From Kansas City to Lake of the Ozarks and back in one day

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by noAKA, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. noAKA

    noAKA No Longer Lurking

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City Mo.
    While not a huge feat of motorcycling prowess here is my first Day Trip report...


    For a few months now I’ve wanted to make a run down through the Ozark Lakes. Using Google Maps I figured out a way down and back that kept me off the interstates and got my sisters fiancé Jon interested. But due to work schedules Jon and I have had a hard time finding the time to get down there.

    Well this past Sunday my wife kicked me out of the house so she could do a belated spring cleaning. Jon was busy so I decided I’d go solo. Due to my belief in slackassery I rolled out of bed at 10am highlighted my route on my paper map, geared up and headed out.

    I made a quick shot east to Sweet Springs Mo. This is where I would leave the big slab behind and start to pick up the back roads. Sweet Springs is the town in which I was born. As far as I can recollect outside of the gas station at the top of the slip ramp I’ve never been back to Sweet Springs. I thought I’d see if I could find the hospital, gratefully the only one I’d need to find this trip.

    I pulled into the gas station dismounted and went inside to grab some caffeinated goodness. At the counter was a younger girl in her early twenties. I asked if there was a hospital in town and she directed me to the new urgent care center. I explained I was looking for a hospital that I was born in and would like to find it. She then realized that I was looking for the “Old Hospital”. She informed me it was closed and I inquired as to how long. She then explained that she was born in 1990 and it was closed then so it had been closed for a “long, long, long time” yes that was three longs ago. Seeing how I’m sure it was open for some time after the last time I was there by her calculation I was born at least five or six longs ago. I finished paying for my drink as the woman in line behind quietly snickered.

    After a few wrong turns I found the place of that glorious event the first coming of noAKA. The birth of me.

    Seems it's fallen into a state of disrepair.

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    I imagine that on a cold September day many moons ago I saw the world for the first time coming out this door.

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    I mounted back up and headed south on MO-127 where I would pick up the little slab, 50 Hwy, into Sedalia. I stopped for fuel and to check my map since this is where I would truly be starting my ride from here on out there wouldn’t be another road wider than two lanes. Squared away I started the next leg of the ride South from 50hwy on CR-M to MO-135 to MO-5 and into the lake area. I pulled out of Sedalia and Made my way down CR-M. A fantastic little road with standard fare midwest scenery and just enough twisty bits to keep it interesting a good warm up for what I had planned later.

    At the junction of 135 and M I pulled over to double check the map. This is when I realized that the map was still sitting on the curb at the gas station in Sedalia. No problem I’ll just use my nifty phone to look at Google Maps. Negative. Cell reception is weak and data coverage is nonexistent. I’m now faced with going it with no map and a dodgy memory or turning north on 135 where I was sure I could pick up 50 Hwy again. I opted to head north to 50 Hwy. I knew I’d run into Tipton Mo. where I could pick up another map and catch 5 hwy south to Versailles where I have family I haven’t visited in a while. Not quite what I had planned for the day but that’s why I ride. The freedom to go where the road takes me. I dialed them up on the phone to make sure they where home and if it was a good time for me to stop in.

    While in Versailles I visited for a while hoping the heat would subside a bit. We discussed riding and why I enjoy it so much. I explained why I was wearing a heavy leather jacket and blue jeans in this heat to my 16 year old cousin. Before leaving I pulled out maps and he suggested W hwy south out of Versailles. He said the pavement was good and it had “a lot of curves” I took his word for it and headed out.

    I’m glad I did.

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    To quote my son from when he was 5 years old during a particularly fast ride on an elevator amongst strangers.

    “That made my pee pee tickle”

    I was a little bummed out that it was only for the next 1 mile until I finished that mile and saw this.

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    This continued mile after mile until Bagnell Dam. At Bagnell I pulled off at the scenic overlook and took a break. I snapped a few photos...

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    This is one of the original water turbines this thing was massive it’s hard to get the scale but the railing is about 3.5 – 4 foot tall and that is a standard size light poll to the right.

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    I spent a few minutes talking to a couple down from Omaha they had been camping for two weeks in northern Arkansas and where heading back home. The husband owned a 2009 F 650GS and said he regretted not riding it down for the trip. He suggested I continue south to Arkansas but since this is just a day trip it will have to wait.

    I mounted up and took off across the dam and up the strip. For those of you that have never been here the strip is the tourist area lined with go-kart tracks and bumper boats, arcades and shops. We come down here as a family for weekend vacations at the lake. We like to bring all the kids down to play skeeball it only costs a dime to play here and the kids enjoy it. There is also a shop full of old and mostly odd items kind of like a curiosity shop. But today I’ll just be riding through.

    A quick trip across the toll bridge and $2.50 cents later I was on my way home. Since it is based on axle count I wonder if it would be half price if I pulled a wheelie across the entire bridge. I’ll have to ask next time.

    My next stop would be Truman Lake and the dam there. MM out of Bagnell was fun but not as twisty as W however there was still a good time to be had. For some reason the local sheriff department was really focused here. I’m assuming to try to capitalize on the Sunday exodus from the lake. I’d have to take it easy from here on out between the lake goers returning home and the folks heading up to Sturgis police presence would be strong.

    I picked up 7 hwy and had a chuckle when I noticed that Double D would take me to Climax Springs, seems fitting. No photos as I was trying to beat the fading sun to Truman Dam for photos there.

    At Warsaw I took a short trip on 65 n to Truman dam. I got there just as the light was starting to fade and snapped a couple of quick photos.

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    The contrast between Bagnell and Truman is stark. Being constructed some 35 years apart from each other Truman feels much more modern. Built by the US Army Corp of Engineers for flood management it created the largest manmade lake in Missouri, Truman Reservoir.

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    Post 9/11 fence. Until then you could walk right up to the dam and touch it.

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    A few shots from a distance. This is on the hill coming into East Bledsoe Park...

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    From here it was back south to 7 hwy and then on home. It’s cliché in these parts but I had to stop in Tightwad Mo and take this photo. There are a million jokes to be told here and they have all been told so I’m not going to try to be original. Feel free to give it go if you want.

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    After one last final push home via 7, 13, 50 and a cut over to I-70 via a familiar 131 I was home. The southern part of 7hwy isn’t bad but the rest of these roads are long straight slogs. I’m glad it was dark by the time I got to this part of the ride and was even happier when I pulled into my garage. With the heat and the milage, somewhere around 400 I was glad to be home and within crawling distance of my bed.

    It was at this point I realized that outside of a bag of M&M’s my entire trip had been fueled by 87 octane and caffeine. Luckily my wife had set aside some dinner for me in the fridge. After filling my belly I was off to bed snug as a baby born a long, long, long, long, long, long, time ago.

    -noAKA
    #1
  2. semperfi

    semperfi Veni, Vidi, Velcro

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Missouri
    :clap Thanks for sharing. Only 2 comments, first - stop trying to fool us into thinking you were born in a hospital :rofl , and secondly, "lose" the map sooner! Now get your butt over to the house and help me get mine back on the road.
    #2
  3. noAKA

    noAKA No Longer Lurking

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City Mo.
    Look I already told you that it was time to put that horse down. have some mercy.

    And maybe I was found under a rock near the hospital. It's all the same.

    -noAKA
    #3
  4. Keytime

    Keytime Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Derby freakin' KS
    Great report! Thanks!

    Our family has a lake house on Lake of the Ozarks. Too busy for some, but I love that area.
    #4
  5. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    874
    Location:
    Eldon,Mo
    Since I live very close to Hwy W it is often one of my winter rides when it warms up a little. I just rode it a couple of weeks ago.
    #5
  6. Keytime

    Keytime Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Derby freakin' KS
    Ya just gotta watch the driveways and side roads as you get closer to the dam. Still a fun, twisty road. :nod
    #6
  7. aztec06

    aztec06 mono loco

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,037
    Location:
    Corona, CA
    Bravo, Dude! Nice trip!:clap
    #7
  8. semperfi

    semperfi Veni, Vidi, Velcro

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Missouri
    for a ride? Or will that Triumph not start in the cold? Lets Go - I can pull start ya. :evil
    #8