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

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    Day 1 Continued - Bixby Store to Eminence

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    Doe Run is the mining outfit that has a string of mines in this area.
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    This mine is operating. The hoist was running. Follow this link to get an overview of how they are mining in this area.
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    This is their big recycling plant. They take in 460M pounds of lead bearing materials each year including about 13.5M lead-acid batteries to recycle. Follow this link for an orientation about what they do at this plant. Kind of interesting.
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    Another mine just down the road.
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    There is a small rail network set up between these mines. Although it is in good shape, it doesn't seem to be active. In fact, some of the highway crossings have been paved over.
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    Apparently they are trucking ore now.
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    Another active mine.
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    I mentioned that forest products are big in this region. You come across a lot of timber company sawmills along the way. Some of the hardwood scraps are converted to lump charcoal at this operation.
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    Slab wood from lumber making operations gets converted here. Interesting to read about the process. Controlled burning gets rid of tar and sap and leaves carbon.
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    Lots of these slab wood bundles are produced as scrap in the region.
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    #41
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  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    There are multiple national scenic riverways in this ride's region. Ozark National Scenic Riverways are in this vicinity.
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    Devils Well, an underground lake, is along the route.
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    You can work your way down into this hole to get a look at the underground lake.
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    Heading toward Akers Ferry.
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    Akers Ferry runs seasonally and there is a small fee.
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    Not very elaborate.
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    But here is the thing. You don't want to take the ferry even though the road on the other side gets you down to Eminence. You want to backtrack a few miles to Hwy 19 which has been designated as an incredibly scenic route and a fabulous motorcycle road. Some of the best parts are on this track.
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    The clicking you hear in these highway videos is the steel fishing leader I use as an anti-loss lanyard for my helmet camera. I connect the camera body to the helmet using the leader so that if the mount and/or camera becomes detached I don't lose anything.



    That steel grate on the bridge was a surprise.


    It was getting dark, but the view during the day from this scenic overlook is entertaining.
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    Severe storms were moving in fast. I snagged a $50 room in Eminence and waited for them to hit.
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    It poured like heck. There was significant flooding around the region. Some buildings got torn up by winds and maybe a tornado or two.
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    I am listing today's numbers based on the riding I began in the afternoon once I got to the start of the route in Sullivan, MO.
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    #42
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Nice setup Mark! For those of us that do mapping to share with others, running two units is pretty important. Saved me a lot of trouble in the past.

    Or . . . maybe we ARE just old and insecure . . . :lol3
    Thanks! Trying to help the next rider. The UPAT is still a favorite for me. It can be pretty satisfying to produce rides for others to enjoy.

    Those are the ones! They work great and are big enough to fit over insulated gloves.

    I hope this report proves helpful to you when you get to ride it. A very nice area to ride in for sure!

    Thanks. The leg is just a big inconvenience right now. Just have to wait it out I guess. :D

    I was thinking about the off-pavement stuff being much like you find in some other areas, like parts of Idaho, except that the mountains aren't as high. :D

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    Thanks for tuning in!

    Thanks!

    Thanks! Yeah, the store should sell something like that since they get so many visitors. When I was at the Oark Café this time they gave me a sticker so they must be doing that now.
    #43
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  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I should probably explain to those that don't know that even though I am retired I don't have the schedule I envisioned. I serve as the head of our state off-highway motorcycle association, serve on three Governor's Councils related to trails and motorized recreation (two as chairman and one as vice-chairman), serve as an associate affiliated with a national off-highway organization, and serve as the WI state chapter coordinator for a national motorcycle organization. Sometimes the work related to being a very active advocate can jam up a retired guy's schedule and with ever changing commitments it makes it difficult to come up with firm trip dates. Between the severe weather that was going on in the south for a while, and the commitments I had back here, I wasn't even sure I would get out the door on this one. I did manage to squeeze it in though! In fact, I only just got back this week and I was already at the State Capitol today presenting to a Senate Committee in support of some legislation for another motorized group.

    Oh yeah, I also help out here as a moderator.

    When I retired from the military, I swore that I wasn't getting involved in anything and that I was NEVER going to go to another meeting. I guess it didn't take. :D

    Regarding "going silent" for a while, I try very hard when I am on a trip like this to disconnect from e-mail and the web and just relax and enjoy the riding and places I am experiencing at the moment. I have to admit that it is getting more difficult each time to disconnect. There is always something that needs to be tended to. I'm sure many others experience this same problem since society seems to expect we are always in contact via the excellent devices available to us these days.

    I mentioned I have a satellite radio rigged on my Tenere. Lately, instead of listening to the road trip rock I have been tuning into mellow music that seems to contribute to relaxing while I take in the riding and scenery in a more laid back fashion. Very pleasant.

    One thing is sure though, doing rides like this generates a lot of happiness. :D
    #44
  5. Bultaco74

    Bultaco74 Been here awhile

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    Awesome work. I'll check it out.
    #45
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 2 - A loop around Eminence.

    Don't by-pass this loop along the river which is a trip to see the nearby mill. It is a really nice ride.
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    A little cool and wet after the storm.
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    The motel I stayed at. Still on off-season rates.
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    This is a center for equestrian recreation. There is a large horse camp here in town. These are some shops related to horseback riding.
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    Hard to capture the entire facility.
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    Better to see from the air. The upper right shows the facility. I wonder what they do with all that horse manure when they have events?
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    Taking the back way along the river to the mill.
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    This is a really nice ride.
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    Stopped to check out the Alley Mill.
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    The mill is powered by water flowing out of the big ass spring behind it. You can read more about it if you like. The guy that put in the mill seemed to have a lousy business plan. He put in an expensive component for milling wheat even though the principal crop in the area was corn. Some people claim that "milling around" or to "mill around" derived from describing the aimless inactivity of people waiting nearby while their grain was ground at a mill.
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    The track loops back through town. There are a couple of nice restaurants for breakfast.
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    #46
  7. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    nice stuff CS, another pocket of interesting riding area put on our radar. thanks !
    #47
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  8. Backwoods Bastard

    Backwoods Bastard Adventurer

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    Say when. Although Im probably looking at 2018 or beyond. :D
    #48
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  9. 12ride

    12ride Been here awhile

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    Bryan - just wanted to thank you for posting this report. I live in the Ozarks and appreciate the diversity of riding we have here. A note for those who are not familiar with the concrete creek crossings we have here (called low water bridges) they can be slicker than black ice. If they are dark green in color or even appear black they are coated with algae - watch out or you will find yourself lying in the water wondering what the heck happened. Usually if there is enough road traffic they will have two brown tire tracks across them. That is the best place to ride across BUT they are still slick.

    I also need to thank you for the Big Bend/ Big Bend Ranch State Park info and tracks. I used them a couple of years ago and really appreciated not having to find my way around. I live south of Springfield and have bed space if your ever back down this way.
    #49
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  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 2 - Continued. Working my way down to the Arkansas border.

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    This road continues to be a great ride. There are a few series of deep and steep rollers along the way (that I didn't capture with the camera). Good fun though.
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    I had a side loop mapped out for a visit to this unique mill. It started off great on a dirt road.
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    When I got to the bottom lands along a stream things got soft and rutted. My risk management profile as a solo rider on a loaded adventure bike told me to go back around instead of getting bogged down in the mud on this wet morning after a big storm.
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    This is what it looked like coming out the other end.
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    But what really made me change my mind and go back around was that there were two stream crossings in that last mile gap. No sense wrestling a big bike through the mud to find out you can't cross. I had no idea what the conditions would be on that soft two track.
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    This is what I was after. A mill constructed to make use of a spring gushing out of the side of a rock face. Interesting arrangement.
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    This is the good road that leads to the mill.


    This road is great to ride.
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    Minor version of some of the deep rollers you find on this road. These were not that substantial but they were still fun.


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    Speaking of interesting arrangements, Greer Mill was situated at the top of a hill. A little research revealed that Missouri's second largest spring gushes at the bottom of the hill. This spring doubles the size of the Eleven Point River with its flow. Greer rigged up some cables, pulleys, and towers so that he could transmit the water power from the spring site below to the mill that was on top of the hill. Clever. I think Greer's Mill was burned while he was out fighting during the Civil War, but he rebuilt it. He also added some new features like a sawmill down at the spring site but hauling materials up and down the mountain proved to be a significant problem.
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    The Eleven Point River runs through this area.
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    It is one of those National Scenic Rivers I mentioned earlier.
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    Speaking of rivers, with all these water crossings that come up, we should talk about water depth a little. A good guide to discovering what stage some of the rivers and streams are in is to use the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Although they don't gauge every waterway, seeing what is going on in an area can be a good predictor. There are some periods of severe flooding in the region that produce a no-go status period. There are other periods where rivers come up quickly, but they also drain away nearly as quickly. Most of the low water crossings are usable by cars and trucks almost all of the time. 12ride already highlighted that some crossings can get very slick with algae. Add a little current (and even without it) and you'll be down on one of those slick crossings before you even realize what happened. You'll notice in some of the videos that I stop and look things over before I cross. I'm not just looking at depth, I'm also looking for indicators of slickness. In some cases, I get off and walk in the water to see what is going on. Keep in mind that your bike tires only have a small contact patch. Current that broadsides your bike in deeper water can easily push you downstream and perhaps off the edge of some of the crossings. Round rocks on the bottom of the stream can be quite slippery or roll around as well. A wide crossing can have mild and shallow water for 95% of it, but there can be that 8' stretch of deeper and jetting current that messes you up. Not a bad idea to dismount and spot each other on some crossings. The bottom line is that drowning a bike at one of these crossings can create big problems riders don't otherwise need - especially out in the sticks. Even a simple tip over can produce a big problem. By the way, if you need to walk it and are worried about wet feet, I think you will find you'll have wet feet when you ride it too. :D
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    #50
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks. Nice that this opportunity is within reach of so many people.

    I'd like to go back and do the core on my KTM 500 EXC. It would be a sporty ride.

    Thanks! And thanks for highlighting some of the water crossing issues. It must be the right time of the year because I lucked out on not hitting the super slickness like I've experienced before, but there was enough water around this time of year to keep me from making some crossings. I'm glad the Big Bend stuff I shared was useful to you. Another case of trying to help the next riders by sharing much of the research with them. :D
    #51
  12. kojack06

    kojack06 Long timer

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    I ordered same several months ago from Aerostich and they arrived yesterday! Im anxious to try them!

    #52
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  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 2 - Continued Pocahontas and Ravenden Springs

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    For those that would rather ride the core 1,250 mile portion instead of the entire 2,000 miles of the full adventure ride, start in Pocahontas and go west to Parks.

    Pocahontas was an early settlement in Arkansas. It became the county seat through a little trickery. There was a big county meeting to decide what town should be the county seat. The delegation from Pocahontas brought a bunch of booze and got the other delegations very drunk. When the time came for formal action, only the Pocahontas crew was on the job.

    The town is about 6,600 now, but during the Civil War they ran about 10,000 troops through here. I think they had a training base of about 1,250 for quite a while. Supplies came in by river. There is now a civil war commemorative walk along the river. I think I read that Pocahontas got the first shoe manufacturing operation south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
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    I don't know what was going on in town that day, but I had a hard time finding a place to park. :evil
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    I like to swing by the airport to see what is on the ramp. Not sure what the story is on the C-23 Sherpa. I thought those had gone out of the inventory. The Robinson R-44 was rigged with an aerial application tank and boom. Robinson helicopters R44 has been the top selling general aviation helicopter world-wide since 1999. It is the most produced general aviation aircraft of this century. Since the year 2000 over 5,805 have been produced.
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    The old court house here was built in 1871. The town has a large historic district of old and notable buildings. I think part of the town was burned during the war. The town changed hands a few times having been occupied by northern and southern forces at different times. The Missouri Swamp Fox, Brig Gen Jeff Thompson, was hanging out at a hotel downtown when some union troops showed up and captured him. "Generally" speaking, he was not pleased with the ordeal. Later in the war the union included him in a prisoner swap.
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    Highway 67, "The Rock and Roll Highway", has some points on interest along the route. Rockabilly musician Billy Lee Riley was from Pocahontas.
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    More on the R&R Hwy in a bit.
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    Heading off for some back country riding.
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    Ravenden Springs is an interesting visit. One of the earliest land claims in Arkansas was near here back in 1809. Back in 1941 they built this four room school house. Pretty nice at the time.
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    It would have been nice to see this town when it was flourishing. Not much left here today.
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    It is worth taking a lap around town to look things over.
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    I'll bet this service station was a gem back in the day.
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    Heading northwest toward Mammoth Spring.
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    #53
  14. MGilman

    MGilman Adventurer

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    Can you elaborate on your satellite radio? What waterproof box is that and is that a starmate receiver?
    #54
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  15. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    I am enjoying taking another (this) ride with you!
    #55
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  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Sure. First of all, shop around for these components because prices can vary significantly.

    The waterproof box is listed here. I have used a RAM mount on it before (screw a flat mount ball to the back) but now have it mounted directly to a dash bracket. As an alternative, this might work.
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    The antenna is here. I made a custom mount so it is mounted to the side of the waterproof box.
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    The radio is here.
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    The waterproof remote is here. Rig some Velcro and stick it to the top of the waterproof case. Velcro glue melts away and fails in the sun, so use some all purpose cement on the edges of the Velcro to keep it from letting loose. A metal fishing leader can keep you from losing it.
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    #56
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Glad to have you along!
    #57
  18. MGilman

    MGilman Adventurer

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    Thanks for the info! Ive looked high and low for a waterproof case for the bike. This is just what I needed.
    #58
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  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 2 - Continued On to Mammoth Spring.

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    You run some more rocky backroads like this for a while.
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    Mammoth Spring is the largest spring in Arkansas and the 7th largest in the world. In the region Big Spring and Greer Spring (MO) are bigger.
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    This spring flows 9 million gallons of 58 degree water per hour. That's big . . . maybe even . . . mammoth. One of the outlets. The spring pool is about 10 acres.
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    It flows into a stream that immediately becomes a substantial river. The trout fishing is good.
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    A hatchery here takes advantage of the spring water. Current programs involve the restoration of paddlefish and sturgeon; recovery of endangered and threatened species including freshwater mussels; restoration of Gulf Coast Striped Bass populations; restoration of walleye, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout in the White River drainage; and fishery management and stocking recreational fish on national wildlife refuges. Every buck spent here produces $12 in economic benefit.
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    This federal hatchery started up long ago. The combination of water and a railroad made it the place to be.
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    Speaking of railroads, the oldest depot in Arkansas is preserved here and is now a museum.
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    Just across the border in Missouri, BNSF has a yard. After the civil war, Missouri government was paying $10,000 per mile to get railroads developed. They knew they couldn't develop their economy without a transportation network.
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    I was going to stop and pick through some recycled auto parts on that riverbank but I took a pass on it.
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    This nearby state park is kind of interesting. It involves some caved in underground rivers. In fact, dye testing revealed that the water that goes through here feeds Mammoth Spring. By the way, most Missouri and Arkansas State Parks have no entry fee.
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    Heading back toward the town of Mammoth Springs.
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    Not much to the downtown area.
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    #59
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 2 - Continued

    A ride from Mammoth to Hardy.

    More great riding on local backroads. I found these to be quite entertaining, but not as entertaining as the riding once we get into the mountains and the National Forests. No complaints about this stuff though.
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    Somewhere along here I rode Nine Mile Ridge, although I'm not sure how long it is.
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    By the way I carry a substantial folding saw so I can cut through most fallen trees if I need to. Being solo it is hard to move things around by myself.


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    There are several substantial recreation retirement communities in the area. The biggest one that is circled is Cherokee Village. It started up in the 1950s and has grown substantially. They put in a bunch of lakes and golf courses and other stuff. Communities like this have helped make Arkansas the 9th most popular choice in the US for retirees.
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    Hardy is a cool little town. Touristy with the wonderful Spring River flowing through.
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    Gas available.
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    They have some interesting shops and museums.
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    There is a downtown strip. A good place for a coffee stop.
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    The Spring River, which is fed in part by Mammoth Spring, is a great feature here. Well, that is unless it floods. It came up 22 feet and they had to evacuate the town. Prior to that it came up 29 feet one time. Tubers and canoers love the river and there is a campground in town on the bank. A state record Tiger Musky was caught in the river back in 1995.
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    The town is served by the BNSF. Before the BNSF, the Frisco (St. Louis to San Francisco) Railroad serve the place.
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    The Wilburn Brothers (Teddy and Doyle) were born here. I believe they had their own TV show from 1963 to 1974. They were known for their harmony and had a string of hits. Roy Acuff discovered them and brought them to the Opry. They were offered "Heartbreak Hotel" before it was offered to Elvis. They turned it down describing it as "strange and almost morbid".


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    The Discovery Channel has a stereotyped reality series based in this town called Clash of the Ozarks. It involves some conflict between clans and individuals. The Discovery Channel site has a video about these ole boys putting ball bearings on the rails to try to derail a train. They used grease to keep the bearings in place as the engine approached. Of course, the bearings shot out like rifle bullets.
    #60