Oct 29: Watch out Arkansas. Here we come!This is always one of my favorite trips of the year. It always comes when I need a much needed break from my work and most importantly it occurs right around our wedding anniversary. It makes for a nice quick get away. It is always a fun trip.
Jamie and I decided that we would leave Plano right after work on Wednesday evening and slab to the beautiful city of Texarkana. This allowed us to have a nice 300 mile day on Thursday. We would be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Arkansas without having to worry about making time. We met Rob at the house and headed off right at 5PM. Yes that meant that we got to deal with the metroplex traffic at rush hour. It was not awful, but it took us a good hour to get free of the mess that is Dallas traffic.
Before I go any further, I have to show a picture of our awesome dog as I was taking her to the kennel. She looks scared to death, but we love her anyhow. Love our Bella.
We stopped and had dinner in Sulphur Springs before riding in the dark to the hotel. There were a couple of guys just hanging out in front of the hotel. They were singing and playing a guitar. I thought that was odd, they actually sounded pretty good. The clerk allowed us to park under the canopy and keep the bikes out of the dark parking lot.
Oct 30: A beautiful ride in a beautiful state.
We both slept well and we were very excited to get the next day started. Thursday morning was a beautiful morning. We got up and packed the bikes before heading over to our favorite place to eat while on the road. That's right folks, we love us some Cracker Barrel when we are on a road trip. We rode up AR 7 and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. The sun was bright and the colors were ready to explode. I have to say that this ride was one of the best rides I have done heading up to Mountain View.
We stopped on the way at a little state park named Petit Jean State Park. We had never stopped there on our many trips to Arkansas. It was not a disappointment. The lake was pretty and the park was very nice. We did a little walking around before jumping back on the bike. It was starting to get a little dark, and we wanted to avoid a down pour. Besides Rob had forgotten his rain gear and was not looking forward to riding his naked ninja in the rain.
We got a little rain but nothing major. We rode the rest of the way to Mountain View, enjoying the day and loving that the closer we got top the hotel, the twistier the roads became. This was one of the big reasons we ride in Arkansas. Those awesome twisty roads are hard to beat.
The cabins we stayed in were very nice. Two queen sized beds and a full blown kitchen. Both of us thought that spending a week or more there would be no issue. We hooked up with some friends from the LSBMW club and just had a nice afternoon catching up with good friends, hearing of ride tales and adventures. Not a bad way to end a day. We finished up at dinner at a little Mexican food place named Mi Pueblito. The food is good and there was plenty of room for everyone.
Oct 31: Happy Halloween. Friday is Fun Day! Let's ride!
We both slept hard on Thursday night, but awoke on Friday rejuvenated and ready to ride. One of the reasons we come up a day early is to ride a nice long loop on Friday before the club arrives. This year we had planned on doing a familiar but enjoyable route. We headed off to Cody's in Fifty Six Arkansas for breakfast. The cool thing about the start to this day is it began with a spirited jaunt up Ar 87 to 14. This is a nice warm up for the day. I could start every riding day off on this type of road. The weather was awesome and the riding was even better. We rode up and down Push Mountain a couple of times and then headed down 16 to 7 and had lunch in Jasper.
A short funny story occurred as we were paying our tab for lunch. A state trooper walked in the door and I jokingly said "Good he is here, now we can pick up the pace some". Before I could even turn around he replied in a deep voice. "ZERO TOLERANCE GENTLEMEN, ZERO TOLERANCE!" I almost laughed out loud. Some people cant take a joke. As we walked outside still laughing from the incident, we looked up to see his car parked next to another car with his lights on. Looking closer, someone had parked their car under a no parking sign and was blocking the roadway. I thought to myself. If I had to deal with idiots like that all day I might not have a sense of humor as well.
We rode the rest of the afternoon, enjoying the great weather and twisty roads. The rest of the club was coming in tonight and we were all meeting back at Mi Pueblito. We got back around 4PM, allowing us enough time to get ready for dinner and to kick some tires. As we were walking in the parking lot I noticed that Steve's tire was a little low. They had run over a little screw, but with help from a bunch of the guys in the club they were up and running in only a few minutes.
The dinner event was fabulous. Lots of people 55+ and the vibe in the room was amazing. Everyone had a great day of riding and now spending the rest of the evening with friends old and new was a big hit. Jamie and I ate dinner, went and walked a little and was in bed by 9PM. We needed our rest for the next day of riding. Rumor had it, the weather would be cold to start our Saturday.
Nov 1: The weather dude did not lie. It's cold!
It was very chilly when we awoke on Saturday morning. The temp on our phones registered a balmy 29. I walked outside to see for myself and yep! It was cold.
We decided that it would be prudent to wait a few hours before hitting the road. We beat the rush and headed over to PJ's Rainbow cafe for breakfast. We invited ourselves to join Dave Allen and Herb as they had some seats available at their table. We talked about life, motorcycles and a bunch of other things. Sometimes it is great to meet and actually get to know some of the people you ride with. Dave decided to join us on our ride. Believe it or not he had never ridden Push Mountain.. (cue scary music).. The Horror! We would change that today. We all agreed that a 11AM start time would be good. The sun had come out and it had warmed to the low 40's before we took off.
We rode up to Cody's again and did Push Mountain twice. Dave liked the road and I am sure he will return in the future. We cut across the countryside, stopping from time to time to take pictures and smell the roses. It was a great day to ride. Jamie took some great images from her pillion position. Love the way she is so comfortable that she can do this. Great pictures while moving is hard to do. She did a great job. We stopped in Leslie Arkansas at the Skylark Cafe. They were out of chili, but the pie was really good. I enjoyed my two bites. We finished the loop and was back at the cabin before 4PM. It was a nice leisurely day on the bike.
Old school GPS
The club got together that evening at Anglers for a nice catfish dinner. Again the group consisted of 50+ people. The mood was joyful and everyone had a great time. The vote was unanimous as we would return next year to Mountain View for the fall colors ride. Jamie and I had a great evening. Tomorrow we would have to head back to Dallas, but it had been a very enjoyable trip.
Jamie can be scary to sit next to. haha!
Nov 2: Time to head back to Plano. Do we have to go?
Yes, we have to go back. The kids need us (I think) and the dog and cat would not be happy if we stayed. We took off at 8AM, headed down 9 and jumped on 65 to get into Conway before the Cracker Barrel filled up with the regular church crowd. Dave Allen, Craig and Norma Olsen joined us on this part of the trip. Herman and Patty drove up as they had Herman's RT on a trailer. I will give him a break. He had just returned form a 5000 mile trip to mexico. He needed a break.
We slabbed back, fighting the semi traffic and the traffic. We got back into town in enough time to watch the 2nd half of the Bronco - New England game. Not the result we were looking for, but after our great weekend experience, it was all good! We can't wait to go back to Arkansas. We love that area.
Until next time. Ride safe.
You can see all of the pictures from the trip here: Motoadrenaline Photo Gallery
The club has a bunch of good pictures here: LSBMW gallery