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Arkansas Fall Color Ride – 2007

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Day One Plano to Eureka Springs 411 Miles – Cold & Overcast.

The bike was loaded and Jamie and I were ready to go on Friday morning. We were meeting Jackie & Rob at the Café Brazil in McKinney for breakfast at 7AM – 7:15AM. I opened the garage and it was a little chilly. The news said it was 40 degrees. It seemed colder than that. We got all bundled up, we had a few layers on and Jamie had her electric vest turned up to baking. We rode up and the guys were already there. We had a good surprise as well. Alta had come to wish us well and to have breakfast with us. It was cold, but we were all looking forward to a wonderful weekend.

We did the slab thing to Paris. We jumped on 121 and then hit 82. Got to Paris and took a hot chocolate break. It was cold, but not as bad as it could have been. I have to say that I do like the idea of having a seat warmer and hand grip warmers, like Jackie and Rob had. I am sure it made there ride a tad more comfortable. I also realized that I need to purchase a full windscreen for my Trophy. That little windshield is fantastic in the summer but not so much in colder weather. Jamie had her heated gear so life was good for my passenger.

We took 195 then jumped on 295 – 63 – 8 to Mena. We ran into some people heading to Eureka Springs for the BMW Lonestar get together. Some very nice bikes were in the group. Saw a GT like Robs with a Remus pipe, very nice.

We ran out of Mena and headed up 23. The weather stayed overcast the rest of the day. We never got rained on so that was a good thing. The forecast had said that we would have sun by the end of the day, but we never saw it. The ride was uneventful. Going up 23into Eureka Springs is always a fun time. It was just a start to a weekend of curvy roads. I love Arkansas.

We stayed at The Ozark Inn across the street from the BMW get together. We had a bunch of bikes in the parking lot as our hotel had some over flow from the place across the street. They were having a dinner for the BMW guys, but we headed down the street and had some catfish and just tried to knock the chill from our bones. 400 miles in chilly weather does a toll on your body. I was never freezing, but it took a while to lose the chill. We had a nice dinner headed back to the room to get some rest. Our room had a full size Jacuzzi…. NICE! It only took us an hour to get it filled and to get the instructions down. Jamie shot some water across the room, gave the TV a nice bath hehehe. The rooms were clean and the company was great. What a great day.

Day Two Eureka Springs to Hot Springs via Push Mountain and a bunch of twisties. 335 Miles – One of the best days ever – Weather was awesome and the riding top notch.

We got up and met out front ready to get breakfast around 7:30. It was already warmer than the day before (46 degrees) and the sky was clear. The day was set up to be a great one! We walked across the street and kicked some tires. We headed out, got to breakfast before the rush and was on the road by 8:30.

We had a 380 mile route planned but we decided to cut 50 miles off and just get to Mountain Home as soon as possible. This was a great choice on our part. We hit 341 (Push Mountain) the sun was shining, life was good. The start was a little shaky, as they have chip sealed parts of the start to 341. You would have goiod road then cheap seal and good road almost evert 100 yards, This lasted a few minutes. Once we were past the cheap seal…. WOW!!! What a fun road. Very technical and twisty. I have been to Deals Gap, this was every bit as nice and fun.

We were half way thru Push, when Jackie turned up the heat. I will take this time to say that he was awesome. The 25 – 30 mph corners were swallowed up by him and the RT. He was riding like he was on a rail. I like to think that I am pretty quick in the tight stuff. Jackie walked off and left us like we were standing still. It was a joy to watch. So smooth, so quick and he did it is a safe manner, just fun to watch. I think he really likes the RT.

I had a little scare as a guy on a Concours, passed us in a corner, not 2 feet from our bike in a corner in our lane. YIKES!! It scared the hell out of me. I was not the same the rest of the way. He passed the rest of the group, using the same technique. He could ride, but I wish he would have passed in a different manner. He was gone and out of sight in a heartbeat. Hope he was safe and sound at the end of the day.

This did not put a damper on the day as the riding was awesome and the road was great! We will be pack to Push Mountain.

The fun was just beginning as 14 was just as much fun as push. It was unbelievable how many curves were in our route. I have to say it was one of the funniest days on a bike that I have ever had. I also could not believe the lack of traffic, cars were very rare.

We stopped by a single lane bridge on 14, to admire the few and smile more. Jackie was all smiles as he was in a zone. We all asked ourselves if we should just move to Arkansas.

The place to park was gravel filled and at a very steep angle. It was hard to find a good place to park. Jackie was having issues as he could not find a good place to park. He backed up and was going to park on the other side of the road when it happened. Gravity happened. Shortness happened. He went to pull up the steep drive slipped on some gravel and then the RT just fell over. Rob and I ran over and helped him pick it up. The mirror had popped off, but we found out that they were designed to do this (That was very neat). The bag took the most damage as did his side cover. The crash bars get a D- as they bent and really did not protect much. We made sure Jackie was alright, The bike was fine. It was a bummer it happened but that would be the worst thing to happen all trip. He was fine, so all was well.

We jumped on 74 or 27 I dunno they were all good roads. We rode a good 200 + miles in twisty fun roads. We did notice that the time was getting away from us and cutting those 50 miles out at the beginning was a good thing. We road thru Russellville and it was getting a little dark. We stopped at Nimrod Dam and then headed for Hot Springs. We got there around 6:30 PM we were beat but the day was fantastic! This day will remain as one of my favorites on a bike for a while. We stayed at the best Western – Stagecoach, not a bad room. There were many bikes in the lot. We walked next door to Rocky’s had some pizza and beer and watched the Rockies get beat (Boooo…) We headed back to the room to get a hot shower and just enjoy relaxing. I can’t say it enough it was a wonderful day with great friends.

Day Three Hot Springs to Plano 395 Miles – Beautiful day and a great way to end the trip! No Rain! Whoo hooo

We got up and hit the road around 8:30. Rob took us to some nice little roads before heading back to the metroplex. 259 was the last of the play, but we all made the best of it but using up more of the sides of the tires than the middle. We took our time, enjoyed the weather and just had a great day. We stopped in Paris to fill up for fuel. Jackie left us here to head home. Our friend Travis was at the station and had a very bad back tire. He was limping back to Dallas we hope he made it home safe.

I will wrap this up, I hope you all enjoyed the story of our journey. I want to say that it is a pleasure riding with our friends. Riding a motorcycle is a great experience and enjoying this with good friends in amazing. I hope they feel the same way. I also want to thank my wife for wanting to ride, actually for loving to ride. She is my heart and soul and I love building these memories with her. Thanks again Rob and Jackie it was a pleasure riding with you all.