NEW VIDEO BELOW - updated chapter 4
I had a forced vacation from work for two weeks so why not take a trip, the roads west are full of sand and snow so I decided to head east where Spring has already taken hold. The original plan was to leave early Thursday March 29th and make it as far east as possible but Rapidsnipe convinced me to stop over in OKC to spend the night and ride to the Ozarks together. So as usual I woke up at 4am all messed up turned on the weather channel to see that a tornado hit Holly Colorado and ripped the place apart, looked on my map and sure enough I was scheduled to ride through there about 10am, then a local report from Denver showed the TV weather man standing in about 4 inches of snow along I-25 so I panicked and rushed to the window to find somewhat clear skies and no sign of snow. Denver is only 65 miles north of here so its close enough but there is a natural weather break at about monument where the weather seems to change for some reason. I could be blasting snow here and Denver will be sunny and warm or vise versa, I imagine those folks in Monument Colorado and east of there get the worst from both sides of the divide. It just seems to funnel between Mount Evans and Pikes Peak right into that place!
In any case when I finally left at 7am the sun was shining but it was cold as a witches tit! I had my farkles on full blare and not so comfy as 30 degrees seeps in every nook and cranny of my Aerostich it can! My hands where warm on the bottom from the grip heaters but my finger tips were frosty. It wasn't till I made it to Lamar that it started to warm up to about 55 degrees, then I could relax a little and take my hands off the grips to stretch. I cant stand the cold too much, I would rather be roasting that freezing any day! Riding in that kind of cold just makes you stiff and miserable, but I knew that the Ozarks were waiting. I was approaching the Kansas boarder and finally came within about 5 minutes of Holly Colorado and did not see any sign of massive devastation?
The weather channel said that there were reports that the tornado that hit Holly was a mile wide! I did see a water tank toppled over but no debris lying around? what gives - then I could see that they had a traffic jam up ahead in town, the closer I got to the center of the little town the worse it got, a house would be missing roof tiles and there was a lot of mud in the street, then closer you would see broken windows and more debris till ground zero, right at the RV park. Why do tornado's zero in on trailer parks?? It was totally destroyed, trees ripped from the ground, aluminum siding wrapped around bushes, no trailers to speak of that I could even recognize and wood and what looked like a home but only the foundation left. There was a tree ripped in half with one half of it upside down hanging upside down across the street and 500 yards away on the power lines above. HALF THE TREE! wow then as soon as I was in Kansas it was all back to normal again!
I was getting hungry so I stopped in Garden City (not so aptly named) who's main industry seems to be feel lots and a huge Tyson plant on the west side. I saw what looked like an authentic Mexican food joint, so I stopped. Everybody was speaking Spanish in the place so I figured hey must be good right! NOPE! It was awful! At least my server was nice to look at, a sort of J-Lo look alike complete with big back-end like hers! I was pleased to find that it was now 75 degrees outside! So I shed my jacket, vest and glove liners for something less bulky!
I could see a big storm off to the north but my route just had me skirting the edge of it the whole time. Lots of slab lots of wet roads but no rain.
Typical Kansas Your average small town this is Minneola KS
Big Wind you know how they call Montana Big Sky well KS is...
The closer I got to Oklahoma the less boring the roads got, they were becoming rolling hilly tree lined roads with all these great pink trees that just seemed to dot the land scape, along hwy 160 in southern KS there is some interesting red clay landscapes that were rather pretty. I was surprised at how nice it was, but then over the hill the smell of yet another feed lot would just ruin it! Finally in OK I just cruised into OKC fresh and ready for bed, I would get off the main roads and take a little detour off into some sleepy little place such as Calumet OK just west of OKC nice place that is!
I soon had Rapidsnipe and his wife knocking on my door at the motel to take me to what would be one of the best steaks I have ever eaten in my life, hes a young guy and they are a very young couple very cute together, and shes got him on a very short leash! UMM maybe you shouldn't show her the video Chase! There I met Gary Swanson and his family he would be joining me and Chase the next day into Arkansas.
I took great pleasure in building this video its rather long at 21 minutes and it has highlights of the best the Ozarks have to offer, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri all are part of the mountain range that extends across the region and makes for some great riding. I could not beleive that these guys were not out there every weekend riding these great roads!!
The Ozarks a video oddessy - 6 guys 500 miles of some of the best twisty roads Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri have to offer. Highlights of hwy 62 out of Eureka Springs, Push Mountain, Talimera Skyway, and the heart of the Ozarks Hwy 16. Music from the Breath Sunshine cd, Tori Amos, John mayer, New Order, and Paul Desmond.
Day two Oklahoma
Chase and Gary met me at my motel and then we went across the street for breakfast all suited up for the worst. It seemed that my very presence created a high pressure zone in Oklahoma that was pushing the wet weather off and to the northeast. It was overcast be we did not see much rain at all, stopping in some half closed town for gas I once again shed myself of my over gloves and jacket - unzipped the vents on the stitch cause well it was getting downright hot. Following Rapidsnipe (Chase) I could see that he was using the route I had programmed in my Garmin but for some reason I had no clue what direction I was going, east, south, west for all I knew I was so disoriented that I couldn't get my bearings. I again was awake at 4am, a byproduct of working nights and sometimes I just lose all track of time. I pride myself on having a great sense of direction, and can read maps rather well. However when you lose track of time you cant tell direction, since morning seems like evening and vise versa. The first time I was in Tennessee riding to the Texasmac with Kevin in his Jeep I could have swore we were heading west cause it seemed like the sun was going down, I mean I was awake and for all intents and purposes I head into work after I wake up - WEST. I get all confused now. So there I was just happy to follow along, and check my gps once in a while to see if we were going to go pioneer for a bit and go local? Nope right on course.
Rapidsnipe suggested we make a detour to go ride OK hwy 2, said it was a good road, so we headed northeast on hwy 270 to Limestone, that seemed to me like a rather boring road till we made it to the hwy 2 turn off and headed south. I could see the squiggly lines on my gps and was happy to see the first twisties in 700 miles! The road did not disappoint as Rapidsnipe was soon rolling on the throttle and leaning it over into a very sweet and long sustained sweeper, I could tell he wasn't just some squid like he described himself to be, no he can ride! I was twisting the throttle for all she got just to keep up he wasn't gonna lose me! The after that a series of tighter turns and some blind right handers had us bunched up behind some slow moving campers out for the weekend. We passed them all one by one and I soon realized it is just like Colorado slow movers don't let faster vehicles by here either! I guess that only happens in TN, CA, Montana, and northern Texas? great turn after great turn would pass by slowly till we could see enough daylight to get by them one by one. Chase stopped at the turnoff to hwy1 to let Gary catch up to us and soon the horde was again in front of us, since it took a while to get my gloves back on. He was right it was a good road but too much traffic. We decided to wait some more and just let the Mongol horde get far enough ahead that we could have the road to ourselves. It wasn't long before we were at the entrance to Talemera State Park, they have a nice visitors center there where you can de-water yourself in peace. I set up the camera and let Chase take the lead. I think it made him a bit nervous to be on camera, I usually don't tell people I have then on camera so that they just ride their normal ride, but it was obvious I was going to film the Skyway, it was beautiful. He rode rather well if I can say so.
The Talimena Skyway ( hwy 1 east/west) is split into two sides 3/4 of it is in Oklahoma and the last bit is in Arkansas, with it being intersected in half by hwy 259 (north south). It is an exciting road with nice fast sweepers throughout and stunning scenery approximately 2000 feet in elevation and a 1000 feet above the valley below. I has some breathtaking scenes that rival the Cherehola Skyway - not as long but certainly just as beautiful and fun if not more scenery. You can see more below from the road than the Cherehola, but then again the trees were not leafed out as of yet. I was enjoying it, particularly one section that had us heading down a steep hill where you could see the road on the other side ramping up the next hill.
Talimera State Park Oklahoma/Arkansas boarder hwy 1
The Talimera Skyway Talimera Talimina who knows what it is?
Somewhere on the Talemira
Chase took us off the road and over to the Three Sticks Memorial on hwy 259 on the opposite valley you could see the Talimera from there rather well it has some great turns up the mountain.
Gary stopped at the three sticks memorial
I could see that Chase was a bit ruffled from me riding behind him with the camera on, so I asked him if he wanted me to lead, which I happily did, making them both go back to that spot on the Talimera so I could get that picture above. There were some nice tight ones just before the turn off at 259 that I wanted to do again, I must say that is one of the highlights of my trip the Talemera is a wonderful ride. I am a bit more experienced rider so I was soon a bit of a ways ahead of the two of them when an interesting rhythm section came up 4 successive tight esses that I could see though to the end, I did not slow down - my mistake cause I had to trail brake through the first one and that had me off my pace and I was crossed up a bit into the next three trail breaking it the whole way till on the last turn I was barely going 10mph - it seemed to me like I was going to fall over! I did not cross the line at all or otherwise blow any of the turns but my aggressive braking has scrubbed off so much speed it caught me off guard when I had no power in 5th gear to round the last corner, lugging it hard till I could fumbling with the shifter to get some power to the ground and not fall over. It must have looked pretty stupid from behind. The guys were about a half minute behind me so they did not see any of it! Heh me lugging the last turn must have looked awful.
Like I said they looked easy but were much tighter than I had anticipated oops!! Who knows why they put them there - obviously did not need them as you could see all of them, it is just enough to make you slow down to half speed. There were some nice down hill turns on the back side to Mena where we had some lunch at Wendy's.
I said "we must be in Hill Billy country",
Gary said "whys that"
"cause the women are wearing overalls" pointing at the woman behind him
The further we got into the Ozarks the more Redneck things got, teeth didn't look so strait, shirts were optional, as was women with shoes, hair no longer seemed to be combed and strange sightings occurred regularly. Wild turkeys running out into the road, and turtles run over, of course the ubiquitous skunks are everywhere. It was the airport phone booth converted into a mailbox that had me laughing out loud though - most definitely redneckish! What was it it about this place that says wear overalls with no shoes, and have a straw hanging from your teeth? I don't know but I was relaxed by it, seems to me do as the locals do! We rode some back roads and took a merry long way around to Hotsprings where Dutch was waiting for us. His gixxer buddy pussed out - his loss too bad he didn't meet us in Oklahoma to ride the Talemina with us!
Now here is the strange part neither Chase nor Hondalover drinks beer - so I started in with the teasing. Telling then that they must be Zima drinking pinky flipping guys who don't drink beer! HeH! Then Dutch, and Gary, Chev started in on them too!
Dinner In Hotsprings Left to Right - Rapidsnipe, Hondalover, Chev, Dutchintercepter, HS, GSwanson.
day three Arkansas
we woke up to a steady drizzle of rain and so it took us a bit longer to get situated, everybody was donning rainsuits and I was digging out my overgloves that are supposed to keep my elkskin ropers dry. They worked out ok but for some reason as usual my farkles started to fail. My gps kept saying aquiring satalites and not zoning in on the route, which is strange it didnt work untill we made it all the way to Ola where we stopped to fill up and respite from the rain. I asked Rapidsnipe to take the lead since his was working, but I think any of us could have it was rather simple to stay on hwy 7! There was a really nice section of highway 7 right before that near Hollis, lots of nice banked curves and a few decreasing radius off camber turns thrown in for good measure. It was a bit tricky because of the rain - we wanted to go faster but the painted lanes seems much narrower than normal and some of us blew a few turns, slipping on the yellow paint. It eased up in Ola and so RapidSnipe and Gswanson peeled off to head back to OKC when we made it to Russleville. Two riders down 4 left, we headed up hwy7 ever climbing into the Ozarks on those fast sweepers passing the slow traffic as we could, it was pretty much double yellow the whole way? I really think those yellow lines are painted for RV's with no concept that Motorcycles can pass safely and quickly in shorter stretches? I wish the law could see it that way too? I mean it was solid double yellow for the entire stretch from Dover to the hwy 16 turnoff! Crazy!
Somewhere on hwy 7 my camera could not focus on the hills in the background
In any case we did what we did.
The rain stopped enough for me to film part of hwy 16 to Witts Springs where it started to come down hard. I fell in behind Chev for most of it but he was struggling with the bike in the tight turns so I passed him and caught up with the other two, Chev and Hondalover had communicator on so I knew that if Chev fell too far back he could radio us to stop. It was at lunch later that I felt his front tire and the massive cupping he had on that old bias ply on his vfr1000, 16 inch wheels with heavy cupped bias plies and 3 guys on sport radials makes for a tough day for Chev, I could feel the tire fall off on the sides about 15 degrees sharper than the middle too, it must have felt like riding in a dingy boat in a hurricane trying to keep us with the rest of us?? I know a bad tire will ruin any ride, he was riding much faster than I would on those things!! I think they were the OEM TIRES?? Dunlop bias plys would have had me worried right off the bat! Then he was into the tread indicators too! JEBUS! OH man hes got more balls than..............
We stopped in Tilly for a picture stop.
Hwy 16 wet wet wet
The sky was getting ready to open up on us
We continued on with me in the lead while it rained we team-worked lead duty. I lead pretty much the rest of the day from then on, my gps was working again. Hwy 341 Push Mountain was the next great road, not that those in between were bad, but that road is a monster, lots of tight turns and long straits that suck you in faster than you want too. I sort of took off a bit alone as my tires were just sweet in the rain, I was getting some great feedback and took it almost as fast as if it were dry. Never slipped once I felt confident the whole time. The clouds finally parted in Mountain home where we stopped at the first restaurant we saw, dripping wet and very hungry it was almost 3pm when we made it there. We waited an awful long time for our meal so plans to continue to Missouri were shelved in favor of a more direct route to Eureka Springs, we found some interesting back roads, and managed to salvage the rest of the day on some decent roads. We pretty much headed west from Mountain home till Harmon then did some back roads to a strange road 281 near the Missouri boarder, it as mighty twisty in places and long 270 turns that seemed to never end, and a up and down a steep hill I was glad to have found it, very interesting riding there. Turns out it was a typical Missouri road as they all seem to be like that in the Ozarks up and down roller coaster hills that dive off one way or another into a thick forest area it engages you completely! This is where the skill level seems to shake out on those iffy roads, your either comfy or your not! I liked it but rode it cautiously. Then the gas gage was showing near empty with only 156 miles on the clock? So we stopped in Ridgedale and Dutch and Chev came out of the bathroom looking absolutely disgusted. I decided to just hold it right then and there. then it was over hwy 86 and west again to Eureka Springs over the bridge at Table Rock Lake we soon encountered a car that had driven off the road and down the embankment about 20 feet below the road. I guess whoever it was was hurt cause there was an ambulance. There was a bar/nightclub on the hill above us - my guess is a drunk came down the driveway and went across the road and down the other side!
We took MO hwy 86 all the way to 23 and headed east to Eureka Springs it was starting to get dark already and when we made it to the Traveler's Inn there were a hundred or so dual sport bikes there. It must be the motel of choice for motorcyclist, the owners were sure friendly to us. The place was a model of convenience - a Pizza Hut on the right, a Liquor Store to the left, and across the street a breakfast buffet! What more could you ask for?
day 4 Missouri
We had a nice breakfast in Eureka Springs then rolled down the hill to the train depot.
Train Depot in Eureka Springs This place reminds me of Manitou Springs where I live
Spanning the generations
Ideal setting indeed Eureka Springs is a pretty town
I have attached the entire route I took from Colorado to the Ozarks in back, and put place markers on all the best roads. MS Streets and Trips
VFRS parade the town
lots of bikes in Eureka Springs hundreds of them
We started out Sunday with a quick jaunt up hwy 62, as seen in the video, lots of traffic though and small towns in between makes it a ride you should be cautious on. It was soon after crossing the boarder that the road got interesting, Hwy 112. Southern Missouri in general is full of great roads that all share one thing in common, they seem to be like a wild roller coaster ride. You can't help but get sucked into taking the turns just a bit faster then you should. Cresting a hill and then diving off in one direction or another, I always roll off near the top of hills cause well who knows whats there or which way it goes. In Colorado there is often gravel from a driveway at the top of hills so I am conditioned to slow down before cresting a hill. Its the quick acceleration of rolling down then back up thats so much fun, however Missouri seems to mix in a few sweepers in between and then a few tight ones - just enough to make the road that much more unpredictable. Its the unpredictable nature of this kind of road that can put you in a ditch though so be prepared for whatever.
I had my GPS set to take the "Shortest route" I have found that it often takes me to great roads I would not have known about, but sometimes it leads me to a dead end or a dirt road. Such was the case with the Roaring River State Park , the GPS showed a clear route back to hwy 76 from there but it was not the case - we ended up stopped at the fish hatchery which well was pretty interesting, not planned but interesting. There were hundreds of people at the park all fishing, it seemed like it wasn't even sport but there they were none the less.
Roaring River State Park MO one wrong turn on hwy 112 had us stopped at a fish hatchery
Once on Hwy 72 we headed east, its sort of a road that skirts the tops of hills sides and dives up and down past cow pastures its very pastoral and in itself a very pretty road, we were starting to see a number of other bikes as it was the weekend and at one section two Ducatis were railing a corner and came right into my lane a bit. I cant comment on the speed but if you cant stay in your lane your out of control! I saw them coming and took the turn a bit wide cause you could tell they were hauling ass. Then we rolled in behind a couple out for the day on a nice Black Goldwing, looked like they were having a lot of fun, they even stayed with us a bit after we passed them, we all got caught behind a fairly fast moving Toyota truck and when I saw an opening I took it, then the road opened up into 4 lanes as we went under an overpass and the rest of the guys got by. I guess me passing the Toyota took the wind out of his sails cause he slowed down right after I did. I wonder if he was pushing it at 9/10ths or something? Heh I sure wasn't!
76 to 160 is very interesting in these parts but its a main road so there is some traffic - not much cause its rather rural out there but more than side roads. their is a curious 180 degree loop that slings back around and up a mountain side at Walnut shade that you can really rail on if that was what you like to do, but I could see that as one hell of a speed trap for motorcyclist, there are houses on both ends so you have to slow down before and after.
Then I turned off on Road H, its all chip sealed with the familiar white chip rock that they tend to use around there, it can glare in direct sunlight but it is very grippy so I upped the pace a bit. lots of fast sweeper all the way up to the Mark Twain National Forest, looks like some good off road around there too as we passed a number of trailers hauling dirt bikes and ATVs must be off road heaven back in there! I loved it, canopy trees covered the area in places then you would see glimpses of rock ledges overlooking valleys below. Its very pretty there, and the roads are challenging. Looping back south on 125 all the way to Garrison Chev and Hondalover peeled off to go home. We stopped for a good bit and counted the sport bikes that went by.
I was dumbfounded that neither Chev or Hondalover had been there before? Its only a half days ride for them to get there? I suspect they will both be returning very soon! It was actually my second trip into the Mark Twain and it was different the second time, I recognized some things but most things no didn't, I think I was off the main path for a while the first time. Hwy 76 intersects the road and you dog leg off a bit for what I consider the best part, its gets tighter on the southern side of 76 and its banked so you can go really fast and just have a total blast, Me and Dutch were just flying in that section waving at the bikes coming the other way. It wasn't too long before we were on the Ferry to head back to Arkansas.
Since we could not do the entire route we planned the day before we decided to do the Missouri part back wards and track back to Russelville in the opposite direction. The ferry ride was very cool, more bikes on the ferry then cars, and it is FREE!
Peel Ferry bikes outnumbered cars trying to cross Bull Shoals Lake
Hwy 125 intersects hwy 14 where we turned east and that is when Dutch decided to wick it up a bit on those great sweepers, for a good half an hour we were just blasting it with out a single car! It was great, I was just really enjoying the faster road - from the tighter turns on 125. The Ozarks has it all.
Lunch in Mountain Home was a banquet, we stopped at the Exxon station and the clerk recommended "the Steak house" in the middle of town - still on hwy 62 When we got there the place was empty, seemed abandoned but after we went in it filled up. Glad we did! It looks like it might be a chain - I have never heard of it but it was a good stop.
"The Steak House"
859 Highway 62 E
Mountain Home, AR 72653
Tel: (870) 425-8515
Lunch menu is more like dinner - I asked for bread and they brought me a freshly baked loaf of bread! Salad, fix 'ns its was a huge meal for a great price.
I ate so much that I was tired afterward, I was loafing a bit so Dutch took off to go find some chain lube by himself I told him I would catch up to him back at the Exxon. Then we were off to go ride Push Mountain Again. I took the lead and the GPS routed us through some strange back road that ran for 5 or 6 miles then turned to hard packed dirt, I just shrugged and kept going looked like we landed into some private redneck compound off to the right but it ended right at the foot of Push Mountain! I stopped to take a picture of the 'White River"
White River at the base of Push Mountain hwy 341
I started filming and was soon finding myself falling behind cause Dutch was in his element on Push Mountain, I found the pace to be pretty fast, but I could manage. Lots of long straits then afterward a hard left or right and a series of tight turns. I had to brake more than I like too, but I wanted to keep up, he was starting to walk away from me. The road is relentless and at the end I could tell I was not up to much more of it, I would have rolled off cause at that point I was pretty much beat from the 300miles of twisties we already did. I took the lead again and slowed the pace down a bit - seemed like I couldn't concentrate well I retraced the route we did before and stopped in Tilly to stretch a bit, Dutch got on his cell and checked in with his wife to tell her he was staying another night. I asked Dutch if he wanted to do the rest cause well I wasn't up to the task so he took over lead duties and we short cut back down hwy 27 to Dover and for an overnight in Russelville. It was one particular up hill road that caught me a bit off guard a bit, it was a very tight Esse Turn into a decreasing radius that had me almost blowing the turn. I took it way too fast and it scared me a bit, Dutch said some guy he was riding with had ran off the road on that very same turn its a sucker turn that is much tighter than the others so you are not ready for it. I managed to get through it fine but I really had to push the bike over hard to make it. That is when I decided it was time to find a place to sleep for the night.
Lake Dardanelle Russleville AR right out side our rooms at the Days Inn on I-40
hwy 27 was rather challenging by itself as well some tight hairpins on the way down, and cruisers in the way had us making quick passes, it was still challenging. The sun was setting and it was cooling off, a perfect ending to a great days ride.
I have attached the entire trip from Colorado to the Ozarks and back in an MS streets and trips file, its marked with all the best roads
Missouri into Kansas
Dutch and I took off early retracing our path up hwy 27 from Dover to Tilly to ride that sweet section of hwy 16 together, I was feeling better this time and was ready to roll. 27 didn't seem as challenging going up but it was fun, then we had some fun on the sweeper at Ben Hur. Before we left Russleville we stopped at the Wafflehouse on I-40 for breakfast and I just couldn't help but notice that manager was a ringer for former President Clinton, same nose, same face, same accent, even the same mannerisms it was uncanny, but not so fat! Then we had a talk with a guy riding a Kawi zx14 - hes like me tours the whole country on the thing, with his wife on the back too!
Dutch started having knee pain, and kept stretching his legs out. Not used to relentless twisties 2 or 3 days of riding can stress your knees pretty good. I was feeling pretty good and so we parted ways at the hwy 7 intersection, he said he took some back roads home so he managed to have some more fun. Me I continued up 123 to Mount Judea, this is my personal Favorite as its chock full of some nice turns - without anybody else riding with me I just took it easy or so I thought the pace was easy on the straits then for some reason I was leaned over all the frickin way in the turns?? odd heh
I passed a couple out for a joy ride in one of those Mercedes roadsters, and just had a blast the rest of the way before the road gets super tight. Its right at Mt Judea that it becomes a very tight switchback decent into the town. Not much there a school, a few shops and one awesome cafÃ© road stand, thats not much to look at either but the Bacon Cheeseburger is fantastic! A God fearing town the entire area is named after places and characters in the Bible. I stopped for a few pictures on top of Mount Judea
Mount Judea I forgot how fun and challenging hwy 123 is in AR
Hasty off in the Distance from the top of hwy 123
I started heading west with the intent of just finding as many side roads as possible on the way, just playing it by ear and yes I found some great roads, I kept taking a stair step pattern in a north west route. The ride from Mt Judea took me to Hasty where its seems to be very rural very poor in terms of the condition of the houses around the place, it sort of was depressing to look at with such beauty around in the natural scenery. A dilapidated trailer with an ad hock roof built over and around it? Hasty seems to be the correct term. I managed to make my way to Jasper to fill up and again head west. I was riding in the hilly section - not so many mountains but more hills now. From Jasper I went west on hwy 74 and then North a bit on 27 again then I got on a main road 412 which I found to be boring so I headed north again on hwy 23 up to the next turn off on 127. I was pretty much all alone on both those roads.
The only strait road in Low Gap
A sign near Low Gap very true
On Highway 127 (Rock Road) is a great convenience store/gas station with soft serve Ice Cream, the ladies were cleaning the machine so they were selling Ice Cream for half price, I couldn't resist, it was a nice store for such a lonely place! I gassed up and headed out again. The Hwy sort of snakes around up to Beaver Lake where the turns are very fun then you cross a bridge over the lake and completely avoid the bigger towns on the western edge of the Ozarks. There are large towns all along the north western edge of the Ozarks that make the ride a real bore. I managed to avoid most of it. Skirting the edge of Rogers up to Pea Ridge, its a strait road on the map and it has a lot of traffic but its very scenic none the less (hwy 94) then I crossed over into Missouri
I Stayed away from the main roads here and headed west again on a fun road hwy from Jane to Noel, its a fun road, there is a spider web of great roads up near Pea Ridge you can have a blast on right on the boarder! Then the Ozarks were done! I had some Lunch in Noel where there is another cool convenience store with a nice overlook that views the river.
Stopped in Noel Missouri great road hwy 90
Elk River The gas station there has a restaurant in back that has bay windows that overlook the river.
It wasn't long before I was in Kansas again and the wind was beating me relentlessly all they way to Wichita, nothing much to report about that!
the ride home
Kansas sucks windy all the way from Whitchita, so much so I was leaned over going in a strait line, then the small town mentanlity there of - we dont need to provide bathrooms from passers by - I did fill up my bike. I came out of the bathroom to listen to the clerks and owners complaining about that. I guess it was me they where talking about, I guess they have never seen a motorcyclist before? I decided not to buy anything else and move on.
Colorado hwy 94 87 miles away from Pikes Peak I could make out a faint outline of the mountain, I felt like Zebulon Pike himself when he first saw it
Zoomed in you can see the outline of Pikes Peak vaguely I did catch up to that pickup later too! This was the first glimpse that I was almost home, yet it took me another hour to get to the city limits of Colorado Springs
One whipped Pirrelli Diablo rear tire cords showing after 2600 miles, it was a great tire in the rain and never once slipped.