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Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by 10Cup, Feb 27, 2010.
Looks like a lot of fun. Deep water crossings for sure.
Craig and I did some riding/hiking on Wednesday with the Arkansas Sphinx being our main objective. For those not familiar with the Sphinx, it is a natural rock formation on Pilot Rock Rd about a half mile east of where it intersects with Hwy 123. It is easy to miss when riding by. It is high up on the mountain side, out of your normal field of vision.
So we met in Hagarville to begin our journey. I got there first, which gave me time to warm up. It was 32 when I left Dover.
Rather than ride straight to the Sphinx, we wandered a little further east first, on Jakes Creek Rd, which was the southern boundary of the recent wildfire that burned north up to Pilot Rock Rd. This is what it looked like from Hagarville.
It was still going a week later when I took this picture from on top of Pilot Rock looking toward Pilot Knob.
To get us warmed up, I wanted to ride up one of the connector trails between Jakes Creek Rd and Pilot Rock Rd. Craig wanted to check his skid plate before venturing up the trail.
There are several long, relatively steep climbs on this trail. The last one is tough on a small bike so we turned on to another trail before we got to that part. The others are not too bad on a big bike as long as you do not lose momentum. It was a little more difficult this time because the Forest Service had run a dozer up it for a fire break and loosened the dirt up. That along with the recent rain made it a bit more challenging. The video shows parts of the climb and the trail we turned on. Nothing exciting though. You may need to turn up the volume, especially to be able to hear Craig’s victory holler as he made it to the top of the steepest climb.
https://photos.smugmug.com/12-06-17-Arkansas-Sphinx/i-RJ58FBF/0/9bbc8d1b/1920/1190 & F800GS-1920.mp4
We came out on Pilot Rock Rd and headed west to the Sphinx trailhead. Here is what it looks like from Pilot Rock Rd. where we parked. It is above my right mirror and a little to the right, silhouetted against the sky. It is only 380’ above us but it sure looks further than that.
There is a trail that goes straight to the Sphinx and I mean straight up the dang mountain. Whoever made it apparently had not heard of zig-zagging to make it a bit easier for a couple of old farts, one of whom (me) was wearing his motorcycle boots. We kept asking each other if we were there yet. At least the view was getting better.
Oh boy, almost there.
The buzzards were apparently aware that two old farts were making this climb and were jockeying for position. Glad we were able to disappoint them.
It looks more like the Arkansas Bunny Rabbit from the north side.
Craig: “I bet I can shoot the eye out of that buzzard from here”
Bo: “The altitude is getting to you. That's your cell phone you are reaching for”
We hiked on up to the top of the mountain for a better view of the surroundings.
Craig said he could see his house from here.
We lost sight of the Sphinx momentarily on the way back down but Craig’s internal GPS kept us on the right track.
I’m not sure what it looks like from this angle.
So we get back down to the Sphinx and I am trying to get “THE” shot of it…….
when I hear a racket coming from inside the Sphinx…….and a dang troll emerges from the opening.
Turns out Craig is quite the rock climber.
He can even tie his boot laces while standing on a little rock ledge.
Of course, I had to climb up there, too, and found this thorny feller growing inside.
Another climbing challenge?…not today.
It is kind of hard to imagine this being under water 300+ million years ago when these layers of sediment were laid down.
There were a bunch of grasshoppers out and about. Probably trying to get warm.
It was getting close to one o’clock at this point and we were getting hungry. So it was time to get back to the bikes down there somewhere and head to Oark.
Uh, Bo, where’s my bike?
Actually, I took that when we started the hike to show the beginning of the trail where the white “S” is on the pine tree. We left our gear a little ways up the trail rather than on the bikes so some practical joker did not hide it from us or worse.
We arrived in Oark a little after 2 pm, ate lunch and then went our separate ways. Craig picked a perfect day for this expedition. The temperature was a little on the chilly side at times but at least we did not work up much of a sweat. Two thumbs up!
WOW guys!, do you have a gprx map to share the route?. Do you guys live in the little rock area? I would love to join you guys sometime . Awesome pics btw!, thanks for sharing :)
I have attached the track we rode from Hagarville to the Sphinx to Oark. It shows where we parked and where the trailhead is located.
If you are just wanting to ride to the Sphinx and coming from the Little Rock area, I would go west on I-40 to Hwy 7 and then north about 13 miles to Hwy 164. Follow it west about 4 miles to where it crosses the Big Piney and then turn on to Pilot Rock Rd (Forest Road 1800) about 3/4 of a mile later.
I live north of Russellville and can ride pretty much any time.
Kudos to you two for being a couple of adventurous mountain goats and the great photos!
Thank you so much! :)
Awesomeness! You guys are sooo lucky to live in ride nirvana.
I have to agree with that, that's why they call AR the natural state
Y'all ever seen the Car Wash Falls like this?
Thanks Bo, that was great!
Is this the car wash falls?
I just seen this, phone and app issues.. all I have to say is that I had a blast! I loved the challenge and yes the klr may not be the right tool for the job, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat! I actually felt like I had better control the more we rode after my mishaps, and adjusting tire pressure, except for that missing foot peg thing lol. As for you, I'd follow you anywhere. You did a great job!
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Sorry for this late reply, but it was not him at all, we asked for it and the video was most all of my struggles and does not fully cover the ride there were several fun and easier spots that I simply edited out for some reason or another. It was a great place and I would do it again anytime. The klr was 100lbs heavier than any bike on that trail and, was a handfull and exhausting but definitely fun. I'm no expert rider but I do learn from following better riders than me and I felt like I did accomplish that. These guys did a great job of putting this event on and I will definitely be going again!
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Super report as always Bo, and I was glad to see the signature insect shot made the cut for the final post!
Went for a little ride with goodcleandirt and dmack out in the ouachitas. If your already wet why not go through the puddles faster
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Nice shots, sure looks fun! I've gotta ride!
Craig and I met in New Blaine last week for a ride through the Ouachitas. New Blaine is about 15 miles west of Dardanelle on Hwy 22 for those of you not familiar with it. My forest friends got up early to watch me leave.
It was kinda of cold (27.6 F, if you cannot make it out) so I was making use of my Warm & Safe jacket liner and gloves that I got for Christmas.
I had laid out a track from New Blaine to Nola, a couple of mountain ridges over, on Hwy 28 where we would eat lunch and then back to New Blaine. It was pretty much all forestry roads with a couple of unexpected challenges.
#1 was a rather large tree lying across the road. I am not very good at getting over trees on my 260 pound(ish) Husky and my 1190 Adventure is at least twice as heavy. Craig’s F800GS is a little lighter but it is still a big bike. Didn’t stop Craig, though. After several attempts, he got the front tire over the tree but was hung up on the skid plate.
A bit of pushing and shoving got him over center with the back tire up against the tree. The Heindenau was not providing much traction so Craig decided to warm it up a bit and nearly started a fire before it grabbed and delivered him to the other side.
This might be where his rear shock blew its seal.
I figured I would need a little more assistance so I made use of a slab of wood from the tree and used it for a ramp. I was a little timid on my first attempt and got hung up on my skid plate, too.
I wish I had a video of my second attempt. Not to record the near perfect launch I got off of the tree but to record Craig’s near faceplant as he landed spread eagle on the other side. He was gonna help stabilize my bike as I went over but he was not prepared for the handful of throttle I gave it. No damage done and we got a big laugh over it.
It was still cold.
A little ways down the road we came to this picturesque pond. Someone (AGFC?) had placed several large birdhouses on trees in the pond a few feet above the water level.
It had just rained a couple of days before this so we were a little surprised at how much dust there was in places.
We rolled in to Nola right about noon and got a couple of good burgers at the small gas station/café there. We then headed west on Hwy 28 a few miles to Harvey and then turned north on a forestry road to begin our trek back.
Our next planned stop was a scenic overlook just south of Blue Mountain Lake. A few miles before we got there we encountered our #2 challenge….an even bigger tree lying across the road.
Try as he might, Craig’s levitation powers were no match for this behemoth.
There were lots of broken limbs lying around so we proceeded to build a ramp on one side of the tree like we did on the first one. That did not work as Craig got hung up, again, and this time the Heidenau would not push him across.
So we puts some limbs on the other side and ATGATT Craig tried again.
We added some more limbs before I made my attempt.
So, we were two for two today. They may not have been textbook crossings but at least we made it. Craig's shock was the only casualty. After a short break to cool off, we headed up to the overlook. That is Blue Mountain Lake and Mt. Magazine behind it.
It was getting late by the time we got back on the bikes and we both had a long way to go to get home. We came out on Hwy 10 at the east end of the lake, where we split up. Craig headed west and I went east. I got back on the forestry roads north of Havana and made my way back to New Blaine and then rode pavement the rest of the way home.
When I got home, I had a new rear tire waiting on me. I have been using the Continental TKC80, which I like a lot, but the mileage leaves a bit to be desired. I have been trying to decide what to get next and have read a bazillion reviews of other tires. So what did I end up buying? Well, a tire that has no reviews. The KTM 1190 Adventure (not the R version) rear tire is a 170/60-17, which I believe the newer BMW 1200GS’s use, too. Mitas just came out with an E07 in that size without the traction robbing center rib of their 150 size. It is supposedly a completely new tire not just a bigger version of the 150 size without the center rib. The TKC80 in this picture has 2100 miles on it. It will be coming off pretty soon. I am hoping the E07 will double that. Time will tell………….
Here is the track Craig and I rode. It is 154 miles long. It took us a little over 8 hours which included over an hour messing with the two trees and an hour for lunch in Nola.