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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