This past weekend I attended the BMW GETAWAY in Eureka Springs Arkansas. Rob and I left on Thursday morning around 6:00am. The idea was to beat the North Texas heat, but as luck would have it, the weather was very comfortable and cool.I wore my liner for most of the morning. Tell me again.. This is August right? We wanted to get up to Eureka Springs on Thursday so that we could take in the nice twisty roads on Friday and Saturday.
Rob and I slabbed it over to Paris Texas before jumping off and taking FM roads for the rest of the morning. There was a little road construction just outside of Paris. We just enjoyed the cool morning and took in the cool morning air.
The Versys was unbelievable. I am still surprised at how well this bike handles the touring part of sport touring. It is very comfortable and the bike was getting 46 mpg. The Big Versys turned 10,000 miles just outside Broken Bow, OK. I am so happy with the versys. It was a great choice and I would find it hard to believe that there is a better bike out there for me at this time.
We did ride the Talimena Scenic Byway. I had not done that in a few years. the road surface was not very good but the view was very appealing. We stopped and had brunch / lunch at the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge. It is very nice. It has not changed a lot just added a few more features. the sun room is amazing. I love camping there, maybe we will be able to do that soon. Lunch was nothing spectacular, but it was decent. The weather was amazing and the views were stunning. Love that area.
We made our way up to Eureka Springs via a little detour. We went up to AR 23 (pig trail) until we started to see the signs for the road being closed. We did not believe it until we rode the 16 miles to the closed road signs. So we had to ride back down the 16 miles and then ride over to Fayetteville and then into Eureka Springs. This added almost 2 hours to the trip. it was not a big deal as the weather stay good. It was a good day of riding. I put 494 miles on the bike for the day. We ran into a couple of guys from North Carolina who had been touring the Southwest. They were jetting across AR to get back to the east coast.
We arrived around 5PM. We got our room and then walked downtown to have some dinner. It was the calm before the storm as Thursday are quiet, especially this time of year as school was getting ready to start and the families were done with their summer vacations. The weekend would pick up but today it was slow. The hotel was very nice and there was plenty of rooms to house all of us and the parking lot was great for kicking tires. It had the beginning of an awesome weekend.
We woke up Friday morning and had a long day scheduled. We ate some breakfast and then hit the road around 8am. We had a nice twisty route planned. We did part of AR23, 123, 7, 16, 74, 341 (Push Mountain) and many more. We logged 323 miles for the day and it was awesome. The roads are amazing and it always seems to amaze me at the lack of traffic. The tarmac is amazing and I love riding in that area. I can't wait to go back and ride the roads again. It never gets old.
The only bad news for the weekend was the closing of Cody's in Fifty Six. This is a place we always stopped to eat in before hitting up Push Mountain. It is sad that these smaller eating places struggle so much. We will miss Cody's
We did Push Mountain twice. I love that road. It was the first time I really got to push the big Versys. It did so well. The bike is so easy to ride fast and I really think it was the fastest run I have ever completed on Push. This is a big deal as I have done Push a number of times, on many different bikes. The Big Versys kicked ass on the mountain.
We got back to Eureka Springs around 5pm. We registered for the rally and then joined the meet n greet by the pool. Dinner was good as they served Hamburgers and hotdogs with all of the fixins. It was neat kicking tires with everyone and meeting some new friends. We enjoyed the evening and no one could believe that we were in Arkansas in August and the weather was not over whelming. It was so pleasant. What a great weekend.
We awoke on Saturday to a rain filled morning. We had planned a shorter ride for Saturday so this did not do much to dampen our spirits. We waited for the rain to go away and then we loaded up for the day. I had a short route planned that would take us over to the Pea Ridge Military Park. I had ridden by it a number of times, but never stopped today was a great opportunity to take in the park and learn some about the largest battle that took place west of the Mississippi during the Civil War. It was a very nice place. We spent a good two hours touring the museum and doing the riding tour.
After visiting the park, we headed off to the lake to have some lunch. I had read about JJ's Grill on the lake. We made our way there and enjoyed some lunch. The food was good, but the company was better. It was great hanging out with friends and just enjoying the beautiful day.
We made it back to the hotel around 3pm. We took it easy and just hung out kicking tires and talking with new friends. The rally had a very nice buffet dinner and then the rally gave out some very nice raffle gifts. It was a great evening.
We were going to head out early on Sunday morning as it looked to be a hot day of riding heading back to North Texas. We awoke to rain.. Lots of it. It just kept coming down and it was very windy, lots of thunder and lightning, not the best riding weather. We decided to eat breakfast and depart a few hours later. We jumped on the bike at 9am and it was still pouring. We threw on the rain gear and hit the road. We rode in the wet for a good 2 hours before we rode out of it. The rest of the day the weather was good until we got within an hour away from home. It was in the mid 90's by this time. We stopped at Loose Wheels and had lunch before going the rest of the way home.
Till next time, Ride safe everyone!