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CannonRide - Ozark Adventure Tour (OZAT) (MO/AR)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    37,172
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    OK, let's get this thing started. Day 1.

    I had this ride laid out for quite a while and was anxious to pull the trigger on it largely to escape the lingering Wisconsin winter. There were some nice temperatures in Arkansas in March. There was also a significant run of severe weather there that kept me from getting started. Eventually that cleared out and I could launch.

    Sadly, I had to launch in the cold rain at my end of the trip south (SE WI to NC MO). People ask me why I put a large aftermarket windshield on my big bikes. Riding in the rain is one of the reasons. Speaking of which, I bought a couple of "fashion accessories" that make riding in the rain much better (Aerostich but other sources are available). The first is a set of waterproof over gloves that are like a three fingered mitten that do an excellent job keeping things dry around my hands and wrists. I also bought some waterproof boot covers that prevent the constant stream of spray from the front wheel on the road from getting into my boots or up my pant leg. My waterproof boots worked great this trip (except when I overtopped them - then they are waterproof in two directions). My Klim gear worked flawlessly in the rain and a heated jacket kept me quite comfortable.


    On some videos people will get glimpses of the cockpit on my Tenere, so let's get that out of the way. I run a 276cx or a Montana in combination with a Zumo 350. I also run a satellite radio. The radio is in a waterproof box so I have a waterproof remote to change channels. I also run an InReach Satellite tracker. I have a couple of friends that have my intended GPS track that can check in on my progress or respond to messages I generate if I have trouble. If for some reason I disappeared (like went off the side of a mountain), the tracking would narrow a search since it would be known where I was last "seen". I would say it is a mandatory piece of equipment for a solo adventure rider.
    [​IMG]

    The 276cx has weather capability so I can find out if it is raining where I am riding (in case I don't otherwise realize it :evil). Actually it does work pretty well for figuring out how to thread through some patchy storms. Sorry about the focus.
    [​IMG]

    The obligatory crossing to St. Louis picture. High water in the Mississippi.
    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. Steve06

    Steve06 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Georgia

    Looking fwd to this RR. When i left Iraq in '05 i flew out in a C-23 via Catfish Air down to Kuwait and then regular air on the path home. Good stuff!
    #22
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    37,172
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    The route starts in Sullivan, Missouri. From there is runs some pavement and a little gravel as it works south toward Arkansas.
    [​IMG]

    There are a lot of dam projects in this region of the country. There have been historic problems with floods and building some reservoirs could help manage that. There was also the side benefit of hydroelectric power. At one time they were going to drop a dam in on the Meramec River right here near Sullivan to take care of some flooding problems. WWII caused some delay and eventually the project lost steam and gained opposition. A local referendum event came out against the project. In the end, the US Government dropped the whole thing. The dam would have gone in just a tad upriver from this spot.
    [​IMG]

    It would have flooded a lot of ground. The circle at the top is where I am at now. The circle midway down is a spot I'll show you later on that would have gone underwater. When I look at some of the benefits these projects bring in the long term, I can't help but wonder if people regret not following through on this project. By the way, flooding is still a problem.
    [​IMG]

    I stumbled on to this old structure. Kind of an interesting story for those that like to poke around such places.
    [​IMG]

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    There are a bunch of lead mines in this area. We'll see a few of them along the route. This one is inactive at the moment but others are not.
    [​IMG]

    My route takes us down the deposit by Viburnum. The lead belt in Missouri supplies about 70% of the US primary supply of lead (and a lot of zinc too). About 84% of that is used for lead-acid batteries. There is a smelter in Boss, MO, that recycles lead-acid batteries. Winchester Ammunition, in East Alton (IL), is also a major consumer of Missouri lead. I don't know if it is a medical fact or not, but I've heard that as some of these mine workers get older, the iron in their blood turns to lead in their ass and their productivity falls. :evil
    [​IMG]

    There are recreation communities in MO and AR that involve gated communities, man-made lakes, sometimes golf courses, and other activities. This one is near one of the lead mines.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What it looks like when you zoom in.
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    This one is just down the road.
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    Gated and guarded.
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    They built their own dam that raised the water level to what it would have been with the major dam project. The lake is spring fed and clear.
    [​IMG]

    This intersection just below their dam would have been under about 40 feet or so of water.
    [​IMG]

    Logging (forest products) is big in the entire region this route is involved with. When you are on one-laners on the side of a mountain, you might encounter one of these coming at you.
    [​IMG]

    Off into the Mark Twain National Forest for some nice riding.
    [​IMG]



    This old farm house has been in the family for over 100 years. Nice to see such an old structure so well preserved. You'll be seeing hundreds and hundreds of broken down structures on this ride.
    [​IMG]

    The pavement is fantastic in this region. The roads often run ridges with rolling terrain and near constant sweeping curves. Sometimes things are tighter and more intense. I can't really capture that with a camera or even video, but if you like rolling and flowing roads this is a nice place to ride.
    [​IMG]



    In Wisconsin, we are dismantling these towers since their purpose has been replaced by air patrols. There are many still standing in the Ozarks and Ouachitas. Many of these were bolted together by Civilian Conservation Corps workers. The cab styles on the tops of the towers varied a little, but the tower construction was similar. These are made to flex a bit in the wind which can be an issue for the observer in the cab. I saw a number of these with no barriers to the steps. I assume the hatch on the cab floor is padlocked though.
    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,498
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    The history lesson has begun!
    #24
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  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    There are a lot of old mills in the region. Some are open to the public and some are privately owned. I stopped at the Dillard Mill site near Viburnum.
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    Some of these mills were burned and rebuilt over the years. Some were burned during the Civil War.
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    Mining supply outfit in Viburnum.
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    The Bixby Store has seen a lot of visits by motorcyclists over the years. It is an interesting place and offers a variety of food.
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    I tried this BBQ concoction. It was good but I couldn't eat it all. Dr. Pepper seemed appropriate for the region.
    [​IMG]

    An interesting place inside. There are tables to sit and relax at while enjoying a coffee or a meal.
    [​IMG]
    #25
    Mike M, RJAMT, ncsonderman and 6 others like this.
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Glad to have you along. Hope you enjoy it.

    I hope you see some familiar places. It would have been fun to ride together had I hung around for a bit. I decided to head home and check out that injury I sustained along the way.

    As you know, there is a lot of fantastic riding in the area. I thought I would try to lay out a nice adventure route to encourage more people to come enjoy it for themselves.

    Thanks RD. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some parts of this you might not have ridden already. I'll mention it later on, but an aggressive tire seems best on the off-pavement sections. Lots of slick stuff, marble like stones, and rough surfaces.
    #26
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks guys! You've got enough people from the same region right here in this post to put together a pretty substantial group ride of some of this stuff! :D
    #27
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Hope you find it entertaining! Thanks for tuning in.

    This injury makes up for all the times I should have broken something but didn't. We'll both be back at it soon enough. Hope you enjoy the report.

    Thanks John!

    I hope this helps inspire you to get back there and explore some more of this stuff!

    Thanks Bob. It is a beautiful area.

    Thanks! I hope it inspires a few more people to take the opportunity to enjoy the great riding and entertaining scenery in this area. Much of this is about making it a little easier for the next rider and getting them the information they might want.
    #28
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  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks. The USFS has one of these they got from the USAF. They use it for smoke jumpers now.

    Indeed it has Bob. Thanks for tuning in! :D
    #29
    woodzrider likes this.
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #30
    guavadude likes this.
  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    What's that saying ?????
    "Great Minds Think Alike"
    or
    "Old Farts are afraid of getting lost" ???:rofl:rofl
    2 GPS (1024x768).jpg
    #31
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  12. MotoChron

    MotoChron Got Dirt?!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,498
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    You are awesome to share all these ride reports and tracks. I want to ride all of them, but still working on finishing the UPAT. Looking forward to more.

    ~Chris
    #32
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  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Coventry, RI
    Gotta love those 3 finger gloves!

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. Tenacious B

    Tenacious B Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,121
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for sharing this ride, this region has been on my list.
    #34
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  15. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    663
    Looking forward to more. I'm happy to see your still at it. Good luck with your leg.
    #35
    Cannonshot likes this.
  16. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,758
    Location:
    St Louis MO
    Very scenic down there. Hills are big, almost feels like south dakota in places. Got in 1500 miles there about a month ago. Looking forward to this and the tracks.
    #36
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  17. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
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    Location:
    On the cut
    Awesome! In!
    #37
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  18. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
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    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Comin along......IN!!
    #38
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  19. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Great read. I'm in.

    I've seen calling cards from both you and Bigdog at the Bixby store. Bet if they sold stickers they'd sell a ton.
    #39
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  20. Critic

    Critic More or less!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,179
    Location:
    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    Hey Bryan, I thought you might be doing a ride trip; you seem to enter a silent running mode, then out comes the RR! You could have stopped over for the night on your way down or up. MO is one of my favorite areas for rides. I am scheduled to go DS at Link's later this month. Wish I had been with you!
    #40
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