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Adventure Quest - NW Arkansas May 09

Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
366
Location
Austin, Tx
#1
As usual I had a wonderful time. Got to hang with several folks I'd ridden with in the past and met a few new ones as well. Everything went smoothly and I learned something invaluable and that is Arkansas Rocks when it comes to dual sport riding!!

Not much time to write a full report but here's some picts from Saturdays ride in the Ozark National Forest.
















 
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Joined
Mar 25, 2007
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12,002
Location
COS
#2
Man that looks like a lot of fun, hope to make it out there someday.
Keep the pics coming!
 
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Joined
Jun 9, 2007
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2,555
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Waco
#3






hmm Arkansas what is there to say- great roads every where, some roads not so great :doh:

you could be on a well graded gravel road one minute and running up a rocky hill like a billygoat, then the path would disappear into the forest, then on pristine pavement running twistys

oh heck it was all good, thanks to Calvin (multisurface) for the ride out, Scott and Richard as usual, also thanks to the bungy cord that kept my sidestand up after the spring decided it wanted to stay in Arkansas

 
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Apr 26, 2009
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Seattle
#4
I really didn't notice this guy taking a leak when I was snapping the pics. Apologies to whomever it was. =P











 
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Feb 4, 2009
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1,940
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La Porte, TX
#7
No doubt; Arkansas is a great place to ride. Looks like you guys had a great trip. Does anyone have GPS routes to share?
 
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Jan 1, 2005
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3,974
Location
Austin
#9
Okay, time for my part of the ride report. The drive up on Friday and the drive home on Sunday (a day early) were inconsequential, so I'll go straight to the good stuff.

Based out of the Days Inn in Clarksville, AR our plan was to explore the Ozark National Forest. Specifically, I had plotted out 6 different routes on my national forest map and I asked riders to break into groups and go ride those routes and report back. Were the roads there? Did they go through? Were they passable? Fun? Wet? Tough?

30+ riders signed up to attend and on Saturday morning we met up in the parking lot at 8 a.m. for the day's ride. The weatherman predicted scattered thunderstorms during the afternoon - we expected to get wet but figured it wouldn't rain enough to stop us.

The Days Inn rolled out the red carpet for us.


The Days Inn proved to be a perfect HQ. They have 2 large parking lots so there was plenty of parking for those who trailered up. There is a restaurant next door and a sports bar/restaurant a very short walk away. There is a gas station just up the road. The owner of the Days Inn was quite accommodating to our group and was obviously happy to have us there, bikes and all. I recommend the Days Inn to you the next time you ride this area.

I had 11x17 maps of the Ozark National Forest made up for this event and marked my set with the 6 different routes. The first order of the day was for riders to mark their maps with the routes they expected to ride.

Plotting out the route on the map




Once all the maps were marked and the riders meeting was done, it was time for final prep.









Time to ride.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,974
Location
Austin
#10
I wanted to ride route 6, the eastern most route. Stuntman Jeff and Hugo decided to join me, so the three of us set off in search of dirt and adventure.



To get to the dirt we first had to ride Hwy 123. For those who aren't familiar with Hwy 123 it is a FANTASTIC twisty road. It is destination-worthy all by itself. And, after all, we are dual sport riders so it is perfectly acceptable to ride some great pavement.

It took about 1.5 hours to ride the 42 miles from Clarksville to Sand Gap, at the intersection of Hwy 123 and Hwy 7. This was Stuntmans first visit to Arkansas and he was completely in awe of 123. He remarked that it was the best road he had ever ridden. Really, it's that good.

A new store - Hankins Country Store - has just opened in Sand Gap. They have food and drink, and though they have 2 old gas pumps out front there is no gas and no plans to add it later. The owner said the EPA requirements are so expensive that it would cost them $100,000 to start selling gas and that just wasn't going to happen.

Hankins Country Store


The closest gas is 6 miles north on Hwy 7, at Who-Da-Thought-It-Arkansas.


After topping off with gas we rode east to the start of the dirt (the blue highlighted line on the map). The map showed an enticing class 3 dirt road, labeled FS road 1312C, running north/south and that's what we were in search of.


They say that adventure begins when the plan stops working and it was at this point that the plan stopped working for us. We looked and looked but couldn't find the northern end of 1312C. I finally decided that the northern end of 1312C no longer joined with Hwy 16. So, plan B was hatched.

Where are we, Jeff?
Dang if I know, Hugo.



We decided to ride Hwy 27 south and attempt to reach 1312C from the east. The map showed several roads running east/west between Hwy 27 and 1312c, so we figured one of those would get us back on track. The first two attempts met with failure - the roads weren't there.

Then we hit pay dirt with the third road - Forest Service Road 1349.


1349 started off as County Road 460 and then turned into 1349 when we entered the national forest. 460 was a fun class 2 road all the way to Old Smyrna Cemetery.

Old Smyrna Cemetery


Born 1875, died 1903


West of Old Smyrna Cem 1349 just kept getting better and better. I was really glad to be riding this road.


Jeff was liking 1349 too.


A short distance later we finally reached 1312C and it was just what I expected it to be - a fun class 3. Having a great time, I led the three of us south, hoping the road went through.

Then the first real challenge of the day popped up - a rocky creek crossing. The middle section of the creek crossing was easy enough, but getting into the creek was the real challenge. It was very rocky, making progress difficult.

Hugo was so happy to be in the middle of the creek he decided to park there for a while.





Jeff christened his Husky on the approach to the creek, dropping it in the rocks and busting one of his blinkers. I didn't get a photo so the only proof of what happened was that busted blinker. Once he arrived at the creek, he had the same difficulty with the rocks that Hugo and I had previously.

The approach


The entry


The rooster tail


The crossing


The road got even better on the other side of the creek.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,974
Location
Austin
#12
A short distance later, the fun ended. There was a really big ice storm in this part of Arkansas this past March and it knocked a lot of trees down. The forest service folks have been clearing trees, but most of the class 3 roads still have downed trees on them. Sometimes you can bypass the trees, sometimes you can't. This was one of those can't bypass" cases. It wasn't just 1 downed tree, it was a bunch of downed trees. We looked but just couldn't find a reasonable way around so we reluctantly made a u-turn and headed back the way we came.

Maybe we could jump back on Hwy 27, head south, and then get back on 1312C again. Alas, it was not to be. For the next few hours we tried but were unable to find a way through.

To add insult to injury it rained on us the whole time. The morning had been sunshine and warmth. The afternoon was cool and very wet. Our clothes were totally soaked and our bikes were steadily getting caked in mud.


Along about 3:30 p.m., right after I crashed trying to navigate a muddy logging road, we called "no mas". Wet, muddy, and tired, it had stopped being fun. So we decided to head home via pavement, arriving back in Clarksville almost an hour later.

So, route 6 looks good on the map, but until the forest service clears 1312C I don't believe it to be a passable route. It was a fun day of exploration and Hwy 123 was fantastic, too bad about 1312C though.

Back at the Days Inn we began preparations for Phase 2.
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,974
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Austin
#13
Phase 2 consisted of heading over to the sports bar/restaurant and watching UFC 98. Stuntman really likes UFC and tonights fight had a co-main event: Hughes vs Serra and Machida vs Evans. I spoke with the folks that own the place and they agreed to get the fight. Sweet.

A fair number of riders passed the evening hanging out at the sports bar/restaurant. The food is good, the beer is cold, and it's a good place to spend an evening telling war stories.

Alec runs the bar and kept us lubricated all evening.


Baja Boo and his team mates.


Ken wasn't asleep. I just caught him blinking.


Right before the start of the fights.


I sneaked these two shots during the fights. Most riders had gone back to the hotel by this point - the fatigue of the day had caught to most, but a few of us stayed till the last punch of the last fight (and it was a heck of a punch, if you didn't see it).


 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,974
Location
Austin
#14
The end.

Well, it's the end of this year's event.

In summary, I think the dual sport riding in the Ozarks is good stuff as long as downed trees don't put a damper on things. They really limited the best riding. Hopefully the forest service will get most of the trees cleared before we do it all again next year.

See you there.

Here's some final random photos.

Rick M contemplating the meaning of dual sport life


Andy loving the dual sport life


Peace to you too
 
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dfwrider

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
62
Location
Argyle, TX
#15
This was my first TWT trip, and while the rain put a damper on some of the fun, I had a blast. I rode route 2 with Rick M and Scott (Stingray) who were kind enough to lead the way so all I had to do was ride. I also had a great time getting to know other gear heads like me that love to ride dirt bikes (I didn't realize so many other people like me existed). The Arkansas forest was and amazing place to ride, and I greatly enjoyed the difficult sections of trail we encountered.

Since I was busy riding, I am a little short of pictures, but I did want to post a few sights from the trip. The pig was giant, and it was just roaming behind our lunch stop...I am wondering if this pig was related to the pulled pork sandwich special some of us had for lunch. The pics of the jeep's rock climbing doesn't do justice to what they were trying to climb. I have also tried attaching a gpx file of our ride...hope it works as I am just learning the exquisite art of GPS.

Thanks for letting me tag along...The trip exceeded my expectations, and I am looking forward to participating on future trips.
 

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Jun 14, 2007
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2,989
Location
Rhome,TX
#17
How far was it between gas stops? Would a small OEM tank be sufficient? If so, I'm buying a DS light kit!
 
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Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
600
Location
NW Houston
#19
Hi, All,

This ride was new experience for me. I learned my limit with DR650.

After TAR 2009 ride;


After AR 2009 ride;


Thank you Richard for planning, and my route 2 riding buddies for helping me out so many times!

Some other random photos;





























Thanks!
Ken
 
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Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
634
Location
San Antonio
#21
Wow, what great riding! :clap: I'm ready to go back. :rider:

Thanks to Richard for getting the ride going, maps and all the help he gave everyone. James (Jbay) for spliting fuel and room cost and Scott (Tourmeister) for leading a great ride on Saturday along with all the other riders. Albie, Shawn, Gary, Kenny, James, AttoirRE and his buddy on XR650L (sorry I forgot your name, pm me and I will put you name in). 192 Miles

I had a great ride on Friday with James and Mike (MFF). We rode about 50% of routes #1 & #2. We had detours or wrong turns, either way it was great riding. 173 miles

On Thursday James and I had a good little ride, we got back after dark. 60 miles

Had a great time, had great riding buddies on both days and great to meet all the other people at the motel. Looking forward to riding with you again and riding with those I did not ride with. Thanks to all of you.



















































 
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T

TJ1776

#22
I had a great ride on Friday as well. What might not be obvious to those who were not in attendance is the fact that the paved roads in the Clarksville, Arkansas area are the best I've ever ridden. The twisties were absolutley NON STOP. Even if you have only a street bike, you need to ride in NW Arkansas. What a rush!

Jeff
 
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Joined
Jan 1, 2005
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3,974
Location
Austin
#23
How far was it between gas stops? Would a small OEM tank be sufficient? If so, I'm buying a DS light kit!
I planned out 6 routes, all hovering around 100-120 miles in length (except route 6 which was 150 miles). And, while there aren't a lot of them, there are some gas stations in the area. Between these 2 things, I think you could manage with an OEM tank if 1) your range was 75-100 miles on that tank and 2) if you planned your gas stops (I didn't route every route by one of the known gas stations but most routes pass close enough to one of the known gas stations that it wouldn't be a big deal to zip over and get gas).

The gas stations I know of are:
Turner's Bend
Oark
Ozone (I think)
Who Da Thought It (6 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 123 & Hwy 7)
 
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Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
255
Location
Dugger, In
#27
What a time, I had a blast riding around Arkansas.

I sure wish the rain had held out for one day, but it happens.

Thank you Scott for leading us around and Richard for putting all this together. Can't wait for the next trip up there.

It was a pleasure to meet and ride with everyone.

Calvin, It was fun hanging out and riding with you. You just amaze me with what you do with that KLR.
 
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Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
548
Location
elgin,tx
#28
Sure wish I could have made it, riding in the forests looks like a blast. I'll have to plan better next year.
 
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Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
634
Location
San Antonio
#29
Kenny,
Hanging out and talking about the ride and other rides is half the fun. That is what riding motorcycles is all about. I just like to ride and enjoy putting the miles behind me.

You were very helpful with your rolling shop to me and the others who needed something. :clap:

Thanks again.
 
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Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
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Huntsville
#30
All content regarding the debate about the when/where/how of DS riding has been removed. There are plenty of other threads already running where we can debate such issues to death. The ride reports are not the place for it.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
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Huntsville
#32
Why don't you guys help Scott pick up his bike?:eek2:
You all should be ashamed!:lol2::lol2::lol2:
:tab Calvin did help me... twice :doh: The first was a water crossing with a REAL soft bottom. The one pictured, I was already stopped. I started to do a full lock turn to the left and the rear tire had a rock right in front of it. When the tire rolled up on the rock it lifted the bike enough that I could not reach the ground. Had I just gassed it and gone, I would have been fine. Alas... I was not paying attention and just lost my balance and went over. It was not a graceful dismount... :oops: :lol2:
 
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
634
Location
San Antonio
#33
Why don't you guys help Scott pick up his bike?:eek2:
You all should be ashamed!:lol2::lol2::lol2:


:tab Calvin did help me... twice :doh: The first was a water crossing with a REAL soft bottom. The one pictured, I was already stopped. I started to do a full lock turn to the left and the rear tire had a rock right in front of it. When the tire rolled up on the rock it lifted the bike enough that I could not reach the ground. Had I just gassed it and gone, I would have been fine. Alas... I was not paying attention and just lost my balance and went over. It was not a graceful dismount... :oops: :lol2:

The rules are if a rider goes down, make sure he is ok and then he is fair game. :lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2:
Never until you know he is ok!!!

As Scott said, I did help him but not before I took the picture. It was like: what did I just see:doh:? Hurry, quick, take a picture:trust:. The first time I helped him, his bike fell over in deep water and I was off my bike and in the water in a hurry, I did not want a drowned bike.

(Do not take me wrong, I take a rider going down very very seriously. I will be the first one to his aid!)

That being said, you should have seen the one with the domino affect at the stop sign. That one was funny.:rofl:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Messages
45,267
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Huntsville
#38
Okay... here we go...

:tab Originally, I was going to be trailering up with another rider, but he had to drop out a few days prior to the trip. I decided to go ahead and trailer up alone.The only problem is that I am NOT a morning person and the thought of leaving real early Friday morning and trying to stay awake in the truck alone as I drone down the freeway is not a pleasant one... So I convince Dad that I need to leave work early, head home to pack and load up the bike, and I'll head for Dallas this evening to visit some long time friends I have not seen in a long time. Amazingly he goes for it.

:tab I dash home, toss some clothes in a bag, grab my riding gear, load the bike and manage to get on the road by about 6:00pm. I call my friends to let them know I am on the way. I get in early enough that we enjoy a good evening of catching up on events. Come Friday morning, I head out about 9:00am. The traffic up US 75/69 is terrible and there is a lot of construction. This is pretty much the case all the way to I-40 where I cut East and head to Clarksville where we will base for the weekend. I arrive at the Days Inn around 3:00pm to find only a few other people already there. I get checked in and start unloading.

:tab While I am unloading, a few more folks arrive. It is a really nice afternoon and I am thinking that there is no point in wasting a good afternoon... I might as well go for a ride! Ken "flcbrxx" agrees to go with me so we head out of town about 4:00pm in search of nearby fun. Almost immediately we are unpaved county roads heading North out of town. These are the straight kind that run between pastures at the foot of the mountains. We hit Hwy 103 and keep heading North, cutting East at CR 76, a fun paved road. Next we headed North on CR 178 to the start of Wiemer Rd. Now this turns out to be a fun road, one I had stumbled upon a few years ago while on a similar trip to this area. The road gets narrow and rough. With all the recent rain, I am expecting it to be quite messy but it turns out to not be very bad at all, just some big puddles and erosion ruts to make things fun. The road is only about 4 miles long, but it climbs almost the entire time, rising right at 1000 feet from start to finish. I also expect to see trees down, possibly blocking the road, because of a particularly bad ice storm that hit this area this past winter. It is not until we get a little higher up that I even start to see any signs of the storm, but there are no trees or downed limbs blocking the road. Soon we reach the top and the road comes out on Hwy 21 just South of Ozone.

:tab I don't really have a particular route in mind so I just decide to head up 21 and see where my mood takes us. We round a corner and I spot the Burger Barn. It occurs to me that I could use a drink so we stop in to grab a coke.

Ken and his XR650L


:tab It is about this time that I remember that I never filled up before we headed out of town. I am 145 miles for this tank. Now for most KLR people, that might not be much of a concern. However, I had some carb work done on the bike a while back and since then it had been running quite rich, putting me on reserve about this time. Before this trip, I dropped the needle one notch and went down on the main jet to a 136. The bike has been running good but I had not had a chance to test my mileage prior to this trip... There is no gas to be had in Ozone and I really don't want to waste the time to run all the way back down to Clarksville... :ponder: It turns out there is a little station down the road, just at the base of the mountain, if we can get there before it closes... So off we go!

:tab The run down 21 off the mountain is fun, even on a KLR, even on knobbies. The D606 tires really run well on pavement :rider: We make it to a little country store, I think in Hillcrest, about halfway back to Clarksville. There are two old pumps out front and we made it in time. I fill up, adding 4.5 gallons, which would seem to indicate my mpg still sucks. However, I think this was still the same tank I was running prior to the last set of carb changes, so it might actually be better than it looks :shrug: Anyway, I top off and set to thinking about where to go next...

:tab What I like about using the GPS is that I can see a fairly large area at good detail. I can see what look to be fun roads, pick a destination somewhere on the other end of those roads, hit "Go To" and let the GPS create the route, tweaking if I have a particular road I want to run. So I just pick a spot East of us and hit Go To, and we are off and running again.

:tab We head North up 21 and just before the start of the climb back up into the mountains, we cut East on FSR 1471. I am putting along enjoying the beautiful evening when I come around the corner to find a little waterfall in the road and a good chunk of the road washed away!

What you can't see here is the 18" or so drop before the water...

:tab But over on the right we are able to ride down the edge without problem



:tab I suppose that if I had really be running a little quicker, so long as I did not panic, I could have just ridden right off the drop and likely cleared the water and kept on trucking... The problem is that my luck rarely works that way :wary: So on we go, continuing East on FSR 1444. The road starts to climb again and rises about 1000 feet within about a mile and a half. We hit CR 38 and keep heading East. This is a fairly high speed section of wide gravel, winding through the woods along a ridge line. At one point, we are in a place that looks real familiar...

There's a road there just to the right of that brush pile... full of slippery muddy memories...




I shudder to think how much time and effort went into building this cool stone fence :shock:


:tab Realizing we are at a dead end, we turn back to CR 38 and keep heading East until we drop down off the ridge onto Hwy 123, a fantastic paved road! We scoot on down to Hwy 164 and head West. It is still relatively light out and I just can't seem to make myself head back to the hotel just yet... So I start looking at the GPS again...

:tab Where Hwy 123 meet 292, we head North on CR 145, then to CR 150. Then we pop back out on Hwy 21 at CR 174. We cross over 21 and head back into the woods with the sun coming down into our eyes through the trees. Ludwig Lake is just South of us and we are going to skirt around it then cut South back down to Clarksville. It's after 7:00pm and I am starting to get hungry... We soon reach CR 77, which is a nice little paved road that runs right back down into town. When we arrive at the hotel, there are more bikes in the parking lot. We rode about 70 miles or so and it was nice!

Day Two:

:tab So morning arrives WAY too early. I make my way across the street to the main parking lot where everyone is meeting to discuss routes. Here's how the next 20-30 minutes goes...

Me: "What route are you going to ride...?"

Anyone: "I dunno, which are you riding?"

Me: "I was hoping to follow a group and not lead this time, so I don't really know."

Anyone: "I think I'll follow you..."

Me: :doh:

And so it goes...

The group getting ready to go in numerous directions


:tab When it comes time to head out of the parking lot, I have become the defacto leader of a group of about 6-7 riders. My "plan" is not to have a plan. I intend to just wander my way East and see what we find. It appears that this plan suits my followers just fine :-P So I figure we'll head North and run Wiemer road again since most of the guys have not done it yet and it is a nice way to start a ride. So off I go with the group in tow...

:tab We reach Wiemer Rd., and the fun begins. Then we hit 21 and head North through Ozone. At this point, I am thinking we'll work our way in the general direction of Deer, over near where Hwy 16 hits Hwy 7. There is a nice little cafe over there that would be perfect for a lunch stop. There are just SO MANY roads choose from though! I settle on FSR 1405 and we cut East. We are on the dirt for only a mile or so before we come to the first water crossing...



Calvin "Mutlisurfacerider" making his way across in style!


He saves it :clap:


Albie "Hood Ornament"


Ken "flcbrxx"


I spent all day with him and can't remember his name... :doh:


Shaun?


The little falls back up the creek... very scenic spot


:tab Once across, there is a home on the right and there are several dogs standing around barking at us. The owner comes over and chats a bit with Calvin. Turns out that this guy was born and raised in Dallas and moved up there to get away from it all. Nice guy, cool place! On we go... Heading down FSR 1421.

:tab And we soon come to another water crossing... I pause to consider the situation. I can see the bottom all the way across and it does not look real deep. Right in front of me is a short stretch of water that looks to be the deepest, then there are some dry rocks with a good stretch of water on the far side that looks pretty shallow. Well... I head in...

:tab The front tire goes totally under water :eek2: However, I get on the gas and it rides up out of the water onto the dry rocks. The only problem is that now my rear tire is under water and the bottom is VERY soft! When I try to give it gas to climb on out, the back tire just digs in and I start sinking in place, losing what momentum I had and the bike starts falling to the right. I eject so as not to get completely dunked, and the bike falls on its side. Fortunately, the kill switch cuts the engine. I look back at the group and AMAZINGLY there isn't a single camera pointing at me!! :lol2: Calvin dives in to help me get the bike righted. Water is pouring out of the exhaust... Here we are barely an hour into the ride and my boots are full of water :doh: Oh well, this is what it is all about! Calvin steadies the bike while I hop on and fire it up. Water shoots out the exhaust, but it is running fine. Calvin pulls while I try to stand and push, giving the bike gas, and slowly it climbs out of the trench. The rest of the way across is nice and easy and I pull up to make room for the others, then grab my camera...

I went in just out of the picture on the right. The other weenies go in just to the left of that clump of bushes... where it is nice and shallow :roll:


Calvin


:tab What the others don't know yet is that they are in for a surprise. Just around the corner from where I am parked, the road continues... but it looks like a "road" in the city of Venice... :shock: As far as we can see, the road is completely covered by massive puddles of unknown depth that take up the entire road. The first has a trail around it through the woods, but the others do not. So we have to go through them.

The first "puddle"


Looking back to the creek


Calvin gets set to go first




So far so good...


So everyone else sets off after him...




:tab And then it is my turn... I set off through the nasty water in first gear, holding a steady pace and keeping a loose grip on the bars. The good thing is that I don't have to worry about getting my feet wet... :mrgreen: The water is splashing up all over the place. Fortunately, it has rained a LOT up here in the last few weeks, over 12" according to the locals, so the water is dirty but not stagnant and stinky. The puddles run for a few hundred yards maybe and I see Ken waiting for me. When I arrive, the group reforms. Looks like we are facing a good hill climb now.

:tab Calvin takes point and I fall in behind him. I stick the bike in first, stand up, and get on the gas. There are loose rocks, branches, some mud, ruts, roots, leaves, etc,... all the stuff that makes for a fun technical ride. The "road" twists and climbs its way up the side of the mountain. There are low hanging branches smacking me despite my efforts to duck under them. We climb over 800 feet in less than a mile. About the time my arms are starting to get tired we pop out from under the trees into a nice level clearing and stop for a break.

Down goes the rabbit hole just beyond these trees...




:tab Already it is getting a bit warm and the humidity is really up there! After about a ten minute break, we head out again. The road eventually widens a bit and runs along Bee Ridge, with some great views, and then dead ends into FSR 1003 at Rosetta Cemetery. Somewhere along the line we have picked up a few other riders :scratch: However, they decide to go left and we go right. We head East on 1003 a short ways and slide to a stop at the intersection of 1003 and 1004, then keep going East a bit more to FSR 1216. According to the map, this makes a big horse shoe loop up North and then back South, coming out on 1003 again. It looks twisty and fun, so off we go...

:tab FSR 1216 is twisty and fun! It is narrow but has a pretty good surface. It winds its way out to the end of Middle Ridge and ends in a clearing where there has been some timber cutting in the last few years. I wander around a bit trying to find a place where a road might continue on, but come up empty. So we have to backtrack to 1003, which is cool because the road is just as fun going the other way! Calvin takes off in the lead with the others following and I bring up the rear. I am loafing along when I round a corner and see Shaun picking up his WR450...

He hit this a little faster than he wanted...

:tab There were a lot of spots like this on this road

None the worse for the wear, he is able to continue with no problems


:tab So we regroup at FSR 1003 and head East again. When we reach the other end of where the loop should have come out, we decide to run this side of the loop and see if we can make it connect. Sometimes you get lucky... The run in is fun as well, running out Jim's Ridge, but again it seems to dead end into an area that is currently being logged. We pass by some equipment that is sitting unused at the moment. We wonder down through some ruts and stumps to find a small little road that winds down around the backside of the hill. A quick check of the GPS shows that we are in the right area so perhaps this is the road we want? Down we go...

:tab As we continue down the path, it begins to get narrower and narrower, soon losing any semblance of an actual road and taking on the form of a rarely used ATV trail at best. The branches are VERY low hanging and I am slowly making my way through them. The grass is up high on the sides of the bike. I stop and take another look at the GPS and it shows we are heading straight for a creek with no other roads nearby and our track is taking us away from the direction we want to be heading. So I decide the best thing to do is backtrack.

A relatively open part of the trail where we might turn around




:tab Everyone gets turned around and we make our way back to 1003 again. It is a shame we could not make the roads connect because it would be an awesome part of a route for future rides! When we get back to 1003 we find another group of riders again. I think it is Jbay, Attorie, and one other. So we all head East on 1003 together. We take Pine Ridge Rd, off of 1003 and as the name implies, we run Pine Ridge North to Big Piney Creek.

:tab Now, I have never really understood the criteria for naming a body of moving water as a stream, creek, or river. However, it seems to me that Big Piney Creek probably ought to be called Big Piney River...





:tab It does not look like it runs dry very often and we certainly would not be fording it if the bridge pictured above was not present. While we are hanging out, a large contingent of ATV riders appears, probably 14-15 of them, with what appears to be entire families present. They look like they are having fun, but it makes me flash back to another trip up here... :doh:

While waiting for the group to gear up and get moving, I check out the next part of the route :rider:


:tab Once we are regrouped, I lead the charge up the hill. It is wet and rocky, but a load of fun! It does not last long though and soon we are descending back down into a little valley. We come to the bottom of the hill and another creek. I stop at the bottom to wait for everyone. Then when I go to turn left at full lock to get back on the road, I feel the back of the bike rise up as the rear tire rides up onto a rock. I can't reach the ground any more and I am moving real slow... Sure enough... I lose my balance and do one of those slow motion "oh crap" tip overs right in front of Calvin. As I bounce off the ground we are both laughing pretty good. Once again he comes to my assistance and helps me lift the bike. That astounding feat of skill out of the way, we are moving once again.

:tab We are now on CR 311 and it runs along the Eastern bank of Big Piney Creek. The creek looks very inviting and the thought of stopping for a swim keeps popping into my head. The road twists and turns, climbing and dropping. I am leading again and at each blind hill I move over as far right as I can get. Sure enough, as I crest one of the hills, there is an ATV coming right at me on my side of the road! :argh: It seems everyone out here thinks the roads are one way, which happens to be whatever way they are heading :doh: Fortunately, I am going pretty slow and the rider manages to get himself back to the other side of the road where he belongs and we wave at each other as he goes by me. Then I recall that Calvin is right behind me and has been riding in the left track, right where the ATV is! Moments later I see Calvin's headlight behind me and all seems well... We pass a few more groups of ATV's and soon reach CR 29 where we turn East again. The climb out of Curtis Creek Ravine to Hwy 16 rises over 1000 feet in about 1 mile. We hit Hwy 16 and head into Deer.

:tab As we are heading into Deer, a large group of BMW R1200GS's and a few other bikes are also coming into town. Not being hungry and not seeing the cafe I was looking for, I keep riding until we reach Hwy 7 and stop to wait on the group to catch up with me. The other group of riders heads South on Hwy 7. I have no idea if any of them might be members of TWT. I take advantage of the stop to look at the GPS and find some more interesting roads. It looks like if we keep heading to the Northeast, the roads remain twisty and cross lots of ridges.

:tab Once everyone has arrived, we head South on Hwy 7 and then cut East on FSR 55. A mile or so out, I stop the group when I miss a turn. We are still at the intersection so we just take a break. It seems that we are missing a few riders again that I did not even know were with our group. Jbay heads back to look for them while we eat some snacks. There is talk of "lunch" and grumblings about "real food" when I mention that we are having lunch right now :lol2: We have a great view from where we are at nearly 2000 ft elevation on the side of Owen's Mountain. We can see out between Rickett's and Hudson mountains down through Sycamore Hollow. After a few granola bars, Jbay shows up with our missing riders and we get under way again.

:tab The road snakes along the side of Owen's Mountain for a few miles before it starts a long descent down into the valley below. The road is fairly nice here, wide and smooth. In several places there are some really cool large rock formations and cliffs.

Calvin is way up there to give a sense of scale


See him now?


:tab When the roads starts heading down into the valley, the surface changes considerably. It looks like it has been recently graded and is deep soft dirt with LOTS of big rocks scattered about. The bike is bouncing all over the place. Calvin takes the lead and I see him bouncing through some corners ahead of me, looking like a controlled crash the entire time, until he slips out of sight. I just set a nice relaxing pace. After a few minutes, I see Calvin waiting for us and I ride by, resuming the lead. We soon reach a nice little paced road that runs up into Mt Judea. Perfect! I had not realized we were so close and there is a nice little cafe here where we can stop for "real food." :eat:

Eagle Rock Cafe on Hwy 123 in "downtown" My Judea. Good food!


[time to go, more later...]
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
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Huntsville
#39
Okay... where was I...?

:tab So we have a nice lunch in Mt. Judea. While waiting for our food, I am outside and see a good sized group of Zrex's heading towards the section of Hwy 123 South of town, known for its 5mph switchbacks and for over 15 miles of constant 25mph corners of perfect pavement. I immediately wonder if they are part of the ZRXOA site and if they are having a rally nearby... I've been to one of those rallies for a visit and these people can get a little "exuberant" :lol2: Fun folks though! The food is ready so we head back inside. Some people judge a restaurant by its tea, particularly here in Texas. Me...? I judge them by their grilled cheese sandwiches. I mean, if you can't get that right... what's the point in trying anything else? :huh2: My sandwich is great!

:tab After lunch I head to the bike and start thinking about where we might go next. The day is still young, the rain has held off thus far, and I've always wanted to explore some of the dirt roads East of Hwy 7. So the plan is to head down 123 to Hwy 7. It seems almost sacrilegious to be this close to such an awesome road and not ride it. I know it is paved, but this is a dual sport ride right? :trust: Before we get going, the Zrex group comes back by heading North. They weren't gone too long, I wonder if something happened? Even at their pace they could not have done the whole road so quickly :scratch: Oh well... I am sure we'll hear something through the grapevine if anything did happen. So we head to the corner there in town to gas up the bikes. The skies to the South don't look promising :wary:

:tab We head South out of town and soon reach the switchbacks that take us up onto the ridge. The run up is fun as always, but once we reach the ridge, the pavement is damp. It looks like a shower has passed by not long ago. On dry pavement, I would be having some serious fun here on the KLR. With the knobbies and wet pavement... I decide that caution is the order of the moment and set a conservative pace. It is still a really fun ride though and all too soon we run up behind some cruisers on the South end of the road just before we reach Spencer Junction. It is starting to rain now. The cruisers wave us by and we reach Hwy 7 a few minutes later. We turn South and head for Pelsor and Hankin's Country Store, a regular stop on rides in this area and a great place to meet riders from all over the place. It starts to rain heavier and at 50-60mph, the rain drops feel like needles piercing my face as they come through the front of my dirt helmet. I have to ride with one hand covering my face. I am already pretty well wet, so there isn't much point in donning rain gear :shrug:

:tab We reach the general store and right off the bat things are different... For starters, there is a Grand Opening sign out front... :scratch: This place has been here since 1922 so a grand opening seems a bit late :-P When I wander inside the change is immediately apparent. The normal friendly old guy that runs the place is missing. In his place is a nice young girl named Danielle and what I think are her parents. They have TOTALLY cleaned the place out, taking away three truckloads of stuff to the dump according to the Dad. They now have hand dipped ice cream, sandwiches, and an internet station where I check the radar and find depressing news... :doh: Danielle is apparently going to be the new manager. So if you are in the area and get a chance, stop by and say hi to her. If you ask for chocolate syrup on your ice cream, she puts a LOT on there!! The bathroom is still like being in one of those amusement park fun houses though... :lol2:

:tab After a nice break, the rain starts to let up. One of our riders is having tire issues. It seems his tire is actually coming out of the bead around the rim :eek2: We are not far from the hotel, just down Hwy 123, so he decides to call it a day while the rest of us keep going. We head East on Hwy 16 a short way and then jump back into the woods on CR 1809. It has rained here, but the road is not muddy, just damp, which is SWEET! The road winds along the top of a short ridge, then becomes CR 1008 before dropping down into the North Fork Illinois Bayou. We turn North and make a fast run up to Hwy 16. I do a head check to make sure we have everyone and then head South on Hwy 16.

:tab When we reach CR 1205 just a short way down 16, there is a Forest Ranger sitting at the intersection and a bunch of ATV's. I ride around the edge of the trucks to get onto CR 1205 and then keep going. The road is a little more wet/muddy now and the corners feel a little slick. We pass a group of girls riding horses, idling by nice and slow, and then keep going. I stop at the intersection of 1205 and 1313 to make sure everyone goes the right way and the only person that ever catches up to me is Albie... We wait a few minutes... Still no one... :-? A few more minutes... a mess load of ATV's come by and I stop the last one to ask if they have seen any people on bikes. He informs me they saw them sitting back at the highway. So back we go, waving to the girls on the horses again, and reach the highway. There's no one here... :doh: Albie swears he saw them all behind us when we first came upon the horses. Now we have no idea where the rest of the group might be :shrug: It starts to rain...

:tab Now I have led a LOT of group rides in the last ten years of riding. I have on occasion had a rider drop out of the group without letting anyone know, but I have never lost even a single rider. So how in the world did I lose a whole group of them!? About the time that Albie and I decide to head out on our own, we hear the distant sounds of thumpers approaching. We wait a few moments and it gets louder, then our group comes around the corner, all accounted for. It seems Jbay's XR650L decided to shed a kickstand spring which let the stand drop and engage the kill switch :doh: A bungie job holds the stand up so he can keep riding. So back down the muddy road we go, looking for Falling Water Falls.

:tab I came out here a few years ago to see these falls and there was hardly any water running at all. Given the amount of rain here in recent weeks, I am expecting the falls to really be flowing this time. When we get to the falls, there are already a lot of other people wandering around. We find a place to park the bikes and take a look around. Across the creek is a bunch of tents. Not a bad place to camp! The falls are flowing pretty good, but still not really what I was expecting.

The rocks are SLICK!!


Here you can see the tents back up in the woods, an annual reunion of high school friends


The water is probably at least 10 feet deep. The are people jumping off the falls into the pool and swimming.


You can see the rope hanging from the tree behind the falls. It also has VERY wobbly boards nailed to its trunk for use in climbing back to the top for another go on the rope.


The view from the opposite bank


After I manage to get back across the stream without slipping and killing myself, we pack up to leave


:tab It has been raining lightly on and off since we got to the falls. As we head North on up CR 1205, the rain picks up a little. The road is a rusty colored dirt/clay with standing water on it. As we are going down a relatively straight section a little station wagon comes slipping and sliding towards me from the other direction. I've never been fond of riding in mud so I am a little less relaxed at the moment that I would prefer... :-| The woods have taken on a different feel now, the trunks of trees darkened by rain and the leaves looking slick and shiny. The road continues following the creek as it drains toward the Richland Recreation area. Unfortunately, we do not make it very far before we come to an interesting section of what is left of the road...

A mudslide has all but covered the road.


Calvin and Shaun contemplating the route...


It's a bit muddy... Albie got stuck trying to take the high road here...


:tab Being the guinea pig... I mean leader... of the ride, I get to go first... :doh: The front wheel clears the downed tree, but the rear just spins and spins no matter what I try to do. I get a shove from someone and then I start down the narrow strip of mud. I hug the right side and there is still little room to put a foot down on the left. The hill side just falls away pretty steep. I lean the bike to the right just a bit... just in case... About half way across my back tire starts sliding out to the left and gets REAL close to the soft edge. I can't get it back in line and if I give it any gas, it just creeps further left. I get another helpful push and I am going again. I make it to the far side and park the bike, grab my camera and head back to watch the others...

Shaun proceeds under the watchful eye of Ken




Albie always makes it look easy :-P


As does Calvin


Right were Ken's left foot is, the ground just falls away. Going over that direction would be bad...


Calvin keeping a close eye on Jbay




Almost done...


:tab While watching some of the other guys go through, I noticed a big flat rock in the mud right where my back tire had been sliding. When the tire hit it, it just slid off the rock and I had no traction at all. Before the others went across I had kicked it out of the way. So we all make it across with no problems. It is sprinkling pretty good now. We get back on the bikes and go a few hundred yards before reaching a slide that completely covers the road. Large trees stand in the middle of the road as if they had grown there for years even though they were recently much higher up the hill. There is a bypass that runs down the lower hill side where ATV's have gone around. A few of us walk part of it to see if it is doable. Just walking it is treacherous because it is so slick and muddy. The first five feet include a steep drop on slick rocks followed by a sharp turn to the right. Fail to make that turn because you can't stop the bike from sliding and you wind up on a bunch of sharp rocks and potentially tumbling down the steep hillside. No... we won't be risking this one... We decide to turn around and I start working up an alternative route in my head. It starts to rain... harder...

:tab We all make it back through the narrow muddy pass and get back to the clear road. It is raining really good now. I'm back in the lead and the water is covering the road and splashing up over the windscreen onto my goggles. Visibility is poor from the rain but also from the muddy film on my goggles. I try wiping them but it is an exercise in futility. Despite this, things are not really all that bad... then I feel the water puddling in my seat :huh2: So maybe not putting on the rain gear when I had the chance was a bad choice... :doh: We pass by the water fall and head South on CR 1313 towards Hwy 16, stuck behind a truck and car going incredibly SLOW!! There are no places to pass safely so there is nothing to do but hang back.

:tab The rain has let up a bit by the time we reach Hwy 16. We head South just a little bit to where Hwy 16 makes a big V around the South side of Raspberry Mountain and then head South on Old Hwy 27, which is not paved. It is a wide graded gravel road. It is late in the afternoon, the sun is gone, the clouds are hanging low and looking menacing. Time to start working our way West back to Clarksville. We turn off on Victor Rd. to the West, run this a real short distance and then take CR 1310. This is a great road. It is not technical. It is just very scenic and fun. It twists and turns, running up and down as it follows the North Fork Illinois Bayou valley and eventually rejoins Old Hwy 27 again. The rain is now just the occasional sprinkle and the roads are back to damp and fun! I forget about getting pictures, put the soggy undies out of my mind, and just enjoy the riding. I do make note of the fact while looking at the GPS that there are TONS of back roads in this area that are just begging to be explored! Hmmm... perhaps we will come back this direction tomorrow... :ponder:

:tab We run Old Hwy 7 down to Granny Gap Rd., and cut back to the Northwest towards Hwy 7. This is another wide road where we can pick up the pace a wee bit :rider: We cross Hwy 7 and head West on Long Pool Rd., which starts out gravel and eventually turns into a great little narrow paved road, mucho fun! We hit Hwy 164 and are done with dirt for the day. It is raining again. The pavement is wet but still fun. I just focus on being realll smoooth in and out of corners with no sudden control inputs. I'm riding one handed again so I can keep the rain from stinging my face. We cruise on into town and head for the hotel. Total distance right around 185 miles give or take a few depending on if you were with the lost part of the group ;-)

:tab There is a mini maintenance day going on in the parking lot thanks to Ken's traveling garage facilities. Several tires are fixed. Eventually we head for dinner and visit a place just across the county line called Porky's :trust: The food was really good and the cold beer great! No dancing girls though :-P Stuffed, we head back to the hotel and around 11:00pm call it a night. The weather report for tomorrow is not looking real promising...

:tab I wake up a little late Sunday morning. I have not heard any bikes starting :ponder: When I wander outside my room, I see that a lot of the bikes, trucks, trailers are already gone. It seems a lot of folks have already decided not to brave the approaching storms and have headed for home. The rest of us are standing around playing chicken to see who is going to make the call to bail and head home first so the others can blame him for not riding in the bad weather. Secure in my studliness, I bail and start loading the trailer. The others follow suit in short order... :lol2: The hotel guy is pretty cool about the cancellations. I offered to go ahead and pay given the lateness of canceling. He had given us a special rate for the three nights. Since we have to cancel, he just charges us the normal rate for the two nights we've already stayed and nothing for the last night. This works out saving us about $20 or so on the rooms but doesn't screw him :thumb:

:tab I hop on I-40 and head for Little Rock. The traffic on US 69/75 was really bad coming up so I am going to see if it is quicker going all the way over to Little Rock, picking up I-30 back to Texarkana and then running US 59 home. Traffic is not bad and I make good time. Only seven hours to get home versus just over nine for the trip up to Clarksville.

It was like this most of the way home...


:tab All in all, another great trip. Folks commented on the great route I picked out, but I really can't take credit. I mean pretty much ANY road you pick, paved or not, North of I-40 is gonna be fun! It's hard to go wrong! The only real problem is that there are just so many roads, you need a few weeks to even make a dent in exploring all of them!! So.... :ponder:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
255
Location
Dugger, In
#40
Great report Scott, It sure was a pleasure riding and hanging out with you. You sure do have a way with writing. I will also repeat what I heard all weekend. You run one really good site and I agree with it 100%.

I just see the need to get a new camera to start taking more pictures, It is just a pain to dig out the camera all the time. I need to start looking into waterproof, dust and vibration proof camera. Any suggestions?

As for the rolling garage, I always try to be prepared for any thing that may come up. Like the last two times I have been out, I have found some things that needed added to the assortion of things. And there are a few new items to stock in the future. If I can just get the time and funds to get the new featherlight that I am wanting and then we will see something.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
Location
Huntsville
#41
I just see the need to get a new camera to start taking more pictures, It is just a pain to dig out the camera all the time. I need to start looking into waterproof, dust and vibration proof camera. Any suggestions?
:tab Well, mine is not waterproof, dustproof, etc,... which is why the pics stopped once it started to rain. I had to put the camera where it would not get wet which makes it harder to get out for taking pics quickly. Normally I carry it in the left side pocket of my jacket.

As for the rolling garage, I always try to be prepared for any thing that may come up. Like the last two times I have been out, I have found some things that needed added to the assortion of things. And there are a few new items to stock in the future. If I can just get the time and funds to get the new featherlight that I am wanting and then we will see something.
:tab I was talking with Beth about your trailer and how cool it would be if I could setup a TWT trailer to take to events like these. Ideally, it would be able to carry several bikes, and have room for tools to do tire changes and other basic maintenance stuff people might need done at events. I'd even like to have a small stock of popular sized tires. Then I'd also have a place to hang up all the T-shirts so I could find the right sizes for people quickly and easily instead of digging through all my various boxes. I've not checked into trailer prices though so I have no idea if this might be a reality or a pipe dream.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
255
Location
Dugger, In
#42
:tab Well, mine is not waterproof, dustproof, etc,... which is why the pics stopped once it started to rain. I had to put the camera where it would not get wet which makes it harder to get out for taking pics quickly. Normally I carry it in the left side pocket of my jacket.



:tab I was talking with Beth about your trailer and how cool it would be if I could setup a TWT trailer to take to events like these. Ideally, it would be able to carry several bikes, and have room for tools to do tire changes and other basic maintenance stuff people might need done at events. I'd even like to have a small stock of popular sized tires. Then I'd also have a place to hang up all the T-shirts so I could find the right sizes for people quickly and easily instead of digging through all my various boxes. I've not checked into trailer prices though so I have no idea if this might be a reality or a pipe dream.
I missed out on a 40ft gooseneck Featherlight a few years ago. It had a 16 living quater with a slide out. Gen. 2 AC and all and best of all a 28Ft garage in the back with shelves, racks and everything inbetween for $28,000 and wish I had gotten it now. It was brand new and the guy was really trying to move it off his lot.

I had extra tires and all kinds of other things pack, The only thing I forgot was the battery charger, which I used to charge the battery on the trailer before I left.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,974
Location
Austin
#43
I just see the need to get a new camera to start taking more pictures, It is just a pain to dig out the camera all the time. I need to start looking into waterproof, dust and vibration proof camera. Any suggestions?
I don't know a waterproof, dust and vibration proof camera to recommend, but I do have a suggestion for how to carry a camera on a bike.

I suggest buying an inexpensive digital point and shoot camera (say $100 or less) and a laynard. Most motorcycle jackets have a small breast pocket on the inside of the jacket that is easy to access. Wear the laynard around your neck and carry the camera tucked inside that pocket. Then the camera is always with you and you have easy access to anytime you want to use it. I used this technique for years and it worked much better for me vs carrying a camera in my tank bag or some other less acessible place on the bike.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,466
Location
Sulphur Springs
#44
Scott, If you get the OK from Beth, I have a 16x6 enclosed trailer for sale.It is a 2003 model and has Ac/heat. I also installed some roof vents and a two windows. It pulls great but is too heavy to pull behind my 5th wheel camper.
$3800
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
15
Location
Capital City
#45
:tab Well, mine is not waterproof, dustproof, etc,... which is why the pics stopped once it started to rain. I had to put the camera where it would not get wet which makes it harder to get out for taking pics quickly. Normally I carry it in the left side pocket of my jacket.
I had a recent good find on a waterproof/shockproof camera at Sams Club, the Olympus 850SW. Its a big step down from the "expensive" version but the quality of the pictures are good and for the price I thought about buying two of 'em... just in case I took a big fall and lost it.

http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=425136&pCatg=9666

-Jarrett
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
749
Location
Keep me anywhere south of Mason Dixon!
#49
Here's my take on it. (And this comes after taking a plunge in a creek in Arkansas last week)

Buy the cheap Kodak c160 from walmart for 87 bucks, pay the extra $5.95 unlimited replacement plan good for a year no questions ask, and don't worry about it.

9 meg pix camera works good uses SD card and AA batts.
BTW all the pics on the SD survived the swim SD still good. (Camera & cell phone not so much :lol2:)
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
75
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
#50
Awesome ride report!! :hail: Wish I had paid more attention to the site because I would have been on this ride had I seen it coming.:headbang:

Richland Creek Wilderness was the first route I made on my first ride to AR, and as it turns out, it's still my favorite.


I heard that the road was closed because of a rock slide. Was it cleared when you guys went??


Now that I've been all over the South looking for something better, I've come to realize that NW AR IS the best. NC and TN are nice, especially if it's road riding you're after but AR has the best offroading opportunities IMO, not too rocky or too rugged. Just perfect.

I was a bit dissapointed in the TN, SC area because of all the locked gates on FS roads. You don't see that in AR. AR ROCKS!!!:thumb: Can't wait to get back up there.
 
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