Ozark’s to York PA 2016 Day 3

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 29, 2016/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Ozarks to York 2016, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Eureka Springs, AR

Time: 08:07

Weather Conditions: 70

Daily High Temperature: 86

Destination: Eureka Springs, AR

Arrival Time: 17:58

Daily Miles Logged: 312

State Visited: Arkansas

It was a treat today to not have to pack and be ready to land in a new spot this evening.  Even though our start time was the same, the lack of the extra prep gave us the liberty of a more relaxed pace.  Breakfast was back at the hotel restaurant, Ms. Myrtle Mae’s Cafe.  Admittedly, breakfast was an improvement over last nights dinner as I ordered a vegetarian hash that really was very tasty.  Trent met us from his hotel down the road and was ready on time, as always, however, due to the nature of the sit down and order from a menu cafe, we were all delayed.

Today, we rode what was basically a big loop around western Arkansas that began on AR221.  The opening run was quite a blast and dropped us into the Kings River valley and through the foothills of the Ozarks for roughly ten miles. We took a detour or two from the what the GPS was routing, otherwise, we would have been on gravel and sand as we were making our way to our next destination, the Arkansas “Grand Canyon”.

There was really nothing overly grand about this canyon when compared to many of the scenic vistas that we will see later in the week, but it was a nice change of pace and it provided a convenient place to step off the bikes for a few minutes.  The road leading to the lookout was a lot of fun and part of what is called the “Arkansas Dragon.”  Jon says that it is ranked #29 in the country by Motorcycleroads.com but I suppose that might be in part due to its central location, perhaps many folks have ridden it as compared to some of the roads we enjoyed out west.

We had a turn around point at another scenic lookout that marked the top end of our loop.  Due to the holiday weekend, we seemed to be fighting slow moving traffic and folks that just plain didn’t want to let you pass.  There was this one instance where another rider was traveling at a pace well below speed limit and would not give us any room to pass… When Randall saw his chance, he darted out and made it with ease.  This only seemed to cause this fellow to dig his heels in more and he played Jon and the rest of us at each turn.  Finally, Jon saw his opening and he launched out… I quickly followed suit and we were around him in a matter of moments, only to realize that we were right on our exit for our turnaround point!

When we parked our bikes in the turnaround, there was a group of Aprillia and BMW riders (sport bikes) that had their full leathers on and had ridden up from Dallas to ride the road we were about to ride towards Jasper, AR. Randall dared me to go park my bike next to theirs and take a photo…

After our ride through Jasper, we began to look for a dining spot and happened across a little cafe called the “Kountry Kitchen Grille.”  It was packed and we waited for our tables.  This place appears to have once been a waffle house or some other such short order dive, but the menu selections seemed to be what one would expect from a place with that name.  I asked if the fries were fresh or frozen and I was assured that they were fresh.  What I should have asked was if the chicken was fresh or frozen… The fries were good at least!

We topped off our tanks and were ready to hit the road when out of nowhere I hear “Hi, Mr. Kinchen!”  I saw this young lady walking towards me and I thought, “maybe I left my CC in the machine” otherwise, how does this lady know me by name.  The closer she got, the more familiar she became and, just to show you how really small our world is, it was the former parts and accessory manager from BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge, Lauren.  She explained that her and her husband were up for the long weekend with their kids and had just come from swimming or tubing, I don’t recall.  Here kids were adorable and sat in the back seat of the truck covertly sticking their hands out of the rear window and waving!  It reminded me of something that Orion would do… Jon, Mark and Randall were all suited and waiting on us, so we said a quick goodbye and we pushed on.

The rest of the day lead us to a few more G1 roads including 103 North, then a nice G2 – AR 215 – to get to 23 North which was another G1.  Then finally AR21 which was a mixture of G1, G2, and G3 roads to connect us back to US62 to get us back to the hotel.  On the more relaxed section of the route home, I was finally able to connect with my mom and dad to check in on them.  It was great to hear from them and to see how dad was feeling.

Dinner was at a local BBQ shack called Bubba’s and it was some of the best BBQ I have had in a long time.  I had a combo platter with sample of the ribs, brisket and pulled pork that would have fed me, Gina and at least Orion and Melody back home.  It was a shame to see the rest of it thrown out because it was so delicious.

Tomorrow looks like another big loop with a few historical sights thrown in for our enlightenment.  Unfortunately, we will be saying goodbye to the two lovely ladies that have been with us since the start of our journey.  Mark will also be going north to Branson to help his brother-in-law with his boat before meeting us back later in the afternoon.

All things considered, today was a fantastic day…

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