1800cc's of GS Paradise

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by DarkRider, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. DarkRider

    DarkRider Middle-aged Man

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
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    608
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    West Texas
    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:

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    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.
    :evil

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

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    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? :evil

    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:

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    Before I reached this:

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    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:

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    Why haven't I ridden in this state before :huh

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    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 :1drink

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    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:

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

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    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.
    #1
  2. MooseKiller

    MooseKiller Tripod

    Joined:
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    Off to a great start! :clap

    :lurk
    #2
  3. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

    Joined:
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    out in the clover patch
    :deal Well at least you found it before it was too late!:lol3
    :lurk
    #3
  4. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
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    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    And spring is in full bloom, too. :thumb
    #4
  5. DarkRider

    DarkRider Middle-aged Man

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    608
    Location:
    West Texas
    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:

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    Camped next to this stream:

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

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    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:

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    Stopped in Danville for some amazing Salvadorean food for breakfast:

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    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:

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    Somewhere in there, we came across this:

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    And had to do this:

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    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:

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

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    Pulled pork sandwich...good grub :dg

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    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:

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    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:

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    Then on into Oark for some pie:

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    Oark livestock:

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    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":lol3...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 :freaky

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

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    After solving the problem of where to pack the leftover Gatorade...and gin :evil, 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.
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Toronto
    Thanks for a superb GS paradise report!! Great pics and ride! :beer
    #6
  7. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

    Joined:
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    Trollhättan, Sweden
    Great report and pics!

    :freaky
    #7
  8. deej

    deej Deej (Deric)

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
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    Washington State
    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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    #8
  9. DarkRider

    DarkRider Middle-aged Man

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
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    West Texas
    Gotta be honest with you deej, I'm not a culinary kinda guy...I just like great food. :dg 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.
    #9
  10. The Jerk

    The Jerk Bring us some fresh wine!

    Joined:
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    #10
  11. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Frozen North
    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.
    #11
  12. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    A few more pics from our trip:

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

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    It only got better from there

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    Brer Rabbit enjoyed the hard-won view

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    Dark rider enjoyed the mud

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    I like this one best of all

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    Then he dropped the fat pig...

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

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

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    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! :huh

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    #12
  13. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Frozen North
    ...which I also liked

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    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Toronto
    Wow! :clap Awesome! Thanks for the great pics and report :thumb
    #14
  15. hez

    hez no longer rational

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    Boise
    Nice! Who would've thought that Arkansas is GS paradise? I'm a believer now though.
    #15
  16. DarkRider

    DarkRider Middle-aged Man

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    608
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    West Texas
    Ok, finally - Day 3:

    Started the day under the cover hoping the rain would hold off while we worked our way north to Eureka Springs:

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    Left the Ponca area, blasted across 21 and 74 to catch up with 127 up into Huntsville for breakfast:

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    Scott marking his spot - pretty cool spot:

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    And finally - BREAKFAST :dg

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    Then it was 23/127 up to Eureka Springs to grab a motel room to stow our gear at before we did more exploring...and because there were horrible storms blowing in later in the day.

    We left Eureka and headed north into Missouri to see the Mark Twain National Forest...I think the guy got the shaft on national parks - didn't compare to those we'd seen in AR. We hit some dirt along the way - as far as pavement, 112 from Cassville down through the Roaring River State Park was a pretty good run.

    Obligatory bridge shot:

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    Hmmm, wonder where this goes:

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    Ok, this is getting interesting...:evil

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    We ran dirt until our weather luck ran out - and a torrential downpour left us fighting our way back into Eureka for the evening. No fires...no gin...just 2 very tired riders.

    Day 4:

    We woke up and immediately started focusing on the important question...where do we get breakfast :lol3. Went down to main street Eureka and found this tasty spot:

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    Crispy hash browns and sausage gravy...yum!

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    At breakfast, we discussed whether we wanted to do some more riding that morning before we had to split up and head to our respective states...or whether I should have a little paint work done :wink:. Given the expected weather for the day (rain, rain, and more rain), we chose paint. I didn't take any pics of the Om I had tattood on my ankle (sorry Scott)...it doesn't compare to some of the tattoo work great adventure riders like Glen have done on their voyages...but I've always worn an Om necklace and feel that it's helped to keep me safe on my many motorcycle voyages. Hopefully adding a permanent Om near my rear brake lever will keep things even safer.

    Few more of Eureka Springs:

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    We split up after the paint and I routed over 62 to 540 for the trip home...as the weather and traffic built up, I decided that I couldn't resist a quick run over to Elkins, AR...in honor of selkins:

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    Routing through Elkins also gave me an opportunity to run 23 south down to I-40...this time, I opened up the GS and ran 23 hard (double the posted limits as much as possible)...my trusty GSA really seemed to enjoy getting to open it up a little after all the dirt and more scenic twisty riding we'd done previously. That's what I love about these bikes - although too heavy to really make easy duty of technical dirt, after you exit the forest roads (and even ATV trails), you can crank 'em to 100mph and leave it there all day - without even a hint of effort on the GS's part. :lol3

    So there you have it...about 1200 miles roundtrip...I'd never seen what a motorcycle riders paradise Arkansas is...can't wait to get back. And as for you Scott, the roads are always twistier, the puddles always deeper, and the memories always better getting to enjoy the adventure with you :clap.

    Next stop...Alaska?
    #16
  17. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    hehe, nice plate there... on the bumble bee coulored GS Adv.:wink:
    #17
  18. drdfblackm

    drdfblackm VeeFeer

    Joined:
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    Safe haven from Zombies aka Flagstaff AZ
    Great Trip report, great photos....should have taken the DR:evil .

    Darrin
    #18
  19. DarkRider

    DarkRider Middle-aged Man

    Joined:
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    West Texas
    Amen :thumb Next time!
    #19
  20. duckrider

    duckrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    993
    Location:
    Southwest Orygun
    Nice report and pics, Looks like a good place to ride. One of these days I'm going have to force myself to actually go east of the Rocky Mts.:lol3
    #20