Big Bend National Park is in west Texas, along the Rio Grande, which is about 326 miles south of Midland and 410-ish miles west of San Antonio. It’s also regarded as a spectacular example of Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem according to the official website. That’s not at all an inaccurate description, as you’ll soon see in the latest video from world moto traveler Kinga Tanajewska via her YouTube channel, On Her Bike.
After traveling down through Canada and most of the continental United States, in this video, she and her trusty BMW F 800 GS (named Chillie) are taking the opportunity to put in some quality off-road miles. More specifically, she’s tackling the Old Ore Road, which connects Texas state highway 118 and US highway 385 if you follow it from end to end. It meanders in a sort of lopsided V-shape—but the road itself is all dirt and gravel, all the time.
As Kinga notes, it’s the first real off-road riding that she’s done for a decent length of time, because there really wasn’t much to do on her way down through eastern Canada and through the route she took across the US. For that reason, she was looking forward to it. The road is decently challenging in parts, though not overwhelming—just enough to be the right kind of fun.
After the first part of the road, she camps for the night at a designated campsite in the park. The next morning, she packs up her gear and sets off for the next leg of the Old Ore Road—which she says is supposed to be the most challenging bit. There’s a lot more uphill riding here, which is of course eventually followed by some downhill riding—and she’d much rather do the uphill riding, thanks very much (relatable content, for sure).
Then, with dawning horror, she realizes that she’s lost the top box off the back of her bike. Somewhere along the way, it fell off. She’s not sure whether she didn’t have it properly secured on its mount, or what—but in any case, it’s gone now. She has an idea where it may have fallen off, but she’s come so far down the road that she’s really not keen to go back. So, she’s hoping she can get the word out to one of the trucks that’s also exploring the unique off-road terrain in the area.
Thankfully, two guys in a pickup are happy to stop and chat and take her contact information so they can keep a look out for her top box. By the end of the video, it turns out that they’ve met up with the truck that had been ahead of them on the road, in between them and Kinga—and that’s the truck that found the top box and picked it up off the road.
As it turns out, they’re a couple of guys visiting from Louisiana, and they’re happy to do a nice thing and return Kinga’s top box while everyone’s out enjoying the national park. It’s the kind of thing you love to see, people just being decent and helping each other out on the road (or off).