Monday, May 21, 2012

Wandering aimlessly.....

     So, instead of daily updates this time around, I waited till the kind of middle of the trip. It has been a very nice trip so far. I had no plans overall, but I have had a really good time. I did end up in Arkansas. I decided to do a bit of scouting for a trip that The Kel and I are thinking about in a couple years.

     First off, I think I actually might have blown this cute little redneck mind. I was sitting next to my bike, looking at a good old fashioned paper map, and he walks up and asks if I am lost. I respond, no....I know where I am, I just don't know where I am going.......he looks at me and says "well, you are in Dardenelle..." I thank him and continue looking at my map. He then asks me where I think I might be going. I respond "I have no idea, but I have 4 more days to get there". He stares blankly at his feet for about a minute. Then he looks at me and asks if I have been to hot springs yet. I answer that I have a hotel room there. He says "Well, Hot Springs is right down that highway about 80 miles or so" and walks quietly to his truck and drives away. I really wanted to laugh, but then it dawned on me that there are so few people in the world that are just so inherently nice that they feel bad if they can't be helpful and I could possibly have just ruined his day.

     I have also managed to put my finger on the difference between the R1150 and the R90. While I was going up Mt Magazine today, with all of those really tight and fast curves, I noticed that there is a small delay between steering input and steering action. I really didn't notice it exactly before, but I had been on the R90 for a couple weeks, and then jumped on the 1150 and took off. It is really only noticable in real tight twisties but it was odd. Day one was a straight run up to Denton to see a friend of mine from college. She just got her MC license, and had her first wreck. A bruised knee and a broken finger later, she is now looking for her own motorcycle. This is just more proof that motorcyclists are either stubborn as hell, or downright dumb. Having taken that slide a couple times, I feel like I qualify for the latter. Later on that evening, I went to spend the night with other friends from college.

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Day two was a direct run up into Oklahoma. My original intent was to see how far north I could get before I lost interest, it turned into playing in the Ouachita Mountains. On the way out of Dallas, I stopped and visited my nieces. I thought they were going to explode when they saw me outside their house. It was a total surprise visit. After that, I rolled directly up US75 into Oklahoma. I made it into a little town called Mcalester around 5:30. I really did not plan to stay the night there, but the nearest hotel rich cities were two or more hours away, and it was saturday night. The last thing I wanted to do was get caught without a place to sleep in this area. All of the hotel parking lots I passed were filled with motorcycles, so I figured it would only get worse as I went on.

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Day three was a beating. watching the weather in Mcalester, I saw the great yellow and red "amoeba of doom" marching slowly across Oklahoma toward me. My plan was to get up at 5:30 and roll out at first light. Hopefully miss the storm. I left at 6:15 and the storm was visible in the west. I picked a fairly direct route, and very fun, to get to hot springs through Talihena, OK. I managed to stay almost exactly 25 miles ahead of the storm the whole way. If it wasn't for one wrong turn, I would have beat it by 50 miles. On the bright side I found a great dirt road that The Kel and I need to go back and visit. Ark 63a, no idea where it goes, but I bet we can find out..... Once I got through Mena, AR and over the Ouachita mountains, I was clear of the storm. It hit the mountains and turned north. I made it into Hot Springs much earlier than I had intended, and pretty exhausted. Checked into the hotel, scheduled a spa visit, and surfed.

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Day four has been great. Started the day with an 85 minute massage, and then rode up to Mount Magazine. I wanted to see what the area looked like because we are thinking about taking the Merry Band of Idiots up there for a trip at some point. Ark 7 is as much fun as I remember. Ark 309.....I had to stop halfway up and take a couple pictures. I did not have time to take a solid breath let alone look around. I was very busy with the very tight, very fast, changing elevation curves. I almost poo'd. Starting at Havana, AR at 480 foot elevation and going up to the top at 2300 foot or so was interesting. At the overlook, you are looking down on the town. I could not make out the gas station from there. I want to do it again. Maybe next time on the R90, that would be crazy.

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Ok, fallout time.  Getting up early and headed somewhere new tomorrow.


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