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Old 11-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #11
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Things we nice and peaceful until just before dawn when we started hearing folks coming and going. The Sauceda Ranger Stion is a hub of activity. We were hearing folks arrive for their workday, and some of the work trucks heading out into the park.

We had one park truck back in next to us, and we heard a number of park workers stopping and wandering around to check out McBeast.

We decided to get up in time to head into the Ranger Statio just after it opened.

(somehow we ended up without a picture of the Ranger Station complex)

The folks in the Ranger station were very helpful, and seemed very knowledgeable. There had been a worry that some of the roads would be difficult for us, but one of the more knowledgeable Rangers said we had more ground clearance than their vehciles and that departure angles should not be an issue. We showed them the route we were planning on using and he said there was one sand area he got stuck in that we needed to be aware of, but other than that it was just the ascents and descents that would be interesting.

We did see some folks from the Lodge/Bunkhouse starting to move around as we were wrapping things up in Sauceda.

The complex includes the Ranger Station and interpretive center, a hay barn and good sized corral, a work barn, a Ranger residence, the bunkhouse, and a couple of other buildings.

The Ranger station is at the intersection of a number of road that head out to different areas of the park, as well as being on a creek that is a source of water.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:36 PM   #12
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As we finished up at the Ranger Station on Saturday morning we absorbed the great views all around and headed out on a trip to the Guale #2 campsite; it is supposed to be the premier site.









We saw one person walking along the road going away from the Ranger station, but we saw no other people or vehicles all the way to the campsite.

We had not aired down the night before, so we took the opportunity to do that shortly after we left the Ranger Station.



Just a short way down the road is the turn to head south to Gaule #2, and the road conditions change dramatically.





The park classifies each different sections of roads as one of the following :
2WD
2WD & High Ground Clearance
4WD & High Ground Clearance
4WD & Unmaintained

The only 2WD road is the main road in to Sauceda.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:22 PM   #13
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Greg,

How was the drive to Guale#2 as far as the brush overhang on the road? Last year in Big Bend I had so many pin stripes down the side of my truck from thorn bushes driving down Black Gap Road and I'm not quite willing just yet to subject my SMB to that.

Great pics...keep em coming!

Ric
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:35 PM   #14
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Ric,

The drive to Guale 2 did get narrow, but the brush was not terribly bad.

You will see that the next day, leaving Guale 2 for Chorro Vista, while a very fun drive, was much more narrow, with a lot more encroaching brush.

.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:54 PM   #15
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...and on our way to Guale #2....





...about this time we did disturb some of the natives...



...and they are still running cattle in the park.





Guale Mesa Road : it leads us further and further out on a mesa, where Guale #2 looks off the edge of that Mesa (more on that later)



The views are everywhere...


Here is the intersection that we will be looking for the next day. These metal signs usually mark intersections and camp site locations. ....notice the road is a little less of a road?


Amidst the great vistas are signs of lost civilization...




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Old 11-29-2008, 08:21 PM   #16
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And onward towards Guale #2

I had to take a small hike to get a picture of another local, and this was the view back towards McBeast.


And the local was not Bevo, but he might be a distant cousin...


Anyone recognize this guy??


And as we get closer to Guale #2




And surprisingly there is a large Scaled Quail population
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:54 PM   #17
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Once we arrived at Guale #2 it was obvious why this is a highly thought of site.

There was one disappointment. When we arrived we found a tent set up on the scratched out tent-pad. There was no vehicle, but there was equipment at the picnic table. After a bit we got worried that someone might have had an accident way out here, so we scouted around and found no injured folks and nothing worse....

It was close to the end of the day when a Toyota 4-Runner came bouncing down the road with a couple of gas-cans on top and a Lab in the passenger seat. It turns out that the site had been double booked when this person had checkied in, not at Suacedo, but at Ft Leaton just 2 days before; the procedure is for Ft Leaton to verify ever availability with Saucedo before providing a permit. A couple of days later we got an apology when we arrived at the Ranger Station again.

Since it was so late in the day it was really too late for either of us to make it to another camp site before dark, so we shared the site.

...but the site is gorgeous!













If you look at the valley or canyon in the right of the collage, you can see how much elevation change there can be, and you can also see some trees indicating that there is water present. THis is an area we want to explore on another trip.


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Old 11-29-2008, 09:26 PM   #18
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As you saw we did air down the tires, and we also unhooked the sway-bar (but it would be the next day that the suspension travel would come into play).

We arrived at the site in the early afternoon, and quickly checked to see if we could get any of the AM or FM Texas Tech radio network affiliates,....but we could not. This meant that we would either be able to get the OU vs Tech football game on XM or we would be relegated to watch the score update crawl on the bottom of the ESPN broadcast. We also check our DirecTV reception and left the system on even though it was Jimmy Buffet playing through the sound system at the time.



After exploring the area, we settled in for the evening and decided it was dinner time. We used a George Forman grill to cook a couple of steaks (took 5 minutes) and we used the microwave to steam some veggies (took 5 minutes). We also had some Orange LED lights hanging off the awning to get even a little more in the Big 12 Football spirit.

We were able to find the game on XM, and we found that listening to one game while another was on the TV was a bit distracting, so we listened to the first half in the semi-darkness. Since the outcome was decided by half-time we turned the XM off and found a movie on the satellite.

The night was quiet, but the temp got down to about freezing.

In the morning we again used the microwave to fix 4 servings of instant oatmeal and we used the George Forman to fix some toast.

...and even with all this electrical usage, the battery voltage barely dipped.

The Sunset at Guale #2 was a nice end to a nice day.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #19
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Thanks for the write-up Greg. SMB in Big Bend with the toys seems like a perfect way to spend a long weekend. We'll make that trek soon.

Good luck w/ the BCS too; I know how you feel...
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:02 AM   #20
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On our second day in BBRSP the plan was to go from Guale #2 to Chorro Vista. As the crow flies this would be travelling directly East, but for us to get there we had to head north on the road we came in on, then head south and back north again on a loop of unmaintained 4WD road. THe last leg would be some more 4WD high ground clearance road.

The road we came in on was relatively tame even though 4WD low was used. The next roads would proves to be much more exciting.

Our surprise neighbor at Guale #2 was up and about before first light and gone shortly after that, before we were out of the van.

After a little wandering around in the morning sun we started on our way.



Our first stop was to photograph a corral that we had seen the day before. Another sign of the industry that had once been such a big part of this land.


We saw another local out looking for breakfast a little bit later...



Hawks were everywhere, and were even seen flying in pairs. We saw Hawks mutiple times each day and they were always fun to watch.





We thought this next photo looked like the skeltal remains of some giant dinosaur that had roam the area long ago...... but instead it was a lava dike...




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2006 Toyota Prius (48 to 68 mpg) 120k miles [Penelope]
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (15 to 18 mpg) [Johnnie]
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