Eureka Springs Hillbillies? Get your attention? I saw the Hillbilly Ride show up on the forums and checked the date. Easter weekend, damn. There is no way I can get out of family duties so I never thought about it again. Then, out of the blue, my wife asked about going to Minnesota for a figure skating judging school and spending Easter with her family in the Twin Cities. What to do, what to do? I encouraged her to attend the school; it was something she needed to do. I also expressed disappointment about not being with her on Easter. I had a fine line to walk. While discussing her plans, I mentioned how bored I would be while she was at the school and we are going to MN this summer for over a week and will be visiting her family but being apart on an family holiday would be tough. (Walking the fine line men do with their wives every day.) Over time she got comfortable with the idea of me not going. Part one of the plan was successful. Now I had to break it to her about going to the Hillbilly Ride at the same time make sure she did not think I did not want to go to MN with her was because of the ride. I’m still walking that line. When she asked what I would do over the weekend I first mentioned I would go riding and dropped the subject. Later when asked “where” I said there is a group going to Arkansas that invited me but told them “no” because I would not be with my parents on Easter. She thought going with friends would be fun for me. I don’t do that very often. How things were changing in my favor. A few days later she asked if I thought any more about going to Arkansas. I was wondering if that was a trick question so said “no” and she said, “You should go, you would have fun but promise me you will go to mass”. I promised and started packing that night in case she changed her mind. With the OK I get my bike in the shop. It needs new shoes, oil and valves checked. It is ready on Thursday morning. I hope to leave as close to noon as possible to get to Eureka Springs Thursday night to meet people and ride on Friday. I get out of the office later then I hoped but still got out at a decent time. I pick up my bike and start heading to Eureka. I get about 35 miles away and notice oil spots on my boots and pants, DAMN. I call the shop and they urge me to bring it back. Maybe I am getting a sign from above and need to go to MN or stay home. I did promise to go to mass while there and block off all negative thoughts. Engles gets me right in and out. They replaced the head gasket and send me on my way. (There are mechanics I don’t trust and question everything they do but none of those types work at Engles.) The problem is it is now 4:00. I have ridden over 70 miles and not left the city. Should I go, is this a sign? My wife is leaving for MN tomorrow, I heading south. If I got out around noon I was going to take gravel and alphabet highways to Arkansas. This late and I’m on US 71 heading south and hating it. I decide to get off that straight slab of blacktop and take my time. I"ll get to Eureka Spring tomorrow. While getting gas I call a friend in Monett, MO to see if he is available for dinner. He is, so Monett is my goal for the night. (My friend, Pete, rides a GS1150. He is the one who got me looking at the GS when I was getting back into riding.) The KC BMW club has a scavenger hunt. One of the items we need to find is a “historic mill”. I swing by Jolly Mill to grab that item. I knew of the mill but did not know the history. In 1848, a whiskey distillery was built on Capps Creek in eastern Newton County, less than a mile west of the Newton/Barry county line. The village of Jollification grew up around the distillery and became a stage stop on the road from Springfield to Neosho and the Indian Territory. Except for the distillery, all or most of the town was burned during the Civil War, then rebuilt. In 1870, however, the railroad bypassed Jollification, which was ultimately more devastating than war and arson. Only the distillery -- later converted to a grist mill -- survives. Shown above, it is called Jolly Mill and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From Jolly Mill I rode to Monett for dinner with Pete and a good night.