The Ozark Escape – What a great way to start the 2021 riding season.
We woke up on Thursday morning, not believing that the day was finally here. The Last Ozark Escape happened in April of 2019 in Mountain Home Arkansas. Little did we know that it would take over 2 years to host another Escape.
With all of the chaos of 2020, it was nice waking up to some form of normalcy. The world events are still on the forefront, but it seems that we are slowly getting back to life. It will never be the same, but it sure is nice to see events taking place and people gathering to enjoy the finer things in life. Motorcycle rallies and “Just for fun events” are a few of those things that we might have taken for granted in the past. Not any longer.
We have been planning this event, since the day we had to cancel last years ride. The day was finally here and the riders had spoken. As we rode off Thursday morning to meet some friends at the Oark Cafe, the Ozark Escape had over 74 riders signed up from 11 different states with riders coming from far away places like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. It was setting up to be a great weekend. The weather was beautiful, if not a little cold as we took off. We met up with John from Cincinnati at our local departure lounge, then road down the the Ozark Cafe. The weather and the roads did not disappoint. We rolled into the Cafe to be greeted by Jim from Bixby OK riding his beautiful Goldwing. Within 10 minutes, David, Bob and Yeeha all rode up. Just seeing old and new friends with smiles on their faces made my morning!
We enjoyed a good lunch, catching up with good conversation and laughs. While we were waiting for food, I even got the drone up and took some video. It was a great way to start the day and to kick off the event. We rode all afternoon, taking advantage of the sun. We were all hoping that the rain in the forecast tomorrow would somehow go away.
We woke up Friday morning and as luck would have it, the rain was coming down. Looking at the weather radar it looked like it would rain for most of the day. We decided to cancel the ride, as it was not looking good. We wanted to ensure the safety of the group and this was the right thing to do. We jumped in the car, headed down the road and had some breakfast. We were getting word that the riders were all cutting the day short and would do little rides later in the day as the rains cleared.
We all geared up and headed for Eureka Springs around 11am. The radar had a a nice little break for a couple of hours, so we thought it best to take off. The hotel was very accommodating. They let all riders check in early and opened up the breakfast area for us to use as a gathering place. This was a great gesture and appreciated by all of the riders. The Quality Inn In Eureka Springs was a HUGE hit among the group and all parties, thought it was a great place to hold next years event as well. So stay tuned form details on the 2022 Escape.
The hotel was full and there were a number of bikes in the lot when we rode in. We quickly checked in and headed down town to get some lunch. We ate at Sauced, good food, good prices and the service was awesome. We would recommend this little gem on your next visit to the area.
After lunch we went back to the hotel and spent the afternoon and evening chatting with friends. The place was packed and we counted over 35 riders hanging out. We all ordered pizza later in the evening. It was so cool, hearing the room filled with motorcycle stories, laughs and riders just enjoying hanging out with like minded folks. It was a fantastic evening! Come to find out, a lot of the group got some miles in as they rode in away from the rain. Some even took off later and enjoyed the routes that were provided. It was not a lost day and the rest of the weekend looked to bring more of the same.
Saturday morning started off the same way that Friday did, however there was good news. The radar said that by 10am the clouds would part and the rain would stop. We ate a quick breakfast at the hotel. This time the radar was correct. A group of us geared up and hit the road. The location was Jasper Arkansas and the quant little eatery called the Ozark Cafe. We took the long way round, even getting to turn things up a little on AR 16 as the roads dried. It was a nice spirited ride to lunch.
The Ozark Cafe was busy, but as always the food and service were top notch. We logged a good 220 miles before getting back to the hotel. The group all split up and headed into town to get some dinner. Unfortunately we were not able to eat at the same location with the entire group due to the large amount of riders. A group of us at ate the Rocking Pig. The food was decent and once inside the service was good. We finished the evening chatting and enjoying a few adult beverages. Another great day in the books.
All good things must come to an end. We woke up on Sunday morning to beautiful skies and a forecast that did not include rain. Life was good. Most of the riders took off early as they had many miles ahead of them. Others stayed around for another day of riding. We joined our friends Becky & Jeff for breakfast and a quick ride around the area, before we went back to Eureka Springs and loaded their bikes up on the trailer for the 7 hours back to Louisiana.
We ate breakfast and then did a little circle back to the hotel. We stopped by the golden gate bridge and then rode some twisty roads back to the hotel. Jamie and I watched as Becky & Jeff loaded up the bikes. We said our goodbyes and headed back to the house.
On the way home, we had a little recap of the weekend events. Even with the rain, the event was a huge success. There were over 60+ riders at the event, representing 11 different states. We had so many great comments from the riders and everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend. Check out all of the pictures from the event here. We also had some riders submit their photos. Check those out here. If you want to submit some of your pictures from the event, contact us for the link.
Next years event will be April 22-24, 2022 at the same Quality Inn location More details will be available in the next few months.