Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Livin' in a Poor Man's Shangra, La. aka New Orleans
Travels with L'il Red: Arkansas fix Nov2016
Sometimes the lure of the road is too much. Sometimes I want instant gratification. These days, not being scheduled too much is a fugue state of "semi" retirement I emerge from fugue and fugue in another direction.
I can leave my hometown, with MLW's blessings for a 5-6 day ride. Actually the word "blessings" may not be entirely appropriate. When we were chatting from the road on this ride, I found out that she welcomes her time alone (("take another day, that's fine"), not having to cook, having the TV to herself, living her own hours--except for the surrogate mom duties to 7, count-em, 7, nearby grandchildren. Probably, watching soaps, or the "Real" "Housewives" of in her PJs, eating bon-bons, and waiting for the pool guy. Nahhh, probably not. So, I needed a fix.
A day away are the absolutely wonderful roads of Arkansas. Being a red state, and most certainly fly-over, it doesn't get the press or the acclaim it deserves. I've ridden a lot of places, not all, but a lot, and Arkansas, well easily HALF of the state is primo riding territory. i'll get more specific: Draw a line from Texarkana to Hope, then up to Mountain Home to Mountain View...sorta, with significant fudging around those lines...anyway, all of that has FIRST CLASS riding on the state and country roads. It's a day away from me, from this, my admittedly photogenic hometown.
I was not going to even report this one, but more people need to know about Arkansas. I've done these roads on the roadsters many times. This time on the GS (it was a better ride, by just "this much" >----<). So here are a few pix from this ride. There's enough here to fill 3 days with 250mile day rides and not ride the same road twice. Base out of Jasper or Clarksville.
I have a ride report on Arkansas when I had my 1150 which I'll supply on demand.
The above were at an abandoned church in Hopper, Arkansas. This was just after I learned my limits on AR240 outside of Glenwood. I did shout an AMEN! in the nave.
This is the dirt road beyond Oark, and the Oark Cafe--a celebrated spot. It is surrounded by very fine pavement and leads to AR21, a WONDERFUL ride. I always wanted to do this part, but now with the GS attempted it. It was fine including near the end some muddy, elevation changes switchbacks, spun out the rear as I was ascending, but enduro mode is your friend.
I would nominate Arkansas for the state with the most off the wall town names. In addition to Snowball, Arkansas, there is also Red Star, and Deer, and Fifty-Six.
It got pretty cold in Mountain View (thanks, Erin)
This is the iconic Arkansas sign, you see this sign in many many places. Here it is on 263, but this is NOT a rare sight. Oh, and you can believe it! Or, at least always heed it, because you might find yourself on 123 where if unprepared for the switchbacks, 10 mph ones, or on 103, or Mt Nebo with 18% grades...while, when it occurs on 7, it is for the cruiser crowd, and less foreboding.
and finally on the way back in Searcy, the restored Rialto where Pete's Dragon was on the bill.
This was just a small taste. I will warn you though that photos can be few and far between, not because of a lack in photogeniety, but because the roads are so good that you don't want to stop.
Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; 30-Nov-2016 at 03:51 PM (911).