|the skittles gang at Sand Gap|
Since it would only be myself and the weather was amazing, a few of us thought about one last camping trip. Unfortunately a lot of people had the same thought. The camp grounds at Petit Jean State Park were completely booked, so I just kept my room at the Mather Lodge. David Jackson would be joining me in my room, using a sleeping bag as he did not reserve a room. We decided to head out early Friday morning. The gang all arrived and we had a cup of coffee before heading out. Rob, Mark and David joined me for a great day of riding.
|ready to ride|
|David, Mark and Rob telling stories|
We did the slab thing up to Nancy's Cafe in Paris Texas for a quick breakfast, before heading to the fun part of the route. It was a beautiful morning and the temps started out in the low 60's. We had a great morning of riding. We rode the Talimena Scenic Drive and took a break in Mena to fuel up, before heading the last 200 miles to the lodge. We ran into the rest of the gang as they rolled into Mena as we were preparing to leave.
|arrived at Nancy's|
|Rob is really enjoying breakfast|
|breaktime - love my new helmet|
|We tried to hide, but they found us|
We encountered a little issue when Mark's TPS monitor said he was losing air pressure in his rear tire. We pulled over and found that Mark had a good sized nail that decided to make a home in his rear tire. We got out the tire plugging kit and repaired the flat. Mark has recently had back surgery so it was fortunate that we were all there to help him out. We do not want him to have anymore issues. This is one reason I love riding with this group. They are all about the ride and helping each other out no matter what the circumstance. The bad news is we had to plug it multiple times and then we found another hole. Mark made it to Ola Arkansas before giving in and calling another friend at the lodge who had a trailer.
|beautiful place to plug a tire|
|Mark looking great|
Yeeha was able to pick Mark up and take them to Russelville to a local Honda dealership. Mark would then go back on Saturday morning to get the tire. (More on this later). the ride was great and the weather was unbelievable. We arrived at the Lodge and hooked up with the gang for an early dinner. The lodge was beautiful. Will have to come back when Jamie can go, as she would love it.
|My Versys looking good|
|Nice view at the Lodge|
|parking lot full of bikes - fun times.|
Saturday we got up had a nice breakfast and then headed out. Again the weather was awesome. It was in the low 50's to start but then warmed up nicely. The morning started off with the group watching Mark climb aboard Adan's GS for the ride to the dealership. Mark threatened me not to post this but I don't scare easily haha.
|words cant express my happiness for this picture|
Rob, David and myself took off for Mountain View. We were riding through Clinton to meet up with Richard who would be joining us for a nice ride through the country side. Richard has recently relocated to Arkansas for his job, so it was cool that he joined us.
|Richard at Daisy Queen|
We picked up Richard and then headed out to one of our favorite roads. Push Mountain is a great motorcycle road and has been one of our favorites for many years. We rode up Push until the pavement turned then pulled a u-turn and rode back down. So much fun! Even with Richard on a 650 Versys he still kicked our asses.. haha
|another great day on Push Mountain|
|David "I don't need rain gear" Jackson|
|another great run on Push|
|cool bike at the Gap|
The rest of the afternoon was spent with the guys riding on some of the best twisty roads in NW Arkansas. It was a fabulous day for a ride. We stopped and had lunch at Daisy Queen in Marshall. We seem to stop here on all of our rides when we go through Marshall. We finished up at the lodge, telling stories and enjoying the groups company. What a great way to spend a Saturday.
|Chillin after a nice ride|
Sunday started off the same as Saturday. the weather was great. The good thing was that Mark had his bike back and in good riding order. Some of the gang headed back to town on Sunday. We had decided to go back on Monday so today would be another great day of rising. We would hit Jasper via Ar 7, 123, 74 and many more great roads. The ride and the company was top notch. We stopped at the Ozark cafe in Jasper for lunch then took the long way back to the Lodge.
|lunch time Ozark style|
|Rob looking very happy|
On the way back to the lodge, we decided to go check out the overlook at Petit Jean State Park. The view is breath taking and it seems like you can see for miles. I have to say that I loved the park and we will return next year for some camping and hiking.
|That is me. I never get pictures of me in them.|
Monday arrived with the threat of rain. Well it turned out to be more of a threat. It rained hard on us until we reached DeQueen Arkansas. We stopped for Breakfast in Mount Ida and enjoyed a nice meal for cheap. I love these mom and pop places. We rode back to North Texas without incident. We were wet but all safe and with smiles. David might not have been smiling as he left his rain gear at home so he was a tad miserable. It was a great weekend. I put 1285 miles on the Versys with no issue. The big V will be getting new chain and sprockets as soon as I can get it done as the chain is toast. It was a great riding weekend. We did not see much color change, but the weather made up for it. The riding was amazing and the company made it a trip to remember. Let's do it again soon!
|Raining on the road|
One final thought. One thing I love about Arkansas is the total lack of traffic on the great roads. Where else can you hang out in the middle of a twisty road for almost 30 minutes and not see another vehicle? Just another reason to love Push Mountain.