Ask yourself, when is the last time you felt like you were in the middle of nowhere? Remember what it felt like? When I stand and look around as far as I can see there is nothing but mountains, hills, rocks, maybe an occasional longhorn or a burro. It is so incredibly quiet here, there’s nothing. My ears strain so much to hear something that they hurt. Deafening silence really is a thing.
We’re camped in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas. It’s next to Big Bend National Park but less accessible. The park is the largest state park in Texas at 300,000 plus acres of rugged wilderness and spectacular scenery. Where we are is a primitive spot approximately 32 miles down a dirt road, deep in the expansive park.
Our first mountain bike loop was a big one at 35 miles with 3159′ of climbing, right from camp. We rode out the main dirt park road to Outer Loop Trail and that’s when shit got real. The trail is primitive at best and dives in and out of a wash that is flush with water in monsoon season dragging boulders and earth around, rearranging the trail. The trail continued climbing and descending around other worldly rocky outcroppings and mountains until we finally met back up with a dirt road.
Here, after 20 miles or so, we came to a fork in the road with a sign pointing to “Road to Nowhere”. Well why not? We climbed a 2.5 mile rocky overgrown doubletrack to the top of a mountain. At the top, with wide open views of the surrounding area, we came to sign that said, “Nowhere” and the road ended. We posed for pictures and then flew back down to continue on our ride.
Back on the main dirt road, we climbed out of the canyon and headed back to camp. We passed a truck and other than that, we saw nobody the whole day. We have been to a lot of places over the past year, but never anything as quiet as this place.