Huntsville, National Forrest, Texas
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Huntsville State Park (Huntsville, Texas)
October 15, 2004

bulletRide Length: 160 miles
bulletRiders: Josh Gorman and me
bulletWeather: It was in the 80's in the afternoon, but early in the morning it was in the 50's.  Not a cloud in the sky though... perfect!
Since I am on an AWS (alternate work schedule), I get every other Friday off.  The Houston Land Rover Club is going to Gilmer, TX (Barnwell Mountain) for the weekend to do some trail clearing and off-roading.  I have to teach on Saturday morning, so I had to forego the trip to Gilmer, but... since Dr. Josh is off... we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and go riding our motorcycles. 

Today's plan was to go to Huntsville State Park and do some riding on the trails in the national forest.

As usual, the day began with McDonalds.   We met at the McDonalds in The Woodlands and headed up north from there.  Instead of taking 45 up to Huntsville, we took 75 from Conroe into Huntsville.  That's a much more pleasant drive... though there was a bit of construction.

We got right inside the city limits and found a few dirt roads where they appeared to be building a highway.  So, as you would expect, we decided to check it out.

After we got through exploring the trails, we went over to Chad's (Josh's brother) house.  Chad is a student at Sam Houston State getting ready to graduate.  We all decided to get something to eat.  So, Josh, Chad, Chad's girlfriend and I all headed out.

Since we were in Huntsville, we decided to go to a restaurant we read about in Ride Texas magazine.  Josh also said he saw a news report on the restaurant on channel 8, so we decided to check it out.  The restaurant is part of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. 

The food was pretty good... I'm not sure it lived up to all the hype, but it was pretty good. 

After lunch, we all took a ride to the trail head where Josh and I would be riding into the woods.  Chad was actually on Brian's (the third brother) motorcycle... a street bike, so he wouldn't be joining us on the trails. 

Josh and I took off through the woods.  We didn't get too far in when we came upon some fallen trees in our path.  Some of them we could climb over; others we had to move or go around.

We couldn't move some of the fallen trees because they were simply too big.  So, we had to cut our own trails around the fallen logs. 

First Josh goes around...

Then me...

I ended up dumping my bike once.  We were riding in some thick growth and I didn't see a log in my path.  Fortunately, it was a minor spill... though... it did put a few dents in my side case.

We finally found our way off the single track trails and ended up on some wider trails that were a bit more conducive for my bike.  We rode around for a bit and found our way back out to the freeway so we could head home. 

We stopped at the first gas station we came to in New Waverly.  What a pile of shit this place was.  The floor inside the place was falling in.  They literally had thick, folded-up cardboard boxes nailed down to the floor as a patch job. 

The genius working behind the counter acted as if she had never seen a winning cap from a soda bottle before.  Josh had a cap with "buy one get one free" marked inside of it.  She actually called her manager to see if she could take it.  Her manager had no clue.  Apparently we had to wait until the Mountain Dew distributor came next time so they could ask him.  We decided to pay for both Mountain Dews... though camping in the store until the Mountain Dew truck pulled up in a few days may have been fun...

Before leaving, Josh had to make a minor repair to his clutch cable.  It was sticking a bit, but was no match for his multi-tool.

Once everything was in running order, we both headed home.  Josh took a back way back down to Pasadena and I took 45 south back into downtown Houston. 

I guess the guys from the Land Rover Club are having a good time in Gilmer, but I look at it like this... I would have had to miss a class and lose a day's pay... in addition... it would have cost me over $100 in gas to drive my truck to Gilmer.  I spent $5 on this adventure...  $5... $100... $5.... $100...

Thanks for coming along on our ride.

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