Author Topic: Southern Tier Questions  (Read 479 times)

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Offline mjackson

Southern Tier Questions
« on: February 04, 2014, 02:13:51 pm »
I am riding the Southern Tier this spring and am looking through the maps and wondering if anyone has had any experience in the region laid out in Maps 39, 40, 41 from the 3rd section of the Southern Tier. The map says "very limited services next 90.5 miles." Does anyone have any insight into what this means more specifically? Are there truly no service stations, camping/lodging options? Does anyone who has ridden this route and dealt with this stretch have advice for strategizing this section?

Thanks so much!

Offline CMajernik

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 08:49:42 am »
If you are looking at your map it means that between Van Horn and Fort Davis the only services are at exit 159 and at the top of Mount Locke at the observatory, plus a motel near Fort Davis. There are a few services at Davis Mountains State Park, but that is close to Fort Davis. You will need to carry extra food and water with you, and if you can't ride that distance, be prepared to camp by the roadside. Or try to hitch a ride. There used to be services at Kent, but the town is all closed up now.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline nthabiseng

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 08:14:34 am »
Hi,
I realize the map might say 90 miles, but from my notes in my journal, it seems to be 78.  We camped just short of the observatory, due to circumstances you can read in the entry.  But it worked out perfectly anyway. You really don't want to camp behind the closed store at Kent; it's nasty. We ended up camping at the Lawrence Wood picnic area and it was great; that was 69 miles from Van Horn. But there are many places along the roadside, as Carla said, where you can pitch a tent.  You can check my journal for details, and for more Southern Tier info too, at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/myfinecycle.

Most people we met along the ST actually went on US 90 from Van Horn through Marfa to Alpine.  Just another thought. We really wanted to see the observatory.

It's a great ride either way, enjoy!
Marti

Offline aggie

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 05:25:44 pm »
I took a detour along Hwy 90 from Van Horn to Marfa.  It is about 70 miles and the road was good with just a little traffic.  About midway is Valentine and there are no services (food/water) between Van Horn and Marfa.  It is a good one day ride.  Just make sure you have enough food and water for the 70 mile trip.

Online staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 05:23:37 am »
I took a detour along Hwy 90 from Van Horn to Marfa.  It is about 70 miles and the road was good with just a little traffic.  About midway is Valentine and there are no services (food/water) between Van Horn and Marfa.  It is a good one day ride.  Just make sure you have enough food and water for the 70 mile trip.

I took that route as well and was happy with the choice.  The traffic was very light and the road good.  I wasn't impressed with the camping or room options that I found in Marfa and pressed on.  It may or may not be allowed but I slept in the Marfa Mystery Lights Viewing Station 10 miles or so east of Marfa.

Offline rolpin

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 10:16:07 pm »
I, too, decided to do the Van Horn/Marfa route to Alpine so it was only about 77 mile without services and basically long, straight roads with little elevation change.  Good photo op at the Prada Store (Art Project) just south of Valentine.  Good camping at El Cosmico in Marfa (options from pitching your own tent to renting a tepee, safari tent, or trailer - interesting place with good (but a little open) showers.

Also, recommend calling "Law West of Pecos" to see if his trailer is available in Langtry.  It said it was closed when I googled it but called he said it was available.  Made the night very comfortable.  No charge but he's happy for a donation.

Have a great trip.

Offline rabbitoh

Re: Southern Tier Questions
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 02:25:11 pm »
You don't mention in which direction you are riding, which in my opinion does make a difference.

If you are riding East to West, then my advice would be to definitely ride the ACA route. If you are riding West to East on the ACA route, then you should be aware that all your climbing will be towards the end of the day. However, I would still recommend riding the ACA route. It is beautiful country and the remoteness added to its attractiveness for me.

I rode from Fort Davis to Van Horn and it was 91 miles. The climbing was early in the day out of Fort Davis, up past the Mt Locke observatory. There were no services the entire day, apart from the service station approx. 20 miles out of Van Horn, which is a large service stop. There is nothing at Kent in the way of services.

However, you shouldn't be daunted by any of this. I carried extra water and managed quite ok, although it was a long day in the saddle.

Enjoy your ride.
Good Cycling
Dennis