I am looking for a 2-week tour in late April and in this thread, I asked for destination suggestions. After considering the suggestions, I've decided to look into a loop out of Alpine, TX that is a tilted figure "8". The loop starts/ends in Alpine goes up to Ft. Davis and then down to Marfa back through Alpine to Marathon down to Big Bend NP and then back up to Alpine (proposed route map in mapmyride)
I have some questions about it and hope someone who has toured there can help.
1) It appears the wind direction is from the south. Will the wind likely be a major factor on this tour?
2) Is it better to overnight in Ft. Davis or Marfa? Should I do start with short rides and spend a night in both?
3) It is about 80 miles from Big Bend NP (Study Butte) to Alpine with hills. I don't believe there are any services between the two places. Has any one stealth camped along highway 118 in west Texas?
4) Taking a rest day in Chisos Basin and stealth camping between Alpine and Study Butte, the route above would take 8 days of 50+ miles/day. Is this reasonable at this time of year and with this route? Given the loop I mapped above, should I plan to take longer to ride it?
5) I see that there is another way to go north from Big Bend and that is taking the road west to Presidio that goes along the Rio Grande and then north to Marfa. But, in this thread, cyclebum said that the road was dangerous. Has anyone else ridden this?
6) Should I start somewhere other than Alpine (which has an Amtrak stop)?
Any information you can give me would be useful.