1.18.2008,7:45 AM
Desert Water
Water is the life blood of the desert. Any desert.

During one of our rides in Big Bend area we discovered water. Terlingua Creek is one of the few year-round water sources. Running north-south, it eventually drains into the Rio Grande at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon. The desert roads cross creeks and arroyos everywhere; they drain the mesas and mountains which hold little water. Thus these roads can be treacherous during the rainy season with flooding water pounding their way to the river.

Roger lead us down a rough desert road that circumvents the junction of highways 170 and 118, and the tiny town of Study Butte. Hwy 170 bisects Terlingua Creek with a bridge, but all the unimproved desert roads run right through the creek bed.

Oddly enough, this water crossing was deeper and wider than any of those I rode through in Tennessee where water is typically less scarce. And it was a thrill!!

The approach, searching for any large rocks or ruts and picking my line of travel:


Up on my pegs now to let the bike move freely under my weight and center of balance:

The big splash!!

Nearing the bank power began to weaken and the rear tire started fishtailing. So I rolled open the throttle, centered my weight.....

Whoohoo!!! I got air!

And onwards I went. I stopped about a hundred feet from the bank to let the others catch up and wipe the water from my goggles and the rest of me. Roger pulled up beside me on his DR350 laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall of his bike, "Man, you went through there a bit fast, didn't you?? You have water all over you!".

I laughed and radiated inside. It was fun!


Photo credits: Ed Hagerty
Thanks, Ed.

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posted by Macrobe
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