Friday, April 10, 2015

ACA Big Bend Bike Tour

The ACA Tour of Big Bend is a van supported tour of West Texas and completes a big 385 mile loop beginning and ending in Fort Davis.

Overnight destinations are Marathon, Stillwell RV Park, Rio Grande Village RV Park, Chisos Basin Campground, Lajitas, Presidio, and Marfa.

Rio Grande RV Park and Chisos Basin Campground are located within Big Bend National Park.

In a word, the tour was SPECTACULAR!  What made the tour special this year is the finest wildflower bloom in over 29 years.

According to a ranger at Big Bend, the park hasn't seen this much winter rain since 1986 and as a result the high desert plains were ablaze with color.

Tucked away in the corner of West Texas on the Mexico border, lies Big Bend National Park, one of the least visited national parks in the country.  Annual visitation is around 300-350,000 persons/year, lower even than Lassen National Park.

The main attraction of the park is the Chisos Mountains, a jagged ring of mountains encircling Chisos Basin which lies in a caldera-like bowl in the center of the mountain range.

Located at the west edge of the ring of mountains, is a large V-notch opening called the"Window" which offers a commanding view of Mexico.  The sunset view of Mexico through the "Window" is breathtaking.

Equally stunning is the countryside of Big Bend State Park located due west of the national park.
The tour route followed Hwy 170, aka Farm Road, which parallels the meandering Rio Grande River and canyon.

 Farm Road is a roller-coaster ride with the infamous "Big Hill" with it's 15-18% grade for a brutal one-mile long climb.

The spectacular scenery of canyons, mesas, and brilliant wildflowers on Farm Road took the sting out of the climb.

I would give the ACA Tour a 10-10-10 rating for its scenery, route and support.  Our two tour leaders - Jerry Hughs and Greg Edwards - were top-notch and we couldn't have asked for better tour guides.

There were 11 cyclists from throughout the US and Canada.  What made the tour extra special was the camaraderie developed amongst the group over the 9 days of the tour.

To view the album, click on "ACA Big Bend Bike Tour" below the photo:

From ACA Big Bend Bike Tour

No comments: