On December 14-17 the Trail Warrior Project had their inaugural Veterans bikepacking expedition at the Big Bend Ranch State Park. There were 3 riders including the expedition leader, Mick Sudano. The route they followed was the 70 mile Epic Loop.
The first day was a short one after leaving around 2 p.m. from the Barton Warnock visitors center at Lajitas. The group rode about 8 miles to their first overnight spot to get their legs under them and then get accustomed to setting up camp and cooking in the back country. The 2nd day, the group stopped at a spring and filtered water from a natural spring and toured different historic sites at the ranch before making it to camp at Pila Montoya campsite #3 where Odis Franklin set up camp and had a hot meal and campfire waiting on them. The 3rd day they left out towards the Saucedo headquarters office and turned back South for about 20 miles of some pretty rugged country before setting up camp the last night. They finished the next day back at Lajitas. Thanks to the generosity of the PBBA and people in the Permian Basin, the Trail Warrior Project is able to provide bikes and all bikepacking gear for our veterans to participate in bikepacking events. The Trail Warrior Project was formed by an idea that was hatched between John Carter, Odis Franklin and Mick Sudano on the New Mexico Off Road Runner back in May. That was a 400 mile 9 day bikepacking trip through the back country between Santa Fe and Las Cruces, NM.