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Off to the twisty fun in Arkansas.

Day 1 N. Texas to Eureka Springs (414M)

I woke up before the alarm and ready to hit the road. I have been unemployed for a couple of weeks and the weight of the world has been on my shoulders. I really needed a break and this is what the doctor ordered. We had decided to meet at the Starbucks on Bethany and 75. We would have kick stands up at 7AM. We wanted to get out of the metro-plex as fast as possible. When I arrived around 6:30, Rob was already there drinking a cup of coffee and ready to start the day. Herman showed up a few minutes later. There was that excitement in the air. The start of any road trip always makes me feel great! By the way I love that feeling. I know it may seem corny, but these types of rides are the reason I love motorcycling. Jackie was going to be joining us in Paris Texas as it was closer and easier to get to from his side of town.

We loaded up and hit the road right on time. Another Arkansas trip was underway. We were meeting Jackie at Nancy’s café in Paris. No one in the group had eaten there in the past so we did not know what to expect. Jackie was already in the parking lot when we arrived. We got to the café around 8:30AM. The food was very good and very cheap. I ate 2 eggs, sausage, has browns and biscuits for under $4.00! Not a bad deal at all.

We always take pretty much the same route to get out of North Dallas. We run down 75 to 121 then head over to 82. We leave Paris and jump on FM 195 to 37 thru Idabel and then jump on 259 heading into Oklahoma. We usually head over the Talimena Scenic drive, but the weather was looking very dark up that way. We have done more rides than I can remember in the rain up there so we decided to go on 8 across the valley into Mena. We got some rain showers but it was not bad. The ridge was getting pounded. The scary part was the lightning. For a few miles it seemed like it was all around. We stopped in Mena and fueled up and had a drink at the local Sonic. The rain was nice as it really cooled things off some. Herman did have to cover his radio and Radar detector, so we stopped on the side of the road and let him do it. (more on this later) The ride was nice and the weather cleared up right after we left Mena. I tried to take some pictures, but I was very bad at it. I am used to Jamie sitting on the back and documenting the journey. Well she could not come with us, so I tried taking pictures while riding. I put my camera on a lanyard and had it around my neck. When I thought it was safe, I would turn it on (hard to do in gloved hands) and try and snap a few. The results were mixed.

We actually made pretty good time. We would ride 65-80 miles take a short break and forge ahead. We could see we were riding out of the weather front. The skies cleared and the temps climbed. I think it went from 70 – 90 in 5 minutes. It was a tad muggy as well. I have been told that I don’t write more and include more information on the roads that we take, so this time I am really trying. We headed out of Mena on 59 to 270 into Y city, then 71 up thru Waldron. Speaking of this little slice of heaven, Waldron is a little town nothing special just a speed bump on the way to better riding. Remember when I said that Herman had to cover his radar detector? Well at that time Rob took off his detector and put it in the top case to make sure it was safe and sound. Now both of these guys have these space age, big time radar machines, that they call valentine. Well I have to tell you something.. they work like crap when not used or used correctly. Herman had flipped a wrong switch and Rob had put his away. We were cruising along and passed a slow car, We are going at a good pace when I look to the left and see a nice state trooper flashing a blue light at the boys ahead, I look down to realize that I was exceeding the speed limit, well he did not blue light me, I got to see all of the pretty little colors. He swung a U and was on me in a hurry, I pulled over and watched as all of the BMW’s kept going.

Trooper Darwin, was a very nice guy, he informed me that he hated to pull me over ( he likes bikers), but I could not do 84 in a 55 on his watch. I was flabbergasted as I thought the speed limit was 65. (like that really made a difference) He calmed me down as he said that he knew what had happened as he saw us pass the car and then watched as I was in the back trying to catch up. He said he flashed the boys ahead as they were going 71 in a 55, he laughed as he said not one of them slowed down. I would find out later that the guys thought the limit was 65, so they thought he was just being a jerk. He also said he knew the pact of not all of the bikes stopping, so he knew I was on my own. He asked for my license and walked back to the car. All I could think about was how many dollars this ticket would cost me. Let’s see 29 over, hell I might be going to the local jail, if this well spoken, great big trooper decides that I am a menace to society. I was standing next to the bike when he walked back up. He said he was going to chew my butt for a few more minutes, but he would only write me for 67 in a 55 and pro-rate the appearance date to Oct 15 to allow for some time to get some cash together to pay the ticket. He was a nice guy and I knew I was in the wrong. I have never been stopped on a motorcycle trip and the bad part was, we were on the straightest, most boring part of road on the entire trip. I could see getting nailed in the fun stuff, but in Waldron? I was bummed but also know it could have been a lot worse.

The guys were stopped a few miles down the road. They did not know I was getting a ticket. They were bummed as both radar detectors were out of use. It could have saved me a few bucks. Ultimately I am the one that is held accountable and I should have known better. We went up 71 to 28 and the jumped on 23. We rode the pigs trail up to the springs without incident. 23 north of Ozark all the way to Eureka springs is a lot of fun. You can see a video done by a rider on the pig trail here. It is not me but you will get the right idea of how much fun the road is. We got to the Edelweiss Inn around 4:30PM. It was a great day of riding.

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