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Super Cubbing Southbound

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Wiener Patrol, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    A quiet night at the Rock & Roll Motel. I guess that is what you get when 20 cops are guests. I enjoy motels and understand why they became popular. I like having my vehicle right outside my door. Loading the Cub this morning was nice, because I didn’t need all of my gear on and work up a sweat right before riding. It was 47 degrees at 7:30, and the forecast was for a quick warm up in the morning. I decided to layer up, but not at the maximum, and if I got sweaty, it would be a really cold start. I left the motel at 8, and even before I got out of Pocahontas, you could tell that I was leaving the flatlands behind. I headed west on US 62 and quickly got a feel for the best way to take the hills with traffic. It was like driving a heavy truck or being a fighter pilot in that I had to use my momentum and trade altitude for speed and use it for the uphill. For most of the day that worked fine. It also helped where slow lanes had been made on some of the sections. I joked before the trip that I would be doing 10 mph up some of these, but I could maintain 30mph if I needed to. What surprised me the most was the amount of traffic over almost the entire route and especially the amount of semi traffic. I waived people around or found spots to pull over, and did not observe any road rage. I like the phrase our British friends use for a speed bump: a sleeping policeman. Yes, I was a moving sleeping policeman.

    I left 62 for 56 and really started to enjoy the ride. Arkansas aggressively promotes motorcycle tourism and they certainly deserve it. Beautiful scenery, twisty hilly roads, on or off, they have something for everyone. The general traffic volume and lack of pull off zones made it difficult to get photos.

    This is Hardy and it’s representative of the many small towns and their focus on tourism.

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    I was able to remove some layers by 9:30 as it did heat up as promised. From 56 I went down 9, and the traffic diminished. I’m pretty sure that I took this from my Butler map when I originally planned it. The first leg of 9 was very good, but the portion from Melbourne to the White River was outstanding. Blind curves. Blind hills. Blind curves with blind hills. Double apex curves. I actually used some trail breaking on the Cub! The only problem was finding a good spot for a photo, as the trees obstructed the views. I guess that’s a good thing, because the distraction could easily take you over the edge.

    I finally found a spot.

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    9 took me into Mountain View, another small town catering to the tourist trade.

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    As I exited the town, I was greeted by this sign. There was another when I started 9, but it said the next 20 miles.

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    The last gem in the trio was Hwy 254. I took advantage of the stop to lose my last layers.


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    The only disadvantage to riding these great roads is that there are few services. I ended up going the farthest I had so far on a single tank of gas. 90.1 miles and 0.73 gallons to fill up. My previous stop was also long at 82 miles and at that fill up I was able to get premium without ethanol. I was in the town of Hector, it was after 2 and I needed lunch. This gem was nearby. I had the Wildcat and a slice of tres leches cake for dessert. Food porn follows, but my phone overheated before I got a shot of the cake. Easily the best road food in several days.

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    It’s almost 6 as I write this and I’m still not hungry. I rolled into Russellville and pulled up to the hotel right at 3 for 7 hours of travel time.

    With my Bonneville, I’m used to having a lot of strangers strike up a conversation, usually “my uncle had one of those’. The Cub, surprisingly, starts even more. ‘How big is that engine? How fast does it go? Where are you going? Where did you come from?’ Two guys at lunch. Two guys on the ferry. Someone at most fuel stops. I think I’ll save some of my thoughts for my wrap up once I complete the ride. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Another shorter day of about 110 miles to the Talimena Scenic Drive and a night at the Queen Wihelimina Lodge. I’ve ridden the drive several times but it always seems fresh. I should have good views from a weather perspective. It look like I should miss any disturbance from Hurricane Delta. If my past experience is any indication, I’ll be well on the NW side and my last time in a similar situation, it just makes things even hotter than previously forecast.
    #61
  2. blender

    blender Just another rider

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #62
    sealsam likes this.
  3. dancingweasel

    dancingweasel Virtual Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    I get them once a day. They start when i wake up and end when i go to sleep.
    But seriously, I'm really enjoying this thread. Thanks for posting it.
    #63
  4. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    :D It was outstanding and it’s the best thing about these road trips. You’ll find a place like this that isn’t on any map or app or website.
    #64
  5. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    UPDATE with photos

    It promised to be a hot day for my trip from Russellville to the Queen Wihelmina Lodge, so I started the day with light layering. I thought that I’d leave the hotel at 8, but I spent 15 minutes answering questions about the Cub from the hotel manager and one of the staff. It seems like the further south that I go, the more people inquire about the Wisconsin plates. Everyone has been nice about it, so I try not to be rude or rush things along. Once I did get going at about 8:15, I moved through Russellville at a good pace and started west on 22. I’d describe the area as part of the greater Arkansas River valley, and the road was flat and utilitarian. It did, however, have a nice wide shoulder that I used at times to allow those behind me to pass when it otherwise was not possible.

    If you are going to ride a Cub, you have to set aside your MotoGP ego. You will be passed by everything. Semis, dump trucks, the garbage truck, the school bus, countless cars. It’s all part of my Zen to accept it and move along. I don’t want to unduly inconvenience someone going about their day when I’m just out having fun, so long as I can do it safely. I usually just waive people around or pull to the side if there is a shoulder. There was some roadwork where the road was only one lane. They used one of those temporary red lights to control the flow in each direction and that was a good opportunity to let some jump ahead of me in line. They also had one long stretch where each side had to follow a guide car. I was in the middle of a long gaggle of vehicles, so once through the work zone, I pulled to the shoulder and let the rear of the line pass. I then had nice clear sailing for quite some time without needing to constantly watch the mirrors.

    My drive down 22 ended in Paris.

    View attachment 2586817

    I’ve been to Paris, France; Paris, Texas and now Paris, Arkansas. All three have an Eiffel Tower. It’s not like I want to seek them out, but I wonder how many others I might pass through. Do they all hire a local welder to make a Tower?

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    After Paris, the majority of the ride would be down Hwy 23 and US 71 to Mena. Neither road is particularly technically demanding, but both are scenic with some curves, farms, ranches and forests. The Cub just chugged along, and the ride was uneventful.

    A typical view.

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    I stopped in Mena for fuel and lunch. Nothing that deserves a photo. Tom Cruise starred in a based on real life movie as a drug smuggler with CIA connections, who headquartered his operations in Mena. I think the community might want it forgotten, as I didn’t see any memorabilia.

    Menu’s main drag.

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    The real star of today’s ride began just outside of Mena, the Talimena Scenic Drive. The road is part of a national forrest with a state park with camping and a lodge on the Arkansas side of the border.

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    My favorite sign.

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    The road is about 50 miles long atop of the long mountain ridge. You get these great views to both sides along the ridge.

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    A little hazy down below today. It gets hard to tell these apart.

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    While This will be my 5th time riding it, this will be my first stay at the lodge. I arrived at 2:00 for a 5 hr 45 min travel time. I guess I forgot to take some of the building, but here’s the view from my room.

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    Found it.

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    They have a strip of campsites nearby.

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    NSFD follows. Blender, you’ve been warned.

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    Ahh. Country Fried Steak. I feel like I should start whistling Dixie. Then, this.

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    Blueberry cobbler with ice cream. If it makes you feel better, I’m a bit lactose intolerant, and had to chew on a peptol bismol at 2:30 am.

    Tomorrow will be state number 7 for the little Cub. The Oklahoma border is just a couple of miles up the Drive. It will be a very different landscape once off the Drive and into the heart of southeastern Oklahoma. My destination is in Durant and it should be about 160 miles from here.
    #65
  6. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
  7. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    I go outside this morning and what do I find? This dickhead who doesn’t know how to park.

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    I checked. Only one who did this in the whole lot. Here’s a business idea for someone. One of those coloring sheets and three crayon pack they give to the little kids at restaurants. On top in big letters, LEARN TO STAY IN THE LINES. A human body with a male appendage for a head to be left under their wipers.

    Breakfast didn’t start until 7, so I took my time loading the bike hoping the driver would show. No luck. Left about 8:20 and took this shot to show the difference in how it looks depending on the weather.

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    I call these trash clouds, but I’m sure it’s improper. They are the clouds pushed out ahead of Hurricane Delta. The eastern part of Arkansas is forecasting a tropical rain event, but I was lucky and won’t see any impacts. Hope the folks on the coast get lucky too.

    A very short ride later, the Cub crossed into its 7th state.

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    The skyline drive is actually in two parts. Many just ride the section that I just covered, but you can extend the ride westbound to Talihina. The Ouachita mountains are pretty unique in US, because they run east/west instead of north south. That creates a decision point where the drive is bisected at US 259. If you do the whole ride, you’re committed to the northern side of the range through Oklahoma. If you go south at 259, you can get into Texas faster. It wasn’t even a question for me, as I wanted to do the whole scenic drive. The road had very few people on it in the early morning. I had also forgotten how long the mountain range is. Even after Talihina, you’re still in the foothills until the town of Antlers. I took this near the end of the mountain drive section. I have a panorama, but it’s too large to load.

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    Besides having a cool name, Antlers was my lunch destination. You could make a big mistake and eat at the Sonic, or you could go just two blocks further to the:

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    I guess they thought they needed to look more barn like.

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    The construction didn’t affect the burgers. After last night’s peptol, I did skip the milkshake.

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    After Antlers, the land became the rolling grasslands full of cattle that I associate with Oklahoma. Unfortunately my route was not conducive for photos. It was down US 271 and west on US 70 into Durant. The maximum speed limit in most parts was 65. You get a mix of people faster and slower, but my 50-55 was definitely at the low end of the spectrum. Traffic was not at all heavy, but I spent a lot of time getting people around me and avoiding getting squished by the 80 mph drivers. It all worked out, people were respectful, I never felt unsafe, but it was a lot of exhausting work. I also ended up in Durant earlier than I expected, and I could have pushed home. Resting now, though, was the correct decision. The roads through Oklahoma were also a better choice than the route through Texas. I’ve driven on them before, and many of the Texas back roads have 70 or 75 mph sections. I don’t even go that fast on them with my Triumph. They really aren’t built or maintained for those speeds. A 25 mph differential between the Cub and the traffic was just too much. I arrived at the hotel at 1:55 for a total travel time of 5 hours 35 minutes.

    Tomorrow is the last ride day of my epic adventure. It will be about as plain vanilla as a ride can be, but I am excited to get home. I started this on September 25, so it will be 15 travel days in total. Some of those were break days with the granddaughters, but I got in some local riding there too. I’ve avoided looking at the total miles just yet, but I’ll do a final post with data, what worked or didn’t, etc. Still one more day to document.
    #67
  8. Speedy23

    Speedy23 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    South Warwickshire
    Hey, great write-up. Always interested to hear about trips on smaller bikes. Proves you don't need an IL4 monster to have a great time!

    I think you might be interested in this site?
    https://www.c90club.co.uk/index.php
    Some kindred spirits there, even if we are mostly British!

    Anyway, reason I responded is because of the Pledge polish tip: yes, it definitely works, but DO NOT get it anywhere near glass fibre work that might need painting or re-gelling in the future, as the silicone in the polish penetrates into the glass fibre and you will not be able to get a good finish on the part in question.

    Reason I know is 'cos I used to fly gliders (sailplanes in your neck of the woods) and yes, people used to use Pledge to clean the plexiglass canopies but if it got onto the adjacent cockpit structure, it was effectively f*caked as far as repainting went.
    #68
  9. dp064

    dp064 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    327
    Location:
    Nashville
    In my arrogant youth I parked like that guy.. I came out once and I found a card under my wiper that said " I hope you dont f@$* like you park, you'll never get it in". ...30 years ago and I still remember what a idiot i felt like.. always parked normal after that.
    Don
    #69
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  10. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    :jack:rofl
    #70
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  11. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,152
    Location:
    No.VA
    As a retired cop, police sergeant, I can't believe there were twenty and it was quiet. No, this just can't be. Never happened.
    #71
    Wiener Patrol and TwoBigCats like this.
  12. JohnySky

    JohnySky n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Mokena,IL
    That is soo great on the Cub.
    My wife and I just got a 2019 blue.

    I bought her the red hard bags and the rear rack for the cub.
    this is so cool and I cannot wait to show her your trip on this thing.

    Stay safe
    #72
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  13. TwoBigCats

    TwoBigCats Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,475
    Location:
    silicon valley
    very enjoyable write-up of a wonderful adventure, thx for posting.
    #73
  14. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    I can’t vouch for what might have occurred at the local watering hole. :photog They did leave bright and early the next day.
    #74
  15. Wiener Patrol

    Wiener Patrol Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Texas and Wisconsin
    As I went out to load up the Cub, the now obligatory conversation started with two guys on an Indian and a Harley heading to Eureka Springs. They were off before I finished loading, and I took a shot of the Cub loaded up for the last time on this adventure.

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    I headed west out of Durant and then south to Colbert in order to take 91 into Texas. I really wanted to get a great shot of those Oklahoma cattle, but they were so far away that I just got the ranch.

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    Nearby was a reminder of the real dangers of life in this area. I never saw tornado damage before I went through Oklahoma, and unfortunately it has become a common occurrence.

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    This ride was not going to have much to offer in terms of scenery, but the dam that forms Lake Texoma is an impressive site. Most traffic zips up 75 just to the west and never sees it.

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    Once, across the other side, the Cub entered its eighth and final state. The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of ....

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    I don’t know about that drive friendly thing. Texas drivers are awful for the most part. I think it’s because many lack any situational awareness. They can be totally unaware of their surroundings or that others are on the road. I don’t attribute any motivation, it’s just an observation. I knew that I’d have to adjust to this and the greater traffic after days on the backroads, and the frontage road ended up being a great way to reinsert myself into metroplex driving. For those not familiar with this, Texas commonly has a frontage access road on each side along the length of an express highway. US 75 in north Texas is a limited access expressway, and my route took me down its frontage. Much of the frontage is two lanes per side.

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    Denison, Texas is the birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower and they’ve built this strangely inaccessible monument to him along the frontage. I think it’s just so the 75 traffic can see it as they pass. I’m pretty sure Eisenhower viewed himself as from Kanas where he grew up, but there have been strong ties between Texas and Kansas going back to the cattle drive days.

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    Soon I made my final gas stop at a Buc-ees. If you ever make it to Texas, you have to stop at one. They are known for their large, clean restrooms. Of course, it’s huge. I don’t even know if I can describe it. Take a look at these.

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    The gas pumps

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    Inside blurry

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    Wall of Jerky



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    15 miles later, I was home and this adventure was over. A few data points, but I need to put things away and do some laundry before I get to a final wrap up. I should post it tomorrow. The trip totaled 1,765.4 miles and I made 29 gas stops. Stayed at eight different places, 6 of which were hotels. What a ride it’s been.
    #75
  16. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,403
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Outstanding! Small bikes rule. :clap

    Also, a nice capture of America.
    #76
  17. Donson

    Donson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    By-God Texas
    Great RR!
    Thanks for posting.
    #77
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  18. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
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    2,091
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Enjoyed your report. Nice to see Talimena Scenic Drive without pouring rain. Thanks for posting.
    #78
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  19. HH

    HH Dahlonega GA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Dahlonega GA
    Great report, thanks for sharing.:thumb
    #79
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  20. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    17,682
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
    #80
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