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Plano-Arkansas, A 3 day Weekend Ride !

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Rockkyyy, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    It’s been 5 months since I moved to Dallas. I am here on a work assignment. Which means didn’t ride a bike since Jan. I ride a 225cc Honda back in India. Always wanted to ride a bigger one. Ever since I landed I wanted to take a bike for rent. Before that I wanted to take car license so that I can go around and look for some rental shops.

    I don’t have a car license in India too so couldn’t drive here. So first step to ride a bike here was to get a Car license. Oh yes I did that, 3 weeks back.
    Very next week end went to a rental to look for bikes. I wanted to take something for touring and comfortable for my wife as a pillion. He had bikes in all segments, I but I didn’t want to go for a bigger bike for the first time. FZ was the only choice I looked at since it almost had the same stance and seating position as my bike, of course much powerful than my 17bhp ZMA 223.So reserved the bike and decided to ride on the July 4th weekend.

    Posted a thread on Planning section to know about some good places to ride close to Texas. Thanks to all for the feedback and tips specially a1fa for giving detailed plan. Buddy sorry I still don know your real name.

    Not writing much on the pre-ride lets get to R&R.


    Day 1.

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    Started around 7:20 am, It was drizzling here in plano. I was not yet comfortable with the bike’s clutch, it was almost at the end. I am not sure if that’s the case with all the bikes here. Especially in traffic in city limits it got switched of couple of times when I had to stop and go. It took some time, then I got used to it. Fist 50 miles I was getting used to the bike and the highway riding here. I am used to 70 miles per hour in India but here its quite different since every one travels at same time. More over this time its quite different that I have a pillion. BTW forgot to say we got married in Jan this year, so this was our first long ride, though we had couple of short one day rides. So this is more of like a Honeymoon Ride 

    My Wife - Deepthi

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    Yours Truly

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    The plan was to hit Talihina and ride thru Talimena scenic ride and then head to Mt Magazine or Mena. I got pretty much comfortable with the bikes after around 50 miles and was much less nervous that when we started – I got to admit. It was drizzling all the way, but I a way it was good that it kept us cool and for me it was a perfect condition to ride. I love riding in rain. We stopped couple of times including a fuel stop before Talihina. We reached Talihina around 1:30. Went ahead and drove towards Talimena Scenic Drive. We had only one pair of rain gear which I gave to her. I was completely drenched and was quite liking it. We stopped in the Information center just before the scenic drive starts. Took half an hour break , took map and registered our name in the record.

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    I had bought GoPro HD Cam a day before the ride. I tried to set it up on helmet , it didn’t work out since helmet was wet and more over I was not doing it correctly which I realized later.

    We started from there. This is one time I was totally got surprised by what we have seen.I never knew US had this beautiful place. I was completely foggy and it reminds me of many routes I rode back in India. It was exactly the same with much better road. The whole way till Mean was completely foggy. Just mind blowing. The only problem being we couldn’t see all the view points because nothing was visible because fog. We took around 3 and hour to cover just 60 miles till Mena. But I must say this was the best part of the trip – just pure natural beauty and perfect weather.

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    We reached Mena around 5:30. Went to Mc D and had Mac Chikens. I had 3, oh yeah this was the first full meal of the day, we just had snacks whenever we stopped whole day. I was surprised to see that cost was Just 1 $ for sandwiches which is much lesser than Plano rate. After having food we went to wallmart which was right opposite to Mac D. We had got along only one Tent with us. So we bough one sleeping bag and one more pair rain gear and some snacks. Oh yes used to Wal-Mart restrooms too since the camp site which we booked didn’t had a bath area/toilets.

    We had booked a tent space in Renegade Ranch , 3680 Highway 88 East . Mena, Arkansas 71953 - Cell#1: 479-216-0155 – Catty. Set the route in GPS and called catty when we reached close by. Had to spent 5 mins to figure out the place since we rode a little ahead. We rode back and then noticed the Ranch Board close by.

    Since it rained every else had canceled the booking. So it was just us. So go to pick up any spot. She gave us a can of water. We setup the tent pretty quick and took rest.
    Then it was time for Camp fire – next one hour was looking around to get some dry woods. It was nice , not much cold / hot. We could hear only the night insects noise as a music. Slept nice and tight in one sleeping bag – we just opened it up completely and was king of using like a blanket than sleeping inside.

    To be continued .....
    #1
  2. Elder_Rogue

    Elder_Rogue Loser Gone Wild

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Alvord, TX
    Cool Pictures!

    The wife and I need to make that run soon. :deal

    We are just northwest of Dallas, about 70 miles.
    #2
  3. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you :)


    Thank you Bro.
    #3
  4. goinssr

    goinssr Crazy S.O.B.

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    286
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Ditto on the beautiful wife!!! I really like the pic of you and her kneeling beside the bike in front of the Arkansas state line sign.
    #4
  5. mnormand

    mnormand Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Lafayette, La.
    Nice pics. I was following your other thread, but couldn't help you any.

    I just sold my FZ6 before I ever had a chance for a really long trip. It was a nice bike for sure. About what...70-80 hp difference between your India bike and this one? :lol3

    Thx for posting up.
    MN
    #5
  6. Ozz

    Ozz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Monterrey
    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing. What camera did you use? Did you fix up the pictures a little bit with some editing software or these are directly from your camera? Coloring is really nice! Thanks.
    #6
  7. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    @goinssr - Thank you.


    oh yeah :D
    #7
  8. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you. Canon 450D. Most of them from exposure. Others adjusted the brightness/contrast/crop - which pretty much can be done if pic is taken by spending enough time. I dont know to use Photo shop but results can be much better if we use. I just use picasa.
    #8
  9. Lexington

    Lexington deliciously wicked

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,677
    Great ride! I was hoping to head that same direction with a friend this weekend, but plans changed.

    Hopefully I'll be able to get out there soon!
    #9
  10. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Some More Pics on Day 1

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    #10
  11. danketchpel

    danketchpel Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,267
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    That is one of the coolest reports I've read in a long tiime. The photo of you two at the border just says it all.

    I sure hope your last statement rings true for the rest of your lives together.

    Very inspirational story........ keep it coming.
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    68,964
    Nice ride.. i like those misty pics :thumb
    #12
  13. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    I am glad you liked it. Yeah the life long ride will continue :)

    Thank you
    #13
  14. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    great pics, thanks for sharing!
    #14
  15. imgonnasnap

    imgonnasnap Motard wrecker

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    808
    Location:
    Near the Grassy Knoll
    Thanks for posting. My brother and I were talking about your planning thread yesterday, we want to do a similar route this fall. I live in plano as well, we should get together for a beer or food or something.
    #15
  16. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Day 2 – Being Stupid

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    Plan was to go to Mt Magazine and then ride to Jasper and Camp at “Dogwood Springs @ Jasper Resort” . Tent space was available. Got up by 6. For some reason I switched on the bike and forgot to switch it off. By 8:30 we were ready to go completely saddled up. I sat on the bike and tried to start the bike. It didn’t, then I realized not switching off the ignition. The battery was dead.

    It was July 4th and a Sunday . I had no other option than to call the rental service. He asked me to do couple of things but bike didn’t start. He said will try to arrange some one to come and get it re-charged.

    Meanwhile I called up the resort owner Catty and she said she would come with her husband and get the battery charged. After 10-15 they both came. By this time I got a call from rental service saying that he has send some one and will come over in half an hour. So I said Catty will wait for them.

    He arrived pretty soon. Remove the tank and got the battery up. By this time it was already 11:30. We went back to Mena, had Brunch, and fueled up. It was 12:30 by then.

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    I was trying to set the route in GPS to Mt Magazine. But it couldn’t find it. Reason was I was setting the City as Magazine, which was wrong. Then I set the route to Magazine, Hyw 10.

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    We rode through Y City- BooneVille(71 and 23) to magazine. Now instead of Continuing on Hwy 10 then join 309 and go north from Havana. I went south by taking Co Rd 28. How I did this is I Post Magazine I set the route to Havana and street name Cr Rd 28. As per the initial route which a1fa gave I knew that I had to ride thru Co Rd 28 to join 309 and then reach Havana. I didn’t realize that I was coming on a different route. Heights of stupidity.


    Just a few miles before I took south towards Co Rd 28. The moment we entered Co Rd 28 there was no pavement. I went some more distance it was the same conditions. We decided to go for some more distance and see, I didn’t want to go back all the way and take a different route. After and mile the vistas completely changed it was like we were riding inside a forest through a hill. I was quite difficult to handle the bike with a road tire and with a pillion and lot of small boulders.

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    We kept going, there were no signs of vehicles / people or houses around. I was just praying not to get a puncture. Some sections were steep and so had to be extra careful. I was going only 15-20 because of road condition. We rode around 10 miles almost same scene. Soon we started seeing houses and farms. As we neared one farm house, I could see two dogs running towards us barking. Time to run  I was not sure to speed up or to stop to avoid a bite. I deiced to speed up a bit, luckily we escaped with out any dog bite :D

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    Half a mile post that we reached the road-It was Hyw 80. Now again didn’t knew which way to go, because still I was not able to search Mt Magazine.I didn’t had a map with me, just had print outs of google map routes. This time I rode towards east and reached Danville. Till then couldn’t find any one to stop by and ask the route. We fueled up from there.

    One thing we noticed in the trip is people were so friendly where ever we met. Every one came by as talked. Now I remember when I stopped for fuel and I was not able to operate it on a old station. One lady came out of her car and helped me fuel up. Here also one Old chap talked to us. He too was a rider, so was easy to connect. He told the route to Mt Magazine. This time I was able to find Mt Magazine in GPS when I set the city to Ozark . It was already 5:30 by now. We reached Mt Magazine by 6:30. Lot of bikers on the way.

    Correct Route

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    The one I took :D

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    The climb up was awesome, some decent curves. By the time we reached there the visitor info center was closed. We went a looked the Camping area. There was a board saying its full. We came back to the visitor info parking area. I was thinking to camp some where close to ride to Jasper which is another 100 + miles. While I was seeing the route in Google maps – a range officer came. He asked If we are facing any issues with bike. Because We looked lost and tiered because of the all the drama we had whole day.

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    I said bike is fine, and asked him if there is any play to camp. To our surprise he was also a bike. We talked for some time about bikes and he said he used to ride a lot while he was in college. He advised not to ride to jasper since finding a place to camp at night will be difficult. He told us the route to Over flow camping area in the Mt magazine park itself.

    He said he will come over there and tell us some good routes to ride next day. We went to overflow area – there were two tents already there , but place seems to be great. We were about to pick our spot, then he came back and said he has a place for us in the main camping area. Wow awesome. We followed him and showed us the spot. It was proper camping setup.

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    He said he will come back after some time with the maps and routes. We put up the tent and waited for him. Then we thought will go for a short ride to see the places around.

    We came back by 8:30- He had left a Arkansas Map and some routes which he took out a print from his yahoo mail box. I was surprised to see this. He was soo helpful, didn’t expect that. Now we were hungry. He had told us there is a restaurant in the near my lodge and there are some vending machines too. We decided to walk. It was a never ending walk. Lodge was quite far from the camping area. By the time we reached the lodge it was 9:15. We went in happily thinking to have some food. By the lady over there said they close by 9 and are not taking any more ppl. Damn – now only option was vending machine. Bought some snacks and drinks and walked back.

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    A walk back in the dark to the camping area. There are 10-12 cabins and all of them have awesome view to the valley. We reached back and crashed for the day. All in all day with lot of twist and turns 
    #16
  17. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Sure. But I am not sure how much of a help I will be.
    #17
  18. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,567
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Thanks for sharing your great ride report and pictures with us. Arkansas is a great place to get lost and stay lost in. Many fine roads.
    #18
  19. Rockkyyy

    Rockkyyy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah true. I have been to onlu 3 us states, TX,GA and Arkansas - without any doubt this is the best state so far i have seen. I am not sure if its the best of all :) . Any ways I just love it -
    #19
  20. arkansawyer

    arkansawyer Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,423
    Location:
    Hot Springs
    Wish I'd seen this before your trip.

    Indian Highway in OK is curvy, scenic, and has very little traffic.

    OK 259 from Three Sticks to the Talimena Drive is nice. This bisects the Talimena Drive, which isn't nice.

    I love the Ouachitas. They are my home. The Ozarks have better pavement. Jasper has awesome roads in every direction.

    Northern NM and SW CO have really great riding also-for 4 months a year.
    #20