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

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

  1. BadPoet

    BadPoet Proper grammar is over-rated

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    Great Report. I'm planning to ride this area some day and this just seals the deal. I really enjoyed the Big Bend Report since it's practically in my backyard ( relatively) and I had just spent some time there. The history lesson was just the best. Thanks for that. I know it must be a lot of work but it is much appreciated by many. Safe Travels.
    #81
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  2. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    In Pocahontas's Arkansas already doing great.....will hit the HUB event down the road. No drama yet!!!! IMG_0121.JPG
    #82
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Lookin' good Mark! Weather looks great!
    #83
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  4. TonyKZ1

    TonyKZ1 Long timer

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    Nice ride report, Thanks for taking us along with you. I'm originally from the Summersville and Eminence, MO area.
    #84
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  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for tuning in. Looks like a lot of this is in your home turf. Lots of great riding thereabouts.
    #85
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3 - Continued

    Kenda to Deer
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    Another adventure rider enjoying the area.
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    I was itchin' to stop in here but I passed on it.
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    Speaking of which, I always have appreciated how polite so many of the rural people are in this region.
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    Nice overlook. Worth the stop.
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    The old time store is supposed to be famous for something. I think it has the original 1926 post office it started off with.
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    I took a side trip to Deer just to look around since I had some time.
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    Local school.
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    There is a USFS work center here.
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    #86
  7. GasMich

    GasMich Been here awhile Supporter

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    Great ride report. Good to see you are still at it.
    #87
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 3 - Continued

    On to Jasper and the end of day 3.

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    Scenic byways abound.
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    This guy had hot brakes. He was stopped at a runaway truck lane. They were smoking pretty good. I smelled hot brakes several times on semis on some of the paved roads. One semi had rear brakes smoking so heavily I thought the truck was on fire.
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    Runaway truck lanes slow vehicles with failed brakes using soft materials.
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    Speaking of brakes, the unified braking on my Tenere was fantastic on this trip (front lever works both brakes at the same time). I previously wrote that in some very steep and rugged situations off-road that the brakes became "anti-stop" brakes. On this trip I wasn't in a situation that bad. The brakes were fabulous on the dirt and rock roads calculating precise brake pressure for each wheel giving me excellent control. On the roads they were excellent as well - precise braking between the two wheels - no doubt better than I could consistently do on my own. Once I broke a bone in my right (braking) leg, unified braking was really handy (although I could still work the pedal). As you know, if you are hot in a tight turn on one of those dirt/rock/gravel forest roads and you lock up the rear wheel inadvertently, the steering you lose could put you off the road. Depending on where that happens it could be very bad. The drawback might be getting so spoiled with one handed braking. :D

    Rolling down into Jasper.


    Jasper is a nice town. Looks like a lot of river recreation here.
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    Organic restaurant in an old hotel.
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    This bakery and café is supposed to be good.
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    Looks like an old theater.
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    This town had two civil war heroes - one on each side. Kind of awkward at dinner parties. Jimmy Vanderpool was a Union hero and the former Sheriff, John Cecil, wore twin pearl handed pistols and ran a bunch of Confederate guerillas. Union troops once burned the town along the way.

    This place is supposed to be the "Elk Capital of Arkansas".

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    The Works Progress Administration built this courthouse.
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    After the civil war this place took off with timber products. They had a lot of oak for stave bolts (big hunks of wood to make barrel staves out of) and cedar for pencil mills.

    A doctor from Jasper researched the effects of iodine on the thyroid gland which led to Morton Salt deciding to produce iodized salt. A CEO of Ralston Purina was also from Jasper.

    Per capita income here is about $14K with over 30% below the poverty line. Median family income is about $27K.

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    This seems to be the restaurant of choice around here. It's been around since 1909.
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    Daily stats. Mix of off-pavement and pavement. A comfortable riding day. Still ahead of my daily 270 mi goal. End of day 3. Motel in Jasper.
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    #88
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Good to hear from you my friend!

    Speaking of broken bones . . . good times. :D
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    #89
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks! I'm sure you will love riding in this area. They have a lot to offer. I hope this report helps you with your planning. It's true that the ride report becomes a lot of work, but it is worth it to try to encourage and assist others to ride some of this stuff. I also try to give some basic information to new riders to perhaps save them some trouble along the way.
    #90
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  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    How about a little intermission? Perhaps a little road music that might be appropriate for some of those excellent Ozark highway stetches. :D



    And recognizing that there are a variety of tastes, here is another one.
    #91
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  12. simmons1

    simmons1 Long timer

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    Great timing of this report. I'll be at the Hub this weekend for the Hillbilly Dualsport ride.

    Can't wait to see the GPS file.
    #92
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  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    When I first looked at your avatar I thought it was Whitaker Point over by Ponca and Cave Mountain. Some resemblance. :D

    I'll get a final version of the track out when I finish the report. I do some editing as I write about each day.
    #93
  14. simmons1

    simmons1 Long timer

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    Avatar is Top of The World outside of Moab.

    Thanks for doing these reports!
    #94
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  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks Randy! I forgot to mention that after I broke that bone I was thinking about how you rode on your broken leg bone during one of the CannonTreks in the UP. I can appreciate how painful that was for you. You did recover nicely though. :D
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    #95
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  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 4 - Heading over to Ponca and Dixon Ford

    A good day to break a bone.
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    We had frost in the area last night.
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    Ponca Low Water Bridge
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    Ponca is a tiny recreation town on the Buffalo.
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    General store. Some supplies.
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    I'm not sure about how many hundreds of canoes I saw stacked up along these various riverways on this trip.
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    #96
  17. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    If you're near Ponca, don't miss the Low Gap Cafe on 74...delicious food and a great outdoor dining area!
    #97
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  18. motogearhead

    motogearhead Been here awhile Supporter

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    Bryan, this pic brings back great memories for me! Hope your break is healing as well!! I don't remember the pain as much as the frustration and disappointment of not being able to finish that CannonTrek. Randy
    #98
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  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 4 - Continued

    Cave Mountain & Dixon Ford

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    Cave Mountain ahead. As you get to the Buffalo River you turn onto the mountain. Up and over, down the other side, across Dixon Ford, and you are on your way again. I also posted an alternative road route in case the water in the ford is too deep.
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    There is a notable cave on Cave Mountain. Coincidence?
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    The climb can be steep and a little bumpy.
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    Old fashioned well.
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    There is a trailhead here for a hike out to Whitaker Point. This point is often used in Arkansas tourism ads. I think it might be a three mile round trip on foot. (internet pic)
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    The road on the backside of the mountain started to get more primitive until it was more like an ATV or small jeep trail with some water bars. Nothing too rugged, but it was wet and slippery in places today. On my KTM 500, this would have been just another day at the office. On a loaded adventure bike I had to pay attention to keep the wings straight and level on the slick spots.
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    The dry spots were nice.
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    I had already decided not to edge any water holes with the Tenere. I would just take them straight on. Well, I got to one that had a deep crossways rut that I though might catch one of the wheels and stick the bike so I thought I'd just slip past it on a high edge. As I was doing it, I knew that I shouldn't. I was at a low enough speed that the bike started to slide out from under me on the slope. I planted my right foot to save it and the hard case caught my lower leg and ankle. The weight and slow forward motion of the bike pinned my leg as my upper body twisted my leg bones as I fell. As it was happening my mind was telling me "that's a break". Luckily my leg was not pinned once I was down. I got up, and although my leg was painful, it seemed to still be intact. I reasoned that maybe I had just a very bad sprain. I got the bike up and rode the rutted mud hole anyway (without a problem). I might add the getting the bike up on slippery ground, loaded, with only one good leg was a trick. When heavy loads started shifting around, two good legs are pretty handy to have.

    Here is a case where my satellite tracker could have been valuable if I hadn't been able to take care of myself. I could send an SOS, a text message with my location and situation, or someone following my track would see that I hadn't moved from that spot and could have sent help. Otherwise, I could have pitched camp and waited for an ATV to come by on the weekend. Again, a tracker may be a necessary device for solo back country travelers. I'm also trained as a Wilderness First Responder and have a comprehensive kit for stuff like this - although it can be hard to work on yourself.

    All in all, a minor incident. No worries. Not enough drama involved to make it too interesting. :D
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    By the way, when I set up the Tenere I went with soft luggage this time to avoid a situation like this. I had hard boxes on a different adventure bike that tried to break my leg once before. I decided to put hard luggage on the Tenere for another purpose, but never swapped it out with the soft for this trip.
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    This was the only mishap, tip-over, or whatever I had on this trip. Even when I was riding with only one leg at 100% through some stuff I'll warn you off of, I handled everything fine. In fact, I did some fancy riding during the days I was riding with a broken bone after this mishap :D

    What I didn't like is that before I even started on this section I had reason to believe there would be too much water in the crossing and I would have to turn around and ride all this stuff back to a go-around. Of course I wanted to proof the track, whether I could cross or not, but I wasn't too excited about climbing back out on the slippery stuff with only one good leg.


    Sure enough, when I got to the crossing it was too deep. If I had been 100% I might have considered riding the edge in the water to a gravel bar where the water wasn't as deep, but there was no way I was going to risk tipping it into the water, or otherwise drowning it, while I was solo and crippled. I would have had to walk the water first which wasn't about to happen under the present circumstances. :D
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    That could be slippery algae on the rock portion. Watch for it.
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    Here is what it looks like at lower water. A jeep guy took these pix in December.
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    Here is a tip. Check the river at the bridge just as you turn to climb up Cave Mountain. If it looks too high, you may want to continue on the highway by-pass and save yourself a dead end segment (although the dead end is fun to ride). Here are some aerials when the water was at crossing level.

    Bridge
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    Corresponding water level at Dixon Ford. Now that I've looked at the low water photos, my notion about trying to edge it down to the gravel bar was wrong. I would have been in deep water. The big solid rocks along the bank have drop offs.
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    Anyway, I got rolling to climb back out. Between the pain and wrestling the loaded bike, I was sweating by the time I got to the top :D

    A little ruggedy (for a big bike) I guess. A lot like other spots along the way. Under the circumstances, I wasn't thrilled about the sun in my eyes as I climbed out. :D






    Going back down the front of the mountain.


    The pavement go-around is a nice ride.
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    I went in to Dixon Ford from the other end just to make sure that the through track was good - no unexpected problems once someone crossed.
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    #99
  20. dirty_sanchez

    dirty_sanchez Dirty_Sanchez

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    Really diggin' letting us tag along for the ride. Sorry to hear about the slipup.

    Same thing happened to me a few years back tooling around up there with a pretty bad break in my foot bone.

    Dirty
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