In search of exciting mountain roads in the OK and AR National Forests!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EnderTheX, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Back on the road, I continue into uncharted territory. I had received several maps and guidance from native Arkansas adventure riders (thanks guys!) and I had a lot of fun riding those roads in the past year. This time I decided to take fate in my own hands and follow some interesting roads that spider-webbed across the Ozark National Forest.
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    CO 5211 (FS 1005) starts out nice and fun.
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    You can tell it’s been raining, this puddle is not that bad. I take a second to judge my line and decide to take the long and strait groove on the left-center of the picture.
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    Things get more hairy as I continue. It becomes readily apparent that this is not solo noob on giant F800GS territory. If my friend Chris would have been with me I’m sure we would have charged ahead and helped each other over the obstacles. I stopped in the road in an in-opportune place and explored ahead on foot. The further I got the more rugged the terrain. I think you would need a modified truck or a lighter bike to get through this road. I had to turn around… :eek1

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    This is where I am when I have to turn around (3D) Looks like I was about to crest over the hill but when I was in the think of the forest I had no idea of what was ahead.
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    This is the same shot in the 2D view from my GPS. Oark is in the bottom right of the picture. You can try your luck at this road yourself. If you can make it on a large adventure bike please let me know how you did it and I wish to try again next time! :D

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    #21
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,663
    It looks like you found those exciting and beautiful roads! Just what the GS was meant for :thumb

    :lurk
    #22
  3. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
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    DFW Area, TX
    Thanks GB! Yes, I believe the GS was truly meant for exploring and surviving. Being a solo rider most of the time this bike has given me the confidence to go to far and new adventures!

    :freaky
    #23
  4. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    On the detour route I find a cool old barn that is about to give up it&#8217;s structural integrity.
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    While deciding which way my GPS is guiding me I run into a logging camp. The road leading to this was much more traveled than the actual road I was trying to follow so I doubled back to quickly regain my intended tracks.
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    I stopped rather quickly to take a drink and check out the clouds. I didn&#8217;t notice this guy until I was about to take off again. I think he was hoping I wouldn&#8217;t see him and he was frozen in place on the side of the road. I probably noticed no less than 5 of these box turtles throughout the trip crossing the dirt roads.
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    I proceed down an absolutely beautiful road that has not been maintained and really feels like an adventure. With the rain quickly approaching and scattered showers there were small rivers running through this road and it was apparent the soil was washing away. I think this road will be gone soon and it is a great adventure for any rider! Please go see this if you are in the area. Unfortunately I don&#8217;t have pictures of the road because I was concentrating on getting through before the rain hit (it seemed unsafe to be caught on this road during a rain). This is a GPS location of the middle of the road (CR-65)
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    At the base of the road I was rewarded with a beautiful creek crossing. This was not difficult but it was a genuine shallow rocky creek! I don&#8217;t get to do this very often so it was a fun memory.
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    I got out to the main road and it began to rain hard&#8230;
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    Some of the back-roads quickly developed slick areas.
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    A concrete creek crossing that was not slick and still fun on this road.
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    Down at the bottom of CR-311 things got hairy. I was sure I had seen this road in previous ride reports and the same puddles were forming. This time it was actively raining and I knew I was in for a ride!
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    While the above puddle was no big deal&#8230; this stopped me in my tracks. You can&#8217;t see the ledge in the picture but there is about a 1-2 foot sharp drop before you encounter the puddles that my bike would have high-centered on. When I am solo I don&#8217;t like to pass over obstacles I might not be able to come back over so I have to turn around for the second time of the trip&#8230; (CR-311)
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    On the way out I stop to take a picture at an awesome rock formation that I had missed coming down.
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    #24
  5. pmooney

    pmooney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    252
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    Sorrento, FL
    Tag :)







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    #25
  6. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
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    So after getting out of Cr-311 I felt the full force of the rainstorm that was traveling across AR. I take a quick picture with my waterproof camera (the same one all these pics come from) and a couple huge Goldwings with trailers pass by at the same time. Of course all the Harley riders were huddled under any available shelter as the Goldwing riders and I pass through towns.
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    I talk to a native at a remote gas station and he reassures me the path I want to take is good. I am very glad that I don’t give up in the rain and I keep going on the planned route.
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    I don’t think you can avoid the amazing creeks in this region, they are sublime.
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    This view catches me by surprise so I take a picture. Survivorman on the Discovery channel says you shouldn’t follow these high power lines because they can traverse dangerous terrain. In this instance it looks like there has been some clearing made for them.
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    These are my stats for the second day!
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    I take another picture of my tires… They are wearing quickly and I want to compare these to the Heidenau K60s I will install later.
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    You can see the noticeable wear over the day, even on dirt surfaces…
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    Rear after day 2:
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    Front after day 2:
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    #26
  7. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Definitely the same spot!! It looks different when you were there, much dryer!
    #27
  8. dirtbound4Max

    dirtbound4Max Hangin' 10 on the F8

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Base of the Rockies ~ Colorado Springs
    Ender ~ Dude,
    You're in my old stomping grounds man! I grew up in Clarksville AR (graduated in 87, joined the military, still living abroad). My entire family still lives there and I think you may have driven past my Brothers house during your trip. He lives on Highway 21 in a town called Ozone. Did you pass through there? Anyway, the trails you travelled down were my "Backwoods drinkin', smokin', parkin' / makin' out, and general overall havin' a good time" roads. It was good to see that they're still muddy as hell!!!!!! Oh yeah, watch out for what lies behind those fenced-off trails. Most of them are owned by good ole boys with big damn shotguns. Not real sure but I think I may have even been neighbors with a few of the original cast of Deliverance...........
    :tough
    Just Sayin..................:augie
    #28
  9. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    :lol3 That area sure is awesome! I did pass right by Ozone about 5 miles to the north of it. I bet you know some cool trails out there, my friend and I are looking for some challenges when he finally gets to go.

    I'm always weary of closed gates especially because here in Texas they also mean guys with shotguns and I don't want to be casually riding along while a ranged trains his sights on me from horseback.

    The sound of banjos must have been drowned out by the rumble of the F8 but I didn't stop when I came across any building in the middle of nowhere!
    #29
  10. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
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    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    The third day of the trip promised new and exciting terrain. I was headed back to Texas via forest roads I had never been on. This route would take me places I found on maps without recommendation and there is no telling what I will find.
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    This road looks promising… I am following power lines through the forest.
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    This road continued on for miles and miles, following the power lines. The trail was smooth and fast, a very exciting road.
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    Then… the power lines stopped at a small power station and the road immediately turned into this…
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    I was hesitant to go too much further but it had been many miles since I had turned onto this mountain road. I wanted to keep pressing further and I am very glad I did. This turned out to be the most exciting and interesting road of the entire trip! The grass came over my helmet in some areas and I was progressing in first gear for most of the time. If anyone is near this area please go ride this road!!! It is threatening to become overgrown and I can tell no one is driving it regularly. If you are in central Arkansas go see this!
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    Here is where I am on google earth… You can see where the points go from being spread out (3<sup>rd</sup> and 4<sup>th</sup> gear) to being bunched up (1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> gear). At this point the trail became overgrown and the real fun began.
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    This is where I am on google maps: (FS 67)
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    #30
  11. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    So this is a continuation of the road, this is an “open” area where I was able to open it up in second gear. The tall grass had me guessing as to what lies beneath but on top of this long long mountain there are not many stones or holes. The trail was as smooth as I could hope for most of the way and my biggest concern was downed trees. Several times I came across downed trees and I vowed that I would cut them with my survival saw if I had to instead of turning back. All of the trees had a way around them so I was glad I didn’t have to unpack.
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    The occasional puddle was no match for my bike! Didn’t this trail know I had spent the last day in the pouring rain in valleys of the Ozark mountains!?!
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    Towards the end of this section things began to get surreal. I had spend a long time on this road crawling along and a site like this was unexpected. I dismounted, took off my helmet and had some quite time. Soon I would be back in the thick of things in Texas and I wanted to enjoy some time alone.
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    #31
  12. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
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    So I came to the end of this section and onto a major dirt road (major at least compared to what I had been on for the past hour+).
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    The route I had planned through google maps continues me along a another side road called Dutch Creek Mountain Road. I initially couldn’t find the road and I passed by the entrance a couple times before I finally found it. This is what the road looks like.
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    Since I had spent a great time on the previous road I decided to skip this road. I had several hundred miles to go before I got back home and it was almost lunchtime so I made my way to the highway.
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    I continues along some fast and smooth dirt roads. I was superman, I was flying, I was a world champion rally driver! These roads complimented the F800GS like no other, it was simply amazing!
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    #32
  13. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    So… long story short, I arrived back home in the evening and here are the stats for the day (max speed blurred for my own protection lol): :lol3

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    My bike at the end!!! Definitely not as clean but much happier for having completed another successful journey!
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    Rear tire, shot after three days.
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    Front tire, about half word after three days.
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    After a hard days riding there is no greater reward than this… a cold beer and a dip in the pool. Cheers! :freaky

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    #33
  14. wswartzwel

    wswartzwel Unsafe at any speed

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,055
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks so much, Great report.
    #34
  15. mnormand

    mnormand Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Lafayette, La.

    I'm almost sure that's the same road we did on the SLAP2010 run on Saturday. We were a large group, two KLR650's, and Honda 650 R/L? they made it fine. The road turned into an sharp uphill Vshaped busted up shale trough kinda thing, with a trickle keeping everything wet. Personally I was careful as reasonably possible, didn't want to fall hard on those rocks, and really break something badly. That was pretty new to me too, and a great learning experience. Very glad I was on a smaller WR250R. Our Versys buddy had to turn around early, but he still won the A-effort award :lol3 up to that point.

    Nice report, surely we rode some of the same roads you did. Thoroughly great fun ! Those guys have it lucky living there.
    #35
  16. child

    child poop is fun

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Ft Worth, TX
    Awesome ride report Oliver! Shame I had to miss it :[ We DEFINITELY wouldn't have turned around on those roads :p :p

    You definitely know how to cover some miles!

    Thanks for taking the time to share the ride.
    #36
  17. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    DFW Area, TX
    Hey Chris!

    I'm sure we could have gotten through those roads if we were together. I kinda have some sense called self-preservation so I had to turn around (besides a SPOT rescue call could be super expensive!!!).

    Soon we must put the miles below us and go rock some real mountains!
    #37
  18. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Excellent report and pics....I have not yet dual sported up in that area an it looks incredible. Awesome how you got yourself well off the beaten track, that feeling of finding a road barely traveled is great. Thanks for posting up!
    #38
  19. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    861
    Location:
    SE michigan
    Looks like you had an excellent time. What kind of waterproof camera do you have? Your pictures with it have some great detail.
    #39
  20. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Hi! Thanks for the comment, I am using the Cannon PowerShot D10 (a point and shoot camera.

    This is by far the best adventure riding camera I have found. It is affordable, reliable and rugged. On the first trip I took I had 2 extra batteries with me and my charger... I didn't need any of that! I took 600 pictures on the original charged battery over 9 days! (YMMV)

    Some stats that I remember for casual conversation:
    - 12.1 mega-pixels
    - image stabilization
    - 16 gig flash card (not included)
    - shock proof to 4ft (dropped it a few times already)
    - waterproof to 33ft (even saltwater)
    - freeze-proof
    - oh yeah, the lanyard detaches and re-attaches in a second to any corner!

    I made it take a picture of itself for you guys. I think being so close to the mirror created some double image but it is usually very sharp as you can see above. :clap

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    #40