Getting to Del Rio

The plan was for JT and I to meet in Del Rio on Sunday evening. I had crafted a grandiose route to get from my home in Austin to Del Rio via the Texas hill country and some fantastic paved and dirt roads. However, I spent so much time working on my bike on Saturday that even with Terry’s help I ran out of daylight before I finished the bike. And my driveway is really dark when the sun goes down. All of which meant I would be doing all my packing on Sunday morning. Instead of leaving at 8 am as I had hoped, I finally rolled out of my driveway at 10:30 Sunday morning, resolved to slabbing the 259 miles to Del Rio.

I did manage to hit a little fun stuff along the way but much less than I had originally hoped for.

There are actually a few fall colors trying to make an appearance in the hill country.

Elsewhere in the hill country, the trees are still green.

This was the longest distance I’ve ridden the 701 at one time since purchasing it in May. I don’t do much long distance riding in the Texas heat so the bike accumulated only a few miles May – Aug. In September I started concentrating on completing the build for adventure type riding (windscreen, Seat Concepts seat, luggage rack, etc). The Rade tank was the final touch and you already know how that went.

I was quite happy at how well the mighty 701 did on the long stretches of highway to Del Rio. I’ve owned two KLRs, two DRZs, and a XR650L and they were all a bit underwhelming at highway speeds. The 701, however, is a different animal. The engine is satisfyingly powerful while also being remarkably smooth, the Madstad windscreen is fantastic, and the Seat Concepts seat is reasonably comfortable. As an added bonus, the Rade tank didn’t leak gas everywhere and I was able to ride 200 miles without running out of gas. Overall, I was really glad I chose to ride to Del Rio so I could evaluate the 701 prior to crossing the border and was feeling less apprehensive about the its maiden voyage being into one of the most desolate places I’ve ever ridden.

Once in Del Rio, I quickly checked into the hotel and then set off in search of something to eat. The front desk clerk told me I could get a 10% discount at the Sirloin Stockade restaurant next door if I showed them my room key, which sounded okay to me. This restaurant is an all-you-can eat buffet with a wide variety of choices. I did my best to moderate my consumption. I think I did okay.

Afterwards, JT called and said he was still several hours away so I pondered what to do next. There didn’t seem to be a lot of appealing options and I didn’t want to just sit on my hotel bed and watch television. There was a mall on the other side of the restaurant and the movie theater inside was showing the new Justice League movie. Fandango informed me that they had lots of open seats, a bit surprising since this was opening weekend. Off I went and found the movie was not nearly as bad as the critics had led me to believe.

I couldn’t resist a picture of the carnival ferris wheel set up in the mall parking lot.

JT had safely arrived while I was engrossed in the Justice League. Once I made it back to the hotel we finalized our plans for the next morning and then headed off to bed.