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Topic: Cheesebuger Loop -Trail Report - Montgomery, TX - Jan 2, 2017 (Read 762 times)

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  • JStrider
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Cheesebuger Loop -Trail Report - Montgomery, TX - Jan 2, 2017
A few weeks ago I came across a link for the "Cheeseburger loop", a 175mile loop with 60-70% unpaved roads, starting in Montgomery TX(just north of Houston). It was figured out by some adventure motorcyclists.
Here's the adventure rider forum link with their .gpx file.
and a google map link - don't recall where I found this link:

With a couple long weekends around the holidays, I put out word on facebook, generated some interest and decided the Monday after New Years we would check this loop out.

Monday morning I woke up to thunder rumbling. Looking at the radar and weather reports, it looked like a bad storm on the leading edge of a cool front, but mostly clear skies afterwards.  After conferring with the group online, we decided to brave the storm in hopes of the predicted nice weather afterwards.  A bit of mud might make the boring country roads a little interesting.

Arwen and I left her house around 8AM and started heading north, within a few minutes we were greeted by 40+mph wind gusts and some huge rain drops starting to spatter against the Jeep.  A few minutes later and we were in some of the worst rain I've ever driven in!  Wipers going full tilt barely made a difference.  The highway slowed down to 35-40 mph, except for the few jackasses going 60 with their flashers on. As we rolled into the suburbs for a quick stop at my place the rain started letting up to a light shower.  We grabbed my recovery gear, and headed to the gas station for fuel and breakfast tacos, and yes, it's Houston, even the gas stations have good tacos.  Heading out to the country, the rain was letting up to a sprinkle, and I could see some blue sky peaking through the clouds.  Weather was looking up.

We rolled into Montgomery Coffee Company just after 10AM, greeted by beautiful blue skies and parked next to Merrick in his new to him Pinzgauer 710K.  MCC is a great starting spot, good coffee with gas, auto parts, and groceries available in the shopping center.  We ordered coffee, and a few minutes later Kayla arrived in her 4Runner.  We sipped on our coffees and had a casual drivers meeting.

As we leave the coffee shop we were greeted by perfect blue skies.  I take the lead, Merrick in second, and Kayla tail-gunning.  We head north/east into the national forest, take a few smaller roads, crossing over Lake Conroe, past a summer camp and onto our first dirt road.  Road conditions were good, graded dirt/gravel roads, damp but not muddy, with occasional puddles.

We passed lots of little offroad paths, campgrounds, and trailheads.  Lots of places to explore another day.

Kept rolling along, getting out of the national forest, into farm and ranchland.  I missed a turn, which I caught right away, but let Kayla take the lead, which is how we ended up switching leaders throughout the day. I'm cruising along as tail-gunner, enjoying the weather and nice views, and suddenly the Pinz goes bouncing into the ditch on the right side of the road!

A small tree had fallen into the road, Kayla was able to squeeze by, Merrick not realizing the water with weeds protruding was actually a small ditch, drove right into it, bouncing around and ended up stuck.  Unfortunately he's been troubleshooting an issue with his lockers, and wasn't able to drive himself out.  Kayla and I pushed the tree out of the way, got the strap shackled to the Pinz and 4RUNHER, and Kayla easily pulled the pinz out. You can see me backing into the tree we moved in the video.

PINZ recovery

Back on the road we cruised along enjoying the beautiful weather.  Finally we make it to the namesake of the loop, Yankees Tavern, and their delicious Cheeseburgers! Yankees is a popular biker bar, and was so crowded with bikes we had to park way around back. As we got situated and started waiting for our food, the lunch rush was ending.  The burgers were great, I definitely recommend the jalapeno bun! Fries were fine, but nothing special.

Heading out I was thinking it was taking longer than I had expected, but none of us had any other plans for the day, so no worries! After driving a bit more I come around a bend and see Kayla and Merrick stopped. When I finish coming around the bend, I see why, the road ahead of us is covered in water for 30 or 40 yards! We all pile out and start discussing options, figure out a route around, or drive through, Merrick informs us the Pinz can ford 36inches.  Not wanting to find a different route, I volunteered to walk it and see if it was driveable. I started wading into the water, pretty quickly it got about knee deep, stayed that deep, then a few steps was up to my lower thigh, and then it gradually got shallower. It stayed between knee and mid calf deep the rest of the way.  The gravel/dirt road underneath felt solid the whole time. I figure 24ish inches and solid bottom, about bumper level on my jeep, should be doable.  As I turn around to start going back I hear an engine rev and a big splash. I look up to see the Pinz plowing through the deepest part of the water. I got part of the crossing on video:

Pinz Driving through the water

I finish walking back and coach Kayla a bit on things to keep in mind while fording water, she'd never done a water crossing before.  She wanted me to go second, so I hopped in, Put it in 4-low, 3rd gear and headed to the water. As we made it to the deepest point I could feel the water hitting the bottom of the tub under my feet. I looked out my window and could see the water lapping onto my rockers step, and then we were through the deepest and into the shallows.  Merrick got a picture at the deepest point, pretty sure it looks deeper than it was due to the bow wave.

As I make it out I hear Kayla start the crossing, and see the 4RUNHER hit the water making a big splash! I was able to get a video after she got through the deepest section.
4RUNHER crossing

Merrick got this picture at the deepest, I think she hit the water a little fast!

After the excitement of the water crossing there wasn't anything remarkable on the last leg, just more nice driving as it got dark, and the temperature started to drop below comfort level for having the windows down. 

Finally we pulled into the gas station back where we started.  I was definitely at my max for time bouncing around in the jeep, and forgot to get an after picture.  We topped up on gas and said our goodbyes.

All in all a very good day in the jeep exploring the country near home! A very fun way to ring in the new year!

Here is my .kml file, I tried to upload it, but .kml aren't allowed.

Maybe next time we'll do the East Texas 500?
  • Last Edit: Jan 06, 2017, 07:14 PM by JStrider

  • Florpro
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Re: Cheesebuger Loop -Trail Report - Montgomery, TX - Jan 2, 2017
Reply #2
Great trip report! Sounds like an awesome day off pavement!
Can't fix stoopid!

  • G Beasley
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  • Sawzall Surgeon
Re: Cheesebuger Loop -Trail Report - Montgomery, TX - Jan 2, 2017
Reply #3
Big water!  :o

  • JStrider
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Re: Cheesebuger Loop -Trail Report - Montgomery, TX - Jan 2, 2017
Reply #4
Yeah it was! I'm glad none of my friends with shorter vehicles were with us. It was slightly deeper than the other deepest water crossing I've done, which was on the kiamichi trail, that one was a little shallower, but muddier and longer