Arkansas ride around. I had planned for a 4 day trip that was going to span Beaver, AR Mt. View, AR Hot springs, AR and end back up in Tulsa. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, which in fact is the reason why I try to never really plan anything. The only thing I had really planned on this trip were the routes, which you’ll see, change of course. In part due to getting lost, and in part just because I felt like it.
Friday was hosed as I had to work. Sat, left about 10AM and set out altering the route to skip Beaver and head straight to Mt. View. Well, I didn’t make it to Mt. View. Sat route…
I got through Fayetteville about 12:00PM and decided to eat lunch. Want to know how to sell your bbq restaurant? Make sure that people can smell the bbq roughly a quarter of a mile away, I literally smelled this place before I even saw where it was at. Penguin Ed’s.
The way you have to order is to pick up the red phone and press a button. Then you sit there looking like an asshole for roughly 2 minutes waiting on them to pick up while thinking about how many germs was on this particular hand piece and if your ear is going to get all funked about or something.
End all be all the food was as good as it smelled ¼ mile away, I will go back to Penguin Ed’s for sure.
On the route, I changed it up a bit as technology failed me, all I had was my paper map and some pictures of google maps loaded up in my phone, well somehow my phone decided that those pictures didn’t need to be there and deleted the map pix. Ah well, reroute time and on the Rand McNally map, 74 rolls all the way to Mt. View, ok well then I’ll just stay on that. Way way out in the middle of no where, I saw a sign it was something about 11 miles steep and twisty trucks plz only go 10mph or something. Decided I definitely needed a picture of it and pulled off into a brake check point and turned around, after passing the sign I was going for another turn around and while going up hill a little to much clutch and not enough gas led to me killing it, then as I was going to put my foot down it gets stuck on the peg, by the time I got it off the peg I was at the point of no return and for the first time(probably not the last) I set my CBR down on it’s side. The following was damaged.
Well crap. Ok time for a break. Oh and I got the picture of the sign, but if you look in the first picture you’ll see a handy setup of a disposable camera on my tankbag held ever so securely, or not, the picture of the sign that made me drop my bike is on that camera, which is no longer, more about that later. Also when I say way way out in the middle of no where, I meant it, there was NO sound other then wind and birds. It was actually pretty amazing, just hanging out, taking a break and cussing about dropping the bike then realizing “Hey, what is that I’m hearing?” nothing, nothing is exactly what you’re hearing. No cars, no sirens, no people, nothing.
Onward and upward to Jasper, AR. En route was some excellent riding on 74 some long sweepers and my favorites some 20mph switchbacks. Arrived in Jasper and had some cruiser guys come up and tell me that if I was going down 7 there were cops everywhere and one showed me his ticket that he just got. 90 in a 65, got popped right after passing someone. Definite bummer, but thanks for the heads up, I’ll be heading out 74. We sit around and talk for awhile about different roads and whatnot, I maintain that it’s a beautiful thing that motorcyclists can pretty much come up to another motorcyclist that they don’t know and within minutes become buddies, discussing different routes, which roads are cool, which ones suck, it’s just natural, and it’s awesome.
Saying later to my cruiser buddies I head out 74 which has mellowed out a bit, I pass through Mt. Judea and see 123, I’ll catch you later Mr. 123 I’m going to Mt. View!!! 15 miles later, 74 turns into a dirt road. I check the map, wtf Mr. McNally??? Map didn’t show that crap. This is where things go a bit wonked, as I cruise back and hit up 123. The only thing I can really say about 123 is “Whoa”. I mean really, it’s just amazing and twisty and smooth and and and !!!!!!! I can’t really say enough about it. Probably my favorite stretch of road on this trip. While getting to the end of 123, my fuel gauge is flashing me and telling me that I’m about to run out of gas. I get on highway 7 and blaze about 3 miles to find a gas station that’s been closed for about 2 years. Damnit. The bicycle guys there tell me that back the way I came was another gas station about 5 miles.
Who-da-thought-it gift shop. All 87 octane all the time. I ended up getting some gas as well as getting some valuable information. Mt. View was dry county. Mt. Home was a wet county. They were both about the same distance. Decision time!! It was easy really, I wanted a beer. So that’s how the big ol loop occurred in the map above, picture of how I worked it out in my head.
I head back up 7, taking time to wave at one of the officers radaring and get to Harrison for a quick break. Apparently I was missing all the rain, there was rain to the south and rain and hail to the east which is where I was headed. I was behind it all though and road some wet roads and got sprinkled on a bit but missed the worst of it. 7 is pretty picturesque, I got some pretty damn good shots on the disposable. Oh and I suck at timer portraits with the digital.
At Harrison I decided to head to Summit or Yellville in which I ended up at some outdoor function thing they were having that night, I should have shot some pictures and probably did with the disposable, but mostly I was interested in setting up lodging. Found a good spot that was cheap clean and ended up having Dutch and Jay staying right next to me. 2 other motorcyclists from TX, Dutch on a VFR and Jay on a Bandit 1200. How cool is that, I say hi and unload my stuff as it was time to go get beer. Cortech tail bags, will they hold a case of beer and a bag of ice? Yes, yes they will.
The cashier was skeptical when I bought a case and bag of ice if it would fit or not, she was very helpful and advised that any that would not fit she would gladly take home with her. Much to her chagrin they all fit, I gave her a beer though anyway, just because.
Back to the motel for sitting around drinking beer and talking motorcycles roads and all that stuff. Again it’s great how you can just stop into a motel see some bikers and within minutes you’re talking as if you’re old friends. Which roads, previous trips, future trips, all that jazz. It was great. We sat around till about 10 or 11 then locked up the bikes and went to bed.
Day 1. 370+ miles, got lost, almost ran out of gas, dropped my bike, got sprinkled on, and road a ton of twisty roads. Good times!!!!
Motel with just blinds, no curtains to keep the sun from waking me up at 6am. Oof, I get up and check it out while grumbling and going back to bed, it’s still pretty bright and I end up saying ‘screw it’ and getting up and about at 7:30am. I am not well rested.
The back yard has a nice view for sure. Around 9:30 or so Dutch and Jay are up and we’re gearing up lubing the chain and fixing to head to breakfast. Today is their last day in AR and they are heading back. No pictures of breakfast, sorry but eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast would have to be pretty damn amazing for me to be arsed to take a picture of them. During breakfast we break out maps and talk roads, I tell them of 215 and 103, and they advise on some good roads up by Eureka that I haven’t been on. Pretty much maps all over the place with us all going “Yep been here, oh this is where it turns to dirt, oh yeah that one sucks, oh man that one is excellent”.
We finish up and say goodbye, I grab Dutch’s email and they head west, while I head east. I didn’t take any pictures of them, so like Boomhowers grandfather “the babbler” that I met in Salina, and the Drunk cowboy on a horse that I met on the turn pike, you’ll just have to decide for yourselves if they are real or not. Onward and upward, I decide to take today really mellow, no rush, just hanging out, I’m staying at the same motel tonight so I’m all good. For a bit I debated about heading somewhere else, but I decided that eh, the hotel is cheap, I’m already unpacked, and I’m in the middle of some kick ass roads, might as well hang out.
Today I’m down 14 and back up Push mountain road. The following map shows every where I went, but 14/push is the first part.
On my way out, I feel something bump against my leg. It was my disposable camera bailing out on me. Damnit!! I turn around and head back and don’t see it. Shit. I turn around again and ride on the shoulder, till I find the useless shell that used to be my handy dandy take a picture while riding disposable camera. It was trashed, film spilled out of it and cooking in the sun. I went ahead and saved the back of it. Just because.
14 is ok, bunch of long sweepers. Push mountain road is AMAZING. Ton’s of nice 20-30 mph cautionary turns just zig zaggin everywhere for miles!!! Needless to say my mind was blown. It was crazy awesome amazing. Then it turns into a little more mellow sweepers and crappy road surface, but before that right after going through a ton of great turns, there’s a huge hill that you come down. I put it in neutral, took my hands off the bars and just coasted down it, nothing but the wind in my earplugs and just bliss of having ridden a great road while coasting at 50mph. I really really liked push mountain road.
To many turns to actually think about taking pictures, today I just road. After Mt. Home I was heading back to the motel to take a nap. Hey I’m on vacation I can do whatever I want. Definitely stopping to eat first, found a nice little joint in Gassville, burger and fries it is!
After that naptime, then I was going to hit 125. I went to 125, just like it said on the map, and followed 125 hoping the ferry wasn’t closed and that I could ride 125 up into MO. I then somehow ended back up at a 412 junction. What the fuck. I make a mental note to send an email to Rand McNally about letting people make maps while drunk and high. Eh piss on it, not going to find the end of 125 today. So screw it. I went back to Gassville and headed up to Bull Shoals lake. Just putting around and taking in the scenery really. Bull Shoals is awesome and next time I come up hopefully I’ll be camping up here.
They also have the nicest visitor center I have ever been to.
Lmao old guy self portrait.
The damn dam.
White river was super cool too. Very mellow.
And whoa so clear. Next time I’m bringing my suit and snorkel/mask.
What’s this water bubbling up out of the ground stuff?? Very odd site to this Oklahoma guy.
28.9 MILLION GALLONS PER DAY?? WOW. I was very impressed.
I ate in Bull Shoals that evening, for some reason pork chops sounded like just the thing. Why do they always serve applesauce with pork chops? Eh, they were very good though.
Back at the motel, ready to call it a night. It’s much less busy tonight then it was last night. Pretty much just me, my bike, and my book. Very good times, nice day. Amazing roads, good nap, good eats.
Day 2, 180ish miles.
Well, if I had the money I would probably just ride around as much as I could all the time going everywhere, but I don’t and I have to get back and go back to work to pay the bills and all that good stuff. Time to go. The trips not over though, as when my wife asked me “So how many miles is it to get back?” I replied with “As many as I want it to be”.
Started out on main roads, but that was soon to be done with as the route off 65 to Fayetteville was twisty twisty. Also yesterday when I hit 6k on the odometer I was like whooo and punched it up to 120, as well as did my first intentional wheelie which was all of an inch high, but hey it was a milestone for me in any case. Brap brap
Also if you think the previous statements were hooliganism, today was all about breaking the law, OI! On my way down the more wide open sweeper part of 123 I passed a few cars on double yellows because they weren’t going near the pace I wanted to go. Finally I get around a truck that’s just trumbling along and come to Mt. Judea and get to 123, oh hey lets stop and take a picture of the sign and stuff. Then the truck I passed repasses me and turns down 123??? WHAT THE FUCK READ THE SIGN YOU SHITHEAD THE PART WHERE IT SAYS “NO THROUGH TRUCKS”!!! I took a break to let him get way way ahead.
123 again, is amazing. Super twisty and just all around great riding, very good pavement. The two top roads my whole time where 123 and Push mountain. Great stuff! Of course I was to busy riding to take any more pictures till I got further down 123. Looking back…
Road 123 pretty much till it ended. Some good sections, some ok sections, nothing as good as the part up by Mt. Judea. Had to superslab it a bit to get to Clarksville, lot’s of “villes” in this state. As you can tell, diet went out the window on this trip, I ate whatever I felt like.
From Clarksville I went up 103 a road I had been up before and enjoyed. Nice switchbacks and just good times. Coming around a switch back and oh shit…
Guess they’re getting ready to widen it. Hopefully repave as well, while not terrible it could use some tlc. I get through 103 and roll through Oark and head back out 215. Remember that solitude I was telling you about on 74? Well you can find it on 215 as well. Middle of no where AR…
It must be work on roads in the middle of AR day or something.
The guy with the chain saw was like “Can you do a wheelie??” I had to shake my head no as I can’t and I wouldn’t while rolling over the dirt of all those trees being drug off anyway. He says, well when you think you can make it go for it. I had to off road a bit over some dirt and was then stuck with this big thing dragging trees behind it, the guy saw me though and waved me through to which I busted out a HUGE wheelie. Oh wait no I didn’t I just passed him and waved.
Riding down 215 it gets super nice, nice wide sweepers with some tighter turns thrown into the mix. Last time I was through this road going the opposite direction and one turn is this super long right hander to a really tight left hander, I came into the left hander hot and was all “OH SHIT” but it was fun. The opposite way it’s a tight right hander to long left hand sweeper. Tight right was fun but not shitting my pants, then get all leaned over and blazing through the left hander and about ¾ of the way through it here comes big ol pardner in a truck. Now this wasn’t really that scary but as it was I was closer to the yellow then I needed to be and had to adjust my line mid turn cutting it closer to the white line and sqeebing between big ass truck on one side and HUGE rock wall on the other all at speed. Definitely came out of that one going “whew”.
By this point I was beat, tired, needed a break, had a coke in my tankbag that was probably hot. Then I turned onto 23. Wow. I had been down this part once before but behind a truck that was doing 30mph through the whole thing. All thoughts of taking a break flew the coop soon as I started hitting the twists. Ah it was awesome, just brapple appleing through 23, passing on double yellows when I had to and just generally haulin balls. Was fucking awesome. Took a break once I hit 16, good times!
Cruised 16 to Fayetteville, at which point I decided to take a gamble. It was time for tacos from some small Mexican joint. Taco hut or something. The gamble was if these taco’s were going to give me the blazing shits I was still 90 miles away from home and would be racing the shits home. Luckily, they were good and didn’t make a turd till today. Still at the time I was wondering, if these are like some taco shacks, I’m going to be racing the squirts home for about 60 miles or so. OI!
After eating and getting gas, and not developing gas from the Taco’s I made my way out 16 again and time for more hooligan antics. To the tune of a burst on a straight to 139 which is a new best for me, as well as passing on double yellow to the tune squeezing myself in between a car and a truck that were going to slow, then passing the truck on the next short straight to send myself blazing into a corner pretty damn hot, turn and burn through the corner going “AHHHHHHHHHHH” through it and pop out the other end to crank it up to about 120 or so till the next turn. I was just thinking “Man I hope that looked cool”.
Cruising through Siloam Springs I see a BMW dual sport on the side of the road, with… A trailer? I stopped off to meet V8 Turbo from the ADVrider.com boards and talk with him. His alternator fizzled on his 07 BMW right at the state line. I guess the BMW knew that OK only had straight roads and just didn’t want to go. Hope you got it fixed today Mark.
Then I got on the turnpike, yes the pike I was tired and didn’t want to do 2 lane roads so I could hit the 7ish or so turns on scenic 412. Cracked it up to 90 and just rolled home.
Fun times, met some great people, rode some great roads. Now to just figure out how I could do this full time all the time. It was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to do it again.
Day 3: 309 miles.
Total driveway to driveway: 832.8