What Next Wander Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Evomx971, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. blacktruck

    blacktruck Wanderer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    A little southwest of Middle earth
    It's great reading the RR from all over the world but I gotta think the skinny blue highways of the US are just about as good in almost every way. Heck of a story here and I like your style of staying on the little roads. My experience has taught me there are far more stories and interesting things that can't be seen from the interstate highways. My cyber hat is off to you for providing us with this story about your travels.
    Ride safe there man.....
  2. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,463
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    Great ride report so far.

    Looks like the rain will have moved west by mid-morning. Hopefully you have clear weather.

    Safe travels.
  3. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,463
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    Hopefully you made it to Springfield okay. You should have had pretty good weather in Arkansas once the rain moved out.
  4. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    Yep, had a great ride to Springfield. Ended up being some of the best weather of the trip. Mid-60's and sunny all day. Arkansas definitely got some rain on Saturday night though! Roads were dry but water was everywhere else. Was a great ride!
  5. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    Saturday morning in Anson, TX... cloudy and cool 40's. Never cracked 50 degrees all day and ran through showers on and off most of the day making it a fairly gloomy day for travel. Never had to go full wetsuit because of the rain but had the rain jacket on and off a few times to keep my coat from getting too waterlogged.

    Goal for the day is Paris, TX.

    Was on 380, 59, and 82 most of the day. Roads weren't particularly entertaining, but towns were coming along more frequently and I really enjoy rolling through rural towns... trying to get a feel for their "pulse" in just the few minutes I might be there. Went by some great auto salvage yards through this part of the state. Most of the yards in Iowa seem to be crushing all their older stuff. Lots of interesting old stuff still sitting in the lots in this part of Texas. I like old semi trucks and I went by a huge yard that had probably 100 old trucks, very cool.

    My buddy Chapman really wanted me to see some "Griswold Texas Vacation" kind of sites... so these photos are dedicated to you buddy.

    Volkswagen "Bug"
    [​IMG]

    Truckboxhenge
    [​IMG]

    Huge steel bull
    [​IMG]

    The worlds second tallest Eiffel Tower, complete with cowboy hat courtesy of Paris, TX. Pic actually taken the next morning but thought it belonged with the other pics
    [​IMG]

    EXORG was pining for a pic of one of the hundreds upon hundreds of Texas Historic markers... here you go man. Random marker from Saturday's ride...
    [​IMG]

    Crossed I-35 at Gainsville, TX. Captain Garmin said it was 665 miles back home that route... mmm, not fun enough. The Ozarks are calling...
    [​IMG]

    Stopped in at this station but their card reader wasn't working and didn't look like they had Powerball so moved on...
    [​IMG]

    My goal for Paris ended up working out perfectly. Looking at the storms forecast for Texas on Saturday night I was trying to get some good miles but be done before things started happening plus have the most options for routes North and East on Sunday.

    Pulled into Paris, found a place to stay and just as I had unpacked I heard really loud crashing. Sounded like they were doing demolition in the rooms above me or something... I'm thinking "oh great". Nope, not remodeling. Thunder and lighting, then heavy rain. I sure timed that right. 315 mile day... now 548.9 miles from home as the crow flies...

    Rained off and on all evening. The motel had an attached restaurant, I talked them into fixing me something off their breakfast menu and had a pretty average plate of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Wasn't picture worthy.

    When I checked in, I asked if I could park under the front desk canopy since it was supposed to storm. "Sure" she said. "Great" I says. Then she put me into the room absolutely farthest from the front desk. Didn't really realize it till I got there and as much trouble as she had checking me in (her first day by herself) I decided not to ask for a different room.

    Bummer... no Speed channel to watch Supercross on... but good wi-fi and could watch the online coverage. Congrats on another race win to Davi Millsaps... really rooting for this guy to win the championship now.

    Watched a line of storms form in west Texas and move across the state. They hit Paris around 4am. Wind and hail were the biggest threat. I went out and pushed the Triumph under the overhang in front of my room. Fell back asleep but I think it was really just heavy rain.

    Several options for the next couple of days... needed to see what weather was like on Sunday before making a final plan.
  6. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    With all the miles I put on riding around Texas over the last month... I've probably went by several thousand ranch gates. Some very simple and some over-the-top extravagant. I didn't take as many pictures of the good ones as I should but seeing all these gates, and the obvious pride a lot of these guys have in their property, it has inspired me to do something similar at my humble abode. I'm thinking it'll be something along this style, but much smaller...
    [​IMG]

    Fancier gates
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Farm accidents are no laughing matter...
    [​IMG]

    These guys may not be popular at parties...
    [​IMG]
  7. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,678
    Location:
    West Mitten
    :clapTexas has the best historical markers and ranch gates. I need to start taking photos and downloading them to a thread if there is one. Lots of Indian vs Texas Rangers and US army markers in the hill country. The settlers must not have gotten much sleep in the 1800s. Enjoy the Talimena. Its like the Blue Ridge without the radar traps or traffic. Good riding in NW Ark. Are you going to stop in Branson for a Donnie and Marie concert?:rofl
  8. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,463
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    It's good to hear you had a great ride!!! I figured you'd have nice weather once the rain rolled west.

    Safe travels.
  9. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Iowa
    Your ride reporting has become most excellent. Please squelch any thoughts of coming home for a while. We need you out roaming around for another month or so. Maybe a loop around the southeast?
  10. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'm coming to get you Ed and we'll head back down... you packed?
  11. TheGirlfriend

    TheGirlfriend Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    11

    Hello... What?!!? I'd like at least a few more days w ya! :smooch
  12. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Iowa
    Bike is ready. It only takes me about ten minutes to pack but everything else conspires to keep me here a few more weeks. That gives you plenty of time to do a Florida loop. Sorry Pam.
  13. sandsman

    sandsman Back in the saddle again..............

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    744
    Location:
    Greenville, Tx
    If I had know you were gonna be in Paris (only a little ways fom my town) , I'd rolled over there an took ya for a burger somewhere. Keep the shiney side up.
  14. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    Sunday morning in Paris, TX in the northeast corner of the state... just a short ride to either Oklahoma or Arkansas. The storms from the night had passed, sky was blue and sun was shining. Started out in the high 40's or low 50's I think and ended up in the mid-to-high 60's. Ideal for riding.

    Since I'd stayed up and watched the super cross then was up again with the storms, I slept in a little thinking I'd probably want to wait a bit anyway for the rain to go ahead and move to the east side of Arkansas. Initial thoughts were to make the ride through Arkansas a two-day trip and maybe hit a couple of caves and some good food along the route.

    Checked the weather and things had changed a bit. Now they were talking about the possibility of rain, ice, snow or all the above in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Monday afternoon. Hmm. All the rain from the night was moving off really quickly and it looked like it would be a sunny, warm day so decided to take advantage of a nice riding day and try and make it to my cousin's in Springfield, MO, taking nice two lane roads through the Ozarks to get there.

    Quickly packed and hit the road about 9:30am. This should be the last motel room I have to stay in for the trip. That's ok with me. Turns out the gap in those bushes is NOT as wide as the Triumph with the panniers, which I found out at 4am wearing just shorts and riding boots. Panniers and bushes seem to escape relatively unhurt. My leg ended up with scratches though.
    [​IMG]

    Roads were wet but drying quickly. Cruised by the Paris, TX eiffel tower to get a pic for Chapman. Looks like they used buls4ever riding one of his Bultacos as the model for their warning signs in Paris...
    [​IMG]

    Decided I'd run up through the eastern Ozarky side of Oklahoma to let that state redeem itself for nice riding roads before going into Arkansas and picking up scenic highway 7.

    The day truly ended up being one of my best days of riding... can't explain it really. The Ozarks are great. Warm sunshine, minimal wind, everything seemed "clean and crisp" from the rain. Bike running great. Curvy roads all day long. Lots of miles to cover, but when you spend them on the sides of the tires, they click off easily. Nice twisty roads that keep you entertained but not so tight you aren't making good time.

    Took Farm-to-Market road 195 out of Paris and it was a nice treat. Passed by many churches with packed parking lots. I'm not much of a church-goer, but it really made me feel good seeing the full lots. Strangely felt like I was getting some good karma as I swooshed past. Great song came up on my playlist... "Life is Beautiful" by Sixx A.M., really fit how I was feeling on this stretch and I probably listened to it 10 times. Like any song, not every lyric makes sense for me (luckily I'm not Nikki Sixx :strum), but in the last few years I've unfortunately went to way too many funerals for family and friends that passed too soon, never retired... really stays in the forefront of my mind now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjX2KYuAJcA

    While Paris had gotten a line of strong storms, I think north in Oklahoma and Arkansas they got more of a long, hard, rain. Every ditch, creek, pothole, river, front yard, and birdbath was swollen with water. Maybe not good for some, but entertaining for me.
    [​IMG]

    Number one road kill critter for the trip? Has to be skunks in Texas and Oklahoma. Crazy number of skunks with about a 50% stinky to no-stinky ratio. New state animal?

    Got into a great band of the country where it's not desert but where winter hasn't put everything to sleep... love the brilliant green! With an Ozark "mountain" in the background.
    [​IMG]

    Good riding in the trees, sometimes like a strobe light going in and out of the sun and shade...
    [​IMG]

    Triumph looking the other way as I take care of nature's call on a side road. I am man. The world is my urinal.
    [​IMG]

    Getting hungry so consulted the handy-dandy "Arkansas Ride-to-Eat" thread and was excited to try CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers in Russellville... rated second best in Arkansas, only to find them closed. :huh

    Kept rolling end next up on the list was DeWayne's BBQ in Dover. Ended up being a good choice. Very tasty chopped pork BBQ sandwich and excellent (although way too many!) fries for around $5 I think.
    [​IMG]

    As I made my way north, the road kept tightening up, moving from swoopy, to swervy, to curvy, to full-on twisty. Nothing like a "map-of-the-earth" Ozark road to make your stomach rise and fall like a roller coaster.
    [​IMG]

    The town of Jasper looks like a great area to come back to and get a cabin for a week. Saw what I think was essentially a "resort ghost town" just north of Jasper. Was interesting. About a half-mile stretch of creek that runs into the Buffalo River looked like it had been developed along it as an Ozark resort. Lots of bridges, oldish looking buildings, water slides, etc that probably hasn't been used in over 15 years. Buildings that were originally made to look rustic REALLY start falling apart if they are abandoned. Did some searching but haven't come up with any info on what the place was.

    Got up on a ridge that overlooks the "Grand Canyon of Arkansas"
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Somewhere along the ride this day I passed 7000 miles for the trip...
    [​IMG]

    Great long day of riding and rolled into Springfield after 411 miles. Cousin Shawn had invited his brother Shannon over so was great to see both my cousins and hang out. Great dinner of steak, mashed potatoes, and a couple of tallboys.

    Going to be much cooler on Monday... will go ahead and burn through Missouri and land at my parents in Centerville, IA... but let's still take two-lane to make it interesting. Only 301.3 miles from Home as the crow flies now.
  15. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    Bummer! I'm sure I'll be back someday and I'll take you up on it! :deal
  16. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    I'm sure there are gear geeks out there so thought I'd share what I used. Plus someday when I can't remember, I'll have a place to look it up. Over the years I've fine tuned my riding gear and feel like I've gotten to a really nice setup that works well for commuting, dual sport, and long rides like the WNWT. Really nothing I can think of that I would have changed. As usual, going for the most versatility with the fewest pieces and least complexity.

    Helmet - Shoei Neotec
    This was my big splurge before the trip. Decided to go geeky and get a modular. Shoei's fit my head and I've already worn out an RF800 and an RF1000. The reviews of the Neotec were overall very favorable so bit the bullet and did it. Also knew I was going to fit a bluetooth communicator to it and reports were that it was an easy install on the Neotec. Was a little nervous going into the ride since I hadn't worn the helmet all that much... maybe 500 miles. Overall, I'm happy with it. It doesn't fit quite as perfect as my RF1000 and I can feel it's a bit heavier but that's only if I think about it. Wore the thing pretty much everyday and for some long stints and never had any discomfort that couldn't be solved with a little wiggle. Not as quiet as the RF's but not annoying with the windshield on the bike. Vents work good. The flip-up chinbar works slick and while it looks goofy-as-all-heck when it's up, it sure helps talking to people and getting them to understand you and they instantly don't seem as nervous if you flip it up. Good for eating a snack or taking a drink. The helmet has an internal Top Gun type of sun visor. Operation is easy. I don't really use it that much, I still prefer to wear sunglasses under the helmet but it's handy when it's cloudy and don't have sunglasses on then the sun pops out. I've also flipped it down WHILE wearing sunglasses if the sun is really blinding. Number one feature of the helmet that I didn't really think much about when I bought it... Pinlock visor insert. Basically it's a second piece of visor with sort of an o-ring that attaches to the back of the standard visor in effect makes a "double-pane" window of the visor and resists fogging. Loved it... with the cold and cool days I was riding, I would have had to ride with it open had it not been for the Pinlock. Visor is easy off and on for cleaning.
    [​IMG]

    Coat - Cortech Accelerator
    I've had this coat for several years and I don't believe it's made anymore but have a hard time finding coats I think will really work for me. My requirements in a jacket are it has to be waterproof, lots of pockets, and I much prefer waist length versus 3/4 length. Great fit for me with this coat. I'm tall and usually wear a Large which sometimes come with sleeves that are too short. I generally don't like having the back pad in and have removed it on this coat. I need to be able to stuff a coat into a pannier and the back pads get in the way. This guy is starting to get on it's lifetime though... velcro is worn out. One pocket zipper died (they used much too fine of teeth) and I had to field repair two other zippers. I don't use the quilted liner since I used an electric liner. Has a large "fanny pack" type pocket that comes in handy. Sleeves zip off if it gets really hot, especially off road. Venting is just 'ok', but in hot summer I usually wear a Joe Rocket mesh jacket on the street. Overall though, it's been a great coat and held up great. Very versatile. Biggest complaint is that the neck is fairly low so when it's cool you have to have something to cover your neck.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Overpants - Firstgear HT
    Another piece I've had for years and is starting to show it. I wear them over jeans. Waterproof. Comes in a tall size that fits me. Comfortable. Full length side zippers make it easy on and off. Liner is warm and packs down small if you pull it out, but it's a bit fiddly to put in and out. I took all the armor out except the knee pads (help keep knees warm and nice for working on stuff). Will likely replace with the same thing once these become unwearable. Or might get a new pair and dedicate this pair to dual sporting.
    [​IMG]


    Boots - Icon Patrol
    This is my third pair of Icon boots. Needless to say I've been happy with the brand. I like the height on these, not too tall or too short. Waterproof. Not overly heavy. Once they broke in they were good for walking and hiking. They come with a speed lace thing, but I cut it out. Not really needed with the buckles and it just caused hot spots on the top of my feet. If a person had "fat feet" I'm not sure if I'd recommend. They almost need a little more leather to overlap when you buckle them up. They just barely come together on me and I'd say I have skinny ankles and feet. Haven't had them in a total frog-strangler rain yet, but in normal rain, nothing gets through. Never got too hot in my travels on this trip but in hot Iowa summer, I have some lighter boots I'll probably wear. I think these guys could get really hot in the summer.[​IMG]

    Gloves - Aerostich Ropers
    I have both the Elkskin (heavier) and the Deerskin (lighter) ropers and switch depending on weather. Good feel and comfortable, especially the deerskin version. Wish the deerskins had a little more gauntlet to get up over the cuff of my jacket. Considerable street cred with with ranchers.
    [​IMG]

    Heated gear - Firstgear/Warm and Safe
    Getting heated gear a couple of years ago was a bit of an accident. I returned something to an online place and they gave me 'store credit' instead of a refund. Ended up needing to use the credit so decided to try some heated gear. BEST INVESTMENT IN RIDING EVER. My stuff is branded Firstgear but actually made by Warm and Safe.
    http://www.warmnsafe.com

    I have the jacket liner and the glove liners. I use a single thermostat. The gloves plug into the jacket. I just stick the thermostat in the liner pocket. I've gotten pretty good at knowing where to set it based on the outside temp. If I was doing it again, they have a wireless remote thermostat that would be the slick set up. I've ridden to work at 15 degrees, no problem. This gear completely changes what a person thinks is the "riding season". Packs small when not being used as well. The baklava came from a sporting goods store. It's not heated. The key on a baklava is making sure it has a large "apron" that goes down into the coat. With my windshield and the tall neck on the heated liner, I usually only wear the baklava if it's under 30 degrees or I'm in a stiff cross wind. Generally just wear a thermal mock turtle neck under the heated liner. The heated pants liner seem like a pain to put on and off and I've never had a problem with my legs getting cold. I wear good thermal ski socks and generally my feet are ok. On long rides in the cold I might have to throw in some 'toe warmer's. The Triumph has a great alternator, thank goodness!

    [​IMG]
  17. Bicyclist

    Bicyclist Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    555
    Location:
    Maryland
    Around here, we usually get it at a Greek restaurant. :lol3

    Nice report. Your description of the Texas hill country brought back fond memories of 1970, when I was a young feller stationed at Kelly AFB, out running the roads every weekend.

    I lucked out and rode the same stretch of 191 that you did, but 2 days before it burned. Great road.
  18. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    Thanks!

    You should hear me try to say "balaclava"... hopefully folks won't think I'm wearing pastry under my helmet. Seems messy and might attract varmits. :lol3
  19. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,108
    Location:
    Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
    I have enjoyed the report glad you are home or nearly so anyway!
  20. Evomx971

    Evomx971 Wave as you fly over

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Iowa
    After a good night's sleep at my cousin's place in Springfield, MO I would be riding back to Iowa and making a stop at my parent's house in Centerville. Was low 30's in the morning and finally got up to 39 around 10:30 so decided to roll. Now, what route to take?

    My house is essentially at the end of highway 5, which if you follow on the map goes through Centerville, IA, all the way through Missouri and down into Arkansas where as far as I can tell, it ends again around the Little Rock area. I decided it would be fun to get on highway 5 east of Springfield and essentially take it all the way home. Definitely not the shortest or fastest route, but I don't think I've ridden a lot of it in Missouri.

    Did a few miles on 65 north of Springfield then angled over and picked up 5 in Camdenton just as it gets into the Lake of the Ozarks area.
    [​IMG]

    The lake down there is really an octopus of damned up rivers and in that area, 5 has all the great characteristics of a good riding road. Twisty, rolling, good scenery, neat towns. The Ozarks might not have canyons like I've been riding through on this trip but they sure have some Big Ditches.

    A not-particularly-flattering pic of the lake, but you get the idea that there's water there. The bridge to the right is getting two more lanes added to it.
    [​IMG]

    The staple industry of the area... the Ozark trading post/gift shop/souvenir store.
    [​IMG]

    It started out sunny but got cloudier as the day went on and maybe got to the mid 40's. The major bummer was that the farther north I got, the more craptastic the wind became. And the worst kind... a cold cross wind. It was out of the West-Northwest and was really chilling my left foot and finding it's way to my neck. For the first time on the trip I had to break out my balaclava and some toe warmers. Mmmm, that's better. Now just have to worry about getting blown off the road.

    After getting out of the Ozarks, the scenery turned Iowa-ish. Rolling hills, farms, and small towns. With my late start, it was full-on dusk when I crossed back into Iowa. Yeah, the sign is crooked. Victim of some serious wind at some point.
    [​IMG]

    Got to Mom and Dad's about 10 miles later after 330 miles for the day. Mom had some tasty spaghetti cooking up when I got there. Turns out I don't think I've actually been home for quite awhile. Saw several changes around town I hadn't noticed before.

    Interesting observation on gas for the trip. In Iowa, we generally have 3 grades at the pump. 87, 89, and 91. The 89 is generally 10% ethanol and due to lower taxes on that fuel, it's usually the cheapest. The Triumph runs fine on 87 and I prefer to not run ethanol in motorcycles so that's usually what I use. If I really lug the motor, I might hear a slight ping.

    In the south, it seemed like every grade always had 10% ethanol. You'd think Iowa would be all ethanol since we grow a lot of corn, but it's not, and I'm glad. However, I used 87, 88, and 89 mostly in the south and I'd say it was less likely to ping than the Iowa fuel. Just interesting.

    One more day of riding and I'd get back Home... only 68.8 miles as the crow flies.