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It Really Was Beyond Epic

greeneggs&ham

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1,325
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KYLE, TX
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Sam
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Crabtree
Okay, we've been home for a little over 24 hrs. now; time to write it up.

Our trip started Thur. morning, leaving about 7:00 am. We first headed to Thorndale to pick up Gravelklr. He was waiting at the driveway, I'm still not sure which of us was more ready to go. We all knew that cooler temps awaited us, :thumb: even if the rain may not happen.
We arrived in Clarksville about 6:30 pm. JT and Vinny were just returning from a short outing. That was when I realized taking the back roads had cost us riding time. :brainsnap Dinner and back to the room to look over Richard's maps & guide, to try to get an idea of tomorrow's route.
After a good breakfast, unloading the bikes and a riders meeting, Mrs. C, myself and Gravelklr thought some nice dirt roads and a trip to Eureka Springs would be a good first day.
First couple of roads were uneventful, a little loose as Fossil said, but otherwise just nice dirt road.





Next thing you know we ended up in Oark, at 10:30; well, let's have some pie! Gravelklr sat out on the porch and talked to Eugene, a local, he's lived on the mountain for 30 some-odd years. He's been married for 52 years. That's all the conversation that I was privy to. I was there for pie. :eat: Fossil was already inside and eating pie.





And Pie Was Consumed.



After leaving Oark, I still had no definite plan. Heading west I saw a sign for 5211, and spotted Fossil heading up that road. I think the maps show this as fs1492. We should try this. What started as a nice graded road for the first 1/4 mile turned into a slight grade, a little loose, and more rocks as it climbed. About a 1/2 mile into it, we found the first of many rocky washouts. Large rocks, rain ruts running across the road. Still not too bad, but we are still climbing. About 3/4 of the way up, we had climbed a few hundred feet. Then things got a little tough. Loose large slate rock, rollie large boulders and rainruts running diagonally across the road, which was looking less like a road. At this point Shirley was having a little traction problem. So I parked the 690 and took her bike up, telling her I was going up to see if it got any worse. I rode up about 250 ft. and it leveled off, so I went about a 1/4 mile down the trail and it was smooth. Now I could go back and let them know it was not any worse. I parked Shirley's bike at the top of the nasty area and was walking down when up she comes; I guess when I didn't come back she figured she might as well go on up. On my walk down to my bike, Gravelklr was just then firing his up. I gave him the info on the rest of the ride up, and told him to stay right. I should have let him pick his own line; this was where the pointy KLR footpeg breaker rock was waiting. :evil: As I was walking down, I heard him hit the rock - Loud Thud - I turned and didn't see any oil leaking, so I thought it was ok. When I got to the top, the damage was easy to see - one footpeg bolt broken off, the brake lever bracket snapped off at the lower bolt. No right footpeg; no rear brake. Sorry Mark. :-(
So we are at the top, now what? Can he get down with no rear brake? Not the way we came up! He still wanted to go to Eureka Springs! :pilot: And so we headed out to Hwy 16, then over to 23 and north to dinner.



Well, as luck would have it, the Italian place that Mark wanted to go was not open till 5:00 pm. So the lady that was there suggested the Local Flare restaurant in old town. It was excellent! :thumb: I thought a little upscale for the way we were dressed, but they were very pleasant. I recommend it highly. We then went over to a local adventure rider shop to see if Mark could get patched up. No luck.
So we headed south to try to get back before dark. (KTM's are famous for hard seats and lousy headlights). We took off all the way down 23, with just a couple of hairy corners for Mark to negotiate. :uhoh: My hat is off to you, Mark.
We arrived back at the hotel about 6:30. This is the first day, Friday. More to come.
 

greeneggs&ham

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OK, let's continue with day 2.

At the riders meeting, JT asked if I would join them for a ride. I had heard you haven't had adventure till you ride with JT. So it was JT, Vinny, Iceman Jack, Jim and yours truly. I still don't know Jim's screen name.

Shirley had decided she was not riding Sat. or Sun. I had talked to her about going with Racer John but she said she would be around town.

So right after the meeting, I am running around like a chicken, you get the picture. I am taking the soft bags off the back of the bike, transferring what is necessary to my tank bag and my fanny pack. Then I notice JasonJ over in the bar parking lot. His battery is dead; I run over there to try to help. Feeble attempt. (sorry Jason) The rest of my party is waiting. When I get across the street, I mention Jason's problem; turns out Vinny has a spare battery. He gives it to Shirley and tells her to see if they want to use it. I am not sure how they got it started, but we saw him later that day riding. :thumb: Vinny still has a spare battery if anyone needs one!

We took off with JT in front and Iceman in back. He told me not to worry if he got out of sight, he was not interested in riding in our dust all day. So I only waited if I didn't see him for 4 or 5 min., which didn't happen often.

JT said we were riding north east on some roads he had not seen or may not have seen in awhile. It all started real good. A little pavement, then on some improved dirt, then through a clear cut area. Great time, fair speed. Then we desended into a creek bottom. Took a 10 min break, nice clean flowing little creek with a hard slate bottom, a couple of 1 foot waterfalls. All in all, a very peaceful setting. Then Jack and Jim started talking about Jack dropping his bike on the slick algae covered crossing just up stream. "Right there", Jim said, and Jack countered with some mumbling, maybe something to the effect that it was the bike's fault. So JT said we are going up the hill! Jim looks like he just hit his thumb with a hammer.. :nono: Wouldn't it be better to go down stream... JT said no we are going up. (You know, before this weekend was over, I found a profound trust in Jim's opinions.) So we mount up, JT goes slightly upstream and crosses the creek, Vinny follows, and then Jim. Now I have noted that each one has been very careful with the throttle. Once Jim clears the creek, I start across, halfway and all is good, then the front tire starts to travel downstream. I put a little pressure on the up stream peg, counter with a little steering input, (you know where this is going) within a second I have the downstream foot in the creek, there is no amount of input that would stop the drift downstream. If I stay up, I am going downstream and off this ledge, not good. :thumbd: So down I go, as I laid the bike over, my right foot is in the slime and now my backend is wet. There are no pictures of this, JT and Vinny were gone by now and they had the cameras. Jack worked his way out to me, trying not to fall himself. With both of us, we were able to get the 690 up. I started it, leaned over from the right side, put it in gear, slowly let out the clutch while walking along side. Again the rear went left and the front tried to go down stream. No traction for my boots, so down I went again! Well, I am sure Jack is getting tried of this, so we just pushed the bike to the bank, both of us trying to remain standing upright in the slime. I get on the bike and up I went. Here comes Jim back, wondering what's keeping us. So Jack gave him the run down while I mounted up to see what this hill looked like that he was so concerned about. :uhoh: Well, it was not that bad, just long. It started up, very rutted, large bolders, climbing about 50 yards then turning back the other direction in a hard 180. It did this about 6 times, I quit counting at some point. It was fun, we don't see many of these in Texas races because we don't have climbs this high.

Afterward, the trail was just fun. We stopped several times, while JT and Vinny took pictures, honest there are pictures. We ended up in Deer, about 2:30 or 3:00 where we saw a German Shepard in a side car. :scratch: Honest, there are pictures. There were several discussions about it being midafternoon and no Pie! Pressure was put on our leader to feed us. Actually, it sounded like a group of hungry school kids. :tears: But off to the south west and JT soon delivered on the pie. My second day of pie! :-) After this, Jack took off, back to Clarksville. So JT took us out for another short route and back to the hotel. I think we got back somewhere about 5. And off to the pool we went. I was the only one to hit the ground today. It was a good day!

Sorry about no pictures, but if I would have had the wife's camera in my fanny pack, I may be writing this from out in the dogs pen right now. :oops: But as it was, only my :moon: got wet.
More to come on Sunday's ride later. Sam
 
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greeneggs&ham

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Sam
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Day 3, Sunday Sept. 4.

I noticed Big A leaving the parking area when I was just headed over for breakfast. They are in a hurry to get dirty! :flip: We were to meet JT & Vinny at the diner next to the hotel. We walk in, look around, and not seeing our party, we go sit and order. About 10 min. later JT & Vinny walk up and said they had been sitting on the other side, and they had already eaten. They didn't see us come in, we didn't see them when we arrived.

After we ate I met JT, Vinny, Jim and Kieth, across the street; they were ready to ride. Kieth had ridden with Richard the day before; he was riding a KLR. JT informed us we were riding northwest today. :shrug: I know it will be good. We start out getting gas, then off to the mountain. We end up at the entry at Horsehead Lake. There across the street we see Centextom and his DR. He had a small hole in his case caused by the shifter. It seems that under certain circumstances the shifter can come in contact with the cover and cause oil to leave the motor cavity. :uhoh: Jim is sure a quarter and some JB Weld can fix it. Tom had a good time riding in Ark. and was content to call it a day. JasonJ was on the way back to get the truck. Tom was not limping or bleeding, so it was a good day.

So off we go to the west side around the lake. Passing some beautiful views, and not so nice campers. We will not go there right now, but obviously not Boy Scouts! :argh:
We traveled thru Darien Gap, so says JT, I wouldn't know. That's the great thing with riding with him - just ride. :rider: Take snacks and lots of water thou, you might be in chiggerland for a long time. Anyway, we came out on 215, then to 23. We duck back onto a dirt road at Fly Gap Road; nice maintained dirt road. Soon we reach a T. JT is going to take us right. There's some discussion between Jim & JT, Jim is going left, Hmmm. As I said in my last post, I have become respectful of Jim's opinions. Not that I mistrust JT's reasons for going one way or the other, but remember I got my backside wet after the last one. Off goes Jim down the trail to the left. So I am last behind JT, Vinny and Keith. The trail turns a little rough, then smooths out, nothing to bad. Fly Gap road starts out on the top of the mountain. Sunday morning I could feel the north wind coming over the top. After the split with Jim, the road started down, not bad or anything, but I could tell we were traveling down the north side and the wind was hitting us from the right and it felt cool and crisp. Suddenly JT stops - a trail goes off to the right. He either spotted the trail he wanted, or it was a trail he had not seen before. :ponder: I don't know, but he sure didn't know what was down there. :help: And neither did we! So this nice trail starts off slightly headed down curving back and forth, no problem, right? :coffee: Then as I pull up, I see JT and Vinny looking down the trail, I can't see it but it looks like it drops off rather quickly, meaning Vertical! I turn off my bike just in time to hear JT say, "I'll go down and check it out". I walk up to the HOLE, and as I look over, Vinny plunges in after him! Well, I never heard JT say, "Come On Down". :brainsnap But Vinny must figure, anywhere that KDX can go, my Gas Gas can go. Well yeah, but what about the KLR? They are both at the bottom, looks to be about 30 yards long, but I can't see their bikes. So here goes the KLR, he does real good, got sideways a little, but he made it. So off I go, not as bad as it looks. When I get to the bottom, JT informs us there are more of these and he is not sure how bad the others are. There is a creek bed at the bottom of this trail and that's the way out. The consensus is the KLR is not going back up that trail. So Down We Go! :shock:

It gets worse, there are at least 4 more of these and the bolders get bigger and the trail gets more washed out. To the point that the four wheelers have made routes around the main trail. :argh: The KLR took several naps on the other drop offs. I can't say how JT and Vinny faired, I couldn't see the bottom of most of the downhills. We eventually found the bottom, where we took a long break. I was not watching the time, but I expect it took up to 1.5 hours just to get to here. Then we started along the creek bed. At one point I told Keith, the trail is looking more maintained, so we must be getting close to the road. :doh: At the next left turn we dropped down into a creek bed and I could not even see a trail. I need to Keep My Mouth Shut. :argh: We finally came out near a riding park, only JT knows where! We then rode pavement to Oark. We were supposed to meet Jim there over an hour ago.

We walk in, sit down, and order lunch. Just before our order arrives, Jim walks in. He knows proper procedure, so he orders pie. He sits down next to me and I ask, "how did we beat you here." He said "Oh no, I have already been here, eaten lunch and rode the DR back to Clarksville. It was hot down there, so I got on the Cagiva and rode back up." Yeah, I need to start watchin' this guy! :wary:

Anyway, after lunch JT took us up 5211/1942 to show us the easy way back down. Then into town, right about 6, right after the start of the closing ceremony. I just wanted a shower and hit the sack. :sleep:

Well, that was 3 days of fun. Thank You Richard, Jack and JT for scouting. It was great meeting all of you, and putting faces with screen names. And I helped lighten Scott's pick up by 2 t shirts. :thumb:
Sam
P.S. Way too many trails to ride in three days. We must gather here again.
 
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Joined
Jan 14, 2010
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185
Location
Mansfield, Tx
Day 3 had some pretty tough riding, but this old cabin we toured had to be a highlight for me.

Fountain-1.jpg


N35.67234 W93.38151(cabin)

fountain.jpg


OldCabinGang.jpg


I think we were told by the owner that it pre-dates the Civil War plus it has a hand dug well from which we took turns pouring cold water on each others heads.
DSC00609.jpg

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Just to add to the story. Eventually Norbick took over Mark's bike demise. However, before that happened, I broke the clutch lever on my bike and Andy and Brad figured out a way to use Hugo's KTM lever on my suzuki. Eventually, after Norbick pulling Mark's bike and crashing several times, the cavalry arrived. Nonetheless, the ride continue eventhough we were out of water, energy, and sense.
 

Attachments

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Haha!! :clap::clap::clap:

Need more pictures of carnage though... I'd pay good money to see Sam laying in a creek bottom... ;-)
 

SwampFox

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Sorry that I didn't make it to up to the cabin; look's like a good destination for sure.

The most epic part of my trip was the decision to enjoy the cool Monday temps and ride the KLX250 home, 360 miles via Mt. Nebo & Hot Springs, mostly state roads, maybe 40 miles of county roads w/5 miles of dirt. First day over 160 miles on the KLX, and yes, I admit I was tired during the last 60 miles. I did enjoy falling in line at the back end of a group of Harley's for about 20 miles. :-)
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
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Azle Texas
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Norbert
Wow That was a blast! I began the weekend with a virgin 690. Well She aint no more. Thanks to Richard , and special thanks to Izzy and Scott for there fearless navigation and thanks to all those who got in on the "2011 90k Rodeo" . We began with 10 riders , ended with 4. We left no man behind and saw to it everybody had a good time.Since I'm not as good with a computer as "tar changin" here is some pics. Senior' Edwin, me nombre es Norberto or Polocko . but don't call me" late for tequila," I will post pictures later as I need to reduce their size and I am challenged...how do ya'll make it look so easy?
 
Joined
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Shirley
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"Need more pictures of carnage though... I'd pay good money to see Sam laying in a creek bottom..."

There are pics. of this very thing. You will have to get Vinny and JT to post them.
A reward may just be what is needed to prompt them. :photo::haha:
 

JT

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"Need more pictures of carnage though... I'd pay good money to see Sam laying in a creek bottom..."

There are pics. of this very thing. You will have to get Vinny and JT to post them.
A reward may just be what is needed to prompt them. :photo::haha:
I missed the creek incident, maybe Jack has a pic?

I did get the camera out to catch Sam coming down this hill, but he stopped at the top and forgot to put a foot down... Hard to see on the small player,



Here he is finally coming down and making it look too easy as usual. As always, it's steeper than it looks,



I'm trying to get a few more uploaded now.
 

Tourmeister

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Okay... Gotta get this done now or I never will :doh:

:tab I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to decide if I will be able to attend any of Richard's rides. One might think that by now I would have learned to just get hotel reservations early, decide later, and cancel if needed. Sometimes I can be a bit slow on the uptake :roll: Anyway, in the months prior to the ride, I had been wrestling with buying a new house and selling the old house. As anyone that has done this knows, it is cause for serious financial hemorrhaging... Hence the uncertainty about whether or not I'd be able to make the trip :huh2:

:tab As the time draws nearer, I REALLY want to do the trip because I REALLY need to blow off some stress. I had been posting about wanting to share a trailer ride and needing a roomie, but I'd gotten no bites. Then Iceman Jack posts up about a buddy needing a ride from DFW and a roomie. I give him a call and its decided. We're going :dude: Of course, once I mentally commit to going on a trip, it kills me waiting for the trip to arrive :lol2:

:tab I do a quick inspection of both bikes, the KLR 650 and the R1200GS. Tires... Check. Oil.... a bit low but topped off. Chain... Check. It takes me a while to find all the luggage and associated straps for the KLR as they have been packed away in the recent move and only God knows where they might be... :doh: I finally find them and all is good. Spare tubes... Check. Patch kit... Check. Air pump... Check. Ugly factor... Check. Thursday rolls around and I get the truck/trailer ready to roll. Finally, I just can't stand it and I bug out early from work since we aren't busy. I head to the house, load the bikes, pack some clothes, load up on hugs and kisses from Beth and the kids, and hit the road. 6:30pm. Right on time. The plan is to spend the night at Jim's place in Carrollton, load his bikes in the morning, and head for the hills.

:tab I reach Jim's place around 10:00pm. We chat a while then crash for the night. Morning rolls around painfully early and we load up. Jim is taking his DRZ 400 and his Cagiva. I have room on the trailer so we figure we'll take the street bikes just so we have the option if we don't feel like riding the dirt. Sacrilege... I know :-P We make good time and hit Clarksville shortly after 1:00pm. Our base is the Hampton Inn, just a stone's throw from the Day's Inn where the event is based.

:tab After checking in and grabbing lunch we decide to do a nice street ride for the afternoon. I'm leading so I head for one of my favorite roads, AR 123 heading NE out of town. It runs up to Hwy 7 and is just pure motorcycle fun! I've had the GS now for over a year and in that time I have never really connected with the bike like I had with my 1150 GS. I can't really say why. It's one of those undefinable things that I just can't really describe but I definitely know when it is not there. This is my first time to have the bike up in Arkansas, so I just settle in and "explore the envelope" a bit... :twisted:

:tab I had been thinking that upon reaching Hwy 7, we'd stop for ice cream at Hankin's General Store. However, when I pull up I see the "CLOSED" sign. Unfortunately, this looks like it is a permanent closed and not just for the day. That's too bad. I always enjoyed stopping here on my Arkansas trips. Not only was it a good place to take a break and get a refreshing snack, but I always met interesting people in the parking lot. Well... no ice cream, so nothing to do but head on up AR 123 to Mt. Judea and see if the Eagle Cafe is open for lunch.

:tab Now... if you have never ridden the section of Hwy 123 South of Mt. Judea, you are missing out on a real treat!! I think the road is officially designated as a scenic byway. Regardless, it doesn't really go anywhere special so there is rarely any traffic on it except for the people that come just for the road. There are also no side roads and very few driveways. There is a short climb up on to the ridge and then it is GAME ON! The pavement is just perfect, smooth and grippy. The shoulders are wide. The curves are banked and flow one into another. This road is ALL about rhythm. On previous rides, whether on my VFR 800, 1150 GS or even on the KLR 650, I have ALWAYS hit that special motorcycling place when running this road, even when riding two up. So my expectations are high...

:tab Well, as much as I enjoy it, I still don't feel that seamlessness between myself and the bike that I so enjoy. We reach the North end of the road, descend the 5mph switchbacks off the ridge and roll into town. We stop for lunch at the Eagle Cafe. Lunch is an ice cream cone and glass of COLD water for me. Jim gets some kind of strawberry ice cream thingy. After a nice cool break, I decide to head North toward Jasper.

:tab AR 374 is another road I really like. It runs between Vendor at 123 just North of Mt. Judea and comes out on Hwy 7 just South of Jasper. It starts out down in a valley running next to a creek and then climbs up onto the ridge to meet Hwy 7. It has lots of nice elevation changes and great curves. The views are also really nice as we start climbing out of the valley. It comes out right about where Hwy 7 starts to drop down into Jasper and the descent there is a lot of fun as well. Normally, I'd be stopping in Jasper with a group in tow, but today we just cruise through town. I stand up for a bit to stretch and relax as I roll down the main drag, which gets me a long strange look from the local LEO as we cruise past each other. :shrug:

:tab On the North side of town we turn West on Hwy 74. This is another great road (as if any of the roads in this area aren't great...). It climbs onto a winding ridge that is one side of the Buffalo River valley. There is a bit more traffic here just because folks live in proximity to Jasper and because of the river related recreational activities, but it's not bad. The real fun begins as we near the junction with Hwy 43 and the road drops down into the river valley. It winds down in a series of tight corners, the trees and hillside forming a twisting tunnel. The shade is welcome relief from the burning rays of the sun.

:tab At Hwy 43 we turn South and follow the winding course of the river through the Lost Valley. I love the roads that run down through valleys like this. They always hug the base of the hills on one side of the valley and have great sweepers mixed in with some fun tighter stuff. It's kind of strange, but I have been down so many of these roads so many times, leading different groups of people or just riding solo, that tons of memories come flooding back into my mind as I ride. Oft times I get that cozy familiar feeling of being in a "safe" place, somewhere that you'd associate with good feelings and happiness. We glide on down through the valley and pick up Hwy 21. It is getting late in the afternoon and I find myself starting to slip into the "get home" mode. I am not sure why? The run down 21 back to Clarksville is a fun ride. Maybe I am just getting anxious to get back and start seeing other folks in the parking lots.

:tab Somewhere South of Hwy 16, I find myself sitting behind a little white sedan and in front of him is some kind of big truck. One of them is making quite a stink from their exhaust. I look for a place to pass, but the downside of a nice twisty road is few safe places to pass. It does not take long before I start to get a very intense headache from the fumes. By the time I do get to pass, it is too late. The headache is here for the duration. We make it back into town and the parking lot of the Day's Inn is full of bikes. We stop to mingle for a bit and check out the bikes. Richard and Connie are on the scene greeting folks, getting them checked in, and handing out T-shirts and ride guides. Standing around in full gear is HOT! Dinner plans are made and off we go.

:tab I misunderstand the directions for where to meet and find myself in front of a little Taqueria... alone :ponder: A few phone calls and some mild confusion later, a car load of folks show up. It's Richard and Robert, their wives, Uncle Roger and Milton. Not the people I was trying to hook up with, but they'll do :-P I decide to just stay put and enjoy a nice dinner with them. Then it is off to the hotel for a shower and calling it a day. The headache throbs as I drift off to sleep to the sound of Jim snoring. Tomorrow the real fun begins... :trust:
 

izz

Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
131
Location
Dublin, Tx
Day 3 while scouting a new route, we found some extreme tornado damage, we can't go this way.

90KRodeo.jpg


My little saw I packed after last year is no good on this type obstacle.

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I guess all this damage is at the edge of the forest cause here's the marker:

Marker.jpg


Time to find another route that begins with 9XXXX:

gang.jpg
 

JT

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Elgin
Friday, Vinny, Jack and I took off a little later than everbody else and went up Apple Rd. toward 1425.

We stopped here for a short break,

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The Mulberry river at 1425, reduced to a mere trickle...

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We stopped in at Catalpa and had a late breakfast, no pics.

After, we made it up to the Buffalo Lookout tower...

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Jack tried to throw Vinny over the fence...

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But Vinny sliced open his pinkie on the RAZOR wire and decided it wasn't worth it. First blood \|/

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What's wrong with this rock,

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Jack and Vinny saluting the camera,

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We stopped in Oark on the way south,

Jack had a healthy lunch, pie and ice cream...

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I got nervous when Vinny started eyeing my burger...

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Saturday I got even fewer pictures. Sam and Jim joined decided to chaperone as our group appeared to need supervision. We started out Weimar Rd and went north and east to 21 then south to 1471 and hit the good stuf. I didn’t get a single pic of any of it. We went up 1424 to Murray Creek. As we crossed, Sam decided to take a short break in cool clear waters and afterwards feeling so refreshed, he had trouble keeping his front wheel down.



Here comes Jacques, this is the hill Jim was whining about,



Thanks to one of Tourmeister’s old ride reports, we found ‘Old Porter Road,’ my new favorite. No pics, too much fun to stop. We zig-zagged around on some great roads until we wound up in Deer for gas, then back down to Oark for more pie.

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After Oark, Jim and Jack slabbed to the hotel, Vinny, Sam and I crossed the Mulberry and ran down 1425 to 1400b and 103 the rest of the way.

Gotta go upload a few more…
 
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Tourmeister

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Saturday morning...

:tab These bike trips always kill me. My normal routine is to head to bed around 2-3am, then get up around 10-10:30am and go to work. I've been doing that for 18 years. Most people that go on vacation get to sleep in a little past their normal wake up time. I usually find myself having to get up about 3-1/2 hours earlier than normal after trying to go to sleep several hours earlier than normal (which rarely works). On top of that, I am not really much of a morning person. It does help though that the Hampton Inn has REALLY comfy beds! Anyway, it takes me a while to boot up and get running at full processing speeds. Jim is a great room mate. He does his thing and pretty much leaves me to do my thing. Sometimes you get those guys that are ON in the morning and they can drive a person insane :eek2: We grab a bite to eat and head on over to the Day's Inn just in time to see the rider's meeting ending and people breaking off into groups :doh:

:tab It's cool though. On past rides I have often found myself somewhat reluctantly leading some fairly large groups of riders (10-14 people). That can be a LOT of work and I really don't feel like doing that this time around. Sometimes I just want to be the guy at the back of the pack, following the dust cloud and not really thinking about where I am going. So I hang around and watch the various groups leaving. Then I hook up with Richard, Milton, Steve and Kevin. The plan is to explore some potential routes for inclusion in next year's ride guide. I call sweep :-P

:tab Somewhere around 9:00ish we are geared up and heading out of town. We initially head North down a nice little paved country road. Moments later we are on gravel. And... moments later we are in someone's farm/driveway turning around. Our first dead end :lol2: Undaunted, we cut back to the end of the drive way and find a little tunnel of a road into the woods...

Looks promising...


:tab Moments later, we come to the proverbial fork in the road and pick the road MORE traveled. And... we turn around again.

Are you sure about this Richard?


YES! Follow me!


And... moments later... "Uh... guys..." :doh: :lol2:


A little grunting and huffing...


:tab Richard is out of the mud and we spot a way to get around it.

Everyone around the mud hole. Kevin and his trusty KLR.


:tab We mount up and continue pressing on. We run a small descent down into a creek bed. It is bone dry. I bounce across the rocks and come up behind the group...



:tab Yep, you guessed it. We had to turn around again :lol2: So I take the lead and reach the mud hole first. I wiggle my way through the dangling vines and come back hold them out of the way while everyone else negotiates the side track around the mud.

(I know the pics are a bit fuzzy/blurry, but I was trying to do it one handed while holding vines and trying to avoid being run over or roosted ;-) )

Milton




Richard


Steve (also on a KLR)


And Kevin


:tab We reach the fork in the road and continue on where we had previously turned around. Not far into this, I am thinking this should be called "Head Whacker Rd." The branches are low hanging and pretty well cover the entire width of the road. If one is not paying attention, it is REAL easy to get a good smack in the goggles. The road is actually quite fun, but the fun ends all too soon and we drop out back on the main paved road. Richard is trying to find a road that cuts due North. So we scoot down the road a short bit and try again on CR 3375.

A nice smooth gravel road... totally boring :-P


And... moments later... I pull up in time to see everyone turning around...






:tab Are you keeping track of all the U-Turns? I've about lost count :lol2: It's all good though. Sometimes the best routes are found this way. Perseverance can pay off! Before I can even start to put the camera away and follow the guys down the "right" road, they come right back around the corner :rofl: Another dead end. Back to the main road we go...

:tab We roll a short way down the road and cut back North on Spadra Creek Loop (CR 4418). I should recognize this area, but you know it all starts looking the same after a while. I have been here before and Richard is trying to find Apple Rd. I tried that once. We even attempted the ride up the side of the mountain until the road just vanished beneath us and the Pine trees got so thick we could barely get between them. We turned back. Richard stops at the point where the road "begins" and starts asking me a bunch of questions about the route. Still being clueless about where we actually are, I am useless. After a few minutes of looking at the GPS and racking my brains (remember it is still before 10:30am...), I finally locate the brain cells that store the memory of this place and inform Richard that this is a no go. We had to loop around and pick up the road from another point. He decides to do the same after I assure him that the ride is worth it.

:tab We loop back and pick up CR 381, which quickly turns into a fun climb of loose rocks, ruts, and branches. There is a spot where the original road used to be, and if you are looking you can see it, but I blow right past it this time without even noticing because I am having so much fun. Once the climb ends, the road runs along a wide flat ridge top twisting through the woods.

Some pretty spots along the way


:tab In short order we reach Low Gap Road and turn East toward Hwy 21. This comes out right near Ozone. Richard's idea is that we'll stop at the Burger Barn and take a short break. It turns out though that they are still closed at 10:00am. So we press on...

:tab Now, I did not realize where we were going next. That is the nice thing about not being in charge of the route. Everything is a surprise! When I do realize where we are going, I start getting excited. The last time I was here, the next part of the route was indeed EPIC! I had discovered the route while doing some exploring just like we're doing today. We head East out of Ozone on CR 5500. It's paved at first then turns to wide gravel. Even at low speeds we are kicking up some serious dust, something I try to avoid doing around homes. Soon enough, we reach the turn. It does not show on many maps. Google doesn't show it. City Navigator doesn't show it. I found it by looking at my old Garmin TOPO maps and I think the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer showed it. I can't recall the name/number and the first time I was here we weren't really sure it was even a road.

:tab The road is really more of an ATV trail. It is a very narrow two track. Almost immediately it starts a steep descent. Loose rocks and branches litter the trail. There are tight and steep switchbacks. In places the back end of the KLR starts sliding as I try to modulate the rear brake to keep from picking up too much speed. First gear engine braking is not enough, even with the lower 14 tooth front sprocket. I dare not touch the front brake and just let it roll. Sure and steady is my goal. I am not out to set any speed records or impress anyone. By the time we reach the bottom, we've dropped almost 900 feet from the top of the ridge to the creek valley below. This time though, Little Piney Creek is dry. Last time it was flowing pretty deep and FAST. Beyond the creek, the road levels off.



We reach CR 5500 and stop for a break in the sweltering humidity and heat


Milton bringing up the rear... Now how did I get ahead of him!? :scratch:


:tab While resting, we hear the sound of other bikes coming from the direction we had just come and are soon joined by another group of riders here for the Epic adventures. Jim and Jack are in this group. I spot some other folks that I don't recognize. I think one of them is Vinny. Maybe JT? Anyway, after some brief jib jabbing, we get back on the bikes and head NW on CR 5500 to FR 1421. This eventually loops back to the East and climbs up onto a nice ridge.

:tab FR 1421 does not appear to be maintained. It is very narrow and rough, the branches hanging low and smacking me in the head even when I am ducking down to get under them. The climb is steep and keeping momentum is crucial. Rocks are sliding around under the back tire as I bounce around, trying to keep a decent line. The road winds and twists. I start to get that warm fuzzy "I've been here before" feeling right as we pop out of the woods and into a small clearing. Yep, I know this place. I call it Rabbit Hole Rd. Glancing back, all that can be seen of the road is a hole in the trees/bushes at the edge of the clearing that disappears from view. It reminds me of a giant rabbit hole. Now I know we are in for some more fun.

:tab We cross the clearing and the road starts climbing around the side of a hill. There are some erosion berms here and there, small trees (some standing and some not), and it is fairly steep. So again keeping the momentum is important.

Not sure what happened here. I think Milton just lost momentum on one of the berms and stepped off as the bike tipped over.


Yeah... I know. You've heard it a million times. It IS steeper than it looks!! :rofl:


:tab Milton is righted and we are soon on our way again. Again the trail pops out into a small level clearing. As I am crossing the clearing my mind wanders in the moments free from concentrating on picking lines. It occurs to me that if anything were to happen to one of us out here, there would be no ambulance coming, probably not even a jeep. I am thinking that at best, we might get an ATV in here for a ride out, possibly having to ride two up to get someone out, or maybe even having to ride out injured. And then I am face to face with another climb and quickly put such thoughts out of my mind.

:tab Moments later...

:tab I see Milton down. Kevin is stopped behind him and wrestling his KLR in an attempt to keep it upright and NOT sliding backward! Unable to stop safely, he gasses it and climbs past Milton. Milton is not getting up and it looks like the bike has him pinned. I dismount and head up as fast as I can to check on him. When I get to him, he does not sound real happy... A quick glance reveals that his right foot is pointing backward and the bike's swing arm is right on his ankle! :eek2: Fortunately, the bike is laying on a slope so I don't have any trouble lifting it off him. He immediately grabs the ankle and sounds like he's in a lot of pain. By now, Kevin and Richard have arrived as well and we take stock.

:tab Kevin and Milton get the bike situated and inspect for damage. I am worried that Milton may have broken the ankle. He can barely put any weight on it at all and the expression on his face when he does is clearly NOT his typical ear to ear grin... We hear other bikes coming and the group we'd encounter earlier come up from behind. We wave them around and ask that they let Steve know what has happened when they reach the top.

They all took the high line around Milton on the way up


A nice look back the way we had just come


:tab Right where Milton went down, the road is basically one big V shape with pretty steep sides and loose rocks in the middle. It looks like he tried to run the high side on the right, which his front tire did, but the back tire had other plans and opted to run up the middle in the bottom of the V. He basically low sided and the back landed on his foot. Milton was undaunted. With a quick shot of Aleive, he's back on the bike and claims to be ready to ride. Richard makes the executive decision that Milton should lead so he can "set the pace"... So off we go...

:tab We cross another small clearing and start another climb, almost... to... the... top... and Milton has another drop. I don't know how he's able to ride at all, especially since standing is out of the question. Right now, we just want to get him to easy roads.

Despite the pain, he is hopping around and grinning.


:tab Same thing again. A big V in the road that ends with a wall about a foot and a half high. He slid down into the V and T-boned the wall. We get the bike righted and Kevin rides it on up past the nasty spot. Milton hobbles up, remounts, and takes off. We finally reach the top of a ridge, having climbed about 900 feet and the road levels out, following the ridge line to the North. Smooth running here! We soon tee into CR 5680 at the Rosetta Cemetery. With the whole group regathered, Milton leads the way East a short bit and we pick up CR 5671 (FS 1004) and head South.

:tab Now the road is a nice wide gravel road, well maintained. Milton TAKES OFF! I hang back and enjoy the scenery and relaxed pace. Kevin has taken up sweep behind me. The road starts out with a short descent and then runs along a nice ridge for a while. At the South end, it drops down off the ridge in a series of fun tight corners, eventually dropping all the way back down to Little Piney Creek. Just South of the point where CR 5500 meets 5671, Richard pulls over into a little side road. Milton was told to wait at the next intersection, but apparently did not see this one... he's GONE! Steve sets out after him... We take a break and eat some crackers.

It looks promising




:tab Milton must have really been cruising because it takes a while for he and Steve to return! I'd hate to see him in his groove when his foot isn't banged up! :shocked: So off we go down the cool little dirt road...

And... moments later... :doh:


:tab So back to the main road we go. Now we just head East until we reach Hwy 123. I think now Richard is just making it up as we go along. It doesn't get any better than that! So we scoot up 123 a we bit and find another interesting little road that runs South. Nope... not on my map. Sweet! It starts of dropping down into the woods and quickly comes to a dry creek bed. There is a fork in the road and this time Richard takes the one less traveled. We cross another rocky dry creek bed and suddenly things take a turn for the interesting...

Bikes stopped mid climb are rarely a good sign... :-|




Now I am sitting here thinking to myself, "Did Miltion REALLY try to ride up that!?" :brainsnap

Apparently he did... And despite a valiant effort, he did not make it.


Richard and Steve head up to give Kevin a hand righting the bike and checking on Milton


You can sort of get a feel for the steepness here... sort of...


and here...


and here...


and maybe here? :-P


:tab At this point, it becomes clear that Milton is in a bad way. He's hopping around like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. While Kevin gets his bike back down to the bottom by the creek bed, Richard and I have to lend a shoulder for him to hang on to as we slowly work our way down the loose rocks.

It doesn't look so bad until you get sucked in and round that left turn...


The view from the creek bed


:tab Well, it is getting on in the afternoon and tummies are grumbling. It is decided that we will just backtrack to 123. Milton still wants to ride, but is done with the unpaved stuff for the day. Instead, we will run up 123 to Mt. Judea, have lunch at the Eagle Cafe, and then backtrack to Clarksville. Seems like a good idea... This time I get to lead... :trust:

:tab I know people like to bag on the KLR because it doesn't have the big HP or the sweet suspension, and well... just because it is a KLR. Still, the bike is just a total hoot to ride fast in the twisties! Granted, I have Race Tech springs in the front and have upgraded the spring in the back, so it handles moderately better than a stocker, but I just love riding this bike in the tight stuff. I liken it to the 125 GP bikes that have to keep up their corner speed to maintain their pace. Smooth is king! I love working at being smooth on the bike.

:tab The run up 123 to Mt. Judea is awesome. I quickly settle into a nice rhythm and before I realize it, I am already at the switch backs. We drop down into town and head to the cafe. I get my customary grilled cheese and everyone else eats a big meal. By the end of lunch, Milton's foot is really starting to hurt and he want's the fastest way back to the hotel, which... happens to be backtracking 123 all the way to town. Richard and Steve decide to head back with him. Kevin and I decide to do some more exploring...
 

greeneggs&ham

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Naw,no picture. He dumped so fast I wouldn't have even had time to snap a pic. I will say this......Sam falls a lot better than I do!
Ha Ha! You didn't see my bellyflop while riding JT's KDX on Sunday.

I see now that I was calling Kevin, Keith. Sorry Kevin. You rode the Poop out of that KLR.

Justin: There, now you have seen carnage. It wasn't that I didn't put a foot down. Just a rolly rock threw me to the right, lucky for me a large log was there to keep me from falling. :clap:
Sam
 

Vinny

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JT in front of a cliff. I like my bike too much to put it there
 
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Vinny

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I'm also still trying to figure out how to put the actual pics in here. Did it once, just have to remember how. (Use the
 
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Vinny

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"Hi Honey. I was wondering if I could get the bike dirty today?"
 
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Vinny

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A new use for KTM's. Love it!
 
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I know people like to bag on the KLR because it doesn't have the big HP or the sweet suspension, and well... just because it is a KLR. Still, the bike is just a total hoot to ride fast in the twisties! Granted, I have Race Tech springs in the front and have upgraded the spring in the back, so it handles moderately better than a stocker, but I just love riding this bike in the tight stuff. I liken it to the 125 GP bikes that have to keep up their corner speed to maintain their pace. Smooth is king! I love working at being smooth on the bike.

:tab The run up 123 to Mt. Judea is awesome. I quickly settle into a nice rhythm and before I realize it, I am already at the switch backs.
Oh man, I just love the 690 on 123, it's amazing how it eats up that road, especially up in that tight stuff. I just run off and leave sportbikes there :lol2: Oh, and I get a little carried away on those switchbacks, love to drop it down 2 gears and pop the clutch and get that back end sliding, it's just STOOOOPID fun. :rider:
 
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Oh man, I just love the 690 on 123, it's amazing how it eats up that road, especially up in that tight stuff. I just run off and leave sportbikes there :lol2: Oh, and I get a little carried away on those switchbacks, love to drop it down 2 gears and pop the clutch and get that back end sliding, it's just STOOOOPID fun. :rider:
I bet, I can't keep up with my buddy's 690, and that route is wonderful! Sunday morning coming off the mountain to Mt. Judea, looking at all the native grass seeding out and pretty about 10:30 in the morning and maybe 70 degrees and the sun on my back------I was thinking that it just doesn't get any better than that!!
:zen:
 
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I luckily was able to start this motorcycling vacation with a prevacation visiting family in north Texas and had my two ride buddies pick me up on their way to Arkansas.

Hugo, Izz and myself


Along the way Izz had a little difficulty keeping track of that busy instrument panel in his SUV


We had a plan but Izz had to overcome his normal reluctance to touch any motorcycle made after 1990. The look on his face shows the true internal struggle. He couldn't bring himself to do this bare handed.



Day 1

On Friday we teamed up with some of our riding buddies from Belton and headed out to ride Track 1 out of the ride guide. We got about 1/4 of the way through it and where having a blast on a river bottom section when the track wanted to steer us up and out back to the flat road. We voted (as least I "think" we did) to ditch the intended track and follow our current path into the unknown. It was a lot of fun for about an hour before we popped up in a fairly open field with no apparent way out other than to backtrack. We had to bushwhack a little but finally found a locked private gate in which we were on the wrong side of. Luckily mother nature had previously dropped a tree over the fence leaving us a path to escape through. I hardly took any pictures the entire day but here are a few:

Clark


Big A and Izz


Mr MotoAdv himself, Jeff


Once "out of the woods" the group decided to head to Oark for lunch where we proceeded to overeat and get sleepy..... A few of the riders headed back to Clarksville while the rest of us rode around some trails just north of Oark. A few hours later we lost a few more and the group was down to just Izz and myself. We really wanted to ride up 2 mile hill but didn't make it on this day. After another hour or two of exploring we headed to the Mulberry for a quick swim and then back to Clarksville. We found Jay doing a little late night maintenance on his bike. Who knew the Aprilia's ran on a secret mixture of oil and diet coke....




Day 2

Saturday started out a little confusing as we had close to 20 riders in our group. Once we arrived in Oark we split into two groups and went on our way. I always struggle with this as there are so many great people to ride with but having too big of a group seems to take the fun out it. Luckily things worked out and we were off. We wanted to finish exploring the trails between Oark and Hwy 23. There was a fun downhill section from last year that we wanted to ride again and we also intended to ride up 2 mile hill since the guide said it would be challenging (which it was).

Here's a few picts:

Brad coming down the downhill section


Edwin fine tuning his bike


Andy fine tuning Edwin's bike


Edwin had a little mishap and broke his clutch lever. Luckily Hugo had a spare that fit with a little "modification".


The bolt wouldn't fit so a cotter pin had to be used. (Note to self, carry spare hardware) Also the shape of the new lever wouldn't allow the clutch interlock to be made so we had to jumer that out as well but we were able to ride on!

A few miles down the trail we were having fun blasting through a section with a few mud holes when we stopped to regroup and discovered we were missing a few riders so we backtracked about 2 miles and found Mark working on his bike which took a nap in one of the mud holes.



Norbert jumped in to help as always (he's a realy handy guy to have around)


As well as Brad


Of couse this was a county job


Izz was testing his underwater camera


Some were doing other things... (a joke people)


Not sure Izz knew we were joking..


After pouring the water out of Mark's carb and ensuring the plug was still firing the bike was reassembled but unfortunately still wouldn't start, try as we might.



The bike had to be moved just over 2 miles to the closest road. Andy's 990 was used to tow it most of the way until a guy on a 4 wheeler volunteered to take it the rest of the way. I missed most of this action because after jumping on my bike to follow the group I discovered I had a flat tire. By the time I got it changed and made it out to the main road Andy had already taken Mark back to get his truck so they could haul the bike back to Clarksville. Funny thing was that "after" they left the remaining group decided to move Marks bike to a safer place but had no way of letting Mark know about this. (They did end up fining it but had to search a bit).

We had burned a lot of time and drank most of our water by this time. The easy thing to do would have been to abort the remainder of the route and head to Oark for more water but really wanted to reach 2 mile hill so we kept on going sharing what water we had left. (We would eventually run completely out) We knew that Turners Bend wasn't far from the top of 2 mile hill so that became our reward for completing the task.

This video is REALLY long and captures ~80 of 2 mile hill. It's a cheap point and shoot mounted on the handlebars so it gets pretty choppy but will give you and idea.



About 2/3's of the way up we stopped to regroup and finish off the last of the water.


Not sure what these guys were passing back and forth but it sure seemed to effect Edwin (another joke..)


Izz knocked all the air out of his front tire..


We rode on and made it to the top. It was a lot of fun and I plan to do it again someday. Not sure everyone else had that same feeling but I know some did. Once at the top a few of the guys stopped to talk to a group folks out enjoying the day. One of the guys was carrying a gun on his hip and was offering everyone beer and seemed kind of shocked that everybody wanted water instead. We finally made it to Turners Bend to rehydrate.

Jarrett and Jay


Edwin and Norbert


We slabbed it back to Clarksville, it was a long but fun day!

Day 3

Sunday started with a little predawn maintenance work. Having a slow leak Izz decided to install his spare tube (more on this later).


Seemed as if our group was getting a reputation as the group was getting smaller and smaller. Jay was all in and stocked up on gas to prove it



One on the road we made our first turn onto dirt when Izz discovered he had another issue with his front tire.



And for the life of me I couldn't understand it as he had just installed his spare an hour ago.... Oh wait, this is Izz we're talking about. Wonder what his spare looked like anyway.


Jay had a new tube and although it was manufactured post 1990 Izz once again reluctantly agreed to use it. He did keep his old spare so I'm expecting to see it again on our next trip... (just kidding buddy)

Exploring some trails to the east of Hwy 21 we quickly got into the usual rocky hills that Arkansas offers. I lost my front break on one gnarly downhill section. One of the many rocks hitting my bike smacked the banjo bolt on my front caliper knocking it loose and released the hydraulic pressure. I managed to make it to the bottom and made the quick repair. The rest of the day would have sucked without front breaks. Another rider, think his name is Trevor?? had a mishap and lost all electrical power on his bike. We spent a little time and found that the headlight assembly got pushed back and one of the brackets cut a wire leading into his ignition switch. Normally this would have been an easy fix but there was only about 1/4 inch of wire sticking out of the bottom of the switch. Since none of us were hot wire experts we had to get creative.



Hugo had some but connectors (and no we didn't make jokes about this) so we were able to trim one down and clamp one end on the wire knub and get a connection. There wasn't much support so a few tie wraps helped hold it in place. This guy had to ride his bike back to Austin to boot!





While making this repair the other guys were keeping in touch with us on the radio and were warning us about the upcoming hill. Of course they had their camera's ready for us... but so did I...



It really wasn't too bad of a hill, just a few tricky spots. Once at the top Trevor?? decided he'd better not chance his repaired ignition bouncing around on more rocky roads so he headed back to Clarksville. I hope this fix got him back to Austin!

Our next find was pretty cool as we happend across this really cool historic cabin. At first we didn't stop as we figured somebody lived there and we didn't want to mess with that. We stopped about a mile down the road to eat lunch with our own style of fine dining



Izz decided to get friendly with the locals and ended up coming back with gifts. Never did ask him what he had to do to get the extra water bottles.



As we were eating a tuck pulls up and this older fella' gets out to talk (and man did he like to talk). Come to find out he was the owner of that cabin we had just passed. He told us various stories about it and I'm guessing some of that will be in next years ride guide for all to read. Basically the house is open to visitors (nobody lives in it) so we went back to check it out.



As it was back at the turn of the century




The owner giving us a guided tour


Sign on the front door


Getting the history of the hand dug well


Good enough to drink


Or cool off in



The next few sections of road were eventually coined the 90K Rodeo. This one was pretty easy elevation wise but had a lot of downed trees. Most you could simply ride over but a few we had to bushwhack around.




Unfortunalty after that last ride my camera mount broke so I had to stop filming... These rough roads were causing a lot of damage. The bracket holding Hugo's spare gas bottles finally gave in.



Shortly after this all but four riders headed back to Clarksville. We had one more section that we wanted to check out. We found our way to two more 90K roads and make a nice loop back to Hwy 21. I plan to explore more of this area next year (or maybe sooner) as these 90K roads offer some really good riding.

Until next time!
 
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GO STEVE! :rider:
I need some help here on selling the whole "dirt bike" thing. I've been looking and hinting but so far all I have gotten out of the deal is an OK to buy trailer for the bikes. Every time I mention needing room for "the dirt bike" I get, well, let's just say a less than enthusiastic response. :brainsnap
 
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I need some help here on selling the whole "dirt bike" thing. I've been looking and hinting but so far all I have gotten out of the deal is an OK to buy trailer for the bikes. Every time I mention needing room for "the dirt bike" I get, well, let's just say a less than enthusiastic response. :brainsnap
I seem to recall a saying that involves forgiveness vs. permission... ;-)
 
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I seem to recall a saying that involves forgiveness vs. permission... ;-)
Yeah, well, I have probably used that whole "forgiveness vs permission" up when I outfitted the home entertainment system with some really trick equipment...:mrgreen:
 
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:giveup:, I am taking donations for this new adventure of his:scratch::
Good morning Elaine,
Has Steve shown you pictures (on ADVrider.com, for example) of the Continental Divide Trail and all the beautiful scenery that is available by that dirt trail? And I think that it is a fair statement that if one is careful; riding the gravel roads is safer than pavement....... :sun:
 

Tourmeister

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Equipment Junkie has a very nicely outfitted 2006 KLR for sale. No, it is not a KTM, but for the price it is hard to beat, and I promise you can have some SERIOUS fun on a KLR ;-)
 
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The KLX 400 is officially totaled due to the motor hydro-locking in 4 feet of water. :shock:
Looking to pickup at a street legal WR450F this weekend.
 

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Tourmeister

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Ouch!

Any chance insurance will cover it?

You buying DFW Warrior's WR450?
 
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Dang!! Mark sure hate to hear that, well now I guess it's time to to find a new bike thats a pretty shade of orange:trust::trust::lol2::rofl:
 

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The KLX 400 is officially totaled due to the motor hydro-locking in 4 feet of water. :shock:
Looking to pickup at a street legal WR450F this weekend.

Sorry to hear that Mark, maybe it's FJR time . . . :trust:
 

greeneggs&ham

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The KLX 400 is officially totaled due to the motor hydro-locking in 4 feet of water. :shock:
Looking to pickup at a street legal WR450F this weekend.
Where did you find that much water??? Just what is damaged, Rod, Piston, Crank. Sound's like that bike just needs a stroker kit. It'll be good as new. :flip::flip:
Must be someone who needs a KLX440. That just sounds trick. Of course if you did that you would need to dress like :pilot:!!! Oh yeah, we can rebuild it, we can make it better, faster, stronger. The 6 million dollar KLX. :trust:
I need to be careful, I'll talk myself into it. If I bring that green thing home, the next time I am riding one of the KTM's it will throw me down and stomp my :moon:! I'm not being funny, it has happened before, just ask my wife!
Sam
 
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Thanks for all the condolences!

The whole motor is toast. piston, rod, crank, head, valves, etc... had no idea water could do that much damage! My insurance company has declared it a total loss and should be getting some $ in the next couple of days and getting the WR maybe as soon as this weekend.

Big A, I was thinking about going Orange, but it is hard to beat the Jap reliability.
 

Tourmeister

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Okay... So I left off with us finishing lunch...

:tab After enjoying a nice lunch at the Eagle Cafe in Mt. Judea, Milton's foot is really starting to hurt and he wants the quick way back to the hotel, which happens to be right back down 123. Richard and Steve decide to ride back with him. Kevin and I decide to do some more exploring...

:tab On a previous ride out here where I accidentally wound up leading a group of 12 or so riders, we came to Mt. Judea via a fun dirt road off if Hwy 7 that eventually dropped us out right at the sharp 90 degree corner in "downtown" My. Judea. So my thought is to find this road and run it over to Hwy 7. It starts out narrow and nicely paved, winding across the small valley floor. The map shows this as CR 54, but at the little cemetery, we hang a left on CR 55 (also shown as NFR 1204). It soon turns to dirt/gravel and begins a long winding climb up out of the valley. It's not super technical, which is good when your belly is full, but it does require that one pays attention.

:tab Prior to this trip, I had noticed that the KLR has been having issues with not going into first gear, or going in but not staying in gear. Thus far, I really have not been having an issues with it... thus far... In a nice steep section of the road, right after making a tight switchback in loose rocky soil, the bike decides to pop out of first gear!! :eek2: It is probably a good thing I am standing or I would have likely ripped the seat cover when the engine revved to the moon and I tried to jam it back into gear! No go. I totally lose momentum and have to attempt a stop. The front brake is useless and I am sliding backward. I can't really grab the back brake because I need that foot to try to keep the bike upright. I do a little dance, hopping back and forth over the seat from one foot to the other as the bike tries to tip from side to side. Somehow, I manage to slide back to the middle of the corner and come to a stop... WHEW! Now I have to get moving again and I am still on a pretty steep section of the road. Once I am sure the bike is in gear, I pour on the gas and ease out the clutch. Rocks are flying everywhere and the bike is fishtailing side to side. At first, it looks like I won't make it, but the tire finally starts grabbing and I get up enough speed to stand back up, making my way to the next switchback and chasing after Kevin who had managed to ride around me while I was flailing about like a fish out of water.

:tab After the steep section, the road runs along the side of the ridge line, climbing gently. It is wider here and better maintained, the kind of road Richard and Milton hate :-P It is still fun and before long we find ourselves popping out on Hwy 7 just a few miles South of Deer (Hwy 16). Just West of town, we head Southwest on CR 29. This is a fun descent down into Curtis Creek valley, dropping over 1000 feet in a few miles. After crossing the creek, we head South on CR 311, which follow Big Piney Creek.

It starts out nice and smooth...


Then gets narrower and rockier, following the contour of the land






A dry creek bed that dumps into Big Piney Creek


:tab And before long, the roads gets REAL interesting... We arrive at a section where the road has been washed away by a landslide. There are ATV tracks where ATVs have picked and climbed their way through. Kevin and I dismount for a look. About the time I am thinking we might want to backtrack...

Kevin charges in with the mighty KLR!


:tab It doesn't look so bad in the pictures because what you don't see where each of the red arrows is pointing is BIG dips full of loose rocks. I give Kevin a few pushes and reorienting tugs on the back end to get him pointed the right direction, and eventually he makes to to the far side.

Still doesn't look to bad...


Heading into the last dip, then a steep short climb up to the road bed


The last 10 feet or so are at about a 45 degree angle, but first you have to rock back and forth to get the bike pointed the right way...


Looking back to my bike from about the midpoint of the slide


:tab Well, Kevin made it without too much trouble, so... Some slipping and sliding, pushing and pulling, and I finally get through and we are on our way again.

We soon reach Cow Creek and cut over to Pine Ridge Rd (CR 30/CR5680), continuing South.




:tab True to its name, it quickly climbs up onto a narrow ridge and starts running West away from Big Piney Creek. We run this all the way over to Hwy 21 and then just run back to town.

:tab At the hotel, we find every gathering in the parking lot of the Days Inn to start the stories... It seems that Richard has finally convinced Milton to visit the local ER. His ankle is swollen to the size of a large grapefruit! I head to the hotel to get cleaned up then take the truck back over to the Days Inn to sell a few TWT shirts and visit with folks. Before long, talk of dinner leads to plans to meet at the Mexican place in town. I take a truck load of folks and head over to meet up with Richard, Robert, and some others. Shortly after we arrive, Richard shows up with Milton.

Several broken bones in the foot and a fracture on the side of the ankle.


:tab Milton will survive, with some inconvenience, and it was a great day of riding. Dinner is awesome and I get a nice visit with Steve and Elaine, whom I have not seen since a trip up here way back in 2005! Then it is back to the Days Inn to hang out in the parking lot and make plans for tomorrow. more dirt... or pavement... :ponder: I'll have to sleep on it... :sleep:
 

Tourmeister

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:tab Sunday morning... it's cloudy and cool. The cool weather is a welcome break from the blistering heat we've been enduring for months. I am a little sore and stiff from riding the KLR yesterday, the result of not riding often enough :roll: So I decide that I will run a street route today. The route I have in mind is fairly long and hits a LOT of my favorite roads, so I am somewhat worried about the size and pace of the folks I might ride with. Hopefully, it will be a small group, which makes it MUCH easier to keep stops brief and time to regather at intersections short. After a HOT shower to loosen up the morning stiffness, I gear up and head over to the Days Inn to see what is going on.

:tab Before the trip, CDC had mentioned that he would like to run a street route if I lead one. So I find him, Nadeem and Jerry off to one side of the parking lot and ask them if they still want to follow me for a day of great riding. At first, there is a bit of reluctance and uncertainty, but then the thought of great roads takes over and they are on board. We wait a while for the crowds to thin out before we leave.

CDC doesn't like HUGE bug spatters on windscreens, even on other people's bikes, so I get a nice clean windscreen :lol2:


:tab We head East out of town for Hwy 123. The plan is to run 123 all the way North to US 65. This is a GREAT ride and it will give me a chance to get a feel for the kind of pace our group will run. We make quick work of the run up to Hwy 7, then on up to Mt. Judea, and start heading past Vendor. Once past Vendor, the elevation chances are more gradual and the landscape more rolling. The road sticks to a ridge and is a long string of fast banked sweepers. At 65, we turn Southeast a short way and then pick up Hwy 235 and run back to the Northeast to Yellville. 235 gets into a little more rapid elevation changes as we climb over a bunch of small ridges before dropping into the White River valley at Yellville.

:tab We stop for gas in Yellville and run into Bill "Bushwacker", a TWT member from Houston. He's up here on his BMW 800GS riding with some friends. After a short break and visit, we get back on the bikes and head North on Hwy 14/125. The sky is getting progressively darker and the wind ever stronger. There have been some spots along the ride thus far where I was wishing I had some kind of sweatshirt to put under my mesh jacket just to cut the wind on my skin. I've actually gotten a bit chilly a few times! Now I am concerned about the possibility of rain. I've ridden these roads in driving rain before, but it is much more fun in dry conditions. Just before leaving the gas station, Bill mentioned that we should really watch for deer because they are on the move with cool weather arriving. I had already seen some yesterday and earlier today, and now I spot a few fresh kills on the side of the road as well as several live ones.

:tab Hwy 14/125 is a fun road. It runs high along the West side of Bull Shoals Lake, affording some great views looking out over the woods and the lake below. There are some really nice homes up in this area. The road consists of smooth wide sweepers posted at about 30-45 mph, but all easily taken at 60-70mph if one is inclined... It is a great road for settling into a nice rhythm. 125 peels off 14 and heads North up to the Reed Ferry crossing. When we arrive, there is a line of bikes and cars waiting on our side, and the arriving ferry is packed with bikes and cars.



Jerry signals his approval of the route...


Waiting patiently for the signal to load the ferry


:tab It is getting later in the afternoon now and I am beginning to think we may not be able to do the full route that I had intended. There is also the issue of the darkening sky and some sprinkles I have seen on my windscreen and visor. As we enjoy the ride across the lake, I ponder our route options. I REALLY want to make a run up MO 125, cut across to Ava and pick up Hwy 14, then come back South and basically backtrack to Clarksville. I don't think we'll have time. Looking at the size of the pack of cruisers about to disembark in front of us, the going is not going to be real brisk either...

:tab At the far side, there is a long line of bikes waiting to board the ferry. We unload and fall in behind the group of cruisers, maybe ten bikes and a trike. Sure enough, they are running a pace so slow it is difficult for me to hold a steady line through the corners and to keep from running up on the back of them. I try to hold back and not crowd them so they can enjoy their ride. My fear now is that they will be heading up 125, which means we'd have NO chance of doing my intended route and getting back to Clarksville in time for the evening's festivities. So... I do some creative rerouting on the fly.

:tab The new plan is to head East on US 160 for a few miles and pick up MO 95. I'm also thinking that the other guys might be wondering about lunch about now. Last time I came through this area, there was a great little roadside cafe on 160. I'm thinking it might be a great place to stop... until we get there and I see that it is closed. Oh well, nothing to do now but press on.

:tab Hwy 95 is one of my favorites in this area. The elevation changes are large and frequent, leading to being pushed down into the seat or getting light cresting hills, very much like a roller coaster. The pavement quality is also really good. So long as we don't get stuck behind a car, things are great. There aren't many places to pass here, even on a fast bike. The highway crosses several small valleys and follows some very narrow ridges. Like many of my favorite roads, it rewards smooth riding with the sense of almost flying. By the time we reach Hwy 5, I realize we really need to start heading back. We could run down 5 back into Arkansas, but that would just be so boring...

:tab This area is jammed full of wonderful little back roads, some paved, some sort of paved, many dirt. The lettered county roads are usually well paved and suitable for any street bike. While looking over the GPS I keep having to remind myself that two folks in the group are on an FJR and a Goldwing, so I need to stick to the paved stuff. One side road that I think will be paved turns out to be broken pavement and gravel, so I hope back on Hwy 5 for a few miles and we pick up Hwy 95 again, on the East side of 5. This run for a long way and is a great ride all the way up to US 60, but the plan is to turn South on CR N.

:tab CR N is a narrow paved winding road. The pavement is good and the road smooth. It winds through a little valley down to Hwy 181. The rain is holding off. It looks like we're just going to have thick low hanging cloud cover with really strong side winds and gusts, even down in the valleys. I'm good with that. We head South on 181 to US 160 just East of Gainesville. We head East a short bit to pick up CR J. This is a really nice road, but being so close to the lake, getting stuck behind RV's and/or boat trailers can be a real problem. Sure enough, that is exactly what happens and we join a long train of vehicles trailing an RV that is cooking his brakes. At the stateline, this road becomes AR 201 and runs down into Mountain Home.

:tab From Mountain Home, we could run US 62 back over to Yellville and backtrack to Clarksville. It is a great ride and as the saying goes, it's a totally different road when you ride it the other direction. Still... we are soooo close to Push Mtn Road, it would be a shame to bring the guys all the way over here and NOT ride it! Banquets are fun to be sure, but riding is more fun :mrgreen: We stop in Mountain Home for gas and snacks. At this point, there is no discussion of lunch. The group is happy to just keep on riding :rider:

:tab We head South out of town on Hwy 201 for a few miles to the start of Hwy 341, Push Mountain Road, also known as the Arkansas Deal's Gap (even though it is nothing like the real Deals Gap in NC). There is even a guy that comes out here on weekends to take pictures of people like Killboy does on the real Deals Gap. Still, it really is a great road. It starts out by crossing the White River on a high bridge. Sheer bluffs overlook the river below. EXPENSIVE houses line the top of the bluff. The first few miles of the road are relatively sedate, bu then the road makes a turn to the West and climbs into the mountains. This is where things get fun!

:tab The remainder of the road runs along twisting narrow ridges. The pavement is all good and smooth. I do spot several deer and in one place have to stand on the brakes/air horn pretty good because of a large deer hanging out in the middle of the road. Racing through here with reckless abandon could get ugly... The grasses along the shoulders are high and easily hide a deer. I see one only because it pops its head up out of the grass when it alerts to my presence. The first thing I notice is the ears sticking up. Then it bolts into the woods rather than into my path. the South end of the road gets really fun because the curves just come one after the other in rapid succession before finally reaching Hwy 14 just East of Big Flat, which as the name suggests, is just a BIG flat area.

:tab Hwy 14 East to Mountain View is a great ride, and Mountain View might be a good place to stage a weekend of DS riding because there are TONS of roads/trails in the woods in this area. However, we head West on 14 toward Harriet, and then 27 on over to Marshall. This is also a really great stretch of riding. However, if you find yourself out here on a street bike with a little extra time, Hwy 74 East of Marshall over to Hwy 66 is REALLY good. There is rarely any traffic and the road is very twisty and nice. The West/East section winds through a narrow creek valley and then the North/South section climbs up out of the valley along some ridges. Best of all, there is usually little to no traffic on the road.

:tab In Marshall, we cut through town and pick up Hwy 27 West. Heading out of town it gets twisty in a hurry and stays that way for a few miles before dropping back down into Bear Creek Valley, where it follows the valley for a few miles. It then climbs back out of the valley to run numerous ridges to the Southwest. It is getting on in the afternoon and I find myself slipping into the frame of mind where I stop less and just ride. I slip into "the zone" and before I realize it, I am finally clicking with the 1200 GS, riding really smooth, quick, relaxed, and with my vision wide instead of tunneled. I occasionally slow down and wait for the group to come into view, then set off again.

:tab We reach Hwy 16 and turn North to Witt Springs. Hwy 377 runs North from here to Snowball and Hwy 74. 74 then runs back to US 65 just North of Marshall. That is a great little loop and quite fun. We stay on 16 as it loops back South. I'm really enjoying myself now despite the fact that my hands are really hurting. In the last few years, I have really been having trouble with pain in my palms and fingers when I ride. Essentially, they feel like someone has been beating the inside of my hands with a hammer, very tender to the touch. Despite a light grip on the bars, they just ache. I flip on the heated grips which feels good and helps, but it does not make the pain go away. Soon, it is just a question of mind over pain because there is no choice but to keep riding until we get back to town. So I try to focus on the road, my approaches to the corners, hitting the apexes, leaning through the corners, looking for the exit and ROLLING on the throttle! The 1200GS excels at all the above.

:tab Before long, I reach Hwy 7 and park at the general store across the intersection. I grab my camera and head back up the road a bit, hoping to catch a few shots of the guys as they come around the last corner. Finding a good place to stand is tough as sides of the ditch are steep and there are sticker vines everywhere. I also don't want to be where someone will run right into me if they target fixate coming out of the corner. I soon hear bike approaching and try to hold steady for the shots.

Jerry followed by CDC


Nadeem loafing along...


:tab Regrouped, we head Southwest on Hwy 123 for the final run back to town. The problem with the rides where you really get into a groove and feel like you and the bike are becoming one is that they have to end. There is also the realization that the next few miles are the end of the whole trip. I always enjoy those last few miles but that enjoyment is tempered with a sense of mourning. Still, I am not going to let it keep me from enjoying the run back to town and I quickly get back in my groove!

Stopped in Hagarville to wait for others to catch up... contrast of old and new




:tab Back at the hotel, I find a COLD drink to hold. My hands are killing me. We clean up and head to the nearby sports bar where the ride banquet is to be held. Like any bar, it is smokey. We try ordering dinner, but they are out of pretty much everything except beer. Richard is busily giving away door prizes and we decide to get dinner elsewhere. We find ourselves back at the Mexican place from last night. Yes, it is that good. Then it is back to the parking lot of the hotel for a great evening of visiting with everyone.

Oh... and some nice cold refreshments... :lol2:


:tab It was a great weekend. I always enjoy getting to see so many folks and visiting with them. I saw quite a few that I did not recognize or get a chance to visit with. I think they were the early to bed early to rise crowd, of which I most definitely am NOT a part of :lol2: I did get to put some faces with usernames, which is always an interesting experience :-P

:tab I can't wait to do it again. There are almost endless roads/trails to explore in Arkansas and most of them are a lot of fun!
 

Tourmeister

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By the way, any news on how Milton is doing? Did he have to have surgery on the foot or just a cast?
 
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