6th Annual Roger’s Arkansas Ride In - 2013
(GoldWing - Road Trip)

Trip Background - First Road Trip of this year aside from my unintended prostate cancer journey which started on Feb 1st and is still on going. With surgery looming in May for me this was going to be a good chance to get out on a short road trip with the Wing and make some new friends while tearing up some twisties on some of the best motorcycle riding roads you’d be hard pressed to find any better any where else in the country … Arkansas. Been there many times and looking forward to hitting those same roads again this trip and finding some choice new ones as well as spending some time sharing stories with other Gold Wingers.

SPOT Device Link -
https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=50145008b22e7bde9

Wednesday Evening, April 10’ 2013

There was only one thing standing between a man his motorcycle and the promised riding land of twist and turns that lay to the west and that was a fairly formable storm front heading our way poised to intersect with our planned departure time and place.
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This was the radar view about 12 hours from departure. Plan is to meet up with Jim, Rod & Paul (3 other Goldwingers) at the Pilot Station at the intersection of Highway 13 and I-40 around 8:45 a.m. It will be a game time decision based on the storm’s progress overnight and location in the morning. So we’ll be flexible in our departure time if it allows us to miss the bulk of the bad weather. Once we punch through we should be good for the duration of the event.

Thursday, April 11’ 2013

Right on cue it is raining steady in the morning and the front is over Dover Tn and points south. A quick call to Jim to confirm we were still a go and I left around 7 am and endured rain until we all met up at Highway 13 and I-40 around 9 am and out we go. Then we all endured as the front pushed through ever so slowly us as we headed west with steady rain and an endless dousing of moisture from the rear of trucks that we passed. Wetness claimed the morning but by afternoon temps had rebounded some and it was all sunshine. We fueled our bikes and bodies simultaneously and decided to stay on the slab the entire way. We only began to finally dry out some as we mustered into Rogers, Arkansas around 6 p.m. A much better end to this day than the way it started.

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Bob and Jim and many others enjoying the meal while meeting and getting into riding groups for tomorrow.

After checking in and settling down we met Monk (Bob). He lives in Morrilton, Arkansas and is attending this event for the first time. Since he knows the roads here he has gracious agreed to take us on a 400+ mile run tomorrow to show us some of his favorite roads. He knows many of these roads first hand so there’s no better guide. Jim and I offered to show Bob some good roads when he traversed over to Tennessee where we live. Breakfast is at 6:30 a.m and we roll out at 7 am. Paul and Rod will also go along so we will have a tight group of 5 wings singing through the Arkansas backroads tomorrow. Sunny and 58 tomorrow … Sweet ...

Friday, April 12’ 2013

We gathered early in the lobby with grand expectations for todays guided tour with Bob (Monk). We were all set to roll by just a little over 7 a.m. and the sun was rising in the East as we headed into it. The rays although bright and blinding at times was a welcomed sight since it promised warmer temps as the day progressed. Impossible to know exactly how many back roads we hit but the general plan was to make it over to Push Mountain around mid-day and then circle back on a different set of roads on the way back. Let me just say Mission Accomplished! Bob did an excellent job leading and we cover 436 miles in about 10 hours. I’ll speak for the whole group and just say that was as fine a riding day as I think any of us have ever had. Here’s the SPOT map below so you can get a general idea of our route.
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Our first stop around mid morning was at Hankins Country Store. We stretched our legs some and swapped the first of many stories shared this day.
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Men love to talk about their Goldwings … who can blame them?
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Here’s Jim with his best imitation of a statue :-)

Previous days rains had cleaned most of the roads pretty good but there were some spots as with any ride you have to pay attention too.

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The pace was safe but brisk and we all seemed to have similar riding styles and no one felt pressured to ride beyond their skill set. As we learned each others riding styles we mix up the order from time to time and every one had an opportunity to lead if they desired to do so. However, we all felt comfortable with Bob leading and there’s really is no better feeling than to just ride and leave the navigation to someone else.

By lunch time we were over to Fifty Six for Lunch at Cody’s Family Restaurant. Yes … there actually is a town called “Fifty Six” in Arkansas. Interesting that the population is slightly over that amount and actually stands currently at 157 people. It wasn’t clear if the town was considering a name change or not :-)
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After a great lunch we enjoy the ride back to Rogers’s, via a different set of roads, just as much as the ride on the way out. Got back a little late and exhausted so we passed on the planned group dinner and just decided to not ride any more and just walk to our dinner at a nearby local restaurant. Plan for tomorrow is the same as the one today only a different set of roads with stops for Bar-B-Que and Pie somewhere along the way. Slight chance of rain tomorrow so we’ll plan it by ear.

Not much time today to stop for any scenic pictures as the focus was on riding but tomorrow we may take a few minutes to stop and get some shots of the great scenery here in Arkansas. Many trees are just starting to bloom and the farm land and hills are very beautiful.

Saturday, April 13’ 2013

Same 5 that rolled in last night as the sun was setting rolled back out this morning as the sun was rising. With two planned stops today one for lunch (Bar-B-Que) and the other for dessert (Pie) Bob was taking us southeast as we dive into the meat of the Ozark’s and some more excellent Arkansas roads. Todays route below was about 325 miles of what I hope riding in heaven is going to be like … including the bar-b-que and pie :-)
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Some clouds early and then sunny but we did catch some rain in the afternoon and a few of the roads were wet at times.

We stopped at a few places early on …
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Quite a few Elk.
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Beautiful spot along Highway 7 to stop for a break
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Gang of 5 … all smiles …
You’d smile too if you rode a Goldwing :-)
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My favorite shot of the day

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Trees starting to bud

As we approached lunch time Bob lead us down to the Rivertowne BBQ in Ozark, Arkansas
http://rivertownebbq.com/ and we enjoyed a fine meal about the same time that some rain moved through.
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As if that wasn’t enough food for us our next stop would put the exclamation point on the day. We did a quick run up the road, some of them wet, until we got to the little thing of a town called Oark and a General Storehttp://www.oarkgeneralstore.com/ that has great pies. We figured we’d be the judge of that so we stopped in to sample. Here’s a picture of the place.
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Pretty tasty stuff inside. Pictures of pies intentionally not show … didn’t want to torture you.

After all this we started our return leg back to Roger’s savoring another great day of riding and gourmet dinning. Another stellar day ends as we safely arrive back at the motel little after 5 pm.

A shame all this has got to end but looks like tomorrow we will all slowly be disbanding. Bob and I are going ride east together for a while until he breaks off and heads south to Morrilton, Ar and I’ll continue on towards Dover, Tennessee. Jim, Rod and Paul are taking the slab back towards Franklin, Tennessee with Paul breaking off around Memphis to head north to Evansville, Indiana.

It was a great couple of days of riding over here and we had a great group that all rode and got along good together. Our collective thanks to Monk aka Bob for showing us all a great time by leading us around the great roads that are in his backyard.

What a Great Day

Sunday, April 14’ 2013

After Church service in the morning I met up with Bob around 10:30 a.m. and we headed east out of Rogers for the last time knowing that this evening we would not be returning. Bob took me through some of the same roads as we had traversed on previous days and also managed to mix in one or two new ones. The road possibilities in this state are endless. We shared lunch at Cody’s again in the town of Fifty Six before parting ways with Bob only about a couple of hours from his home which laid south of our location. I, on the other hand, was still more than 300 miles from my home in Dover, TN. It was getting late when we split up around 4:00 p.m. but Bob did point me in the right direction to enjoy a couple of more good roads. He suggested I continue east out of Fifty Six on highway 14 as he said the road really gets good east of town. In addition when it dumps you out on to Highway 5 at the White River is where I could hook up with highway 9 which has been described as the Devil’s Backbone. He was correct Highway 9 was a real treat and to be able to hit it on the way out just put icing on the cake and top off a great weekend or riding. It dumped me out in Melbourne, Arkansas and from there I just programed the GPS for the shortest route home.

I hadn’t planned to ride all the way home this day and it was late in the day. However, as sometime is the case once you get home in your mind you just want to go there and I was feeling pretty good so why not just knock out the miles and get home tonight. GPS computed an arrival time around 10:00 p.m. so that would mean the last hour or so of the ride home would be in the dark. I buckled down and just rode and the miles melted into memory and I was pulling into my driveway safely around 9:45 p.m.

Another great Road Trip and I really enjoyed it very much. Way too short however … hope to take some longer ones as summer approaches. I have prostate surgery scheduled for May 28th so the recovery for that will cut into riding season some but hopefully I’ll be back on the Road in the July timeframe.




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