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Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by 10Cup, Feb 27, 2010.
How's that trail holding up Tim? It was pretty tough last year at SLAP.
Rockier than I have ever seen it. But most every trail I ride seems rockier than the last time I rode it. Down in the bottom area where the creek crossings are is kind of a muddy mess. Gotta kind of pick your spots when riding thru there. Definitely easier going downhill than up I venture to say. Here is a video of an old slow guy on his way down to the Blue Hole.
Here is some more video of the Falls.
Hey Tim, do you have a track of that ride?
Of course! I will send it to you today for a hamburger Tuesday!
Should be in the SLAP Trax files. I think I posted it there.
Not finding it, what's it named?
Happy labor day, laboring, I was not.
Out tearing up the dirt roads in SW MO as much as you can on a big pig, had her dancing around a bit at speed, saw this nice natural bit of rock on JJ near Rcoky Comfort https://www.google.com/maps/place/S...2159b55f!8m2!3d36.6597679!4d-94.1893583?hl=en
TOPAZ MILL, DOUGLAS COUNTY, MISSOURI
This big bike ride occurred back in June when Vic managed to get Jim, David and myself motivated for an overnight ride to see this old grist mill in south central Missouri. We met at Dewayne’s in Dover for breakfast and then headed north on Hwy 7 to Harrison.
The Arkansas Grand Canyon was nearly full to the top with this white, fluffy stuff.
The white, fluffy stuff was kind of gray when we got down to Jasper.
At Harrison, we got on Hwy 65 and continued north until we crossed the big bridge over Cricket Creek a couple of miles south of the Missouri border.
From there, it was a mix of dirt and paved roads to Forsyth where we gassed up and grabbed some Subway sandwiches to eat a little later.
When we crossed Bull Shoals Lake at Forsyth, I was surprised to see the lake was still flooding this area a month after the heavy rains we had at the end of April.
From Forsyth we began a generally eastward track.
I did not have a clue where we were but I did recognize the name of this trail from other ride reports.
We stopped for lunch a little after noon at a picnic area near the Caney Lookout Tower that you can see in the background.
There was a large group of forest service folks there mowing and weed eating. The weed eaters had stopped for lunch but this feller serenaded us for most of our chow time.
This little guy took a big interest in my hand while I was eating and stayed there until I had to shoo him off to put my gloves on.
At our next stop, we were joined by this friendly feller. He took a liking to Jim but he did not have room on the KLR for him to ride along with us.
Initially, we had planned on spending the night in Mountain Grove and then head to the mill the next morning. However, our fairly early start and trouble-free ride had us making good time so we decided to continue on to the mill. So, 7-1/2 hours and 242 miles later, we arrived at the Topaz Mill.
Here is what it looked like a few years ago. Well, maybe more than a few.
We actually ran into Joe O’Neal, the nephew of the owner, out riding around on his Yamaha XT225? as we approached the mill. He has put a lot of work into this place and is a fountain of information.
The water to run the mill comes from this pool that is fed by a 10 million gallon per day spring. That is nearly 7000 gallons per minute, which is roughly how long it would take to fill a typical tanker truck, I think.
Some of that water runs down this race to the waiting turbine.
Yep, a turbine, not a water wheel. Kind of a water-driven miniature of the steam-driven monsters I work on. Here is one sitting by the mill that had been replaced.
The water basically fills an old boiler flue and the head pressure spins the turbine. I believe Joe said the optimum shaft speed was 120 rpm, which at one time was controlled directly at the turbine. That part is busted now, so he controls the speed by how much water is admitted past this gate.
Once he got that adjusted to his liking, we headed inside for the grand tour. And what a tour it was. I love this old stuff and Joe is the perfect tour guide.
Anyone need a hair cut first? Just 25 cents.
The 600 pound millstone is in here and is belt-driven like everything else in the mill. If I understood correctly, there are two stones in there. One is stationary and the other is rotating. They are very close together but are not supposed to touch.
The post to the right in this picture with the triangulated piece on it is the “crane” used to move the 600 pound millstone to the table where the hammer is for periodic dressing of the stone. Joe said he has done it once.
There were shafts and belts all over the place, which would probably demand your complete attention when they were running. Probably would not be OSHA approved today.
Belt alignment was probably pretty important so they used wedges under the bearing brackets to align the shafts.
The main structural beams were secured with hexagonal shaped wooden pins rather than nails.
The wheat and corn was moved around from place to place by these belts and cups.
Joe does not know what this thing is, so if anyone does, I am sure he would like to here from you.
Figured I better get a motorcycle related picture in here.
I cannot remember what all of the stuff I took pictures of did, so if you are interested, head on over for a visit. The place is maintained purely by donations and such along with Joe’s hard work. I believe Vic is planning on another ride over there this Fall so stayed tuned, if you are interested.
After our mill tour, we walked next door to the old store. It is full of all sorts of stuff. It even had a handle maker (axe, pick, etc) with lots of patterns hanging on the wall.
After 2 hours and 11 minutes of touring, we said goodbye to Joe and headed to Mountain Grove for the night.
The next day, we rode pavement all the way back. Stopped in Jasper for lunch at the Blue Mountain Café & Bakery.
After lunch, Vic was dawdling around and told Jim and I to go on, so off we went………..into a major rain storm as we approached Dover. The cars-in-ditches kind of rain. We kept on going at a slightly reduced pace and made it through without joining any of the hapless folks that could not keep their vehicles on the road.
P.S. - This article gives a pretty good history of the mill, if anyone is interested.
P.S.S - Here is the track.
Another SUPER bowhawk RR !!!
I'm putting together an informal/impromptu camp n ride at lake Sylvia the weekend of the 15th so I did a little pre ride today. Just a couple of pics
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That looks like Historic Bridge #15731, Zach, on Wallace Rd going over the Fourche Lafave River. If so, it was pretty popular this week. Vic sent me a picture of it Monday to see if I could guess where it was. It was built in 1909 according to the Highway Department's web site.
Thats exactly what it is Bo! I had seen pictures of it but never been there so I finally tracked it down yesterday. Very cool old bridge
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What a FANTASTIC report, Bo. Whenever I see one of these, I put my work down, grab a cup of coffee and go along for the ride. Complete with a little entomology too (probably an andrenid)!! Thanks for the journey.
Thanks Bo-very cool. Wife and I will plan an overnighter heading that way this fall.
Glad you enjoyed it, Tim. An andrenid...........uh, yeah, that's what I thought it was. I seem to attract them for some reason. I have had them land on my hand while driving my tractor and they will hang on no matter how much flailing around I am doing with the steering wheel. Never been stung by one so I just let 'em be.
In one pic, i see some deep sand & gravel, bet that was Fun on those Big Bikes!!!
Very observant. It was mostly gravel and very deep. We all made it through without getting stuck or tumping over.....just part of the adventure.