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Old 04-26-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
DarkRider OP
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1800cc's of GS Paradise

Just finished up a 4-day trip to Arkansas with selkins. The plan was to meet in Talihina, OK, ride the Talimena Trail over into Arkansas, then ride twisties and forest roads by day and camp by night. Add 1 part 1150GSA, 1 part 650GS, and 1 bottle of gin, and everything was lined up for a memorable trip. I'm not the wordiest guy in the world, so I'll do the brief reconstruction of the trip, throw in my 100+ pictures, and let selkins fill in a few missing spots when he gets back to Minneapolis tomorrow night.

Day 1
Left the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in the morning heading north, cut over through Whitewright, TX for breakfast at CJ's. There was a group of Cobra's and assorted other "American exotics" out for a breakfast run this morning:





After breakfast, it was on into Oklahoma, where I gassed up in Sawyer. Asked the lady at the register what the best way was to get to Talihina:

Attendant: head straight north from here, take a couple of roads, and you'll be there.

Me: Looks like on the map if I go east, then north, I'll be on 259 which is a scenic route...wouldn't that be better?

Attendant: oh no, that road is really twisty, I'd go north.


Headed east toward 259 and came across this plane parked on the side of the road:



Looks like an Amtrak logo on the tail but I'm not sure...whatever the make/model, it didn't bring in enough customers as the shop was closed.

Headed east and cut up through Glover to catch 259 at Broken Bow...headed north and even though it was labeled as a scenic road on the map, I found myself getting bored. I stopped near Bethel and asked a couple running a roadside bait/beer/gas shop whether it would be more scenic to cut across on 144 and go the back way into Talihina:

Couple: you on a motorcycle?

Me: yeah

Couple: then you definitely shouldn't take the back way, that road turns into dirt about 1/2 there.

Me: any mud?

Couple: don't know, it hasn't rained but it's definitely dirty and rough.


Left them and promptly cut off on 144 looking for dirt. First I had to slog my way through this:



Before I reached this:



Rode dirt most of the way to Honobia, then it was onto the Indian Hwy, where I found a sign that became a frequent site on our trip:



Why haven't I ridden in this state before



Dropped down into Talihina and met up with selkins...grabbed some grub at Big Al's Steakhouse before hitting the Talimena Trail. We chose to stock up for the night on the Oklahoma side before routing east



Finished up the Talimena Trail (overcast and misty so no amazing photos...although it really is a must-see road in AR) and started thinking about a stopping place for the night. selkins took the helm and found us an amazing spot on National Forest land right near Cedar Creek, AR off Hwy 28. Getting to the campsite was a little bit of a challenge as we got to ride a rocky stretch of road for about 100 yards to reach the spot - here's a shot of the road the next morning:



But a great spot, a great fire (Scott's the master firemaker), and celebration of a great first day of riding:



Day 2 was the closest thing to riding Nirvana I've ever experienced in my life...twisties...big breakfast...twisties...forest roads...ATV trails...mud...rocks...more twisties...BBQ...more twisties...pie...dirt...more twisties...and camping. Stay tuned - I'll get those photos (there's a ton) up soon.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:34 PM   #2
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Off to a great start!

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Old 04-26-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkRider
Why haven't I ridden in this state before
Well at least you found it before it was too late!
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:28 PM   #4
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And spring is in full bloom, too.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:12 PM   #5
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Ok, got some work done...now back for Day 2:

Up the next morning, I got a few shots of the campsite before we departed:



Camped next to this stream:



And got to ride back over this...at least it was daylight now:



Then it was east on 28 to about Rover, where we picked up 27 and the twisties began. Thought this was kindof a cool shot - collapsing building/dirty headlights:



Stopped in Danville for some amazing Salvadorean food for breakfast:





Then it was Hwy 10 north to where we caught back up with 27 but lost interest and found ourselves routing northwest on Cr-23, Cr-36, Cr-35, and a host of other roads leading into and through the Ozark National Forest:



Somewhere in there, we came across this:



And had to do this:



In hindsight, it wasn't such a smart idea for me to gas up and add a bunch of extra weight before this stretch because we ended up on a long ATV trail that was extremely technical and left my GSA in need of several naps. I let Scott provide the appropriate advrider assistance while she dozed and he can post his photos of my phatty sleeping on the rocks later. Needless to say, duct tape was in order at our next stop:



Stopped for a quick pic of this lake before heading into Paris for lunch:



Pulled pork sandwich...good grub



Then it was back to twisties. Routed north on 309 and caught 23 at Webb City, and it was off to the races. Ran 23 up to Cass, decided we needed to get some more dirt in so we cut off north of Cass onto County Road 83 east and ended up on Nf-1003. Here's a couple of pics from somewhere in here...stopped to cool off in a nice river by we crossed a few times:




Next thing we know it's County Road 32 and that morphs into 215 and back into twisty land. I think the main thing that struck me about riding in Arkansas was the variety of roads, yet how well maintained they all are as a whole and how devoid of traffic the best ones seem to be. Believe this was taken on 215:



Then on into Oark for some pie:





Oark livestock:






Left Oark on 215, which turns back into Nf-1003, and followed that around to where we were able to hook up with 21. Hwy 21 spun my head around so much I was muttering "no more yanky my wanky...the donger need food"...I think we were both getting a little toasted from the constant twisties so we decided to find a spot to camp for the night and relax. Routed north off 21 onto 43 and found a great campground south of Ponca. Even found a little Gatorade and a bag of ice at a bait shop in Ponca to provide an adequate delivery system for the evenings embalming fluid



Later on that evening, Scott demonstrated the proper technique for spitting a mouthful of scotch into a fire:



After solving the problem of where to pack the leftover Gatorade...and gin , we called it a night.

More dirt, more twisties, more greasy food on Day 3...I'll get the remainder of the report up tomorrow.
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for a superb GS paradise report!! Great pics and ride!
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:18 AM   #7
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Great report and pics!

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Old 04-27-2007, 03:06 PM   #8
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Nice report, and I see you had the Tanqueray, nice. But I have to ask, what's the yellow thing on this plate? Is that a fried banana? Sorry I just never saw anything like that.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deej
Nice report, and I see you had the Tanqueray, nice. But I have to ask, what's the yellow thing on this plate? Is that a fried banana? Sorry I just never saw anything like that.
Gotta be honest with you deej, I'm not a culinary kinda guy...I just like great food. I'm pretty sure it's a "banana derivative", perhaps called a platano, but I'm not positive. We walked in and I basically asked the guy to bring me the best thing they made for breakfast...and A LOT of black coffee.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:39 AM   #10
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Looks like a plantain to me. Yummy.
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:05 AM   #11
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It was banana, not plantain. Fried banana with all of its carmelized, sweety goodness. That breakfast rocked.

I've got pics coming as well. Funny thing about riding like that for a vacation - you come home exhausted.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
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My small additions

A few more pics from our trip:

Before I left my home in the Frozen North, picture of my new wife () holding my Brer Rabbit riding totem. (She's signed up for her MSF course in May .)



From there it was a long ride down through Minnesota, western Iowa and down to Indian Head State Park in Nebraska, where Brer Rabbit kicked back at sunset.



Next day (my 40th birthday, no less), I cruised down to KC for a cousin's wedding. Sunday it was a beeline down Kansas to meet Darkrider in OK, which is when the fun started.







Of course it wasn't all fun and games. Our first full day of riding started off with those nasty rocks





It only got better from there





Brer Rabbit enjoyed the hard-won view



Dark rider enjoyed the mud



I like this one best of all



Then he dropped the fat pig...



...of course I was very sympathetic...




A good day's riding leads to a good night's drinking



Too damned much riding a drinking. I got lazy with photos, so here are a few more. Darkrider can handle the rest... and don't forget the tattoo DR!





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“How do I stay so healthy and boyishly handsome? It's simple. I drink the blood of young runaways.” - Shatner

Mid-America -- Ozarks (Darkrider) -- Lake Superior Circle Tour -- NW US -- Labrador -- Big Bend (Darkrider) -- Yukon/Dempster Hwy -- WTX/NNM/SCO
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:41 AM   #13
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Forgot this shot...

...which I also liked

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Old 04-28-2007, 09:51 AM   #14
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Wow! Awesome! Thanks for the great pics and report
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:23 PM   #15
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Nice! Who would've thought that Arkansas is GS paradise? I'm a believer now though.
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