both ways and love the scenery along hwy 90, but I love how fast you can drive on I-10. just stick to the posted speed limit and you will be fine ( a few mph over should not be a problem)

they do check speed with radar but probablly not like what you are used to. its a vast empty place you are going to and its hard to patroll all of it all the time.

James
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Hoodoo on June 20, 2007, 04:12:34 PM
Welcome Hollidaydriver,
I too would recommend Highway 90/277 for the more interesting things along the way. You can stop and stretch your legs at the Judge Roy Beanís visitor center in Langtry.

http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Texas_ghost_towns/Langtry_Texas/Langtry_Texas.htm

If you have time you could also visit the Seminole Canyon State Park west of Comstock.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/seminole_canyon/

Also, if you are spending any time in Sonora the next day you could visit the Sonora Caverns.

http://www.cavernsofsonora.com/

I am sure there are other points of interest as well but those immediately came to mind.

Hoodoo
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: jeffblaylock on June 20, 2007, 05:07:26 PM
The US 90 route is more scenic, but there is one thing I-10's got that makes it my preferred route to and from the Bend:

(http://www.jeffblaylock.com/window/photos/0936.jpg)

That's miles per hour. According to the Internet, that's 129 kilometers per hour. And as jamesb said, it's vast, wide-open country. The rare highway patrolman (usually around Ozona) can be seen from a long way away.
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Hollidaydriver on June 20, 2007, 05:22:59 PM
Many thkx for your nice replies.

Est. driving time by gps and road maps from the park to Sonora, by the I-10 are about 6 hours drive?
Is that close to reality and what about the more scenic route by the hwy 90 (which I prefer)?

May I also add that this forum is a great place for looking up matters that not can be found in the "usual" tourist books.

Greetz from Belgium

Hollidaydriver
Title: PRB
Post by: SHANEA on June 20, 2007, 05:29:41 PM
Quote from: "Hoodoo"
Welcome Hollidaydriver, I am sure there are other points of interest as well but those immediately came to mind.
Hoodoo


10-4 to those Hoodoo.

Be sure and stop at the Pecos River Bridge.

Of course, another advantage of I-10 over Hwy90 is the lack of DHS CBB checkpoint Charlie stations.  If I recall correctly, you'd stop for 2? of them.  385 leaving BIBE, going north on 277 out of Del Rio.  I can't remember if the one West of Del Rio is for East or West bound traffic.  Never the mind, I'd take Hwy90.
Title: Re: PRB
Post by: badknees on June 20, 2007, 07:27:29 PM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "Hoodoo"
Welcome Hollidaydriver, I am sure there are other points of interest as well but those immediately came to mind.
Hoodoo


10-4 to those Hoodoo.

Be sure and stop at the Pecos River Bridge.

Of course, another advantage of I-10 over Hwy90 is the lack of DHS CBB checkpoint Charlie stations.  If I recall correctly, you'd stop for 2? of them.  385 leaving BIBE, going north on 277 out of Del Rio.  I can't remember if the one West of Del Rio is for East or West bound traffic.  Never the mind, I'd take Hwy90.



The one East of Del Rio is for eastbound traffic, and the one West of Del Rio is for westbound traffic.

Lots of truck traffic (ex Mexico) moving eastbound from Del Rio
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on June 21, 2007, 07:01:36 AM
Holidaydriver - if your not a US Citizen be aware that you will have to stop at immigration checkpoint(s) coming back from the Park and they will ask you about your citizenship etc..   In other words it might be a good idea to have your passport ready and DO NOT cross into Mexico along the River.  It's easy to get across but if you get caught coming back it could be very expensive $$ and a lot of extra trouble.    I don't think you are required to have your passport at the checkpoints but it might make things faster and simplier.
If you take the I-10 route (which I recommend) you will only stop at one checkpoint slightly south of Marathon.  If you take the Hwy 90 route I think you will stop at 2 of them?
I would take the faster I-10 route and get to Sonora in time for a Cave Trip.   You can't drive as fast on Hwy 90 as you can on I-10 and I think I-10 is safer (esp. at night) as a primary danger out there is deer standing on the road or running in front of your car going 85 mph.   Ka-Pow is the sound the deer makes as it comes through your front windshield! ... TWWG
Title: Re: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: badknees on June 21, 2007, 07:39:44 AM
Quote from: "Hollidaydriver"
After a 2-day Big Bend visit, we are leaving for San Antonio with a night stop in Sonara.
On the forum the i-10 seems the fastest way driving to Sonora, but is the 90 and up the 277 not worth driving?
Strange Question maybe, but  i'm from Europe and are speed limits in Texas (which is a Big State) often checked by the police as in Belgium? Meaning, we have rather strickt speed limits and the fines are heavy!
Thanks
  :wink:



Reality -

San Antonio via Hwy 90 (depending on where in SA) - to the Basin
415 miles - 7:37 minutes - Avg speed 54 mph
This was done at night with stops for gas and drive-thru food in Del Rio

The Basin to San Antonio via I-10
457 miles - 6:58 minutes - Avg speed 65 mph
This was done in the daytime with stops for gas in Junction
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Hollidaydriver on June 21, 2007, 07:40:08 AM
Ok. :idea:

I was a little bit confused about what Shanea wrote about DHS CBB checkpoint Charlie stations.

If I understand correctly it's a border patrol checkpoint (like in Three Burials with TL Jones).
No problem with that, because to visit to the USA from Europe,you're checked more than a few times.
Is it a full check of the car or only the persons?

The only animals that we hit on the road in Belgium are rats, rabbits, frogs.
So no thank you for the Ka-Pow sound of the deer!

Hollidaydriver
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: badknees on June 21, 2007, 07:52:04 AM
Quote from: "Hollidaydriver"
Ok. :idea:

Is it a full check of the car or only the persons?


Hollidaydriver


Typical check is usually limited to 1 or 2 questions.... "Are you an American citizen?,  and have you been in Mexico?" In your case they may or may not ask you for some ID when you answer no to the first one. I would suggest you avoid going to Mexico if possible because that makes question #2 more complicated.

DO NOT CROSS INTO MEXICO ANYWHERE EXCEPT A LEGAL CROSSING

I would carry your passport and landing card

Unless there is some suspicion on the part of the Border Patrol agent at the checkpoint, searches are not typical.

Time at the checkpoint should be about 30 seconds
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on June 21, 2007, 09:18:45 AM
Quote from: "Hollidaydriver"
Est. driving time by gps and road maps from the park to Sonora, by the I-10 are about 6 hours drive?
Is that close to reality and what about the more scenic route by the hwy 90 (which I prefer)?

http://local.live.com/ says it's 267.5 miles from Panther Junction to Sonora via Fort Stockton and I-10.  It takes about 75 minutes to get to Marathon (remember the speed limit is 45mph in the park), then another 45 or so to get to Fort Stockton.  Sonora is about two hours or so from there so you're looking at 4 to 4.5 hours.  Going on 90 adds a bit more distance, especially if you go all the way to Del Rio.  I've only taken 90 once, and that was coming from San Antonio.  I'd guess it'd take close to 2.5 hours to get to Dryden from Panther Junction, then another 2 to 2.5 hours to Sonora if you head North on SR349/RR1217 up to I-10.  If you continue on to Del Rio, it's about 90 minutes from Dryden.  Sonora from Del Rio is another 80-90 minutes.

Of course, these times don't include any stops.  If you go 90, visiting the Jersey Lilly (Judge Roy Bean's bar) in Langtry is recommended.

As far as highway patrol goes, the state troopers used to hang out just outside of Sonora, so mind your speed coming into town.  Got a ticket there back in 2000 on the way to the park.  He didn't buy my excuse that we were trying to get to Fort Stockton for lunch at Sarah's Cafe before they closed.  Unfortunately, I think they're closed for good now. :(
Title: Unless
Post by: SHANEA on June 21, 2007, 12:51:38 PM
Quote from: "badknees"
Time at the checkpoint should be about 30 seconds


Unless you are with Randell and ShaneA and they keep wanting to know why you are going home to Houston viai. Del Rio and Junction.   The DHS CBP agent just could not understand the "sightseeing" concept of it that we'd never been that route before.  Finally let us go, but we were "badgered" about it.  No search, no document check, etc.  

When on I-10 East of San Antonio, be sure and stop and Buckees for some great beef Jerky and the cleanest public restrooms I've ever seen.  Great BBQ place in Junction too on the north side of I-10, don't recall the name - I'll ping Randelll...  

Speaking of Buckees, someone needs to build one on 59 between Houston and Nacogdoches and another one on I-20 between Tyler and Dallas.
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: badknees on June 21, 2007, 01:21:50 PM
You guys probably have the "I'm doing something wrong" look
Title: Re: Unless
Post by: RichardM on June 21, 2007, 02:01:51 PM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
When on I-10 East of San Antonio, be sure and stop and Buckees for some great beef Jerky and the cleanest public restrooms I've ever seen.  Great BBQ place in Junction too on the north side of I-10, don't recall the name - I'll ping Randelll...

Or you could just check your trip report (http://www.bigbendchat.com/viewtopic.php?p=30486#30486) to refresh your memory. :roll:
Quote from: "randell"
Coopers BBQ is the place in Junction.

While you're in Sonora, check out Lacayo's Cajuns of New Orleans restaurant recommended by 10ftTall&BulletPrf (http://www.bigbendchat.com/viewtopic.php?p=5577#5577) (assuming they're still in business and haven't moved back to Louisiana).
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Boojum1 on June 21, 2007, 03:59:18 PM
Belgium?

I hope you can tolerate our beer.  Just drink it very cold.
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on June 21, 2007, 04:25:03 PM
Be sure to try some "Lone Star Beer" the "National Beer of Texas".   Better stock up before you get to the Park though - the selection at the Basin Store is very limited and a bit pricey.
My last trip to the Park I left the Basin at 4:30 am and got pulled over at about 5:15 am by the Boarder Patrol outside the Park near the Stillwell Crossing.   After a few questions I was able to go on to the checkpoint near Marathon around 6 am.  A few more questions and a quick sniff with the drug dog and I was on the road home.
It is generally appreciated if you turn on your interior lights as you pull up to the checkpoint.  Put your vehicle in Park, and don't make any sudden moves or have anything large hidden underneath tarps or blankets.  
Generally there are 3 agents, one will talk to you and ask you questions while another one walks around looking into and underneath your vehicle and the third one stands off on the front passenger side ready to shoot you if he has to.    I don't blame them a bit, I just try to make it easy for them and it's usually obvious that I have been in the Park for long enough to turn my well-organized and packed vehicle into a chaotic mess of dirty clothes, wet gear, boxes, and empty cans.    I always leave the BBNP entry permit receipt on the windshield until after I have passed through the checkpoint.  It helps validate my claim that I am a hiker and not a human smuggler or drug runner, they probably never pay the entry permit..... TWWG
Title: That was a secret...
Post by: SHANEA on June 21, 2007, 06:46:31 PM
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
I always leave the BBNP entry permit receipt on the windshield until after I have passed through the checkpoint.  It helps validate my claim that I am a hiker and not a human smuggler or drug runner, they probably never pay the entry permit..... TWWG


That was my secret too.  Now, you've alerted all the drug running human smugglers to this trick and from now on they will pay their entry fee...  and those that don't have a permit will be waved through.
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Hollidaydriver on June 22, 2007, 03:33:34 AM
The beer in your country is no problem  :roll:

Been a few times on hollidays in the USA (midwest & florida) and Canada.
First drill when we arrive from the airport is to look for a good supermarket, to buy a foam cooler and a few rack's Bud.
The wife like's more a white wine, so we also need to go to the liquor store.
Bit confusing for us visiting 2 different store's for a drink.
More confusing is the different laws in every state, but that's another subject.

Tried some of the local beers in your country and at the end of the day always go back to Bud's.
I'll be glad to try "the Lone Star Beer" (what's a forum for)

Always had the cooler on the 2e row in the car, never had any check's by the police!
Think I'll  now put my drinks in the back of the car, due to the fact of poss. controle of the vehicle.

Now w're used in Belgium at regular bases of (most week-ends) alcohol and anti-theft actions.
That's a full check of the car (documents and persons),  with a drug dog. One thing they sometimes check is the fire extinguisher and of course always wearing the safety-belt.

So back to the topic now.
Think we take an early start an go for Hwy90 to Sonora.
Visit all the things i've seen on the forum, go back via the I-10 to BIBE and than return to see everything i've missed along the way!!!!

ps. Anybody tried our famous DUVEL- beer ? :twisted:
     Maybe I'll put my boarding card on the windshield
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkBgYosctnw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDq0t_5GqlU
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on June 22, 2007, 08:28:49 AM
If you're gonna drink US beer, do yourself a favor and try a Fat Tire Amber Ale.  Shiner Bock is one of the local Texas standards and my default choice.  Or since you're near Mexico, maybe a Dos Equis or Negro Modelo.  All are sold at the Chisos Basin lodge restaurant.

Sad to say, most Americans don't have fire extinguishers in their cars (myself included).  :oops:  I'd be very surprised if rental cars have them.
Title: Way out of Big Bend
Post by: Boojum1 on June 22, 2007, 04:25:11 PM
The proper drinking temperature for LS is 32.1 degrees.   Have not tried Duvel, but I'll look for it.  Belgium is one of the few European countries I would even consider visiting....because of the beer, mostly.  Bud will work as a mass quantity brew.  There are some decent Texas white wines you might try...not really knowledgable about recommendations though.

Have a safe trip.