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

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

  1. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Day 5 looks really good. I'm going to go down there just for that day. I've always missed Hot Springs before. Need to check it out.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Cannonshot likes this.
  2. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Awesome! You definitely set the gold standard for ride reports. Looking forward to adding these tracks to my ever growing library of AR rides.
    I've been wanting to explore farther into MO but wasn't sure where to start. This may have to wait until Fall or next Spring but on my shortlist for sure!
    Cannonshot likes this.
  3. Mike M

    Mike M Long-timer... Supporter

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    Just moved to STL and rode the "alphabet" roads down to Bixby and back last Sunday. Coming from Colorado I heard about the great riding here but wasn't sure what to think. Sundays ride confirmed what a great riding region it is. Thanks for this thread, can't wait to ride some of the gravel roads to see the sights you show here!
    Cannonshot likes this.
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Here is some camera info. I use a Contour for the helmet camera. No stills pulled from video.

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Day 5 is a nice ride but a long day. I'll warn people on big bikes about some stuff coming up beyond Mena.

    Thanks! I hope you enjoy some riding there and that the tracks help you put a trip together.

    And it gets even better! :D
  5. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    odessa MO/donna TX
    Great job Cannonshot, really appreciate the history/scenery in my part of the country. And all this from a Yankee. LOL Thanks again.
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks! I'm from southern Wisconsin ya'll. I was twelve years old before I knew that "damn Yankee" was two words. :D
    ROAD DAMAGE and severely like this.
  7. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Outstanding....as always! :clap

    AND near my backyard.

    HF :thumbup
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  8. Max Wedge

    Max Wedge ADVenture mowing

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    Awesome! a Cannonshot RR! I always get pulled in and leave feeling smarter. Thanks for posting history!
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  9. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks HF!

    Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the history part of it.

    Thanks Max Wedge!
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    OK, sorry I missed another update. I had to travel to northern Wisconsin for two meetings on Tuesday with the USFS and the DNR. I may be a little irregular getting posts out for a few days as I have a hearing at the Capitol today, a trails council meeting tomorrow, and a conference Friday night and Saturday. Being retired isn't what it should be. :D

    Anyway, while in the meeting with the USFS, the district ranger mentioned an incident in Arkansas where a bunch of people were killed in a flash flood a few years ago. His remark reminded me that I had that incident waypointed and that I meant to pass it on during the day 5 segment. My apologies for missing it.

    Here is the location. Albert Pike campground in the Ouachitas. Horrifying story. A flash flood brought the water up 23 feet and killed at least 20 people including some children. Watch where you camp in wet weather.
    [​IMG]

    Swept Away: The Albert Pike Flood

    2010 Arkansas Flood


    I'll get back on the job with the regular report as I get a chance to between meetings.
    TonyKZ1 and BackRoadNomad like this.
  12. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Bryan-----Since you had a bumb foot and didn't get to hike to Little Missouri Falls-------I did for you.
    I'm no hiker-----but it was cool and it was a really nice hike back to the falls.
    About a mile hike in and out----really worth the hike.
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    Really neat viewing spot.
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    If you come here--there is no camping---but a superb place to picnic.
    Lot's of bears in the area, so bear proof trash containers were a necessity.
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  13. lunchboxkc

    lunchboxkc n00b

    Joined:
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    I'm loving this ride report. I grew up smack dab in the middle of the start and finish of this ride (Licking/Houston MO) and have ridden most all of the roads in that area at one time or another. Lately I have been scratching out a plan to ride Arkansas this year and your ride perfectly fits the bill. I have followed many of your rides and appreciate all of the time and detail that goes into each report. Keep up the awesome work, I'll be eagerly awaiting the finished product.
    TonyKZ1 and Cannonshot like this.
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks Mark! You're a good man. What a great looking spot. Looks like it was well worth the stroll!

    Thanks! I'm glad this report is proving useful to you in planning a trip of your own. It surely is a great area for people to enjoy on a motorcycle.
  15. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    That flash flood at Albert Pike is a Greek tragedy. So sad. I'll be more careful camping near rivers from here on out.
    Cannonshot likes this.
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 6 - Mena

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    Country singer from years gone by T. Texas Tyler is from here.

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    Medal of Honor recipient Herbie "Hal" Littleton is from here. When fighting in Korea he smothered a grenade blast with his body. He was a radio operator for a field artillery forward observation team when his unit was overrun by a numerically superior enemy force. His team kept calling in artillery fire. When an enemy soldier pitched a grenade to kill his team, he dove onto it saving the lives of his team mates keeping them in action to eventually repel the attack.
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    Pretty interesting replica dealership.
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    The old main street.
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    The place to be for breakfast. Highly rated.
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    The Mena airport has been the subject of major probes about CIA operations, running drugs, running arms to Central America, and all kinds of conspiracies and the like. I think a local prosecutor went down on major drug charges.
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    A drug runner named Barry Seal was supposed to have flown drugs for the Medellin Cartel and other stuff for the CIA. This was his base.
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    The investigations related to three Presidents and a bunch of others.
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    I think Seal refused to go into the witness protection program. He scoffed at the prospect of the Medellin boys knocking him off after he informed on them to save his own ass when he got busted. His old C-123 cargo plane is now a restaurant in Central America someplace. By the way, Seal got his ass capped by a sloppy cartel hit in Baton Rouge.
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    Lots of stories around about the Mena cover-up. Some videos too.
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    You can read a bunch of stories on line, or watch videos about it, as there is a variety of material (some quite questionable) available.
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    But here is the good news, Ron Howard is making a movie about this right now. Tom Cruise is going to play Seal. The working title was "Mena" but I think when the movie comes out in September the title will be "American Made". I think I'll wait for the movie. :D

    USFS helibase here.
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    This leased aircraft is used for initial attack on forest fires back in the hills. It doesn't carry a very big payload of water in the bucket since the capacity is around 700+ pounds, but it gets the job done much of the time.
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    TonyKZ1, EBR458, Shaggie and 3 others like this.
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Day 6 - Continued

    Mena to Parks

    Some rugged stuff to warn some big bikes off of.

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    OK, here is the deal. No drama, just a few things to consider. There are a couple of rugged sections here that can be difficult for big bikes. This can be particularly true in a situation where someone is not handy with their big bike. It would be best to be an experienced off road rider before trying to deal with a big bike on a couple of sections coming up. The steepness and rugged surface requires that a rider be able to stay in the narrow band of keeping enough momentum and traction without going too fast. Going too fast will cause many big bikes to jump around the trail with some bad bounces and deflecting off rocks. This can lead to a tip over, a bounce off the trail, or hopping to an abrupt stall and a backwards roll. Trying to get the bike up and moving again on the steep slope will be a challenge.

    Also keep in mind that if the lead rider tips it, the other riders coming up from behind will likely do the same when they come to a blocked path. Brakes don't always keep you from sliding backwards and tipping it on a steep and loose surface and no one likes sliding backwards downhill. There are limited sight lines so it is hard to know if riders ahead of you made it.

    There is a descent that is rocky and steep that could be a problem for some riders on big bikes. The rear bracket on my bash plate was bent (again) to the point that it is pinching the movement of my sidestand. When bouncing around on some of this stuff you can't control your precise line and you will take a few hits. On my KTM 500 I would probably have re-ridden these sections just for the thrill. On my big bike (with a broken bone) I was glad to get clear of them. :D

    Sometimes it is better to go around rather than break something on the bike or your body that can spoil or end a trip - just like with water crossings.

    I probably don't have the worst of it precisely marked with waypoints, since I was a little busy at the time, but you can get a good idea by looking at the topo features. Same is true with pix and video. I don't think I captured all the bad stuff as I was too engaged to think about it in some places. :D

    [​IMG]

    OK, let's wade through the good and not so good sections. :D

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    Uh-oh.
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    Sharp descending turn (doesn't show so well). With a loaded adventure bike and a bad leg I creeped around this corner trying not to get any momentum at all. Once I was clear I bounced down the descent to the stream trying to hold my speed down on loose material. There were a few small rock steps in the mix to bounce over. I think one of those got my bash plate. It wasn't that bad, just a handful on a big bike. However, I would feel terrible if someone had a mishap there because I didn't share enough information about conditions. :D
    [​IMG]

    I was elated that the stream crossing was no problem. It would have been a roll of the dice trying to get that big bike back up that descent as it would have been hard to hold a precise line with the bouncing and one of those small rock steps could have fouled me out. KTM 500 = good fun. Super Tenere = maybe, maybe not. :D
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    By the way, I left my traction control in the standard setting. In the past (Colorado, Idaho) I moved it to another position that allows for more wheel spin than standard. This can be helpful on steep and rugged stuff because it allows you to keep hammering even when the rear wheel bounces around. I never turn it off because I would surely spin the wheel to the point it would be a problem. On this trip, I saw (indicator light) and felt the traction control kick in plenty of times when it was steep and rugged but I had no problem holding enough speed and momentum to climb "comfortably" (power wise that is).
    [​IMG]

    You're still not out of the woods as there are plenty of rocks to jostle you around.
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  18. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

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    Cannonshot I'll say it again you've got some skills and big huevos :lol3
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  19. SlowMovinDream

    SlowMovinDream Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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    Agreed. That's some serious off roading on such a big bike. And some long hours. With a broken leg as well. Ahh - to be young again.
    Cannonshot likes this.
  20. nicpat

    nicpat Adventurer

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    Nov 21, 2015
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    ozark missouri
    Been riding the OZARKS, both on and off road, since the early '70s. It never grows old. Riding here [and other places too] restores the soul.