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Brian & Tim Tackle Talimena

Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,221
Location
Arlington
My buddy Brian & I spent three days, two nights, riding the Talimena Highway. We left Sunday and got back Tuesday. Sadly, the leaves hadn't really started changing color yet (last time I went, I was late). But the riding was great.

We got off right after church.
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Our route north was around the Metroplex & out I-30 to Greenville, then up through Paris & Commerce. Beautiful country, and a relaxing drive. Even the I-30 part wasn’t bad, except for the exploding truck tire.

Dinner at El Rancho (I forgot to take a picture there) was good, although reflux kept me up all night afterwards. We met a married couple from Ft Worth who told us somebody had asked them “Do you know the Ebola people?”

Monday morning, we hit the highway.
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Nice view from the top.
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Brian motoring along the ridgeline. Behind the camera, I'm sitting on the bike on a downslope, keeping my right foot on the rear brake, and trying to get the shot off before a car came over the hill crest behind me. Riding is safe. Photography ---- depends.
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At the Winding Stair NF Campground. Sadly, the well ran dry a few years ago, so camping there is a bit inconvenient these days.
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Had to get shots of the bikes in action. Not the most photogenic curve, but hey…..
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After gassing up in Mena, we headed north & east, through Mount Ida, then south to Glenwood. Then we took county roads back to Mena. Here’s a shot of the Ouachita River.
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Here’s the route we followed.
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Unfortunately, Brian’s crazy Fayetteville relatives found out he was in Arkansas and couldn’t stand the fact that he was having a good time. So they created a family crisis, and Brian was forced to break camp Monday evening and go pay a visit.
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Lonely camp with only one bike, one tent, this evening.
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I got up in the morning, broke camp, and took the “fast” route home – west, along Lake Sardis, and out to Hwy 69. I did hit an unusual detour. A crew was laying a pipe under the two-lane highway, and had bulldozed a path down an embankment, around the work area, and back up – and all through slippery, wet red clay. No mishap, but it was slick as snot. Once on 69, it was a straight shot south back to DFW.
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Sardis Lake. I had to rush this picture because I was sitting on a causeway. And my Nikon's autofocus picked that moment to go nuts. So the focus is off. Sure was pretty, though.
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The new Wee ran and handled beautifully. Gas mileage was around 47 mpg with panniers and a load of gear tied to the tail, and 52 mpg when we were out sightseeing.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
1,182
Location
North Richland Hills
Nice trip. I just passed across there a few a hours ago and all the leaves are still intact. A few colors, but not much.

On a side note, for others headed that way, the chip seal job from two years back on the Oklahoma side is really deteriorating.

Tim...really enjoying those riding pants you passed my way. Thanks.
 

cdc

Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
2,977
Location
Katy, TX
The advantage of living in the DFW area compared to Houston is that you are closer to Arkansas... I would go very often.
Nice pictures and riding area!
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,167
Location
North of Weird
Great report Tim..... One of these days I need to get up that way, and your report just sort of nudges me that direction a bit more.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,221
Location
Arlington
Nice trip. I just passed across there a few a hours ago and all the leaves are still intact. A few colors, but not much.

On a side note, for others headed that way, the chip seal job from two years back on the Oklahoma side is really deteriorating.

Tim...really enjoying those riding pants you passed my way. Thanks.
Yeah, there's a lousy pavement stretch just before you get to the Arkansas side. And unfortunately, it's in an area with some very tight curves. The combination of deterioration, loose gravel, and that big footwide groove that runs for about 2 miles, all add up to a need to be very careful through that stretch.

Glad the riding pants are working out for you.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,221
Location
Arlington
How were the night temps? Are you still enjoying your new tent?
Nights only dipped into the mid 50s. Actually, I carried my old Eureka tent because it's better ventilated. And even that got a bit stuffy at times. Looking forward to getting the new tent & the new bike acquainted at some point.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
16,895
Location
Lampasas
Nights only dipped into the mid 50s. Actually, I carried my old Eureka tent because it's better ventilated. And even that got a bit stuffy at times. Looking forward to getting the new tent & the new bike acquainted at some point.
Hopefully no crazy wind storms when you camped? That was nuts!:eek2:
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,221
Location
Arlington
Hopefully no crazy wind storms when you camped? That was nuts!:eek2:
The weather was perfect. Actually, LAST time I went to Talihina, the wind was bad the whole time. I rode home in 30+ mph winds; that became especially scary once I got onto I-30 and I was being pushed out of my lane by the heaviest gusts. :eek2::eek2:
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
144
Location
Dallas
Great pictures and beautiful landscapes! Have any of you taken any of the gravel roads around that part of Oklahoma and AR? I'm thinking of doing a weekend ride from Dallas but I'm trying to identify interesting gravel roads between DFW and Talimena.
 
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