Adventures from Arkansas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Ozark08, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Wouldn't they have fixed the issue on new ones before they shipped? I'll ask.
    #41
  2. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    #42
  3. tridawg

    tridawg Been here awhile

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    Good point and maybe so. Mine just rattled loose.
    #43
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  4. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    I'll look into it :)
    #44
  5. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    I spent Thanksgiving at my sister Molly's house in Waco, TX. My other sister Emily (I have 3) along with her two boys and my Mom drove out from CA for the occasion. My Mom, being retired, decided to extend the trip and follow me back to AR. That, alas, meant that I had to drive the BMW. I very small concession to be honest. It's a 6mt sport coupe and very fun to drive.

    We took the long way home, through the Ouachita NF along the Talimena Scenic Byway. It starts, go figure, in Talihina OK and runs to Mena AR. An Indian word for iron road, it was a stopping point for the Frisco railway line built in 1886-1887. The town was incorporated in 1905. Since then they've built 6 lakes in the area that are fed but abundant natural waterways. Lots of camping, hunting, fishing, etc. The Ouachita NF is kind of a forgotten gem. It's often overshadowed by the much more well known and better accessible Ozarks. Despite being the bastard child, it's actually the oldest and largest NF in the south.

    Much of the main drag is deteriorated, but with lots of motorcycle traffic there are several places to stop for food (Pam's Diner was an obvious favorite). I really liked the dilapidated car dealer with an old truck. I'd love one just like it restored.

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    Apparently during their trip out here the over-abundance of Subways was a joke between my Mom and sister Emily. So, to check it off the list... My mom is an excellent road-trip companion :)

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    #45
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  6. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    The Talimena Scenic Byway follows OK Hwy 1. It was designated Hwy 1 due to, go figure again, it's scenic beauty! It follows the top ridge of the Winding Stair Mountains (fun fact, not actually mountains. There are NO mountains between the Rockies and Appalachians). The area was a natural funnel for large migratory mammals such as Mammoths that were hunted here by early tribes. Tribes here were also some of the first examples of Indian farming communities and the equivalent of established towns that traded in goods and services.

    The byway spans 54 miles and has 22 scenic view turnouts. Many of them won't provide much during the middle of the year. I'd recommend fall through early spring so that the leaves aren't blocking your view. During peak season the leaves will be gorgeous. It was originally opened in 1969 and has since been designated as a NF Scenic Byway (1989), Arkansas Scenic Byway (1998), Oklahoma Scenic Byway (2002), and National Scenic Byway (2005). I highly recommend it as a riding route for both ADV and road bikes and suggest you ride east to west to keep the steep sections as uphill. Personal preference. There are a TON of dirt roads and trails that branch off. I'll be going back to explore on the AT later this winter for sure, and I'll get video. You will NOT be disappointed. People in these small towns are amazingly pleasant and hospitable. That being said, yes, there is some meth being cooked around here...

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    #46
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  7. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    I rode the Talimena last year and did the Ozarks this Sept. Great and scenic riding. Got some friends who run the 341 Market on Push Mt Road. I'll be back there soon.
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    #47
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  8. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Free place to crash next time! Come visit!
    #48
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  9. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Today I took a ride up Indian Creek Road, which follows a portion of the old Hwy 7 route. I then did a rare east-west drive across Hwy 123 and then down Pilot Rock Rd (TAT section) to get home. Off of Old 7 I explored a hunting trail that's marked for off-road use that I remember scouting with a friend of mine several years ago. Since then a large portion has been logged, which has left lots of muddy ruts in the trail. It was unpredictable to say the least. While in the trees, the large amount of leaf cover meant that changes in trail conditions were invisible until you were in them. Big muddy sections were definitely a surprise! Also fun. I learned the hard way that I need to keep my feet UP until I've slowed down enough. My hip got nicely stretched at one point when a toe dug in. I'll be sore tomorrow for many reasons, not just that. Overall a fantastic ride that I'll be repeating.

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    The trail forks, with the trail I hiked before taking a left. If you go right you hit a steep rutted downhill section that I decided was best left until I had a riding buddy. Something about discretion being the better part of... ?

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    Joke is on me, when I stopped at the entrance to the other fork this happened:

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    And this:

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    SW Motech crash bars work great :) And while heavy, picking it up was no big deal. Surprise surprise, turns out this trail is actually a LOOP. And drops you off about 3/4 miles above where you pulled off of Old 7. Fun!


    Also along the road is a local phenomenon called the Dover Lights. It's an overlook above the winding upper portion of Big Piney Creek. TAT riders will have likely stopped here to enjoy it. At night sometimes there is a light visible on the opposite hill. No one has yet found the origin. Fun bit of local folklore.

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    The road surface is a lovely combination of dirt and loose rocks. Enjoy.

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    #49
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  10. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    I like my bike being dirty :) Good clean fun, right??

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    #50
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  11. Red Knight

    Red Knight Been here awhile

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    My boys and I were just in the area exploring. Here's a shot of Dover lights under heavy fog last month..
    We love the area, and go at least twice a year.. 20181027_093014.jpeg 20181029_140217.jpeg
    #51
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  12. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Well I live around the corner from there, come say hi next time! Plenty of room and I'm usually a good host :)
    #52
  13. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    "It's to cold to ride." STFU whiney little bitches. Breakfast at Oark (my new favorite place) and then the TAT route to the interstate. Fun day :)

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    #53
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  14. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Several "He is Uncas..." views. Especially up at White Rock, which is a very quick detour.

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    #54
  15. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    White Rock is a great place to stop and camp if you're traveling through the area. Amazing views and nice tent spaces. There's a small lodge, bathrooms and staff there.

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    Also along the route is Byrd Adventure Center. Great spot with nice camping and activities. Private trails that are well marked, canoeing, hiking, etc. They even have two grass runways for single engine planes and ultralights and/or paramotors. Great spot!

    https://byrdsadventurecenter.com
    #55
  16. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Love the area. I'm in GA, close enough to the Dragon to make it on a day trip.
    Here's my $7 Dragon shot:
    2018Dragon.jpg
    Some pics of my last visit to the Ozark area:
    AR DS1.jpg AR WC Chair.jpg
    #56
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  17. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    Frickin copycat.... ;)

    Looks like you were at Falling Water off of Hwy 16. Not far from my house! Come stop by next time you're in the area!
    #57
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  18. rkdwp

    rkdwp Axel Anderson Supporter

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    Beautiful photos! They bring back memories of my TAT trip this summer. The riding around the Ozarks was some of my favorite of the trip.
    #58
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  19. Ozark08

    Ozark08 Been here awhile

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    You could spend an entire month just exploring the Ozarks in Arkansas, and then several more weeks in the Ouachita NF just to the south. Come on back any time!
    #59
  20. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN VIN# JH2SD0451GK000002 '16 CRF1000LD

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    Thanks, for invite :)
    Next time you're in GA, or nearby, give me a shout- I'll be tour guide.
    #60