Ozark’s to York PA 2016 Day 5

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 31, 2016/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Ozarks to York 2016, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Eureka Springs, AR

Time: 0827

Weather Conditions: Partly Cloudy and 68 degrees

Daily High Temperature: 84

Destination: Mountain Home, Arkansas

Daily Miles Logged: 330

State Visited: Arkansas, Missouri

My new friend Addie! To her, I was known as shorty! Matt was Slick, Jon was curly, Mark was Bob, and Randall was slim…

We left an hour later than we had planned this morning and Trent rode home due to a personal situation that he needed to tend to.  Today’s roads were absolutely amazing from start to finish and at times were quite challenging.

It felt as though Arkansas 7 was a road that we would visit several times throughout the day which was just fine with me as it was an amazingly curvaceous strip of asphalt! Our route today also included some wisely chosen motorcycle roads such as Arkansas Hwy14, 281 south, and Arkansas 123.

We had a nice diversion today as well in visiting the Mystic Caverns.  Jon’s daily summary stated the following: “You’ll never forget your visit to Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome! Discovered in the 1800’s, Mystic Cavern is a splendidly decorated cave with regal columns, spherical stalactites, electrified helicites and a 28-foot pipe organ.  Following a knowledgeable guide, you will walk in the footsteps of the first settlers to the Ozarks.  Undisturbed and picture perfect formations were found when Crystal Dome was discovered in 1967.  Delicate soda straws, pools with cave pearls, sawtooth draperies and abundant pure white flowstone draw the eye throughout the tour.  The 8-story dome glistens from the bottom of the Crystal Bell all the way to the top!”  It was all that and then some.

This is where the moonshiners would sleep off their drunkenness during prohibition.

Good advice… Jon had to go change…

We joked throughout the tour about the various details that our tour guide was sharing as well as a few, let’s say… interestingly shaped, rock formations.

Two beautiful BMW’s in front of an iconic place!

We proceeded to Jasper, Arkansas and to our lunch destination, the Ozark Cafe.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was located in what could have been many western city squares that we have seen in our travels.  At over 100 years old, the place still had what could be described as a “cool” or “retro” vibe and did not feel run down or neglected.  Jon and I ordered what was called the “Cheese Volcano Burger” that had crispy cheddar cheese all around the burger as well as hand cut fresh fries.

The Cheese Volcano Burger at Ozark Cafe

Inside the Ozark Cafe

The rest of our afternoon was spent zipping about various choice roads including the AR 123 to Mount Judea and the Arkansas Dragon. Its description is as follows: “The pavement of AR 123 out of Mount Judea (locally pronounced Mt. Judy) is seven miles of extremely challenging switchbacks and hairpins and a 1,000-foot climb onto a mountain ridge. The remainder of the ride on AR 123 to Arkansas Scenic 7 will convince you that this is one of the top Arkansas motorcycle routes – it’s nothing short of stunning, both ride-wise and scenery-wise. One motorcycle blogger writes this: We head east out of Jasper on Highway 74, riding over to Highway 123, a twisty stretch of pavement winding from Mount Judea to Lurton. Billy tells me that riders come from as far as Australia just to ride this technical stretch of road. On the other hand, a Gold Wing rider I met at Turner Bend told me to “avoid 123 at all costs.” To each his own!”

By far, my favorite today was the road called “Push Mountain” or AR 341.  It wound around the mountain and down into the White River Valley with its tight curves and gorgeous scenery.  I would love to ride that again one day!

Dinner was at a local Mexican joint called Salsas.  I had a taco salad and it seemed to be a great value for the price. ($6.99 + tax)

Tomorrow’s weather looks promising and I hope that we can cover what is on the plan!  More on that tomorrow…



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