Flag Day Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BigDogAdventures, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    What were the odds-----tooling around the backroads and jeep trails in the mountains of Arkansas and looky what we came across on "Flag Day".
    Kevin is seen here trying to scurry to the top of the rock after putting the camera in timer mode--he didn't quite make it.
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    Left to right: Kevin Sweet, Larry Taylor (Too Tall), Farrell Caesar, Kevin Tennant (Buzzez) and Mark Sampson (BigDogAdventures.com).

    Over the next few days--the story will be told of all the fun we had including about 10 crashes, breakdowns, flat tires, fun, bears, the Whip-Or-Will from hell, fun, rain, camping (yes we camped the whole time), and good food and friends.
    #1
  2. Pengaleng

    Pengaleng Hellbilly Peckerwood

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    :thumb
    #2
  3. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Buzzez was the ride leader----and the ride was to start Friday morining in Bixby, Missouri. I took off from Illinois Thursday for Sutton's Bluff campground near Bixby. On the way I jumped off the highway under a bridge and took "The Road Less Travelled".
    Good thing Too Tall didn't try to ride thru here :rofl
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    Once at the campground and after setting up my tent, I rode down to the low water bridge over the Black river below Suttons Bluff. This is one of the prettiest places I have seen in Missouri.
    N37°28.602' W91°00.400'
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    I was up early and rode to "The Old Country Store" in Bixby, Mo. for breakfast and to meet the other "Flag Day" riders. Here is Buzzez our infamous ride leader and well known by his own admition---the---"Crappy Creek Crosser". He would live up to his nickname several times over the weekend. [​IMG]

    The Bixby old country store is well known to all Missouri adventure riders and others as well. You are back in "Mayberry RFD" when here. It is a very old wooden floor store with lots of neat stuff inside. Just stop--get gas--eat--pick up some goodies---drink several cups of coffee, relax and when you leave, tell the nice lady what you got and pay your way out the door. There is an old railroad caboose next to the store which is attached and you can dine in there if you like---a nice friendly place to visit.
    N37°39.622' W91°06.811'
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    We headed South on KK--then West on hwy. 106 to Emminence, Mo. where I unorganized the ride and found a dirt road which ran right along the Jack Fork river heading West towards Alley Spring. I think I owe finding this dirt road to a fellow I only know as "Spyder". Thanks from all of us Spyder.
    N37°09.813' W91°25.139
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    #3
  4. Twotaildog

    Twotaildog Old Poop

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    :thumb :lurk

    BTW Mark, I appreciate how you include lat/long coordinates with your pix. Great idea.
    #4
  5. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    On West along the North side of the Jack Fork river towards Alley Spring.
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    Eventually we crossed the Alley Branch. The beautiful water you see here is just water coming directly out of Alley Spring----as you can see this spring flows a lot of water. I would love to see this after a snowfall.
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    Just North of Alley Spring we followed the Alley Branch for miles down a dirt road that detoriated to this. Buzzez did the turtle in some deep sand in here--then it got worse--then Buzzez busted his really nice camera in another turtle. I've finally learned a lesson------don't take a guys picture when his face is very, very red---------so---no picture :D
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    After that very tough section it was time for a drink and a break--it was very hot and humid out--and was that way all weekend. We all did our bet at keeping hydrated--or maybe it was de-hydrated.
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    Which way do we go :dunno
    It was West on 106 then South on 17-----then East on O and South on a dirt road to Blue Spring. A beautiful huge spring on the North prong of the Jacks Fork river. I intended to cross the river here---but after scoping out the crossing I decided it would be very tough on my KLR to make the crossing--and there were bigger bikes than mine along on the ride. I somehow suppressed the growing testerone of the "Crappy Creek Crosser" and we backtracked to the highway where Buzz took over and we headed for lunch.
    Blue Spring N37° 03.192' W91° 38.388'
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    So now it's South on 17, West on P, South on AP, West on 14 and on South on 81 to Gainesville, Missouri where Buzzez led us to a great cafe for lunch----"Skeeters Cafe" on the square.
    Again-----we tried to keep "Hydrated" :ricky
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    #5
  6. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

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    Another great ride. Sorry I missed it, work :bluduh bolloxed it all up for me.
    :umph

    Great pics!

    :lurk
    #6
  7. trailuser

    trailuser take the backroads

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    Mark,

    I see you broke the ol' KLR out of the shed for the weekend :wink:
    #7
  8. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Oh yeah---and it performed flawlessly----it was a good choice. My 950 is still in oh so many pieces. I might get it back is a few days.
    #8
  9. sailwing2003

    sailwing2003 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the great photos. I have canoed that area, but you are showing a whole new view of that part of the Ozarks.

    Ready for more, thank you
    #9
  10. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Friday ended at Haw Creek Camground in Arkansas which is about 12 miles West of Sand Gap---which I think was just a crossroad. We got there almost at dark and while setting up our tents it poured on us and I think I never put up a tent so fast in my life.
    Haw Creek Campground N35°40.585' W93°15.324'

    We were up at the crack of dawn and were dying for breakfast and some coffee-----"BigDog" new a shortcut to breakfast in Oark, Arkansas. It was to be a workout. It started out simple enough.
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    Then it got worse
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    Then it got more worse
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    Then it got much more worse
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    Then worser yet
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    Now were talking
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    Oh yeah--come to daddy---a little mudhole ain't gonna stop 98 horsepower.
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    Whoops-----man where is the coffee--who's leading this thing anyway, wheres BigDog, are we in an enduro, short cut my A__, are we there yet, which way is up, where's the interstate ??
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    The rocks are tearing Kevin up on his KLR--so he lets some air out of his tire---Ferrell on the big 950 is just having a cake walk.
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    Whoops-------seems Kevin let a little too much air out of his tire and ripped the tube !!! Now he is putting a $12 tube in a $2 tire. Both of Kevins tires were toast as he was trying to get one more ride out of them before he put new tires on. Will he make it home ?????
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    You don't need a bead breaker when you have Too Talls size 16 boot along with you. :rofl
    #10
  11. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    WOW! that durt certainly looks challenging for a big GS...

    Nice report - thanks for sharing.
    #11
  12. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    We finally got some breakfast in Oark, Arkansas. Take special note of this place and try to visit someday. This old store has been in constant business I think for about 100 years. You can get pretty much what ever you want here---breakfast, gas, tire repair stuff, rent a cabin, a shoulder to cry on, lunch, air (and it's free--what a novel idea), and great conversation. The mayor of Oark (population 6) seems to always be drinking coffee in there--he claims to be the judge and sheriff there also. He is a hoot----we had a ball talking with him. There's a big ole' dog on the porch you have to step over to get in or out---man he's big---but thank goodness he's friendly---scratch his neck if you have the time--he's so neglected. The people that run this place are some of the nices people I have ever met. I always hate to leave.
    N35°41.344' W93°34.295'
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    Lot's of famous people have been here-----Ted Nugent (an avid outdoorsman--and guitar player for Led Zeppelin) loves it in Oark and hunts in the area each year.


    Ok---------the crash damage so far. And this does not include the digital camera.

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    You'll never find this without the GPS coordinates---you'll ride right by and never see it. It is still used by a family in the moutain wilderness, and everything they need must be carried over this bridge.
    N35°41.327' W93°31.924' (you'll still have to nose around !!!
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    I was really hot and sweaty and took a dip right below the bridge--man that felt good. I kept my clothes on as I didn't want to end up here naked---and you don't want that either.
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    I took us North of Oark a little ways and was looking for an old historic log cabin out in the mountains that is rented by the old store in Oark--it got kind of rocky and rough on this trail and we had more crash damage.
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    #12
  13. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    We made her south and cross the Arkansas river at Clarkesville. A beautiful crossing. It's raining cats and dogs up ahead and were putting on the rain gear here. Everybodys rain gear failed them miserably on this trip--thank got it was hot and felt good------well, almost.
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    Lunch at the Outback---really good food here. You can get a really good look at Ferrells 950 here. He was such a good rider---and while all of us were flopping around bouncing off of rocks all day-- he just tooled along whistling away---with a big smile. Damn--I gotta get one of those KTM's :D
    N35°11.930' W93°38.097'
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    This is my favorite view atop Mount Magazine.
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    Hey--what's goin' on here :huh Is this the KLR lowering kit people have been raving about ??? Does Too Tall need a taller bike ?? Is BigDog going to help or just continue with the pictures ??
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    Cameras were flashing all around it seems---man, stomp on a guy when he's down--what friends ????
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    The guy pushing Too Tall was a very helpful local fella on a 4-wheeler who took us into this dried up lake bed----as we were searching for some water as none of us had taken a bath for 3 days--me 4. It was like a swamp in places here and some places were bottomless. One of the guys buried his 4-wheeler in here and it took 2 4-wheel drive pickups to pull it out.
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    It was miles down a one lane mountainous road to Brock Creek campground in Arkansas----and Buzzez puts up our "Flag Day Ride" flag. This was the best campground---it was so remote--nice and quiet except for the "Whip-Or-Will" from hell.
    Brock Creek Camground N35°29.218' W92°48.245'
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    #13
  14. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Ok----look at these 2 pictures---I'm noticing some similarities. I've had this picture of this guy on my website for quite awhile---I don't know who he his--but he is my hero.
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    I guess there are some similarities--but the guy below is obviously just a poser. Those flippy flops just gives him away--and that yellow chair-sheeessh !!
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    #14
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Great pics and story. Makes me want to do it too. I almost feel bad about selling my KLR! :D


    Jim :brow
    #15
  16. chain

    chain Long timer

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    Nice ride as allways Mark
    #16
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    The night before we got to the camp---the locals told us 2 bears were prowling the camp. Something helped itself to the contents of our trash you seen here in the plastic bag. It made a lot of noise-----we all were wide awake during this midnight robbery, but kept quiet as 5 church mice hoping we weren't the next meal. Nobody peeked out to see what it was--I don't want to know. :vardy
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    Buzzez back was out for about an hour every morning. We had to pack all his stuff up. Then when we were all done---he was fine !! :tough
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    Sunday morning we rode to breakfast in Clinton Arkansas-----first it was a huge dump across the street----then back across to the cafe for breakfast :flush :flush :flush :flush :flush
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    A few more as we me-andered our way home. Thanks Buzzez, Too Tall, Kevin and Ferrell for a great time and good friendship.
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    I'm probably going to butcher this quote I read on here somewhere.

    "Some riders would sacrifice the ride for the destination---but some would sacrifice the destination for the ride"
    #17
  18. Buzzez

    Buzzez Wind Powered

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    Jeez Bigdog, You're making it look like I was crashing and dropping my bike all over the place...:uhoh Oh wait, I was :umph While I sit here waiting for my back to acclimate to the upright position, I'll post the few pics I took.

    I should have called this the 'Hey Bigdog! We're going to Arkansas and You're Going To Show Us Around Ride'. :lol2 I had an outstanding time. Sure I crashed a lot but the GS is a pretty tough bike and only a few things broke. It's pretty wild when you are riding along following someone and the next thing you know your on the other side of the state with no idea of how you got there. I've been studying my DeLorme and kinda can see where we went. :deal

    So Friday AM I'm up at 4:00 the bike is packed and growing impatient.
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    Thinking I've got plenty of time to ride before I meet everyone in Bixby by 8, I take a few not so paved roads.
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    I show up almost 1/2 hour late.:doh As punishment I had to eat the best breakfast of the weekend alone. :pep

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    We made our way to Eminence via some gravel roads and 106.
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    This was taken Out side of Eminence If you look up ahead you can sorta see Bigdog leading the pack.
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    This was taken shortly before I dropped my pig of a bike in a sand pit. My camera survived my first fall and I considered putting it away but chose not to. About 25 yards later I dumped the bike on the other side to even things out, and with my camera hanging off my neck, it slapped the tank and that was all she wrote for this trip. Thankfully Bigdog, Ferrell, Kevin and Larry all had there own cameras for the continued documentation. :grin

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    #18
  19. Twotaildog

    Twotaildog Old Poop

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    That's OK Mark, I like your way just as much.

    Great ride report, keep 'em coming.

    I'm getting anxious for the Great Divide Ride, Jim and I are leaving in 2 weeks, can't wait, almost have the Tiger ready. Everybobies telling me the Tiger's too big, I'll let you know how it goes.
    #19
  20. MMcnamara

    MMcnamara Where does that go?

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    I'm one of the organizers of the 100 Acre Woods Club Rally (http://www.100aw.org), a car race held each Febuary over some of the same roads pictured. The hole on the downstream side of the bridge (behind you) in the Sutton's Bluff picture can get 25 feet deep. We have the Reynolds County Dive Team on site during the race in case anyone goes in. Two years in a row we had to cancel that stage due to high water. I almost sank a WRX there in 2003. I love the climb out of the bluff heading west.

    We have run through the Sutton's Bluff area in the past, and alot of stuff between Bixby and Bunker. That area is full of great gravel roads. Sutton's Bluff, Cook Springs, Karkagne, and a bunch of roads for which I don't know the local names - Just the stage names - Norm!, Mrs. Todd's Shortcut, Mack Ridge, Caution Dogs, the Turtle Loop. I drive 1500 miles a year laying out the rally course every winter in that area. I can't wait to get a KLR so I can join you guys during the summer.

    Mark
    #20