Ozark’s to York PA 2016 Day 4

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 30, 2016/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Ozarks to York 2016, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Eureka Springs, AR (Again!)

Time: 0800

Weather Conditions: Clear on departure… Rain the rest of the day!

Daily High Temperature: 84

Destination: Eureka Springs, AR (Again!)

Daily Miles Logged: 102

State Visited: Arkansas, (and Oklahoma for gas)

Even though it was a short milage day, it was a great day! The AVG speed was low because of the driving tour…

Today held the promise of many fantastic experiences to add to our collection, but the weather was having its own way with our plans!  Among our plans was a number of really fun rides in and out of Oklahoma, a scenic run along Devil’s Den which is regarded as an Arkansas must see by the Civilian Conservation Corps that built this and many other facilities during the great depression.  We also missed the Boston Mountain Range with it’s long sweepers and a few knee-dragging corners.  But they will be there for another day…

Breakfast was back at Mae’s and I ordered the same Vegetarian Hash. We met a great old gal named Addie who joked and poked fun with everyone of us at the table at one point or another.  She was a short stack that made me feel like a giant when standing next to her and we had several great laughs about life as a vertically challenged person.

It has been a real treat to have a home base for a few nights which has eliminated the need to pack and repack each day.  After Mountain Home, AR though, we will be back in that mode for the rest of the trip.  In light of the weather complications both here and along the East Coast, we have been discussing various options and reroutes to maximize our riding time.  At this point, we are taking it one day at a time.

Today’s highlight for me was a visit to the Pea Ridge National Military Park.  This was another Civil War Battlefield with many interesting highlights to the story including a young and ambitious West Point Grad that let his arrogance cost him the battle as well as his life.  We watched the short film that documented the story based upon the diaries and letters of some of the surviving soldiers and got a good feel for the scope of what was outside the welcome center.

Beautiful Flag, Ugly and Threatening Sky…

As we walked around the small exhibit hall, the sky was getting very dark and the radar confirmed that a large and powerful rain cell had found its way to us.  Our rain gear was promptly collected from our bikes, with the exception of one of Jon’s boot covers and one of his gloves…  We all had a laugh about what was required for Trent to install his rain liner in his riding pants and before we had finished suiting up, the rain came with a vengeful force.

The original Wal-Mart… Then known as “Waltons”

We watched the radar for a while and when the rain slacked off, we decided to scrap the riding tour of the battlefield and to head straight into Bentonville to have lunch and to visit the Walmart museum.  Yes, that’s right… a museum about Wal-Mart.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a huge fan of Wal-Mart as I have repeatedly watched local mom and pop shops and local grocery stores fold under the downward pricing pressure.  At the end, you are left with the same limited selection that represents THEIR best sellers, and not necessarily the items that you are most interested in…. But I digress.

Ironic photo of the day… He was made in America, and his company helped kill American manufacturing.

I found the museum insightful as to the early days of Mr. Walton’s life, and I must say, that the spirit of what he intended has been lost and what we know today bears little resemblance to what I believe he would have intended.  I especially enjoyed reading his top ten suggestions for business success.

Lunch was at a local choke and puke called The Station Cafe.  Why on earth anyone would open a business and charge 12.95 for a burger and fries would be so lazy as to not make fresh fries is absolutely beyond my comprehension.  When I asked the clerk if the fries were fresh or frozen she replied..”Frozen.”  I then asked about the onion rings.. She replied… “everything is frozen.”  To be objective, the burger was a descent burger although each of us had to construct the burger ourselves as the toppings weren’t placed “on top” but rather on the side of each tray.  I guess it has a certain rustic charm… I guess!

After lunch, it was time to say fare-thee-well to Annette and Elizabeth.  As a comic sidenote, Jon was so busy talking to a bunch of guys about how great the BMW bikes are compared to Harley’s that he almost missed saying goodbye to his wife!  Luckily, I was there to save the day for him and make him aware that his bride was climbing into her taxi heading towards the airport…

Dressed for the rain

Twins, except for the strange growth on top of the left one’s head

We discussed our afternoon’s plans and agreed to attempt to head back to the battlefield to do the driving tour which required everyone to put the rain suits back on.  Everyone but Matt has a two piece suit and we had left the pants portions on whilst touring the city square.  We agreed to watch Matt put his suit on and then tell him that we had changed our minds and were going to walk around town a little more.  The look on Matt’s face was priceless… then we let him in our little joke.

The Elkhorn Inn. It was used as a triage and hospital for the wounded soldiers

Inside photo of the Elkhorn Inn showing the operating table in the back of the room.

We suited up just in time for another deluge that seemed to taper off just a few miles prior to our arrival at the battlefield.  The driving tour was a nice winding pathway from one historical marker to another and made for a pleasant hour or so as we took our time working our way through before heading back to home base for one last night.

We had a real challenge finding a place for dinner as many places are closed Monday and Tuesday around here.  We settled on a place called Local Flavor Cafe.  I’m not sure what was local and what wasn’t, but I am sure that my tuna steak and Matt’s salmon was not local.  They were tasty nonetheless.  In order to get to the restaurant, we had to hire a cab and evidently, in Eureka Springs, there is but one car that will carry a group of six people… an early 80’s Mercedes station wagon.  Jon and I were in what we called as kids, “the back in the back” otherwise knows as the optional third row rear facing seating.  The hinges to the rear hatch were busted and did not support the weight of the door and Mark, who was riding shotgun, said there was no key and the driver was using a screw driver to start the car!  What an experience… There were two colorful fellows seated at a table next to ours towards the end of our meal that seemed to be turing their interaction up to 11 for our benefit.  Evidently, one had recently lost a lot of weight and was refusing to eat in order to maintain his “skinny b!t@h” designation.  I could hardly contain myself after hearing that and had to excuse myself from the table.  Fortunately, we had already paid the check and our cab was just a minute or two away.  And yes, it was the same cab going back to the hotel!

Tomorrow, we will weave and bob the rain as much as possible, but we have to push one way or another to Mountain Home, AR in order to try to get back on track…


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