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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:23 pm 
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big hucker
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I plan to participate in group bikepacking trip along the Caprock Canyon Trailway in April.

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The trail is about 65 miles each way; but, the group plans to keep a casual pace at 30-40 miles per day. Google image search shows some beautiful scenery along the way.

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I'll post more photos/info as things move along.

Any other Texans want to go along? :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:13 pm 
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big hucker
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Did some test packing today.


This is pretty much everything I'm bringing except for tubes and tools. The long pants and LS shirt in the bottom right were replaced with leg warmers and arm warmers.

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Sleeping bag, bag liner, air mattress, self-inflating pillow.

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Extra clothing.

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Solar panel (four days without reliable AC).

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Tent, poles, & footprint in handlebar harness.

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Food, rain gear, cooking stuff in frame bag.

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Misc in hydropack.

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Power block and cables will go in top tube bag.

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All packed up.

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I'll probably put the Anything cages on the fork and strap the camp shoes in there.

Fully-loaded shakedown ride sometime in the next week.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:38 am 
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flirting kitty
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SUBSCRIBED!!!

How much weight is all of that stuff?

Did I see a water purifier in your stuff or are there supply stops along the way?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:41 am 
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big hucker
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I'm afraid to weigh it. :lol:

No water purifier. There will be a couple of towns along the trail and I don't believe there are any reliable natural water sources. It's an out-and-back trail and we're placing a water stash about 2/3 of the way out.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:47 am 
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big hucker
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If all goes well, updates should start appearing on Friday afternoon...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:52 am 
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big hucker
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If possible, I'll try to post some small photos along the way. Full write up will be sometime next week...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:06 pm 
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big hucker
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Rest area signs in the Texas pan handle...

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On the way to Caprock Canyons SP for a night of car camping.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:03 pm 
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bikini loving kitty!
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^ saw one of them signs down near the PA border. Thought it was a joke till I read all then info on it.

Hope they stay far from you


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:19 am 
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big hucker
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Little bit windy...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:01 am 
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big hucker
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What a fucking beating. That was the toughest 32 miles I've ever ridden. Almost ran out of water, leg cramps galore. Made it to Turkey and we're camping in the back yard of the Turkey Hotel.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:11 am 
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friendly kitty
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The tracking software is pretty nice! The ride may not be, but after it is over (maybe several weeks), you will be happy about it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:49 pm 
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big hucker
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Campsite for the night.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:16 am 
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friendly kitty
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Subscribing.
MiniTrail wrote:
^ saw one of them signs down near the PA border. Thought it was a joke till I read all then info on it.

Don't fret the rattlers in PA too much. I'm a Western NY native that's lived in East-PA for the last 15 years. In all of my backwoods, sun-baked rocky riding adventures, I've seen plenty of black bears, but never once have I encountered a timber rattlesnake. A dude in western-PA (hiker) died from a timber rattler strike last year. It was the first time in over 25 years that there at been a venom-attributed fatality in PA.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:50 pm 
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big hucker
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Several people decided to drop out and get a ride back to the start. The wife of one of the continuing riders volunteered to drive a support vehicle for us. So, we offloaded some stuff from the bikes and headed back to the start. Long day. Camping tonight and will head home in the morning.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:55 am 
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friendly kitty
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And from a local reader, the weather has turned to shit out west where Marp is at. Multiple warned severe thunderstorms with what looks to be hail cores (confirmed by his video posted else where). Definitely not a good night to be camping or on a bike. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:00 pm 
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big hucker
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southsideguy wrote:
And from a local reader, the weather has turned to shit out west where Marp is at. Multiple warned severe thunderstorms with what looks to be hail cores (confirmed by his video posted else where). Definitely not a good night to be camping or on a bike. :(

We made it back to the cars by the time the hail came and were safe. :) Full report being typed up now. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:43 pm 
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big hucker
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DAY 1

Load up the car and head out for the five hour drive to Caprock Canyons State Park.

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Rest stop sign along the way.

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Arrive at the SP office and get my campsite. Notice how windy it is? ;)

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Bison roam around the SP grounds. They're frickin' huge!

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Drive out to Monk's Crossing to hide the water cache. I included a package of lemon Oreo cookies in the cache, also. How do you carry five gallons of water down a trail? Like a boss. That's how. :D

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Drive back to the SP and roam around taking photos.

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Prairie dogs didn't like my bike.




All set up.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:00 pm 
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big hucker
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DAY 2


While cooking breakfast, the bison herd wandered down the road and through the campsites.

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Convoy out to the Estelline trailhead (two more cars behind me).

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Setting up for the ride. Destination for the first day is Turkey, TX.

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The terrain varied widely between Estelline and Turkey. The grass patched portions were really rough on a loaded rigid bike. Some areas it was like riding through a field for miles.

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I didn't drink or eat enough during this part of the ride and when we arrived at Turkey I was dizzy and disoriented. I made my way to the gas station and loaded up on Gatorade, water, and whatever food I thought I could keep down. Thinking about it later, I remembered that I was running slime-filled tubes and tire liners. So, I'm slinging an extra pound around on each wheel while riding a fully loaded rigid bike up a continuous incline for 32 miles. :roll: This was definitely the toughest day of the trip.

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We set up camp in a lot adjacent to the Hotel Turkey and also ate dinner at the hotel.

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About 32 miles total for the day.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:23 pm 
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big hucker
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DAY 3

Breakfast time.

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Still early in the morning.

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Notice the van? Due to unforeseen circumstances, a couple had to return to their vehicle not long after the start of the ride. Instead of dropping out, they just met us at the stopping point. The nice thing about this is we now have a support vehicle! :) We all jump at the chance to remove some gear and toss it in the van.

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Lighter bike and a new day.

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Everyone ready to go.

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Terrain from Turkey to Quitaque was mixed. Mostly grassy field and really rough.

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When we reached Quitaque, I made sure I was loaded on food and fluid.

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Along the way to Monk's Crossing (rally point), we picked up a tag-along. He followed us for about 15 miles. I'm sure we were the most fun thing to happen to him in weeks. :lol: We found out he was following the lead all the way out of Turkey. Someone in our group took him back to Turkey by car and figured out where he lived.

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When we reached Monk's Crossing, some of the group filled-up on water. I thought I had plenty to make it up to our camp spot and I (regrettably) did not top-off. We also re-loaded all of our gear onto the bikes for the trip farther up the trail.

The terrain from Monk's Crossing up into the canyons is much, much nicer. There was a lone phone booth there, too. :) Nobody picked up the receiver to see if it actually worked.

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On our way up to the Clarity tunnel.

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Clarity Tunnel pics.

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Most want to camp just west of the tunnel. I felt good and decided to ride up six more miles to the John Farris Station and check it out.

Continuing up...

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John Farris Station. That water tank is empty, btw...

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About now I realize I'm burning through what water I have left and I decide it's time to go back down and set up camp.

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Arrive at one of the two campsites and setup the tent.




Nice view, eh? :D

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I portion out what's left of my water. What I need for breakfast goes into the water bottle. What I need for dinner goes into the cookpot. And, what I have left to drink (not a lot) stays in the camelbak. Stupid me ends up knocking over the cookpot. :evil: Now I have to go back down to Monk's Crossing and refill so I have enough water. I didn't have any cell reception up here so I also used the opportunity to go back down to text the family and let them know I'd be out of reach for the night.

Once back, we settled in and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

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The view of the stars was amazing.

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Total mileage for the day was about 42 miles.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:30 pm 
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big hucker
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DAY 4


The wind picked up right as we were going to sleep and it blew like crazy all night long. What did I not pack? Earplugs... :doh: I probably slept about three hours total. Talking with others, they had a rough night too. Still blowing in the morning...




Boiling my water in the vestibule. Red dust everywhere. :lol:




Morning pics.

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It was this morning that the bulk of the group decided they were done and weren't going to pedal back to Estelline. There are only a few of us left and the wife of one of the remaining riders volunteered to drive support for us. We decided to see how far we could get and possibly return to Estilline in one day.


Back down to Monk's Crossing and unload some gear.

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Rattlesnake that one of the riders ran over. Don't think it was dead. Didn't want to get too close. ;)

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Stopped to eat and refill my water supply at every opportunity.

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My first flat of the trip. I was hauling ass and pinch-flatted the rear tube.

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Pics of the return from Monk's Crossing to Estelline.

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Looking behind me I can see some storms forming.

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The wind picked up dramatically so I stopped to get out my rain gear and put away the solar panel.




It ended up not raining and I continued along.

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Back at the start!

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We decide to camp back at the SP for the last night. Stopped in Quitaque and found a BBQ shack. Oh, that was tasty! :D

After arriving at the SP and getting my tent setup, I go to take a much needed shower. When I come out it's raining. Start walking back to the campsite and it begins to hail. :shock: When i get back, everyone is in their cars and I do the same.




In the end, hail bounced under the rain fly and my sleeping bag was damp on the surface only.

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The hail varied in size.

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When the rain ended, we hung a light and gathered around to consume as much food and beer as possible. :lol:

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Total mileage for the day was about 52 miles.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:30 pm 
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big hucker
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DAY 5

The storms cleared out and it was a beautiful day.

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All packed up and ready to go home.

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One more pic of the bison as I'm driving out of the park. :D

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