I made a list and Big Bend was on it. For some a list seems to be something that you glance at and wonder what it would have been like to have done any of the things on it. That is why I have made mine short and sweet, and only limited to rides. I have to close a chapter in my life and the only way I can do it is to ride through the pain and gain a renewed sense of being. I knew it would be now or never, so Big Bend became my first NOW trip to make. I recommend to any rider to find a way to make that must do trip while you can, because for me the trip was everything and more. Fear of the unknown. That is how I was when arriving into the park after dark. So many friends begged me not to do it alone, and in the end a long time riding buddy was able to help out by making the first few days of the trip with me. And boy am I glad. For after riding south of Houston to meet up, and heading out the next morning at 4:30AM, we rode straight through to Big Bend, with a slit detour stop for lunch in Fredericksburg. Thank god he had made this trip many a time before and knew the inside of the park well, cause when we arrived it was well after dark and all of gods creatures were roaming out in front of out path as we made our way to the mountain lodge. I don't know if it was the sound of our pipes or the words coming from my mouth that they heard first. Riding in pitch dark with no idea of what lies around the next corner can make for one stressed out blonde. When we were rounding the last bend up to the lodge, we were surprised to find several deer leaping out of the dark to welcome us. my heart was leaping out of my chest as I swerved to miss Bambi's brother. It was a site to behold. I can laugh now, and the next morning it all became clear that this was going to be a trip of a lifetime. In the daylight I realized my fear was only in my mind. The switchbacks weren't anything I hadn't ridden before, so I was ready to let the rides begin! And ride we did. We rode our tails off. It was a good kind of tired when I got back to my room. Theres nothing like a hot shower, hanging up the chaps,and taking in a great meal at the lodge to make the ride complete. Big Bend isn't the only reason for the ride. There is a little highway called 170 just west of the park heading south from Terlingua. This was the ride of all rides, and noted to be in the top ten suggested rides from Harley Davidson. Ahhh, but lets not leave out the Marfa lights. Noted as a mystery that has yet to be explained, these lights can be seen outside of Marfa on Hwy 67 going towards Alpine, which is where I stayed after spliting off from my riding buddy. The ride home had one last stop in Brownwood, where I have several friends, one being a bike builder. It was perfect timing to have my clutch adjustment, and a bell added to my bike from the loss of my other one somewhere in the dessert. I am a true believer in the bell and what it stands for, and getting it from another brother that believes the same made it all the more special. In fact he reminded me that it was he that gave me the bell to my first harley, and indeed it served the purpose of protecting me when I was hit in 05. The trip ended with the Box Car. A whole in the wall place that I stop into after every road trip. With one more trip crossed of the list, I immediately find myself thinking of another, but than again isn't that the same with all riders. A really good brother once said to me too many roads, not enough time. I plan on making the most of my time, on...and off... my bike Faith!