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Old 10-12-2021, 01:48 PM
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A Tale of Three Sisters and BMWs Past

This weekend the annual TexFest gathering was held. We missed last year's for the same reason many people missed events. The previous one I attended took place near Canyon Lake between San Antonio and Austin. This year's was held in Ingram, TX out in the Texas hill country. Truly beautiful area. It started as a 5er event but welcomes all BMW metal really. My wife and I are fairly anti-social so we didn't meet everyone and usually hung out by ourselves, but I remembered some of the attendees from 2019 and had some good convos with others.



Fortunately Red did not require much to get ready for the event as I did not really have time to do anything in terms of prep. Just a quick dust off and some tuning of the new stereo setup on the laptop before heading out on Friday morning. It's only about an 1.5 hour drive from our house, which is good because I had to go back for the wife in the evening after she got off work. I feel for those who come from out of state. There were a bunch of people from CO in particular (one of the event sponsors is Denver Beer and Oil).

We were being hosted by Lazy Hills Retreat & Conference Center and had the whole place to ourselves. Booked the place out, which is good when loud vehicles and loud people are involved. The staff was uber friendly and I don't think the event wore out it's welcome as they are booked again for 2022 according to the desk at checkout. This is a very nice place focused on outdoor activities. The rooms are comfortable, but sparse without a TV in sight. Cell service was sketchy in some rooms as some of the buildings are concrete. Made for some interesting walks to make calls.

Upon arrival I took a lone walk around some of the premises. It's a very big property (725 acre). I was promptly greeted by the local fauna and got 15+ fire ant bites across both feet/legs. I swear they coordinated the attack and waited until sufficient troops were in place before attacking. I am mildly allergic so my legs got a little tingly and of course got the obligatory puss welts... but that's what I get for not looking where I was standing. They got me while taking the last of the below shots. I promise there will be cars eventually.

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Shortly after that Mouse and his wife returned from the local Wal-Mart. She needed some more things so we sent her in Red (she doesn't drive his manual LS swapped e30) and we checked out some of the cars on our way to toss a football. We're getting older, but it's always been a tradition to bring a football to chuck around so we continue. Our shoulders definitely feel more sore than they used to afterwards... but I digress.

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This e28 w/ I believe a Zender body kit as probably my favorite of the event. Mouse liked it quite a bit as well. There were so many nice cars it was a tough choice, but something about this one just calls to me.

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E28 M5. Mmmmmm. No explanation needed.

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Talked to some of the attendees for the next couple of hours before having to go back to San Antonio for the wife. One owner brought an E30 touring with a euro S50 swap in it. Very nice. Another with an E34 touring that had a crazy rear wing on it. Not my taste, but it was interesting and loved by someone so added nicely to the ambiance. These gatherings are always full of wrenching as well. One guy had bought an e34 manual in San Antonio and had it towed to the event. He brought another transmission and clutch with him and completed the swap over Friday and Saturday. Drove it out on Sunday. Love that stuff. Another did a front strut housing swap after buying some parts from someone... and I'm sure there was other wrenching as well.

Wife was a little perturbed as I was about an hour later than expected for pickup that evening. Came back through San Antonio during rush hour. More to follow. Saturday brought unexpected adventure on more than occasion.
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2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2021, 01:48 PM
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Picking up... got the wife back to the event without issue. Red turned over 127000 miles on the way. Met up with Mouse and his wife, hung out for a bit in the pavilion where the group of 60 or so (open air which was nice, pictured from above in the first pic of last post) was gathered eating BBQ and going over events for the following day. Talked to a few guys I knew and got our map of locations for the following day's poker run. This was the highlight of the trip BTW. We were beat so went to bed early ~ midnight.

Saturday. So, again, we are loners by nature and prefer small groups of people to large ones. We went on a couple hour hike with our usual group of 4. The property is huge as mentioned. We saw at least 5 lakes/ponds, a few meeting areas, 1 cemetery, and a whole lotta pretty trails. Got some nice shots of the wife and I together, which never happens. She'd likely be mortified if I posted any of her so these will have to do...

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This trail along the edge led to a sort of natural wishing well labeled "tinkerbell" a mile or so down the trail.

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After the hike we cleaned up and then got ready for the poker run. We were leaving about an hour or so after everyone else, which was fine. We wanted to take it at our own pace given we had our wives with us. We were in Red, Mouse and his wife in his E30.

The course was laid out as a ~180 mile run along the Three Sisters or Three Twisted Sisters roads and through scenic country towns. 5 stops along the way of course to collect 5 playing cards, 4 country stores and one BBQ joint, strategically placed as a sort of respite before continuing. The organizer, Pavel is his name, did an amazing job setting it up. The people at the stops were amazing and friendly, it was nice to be out again.

The first three stops went without incident and we were having a great time enjoying cooler temps outside the city and a fun drive. But on the way to the fourth (the BBQ place) we came upon a downed bike. Mouse and I got out to see if there was anything we could do, but fortunately the rider was already attended to by other riders who had him out of the sun and off the road with apparently a broken leg. The coroner for the area happened to also come across the incident and said that corner (downhill right turn with off camber pavement) is particularly bad and that someone had died there just a couple days before. We checked to see if we could help move bikes or anything but there were enough riders there that they said the ambulance had been called and they were okay.

Upon leaving the accident and feeling much more somber, we took it easy going up the hill/mountain the opposite way to the rider and flashed people coming up to the accident to warn them for a quarter mile before starting to drive spirited again. This is when we got our scare. I was leading and coming to an uphill crest with a left turn. Well, just cresting was big Cadillac Escalade, but soon after I saw the e30 touring w/ euro S50 swap pop out from behind it to pass. For him it would have been a blind hill and a blind corner, obviously with solid double yellows. To make matters worse, he was traveling with another guy in an e34 touring 540 who also wanted to overtake the Cadillac. I swerved to avoid them and fortunately all made it without trading any paint. My wife was pissed. I didn't tell her I knew who they were until she had cooled down but I was less then pleased too. As soon as we all got back they came up and apologized but I, of course, gave them the obvious "that was about the worst possible place to try and pass" speech and moved on.
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2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)

Last edited by crystalworks; 10-12-2021 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:52 PM
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Continuing the drive though, we got more comfortable and started to enjoy the drive again, getting spirited again going around the mountain. We came upon an entrepreneurial photographer who camps out on the Sisters and takes shots of the cars going buy to sell on his website TXMotoFoto.com. I was very impressed with the BCR suspension and how planted it kept the heavy truck. I was pushing it as hard as I felt my wife was comfortable with and Mouse said it looked solid while he was following. Said it looked like a "Spec E53" type of build if that were to exist. Maybe it does. At any rate, I bought all 4 shots he got of Red.

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So we were excited to come across him and looked forward to seeing those shots. Continued the drive until we came to the 4th stop, Canyon BBQ & Grill. The wife and I had one of the best turkey sandwiches (and biggest) we've ever had. We talked about for more time than I'd like to admit. I took these shots of some of the group who were there. I wish I had more time to take pics of the cars but for the reason forthcoming, wasn't able.

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As we were eating we finally got some cell service and Mouse's phone began blowing up. Turned out his coworker from TMJ Bimmers, one of the event sponsors, had his rear end completely come out of alignment on his sapphire black 4.6is and shredded his rear tires. This is where the pictures end unfortunately, we were pre-occupied with getting him home. He had rented a trailer and towed it down to stay in with his family for the weekend. Wanted to get back to Houston on time to avoid, what I can only imagine would be exorbitant fees. So he limped the 4.6 to a tire shop in Leakey that is supposed to be open on Saturdays. It wasn't. When we got the call he was stranded there with his wife and kids for a few hours so we decide to call off the run and head back to Leakey (the second stop) and help out.

When we got there we assessed the truck. But the owner is a master tech so by "assess" I mean we walked around it and agreed the toe in and camber was crazy and that the damage to the tires was severe. He was waiting for a AAA tow to a Pep Boys in San Antonio ($$$) and with the family there, was more concerned with their comfort. Mouse and I decided to send his family back with our wives to Lazy Hills and we'd wait with his coworker for the tow. Well, after shooting the sh*t for about 45 minutes a truck towing a flatbed trailer pulls in behind the tire shop. We start to chat the driver and his wife up and learn they are headed to San Antonio. I jokingly asked, "you taking the empty trailer there?" He replied that he was. That was all it took for Mouse's coworker to start dickering a tow. They agreed on a price and it ended up saving him $250!

So now he had a way to get to San Antonio and hopefully get his truck looked at. Pep Boys had said they would as they don't close til 8. Long story short, he got it there at 7 and they said they wouldn't look at it until tomorrow. Figures. Told him the wife and I would go pick him up, and that he could have the 315/35s I had just taken off the wife's X5. His tires were completely wasted from all the scrubbing. So we drove back to San Antonio, grabbed him, then drove home, picked up the tires, and then we all headed back to the event. Wife and I joked this is the only vacation we've been on where we've been at home everyday of it, but not slept there.

Everything worked out okay. When we got back, we drank way more than we should have, and had a great time. Mouse drove him back the following morning (don't know how he did that as we were all hungover) and they found that the upper adjustment bolts had both come loose and caused the issue. So the repair wasn't expensive, he had tires to replace the shot ones, and he was on the road by 10:00AM Sunday. Could have been much worse. We grabbed Mouse's wife, checked out, and drove her with us to San Antonio so he didn't have to come back. We ate lunch BJ's Brewhouse and parted ways anxious to get home and relax the hangover away. Unfortunately we had to pick up the munchkins about 30 minutes after getting home...

No rest for the weary...
__________________
2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)

Last edited by crystalworks; 10-12-2021 at 06:08 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2021, 11:21 PM
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For those who haven't been, Twisted/Three Sisters is an absolute blast to drive. You don't have to have a race suspension, coilovers, or even a sports car...it's a fantastic drive even when you're not pushing your vehicle to the limits. That being said, I was trailing Red and she looked phenomenal in the twisties. I'd rather not get into the setbacks we had during the trip as Crystalworks has already laid them out accurately.(Specifically the part of me driving hungover first thing in the morning in my "non-touring" e30.

Here is the crime scene where the 4.6is went down. It sucks, but sometimes shit happens and you gotta roll with the punches. You can see Crystalworks in his "OSHA" approved sandals and Devin in his "OSHA" approved Crocs. These guys seriously will do an engine swap in this footwear. Because "Man"
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
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You can see Crystalworks in his "OSHA" approved sandals and Devin in his "OSHA" approved Crocs. These guys seriously will do an engine swap in this footwear. Because "Man"
My kind of people. . . haha. Looks like it was a lot of fun, the hill country is great. I really need to start paying attention more to the events (and working on convincing the wife to attend).
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:17 AM
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Looks like everyone had a great time. I wish we did more of that over here, I would love to do the Tail of the Dragon with a slew of BMWs.
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