I have been feeling quite good over the past 6 weeks and have had this week of vacation planned for a long time. I was confident that I could make it without too much objection from my RA.
We left my house Tuesday morning for a three day binge of PayDay's and pure adrenaline. We rode a nice leisurely pace for the first 45 miles. Once on the north side of Ozark we let the bikes stretch their legs a bit. Highway 23 is often called the "pig trail" and offers up it's share of twists and turns through the mountains in the Ozark National Forest. We turn onto 215 and now we are ready to light the bikes up. We stop along the way for a couple of photos and hey ... who can resist a swinging bridge? We ride the next hour through more mountains, curve after curve and I stopped to check my GPS when Greg pulls up to me and smiling says, "why haven't you brought me over here before?" I just smile back and reply, you haven't seen the good stuff yet. We stopped at a roadside overlook and as I'm getting off of my bike, a C130 buzzes the top of the mountain! I frantically try to get my camera out but by the time I do ... he is too far away. We waited a good while there hoping he would make another pass but no such luck. We spend the next hour running mountainous roads that would make Captain Hook sea sick. Stop at the Buffalo National River and take some photos and visit with a couple from England. It was here that I notice my right footpeg rear bolt is stripped out. We arrive at Yellville and find our motel, check in then go eat. After eating we ride just outside of town to photograph a huge train trestle. We go back and tarp the bikes down so we don't have to climb on a wet bike in the morning. First day mileage: 182 miles.
|Swinging bridge at Oark|
|Buffalo National River|
|Pruitt bridge over Buffalo|
|Pruitt bridge over Buffalo|
|Yellville train trestle|
We waited for the temp to get into the mid 40's before starting Wednesday morning. After breakfast we head up and take the ferry across Bull Shoals lake. We met four retired couples from New Mexico, all riding Goldwing trikes and having the time of their life. We rode 125N in Missouri up to Glade Top Trail in the Mark Twain National Forest. It was a well groomed narrow road that had plenty of spectacular views along the way. Just as we were finishing our ride on Glade Top I noticed my right footpeg was loose again. I stopped and tightened the front bolt again. We rode back into Yellville and I took some Tylenol Arthritis, yes it was starting to hurt me. After about 30 minutes, we head back out south of town to check out the ghost town of Rush on the Buffalo National River. I really enjoyed checking the town out and want to go back when I have more time to walk around everywhere. Once we get back and tarp the bikes down again we had rode 217 miles for the day.
|Peel Ferry ride|
|Southern entrance to Glade Top Trail|
|Glade Top Trail|
|Glade Top Trail|
|Fire tower on Glade Top Trail|
|A bit early for peak fall foliage|
|Go ahead and laugh, we climbed on dry bikes every day|
We pack everything up and head out of town Thursday morning. We take a different way as we ride SE towards St Joe. Greg wants to stop there at a smoke house to get some bacon and ham. On the way we pass an old time general store and I wanted to stop and take some pictures on the way back through. Just before arriving at the smoke house I notice my right footpeg is loose again. While Greg is in the smoke house, I get my tool kit out and discover that now both bolts are stripped out. Holy cow! WE're a LONG way from home. I tell Greg my problem and tell him I am riding back down to the general store to see what he has that I might use. Sure enough, he came through. Super nice guy who also rides motorcycles and I exit with a hose clamp and one big ass industrial zip tie. I get the footpeg tightened back up against the frame and it feels pretty solid. Who knows how long it will stay there as we head our bikes toward home. All asphalt on the way back and we separated at Ozark, where I rode the last 40 miles back home solo. Third day mileage was 210. The footpeg made it just fine by the way, I drilled, re-tapped and have new bolts in it so I am ready to go again.
|Smelter used in mining operations|
|Buffalo National River at Rush|
|St Joe Mercantile - the original supercenter|
|Footpeg held on by hose clamp and big ass ziptie|
My RA was hurting me pretty bad the last day but I just finished a 3 day, 610 mile ride. I will deal with a little pain for getting to do that any day. These are the times that we can look back on when we're having a bad day and smile ... they give us something to hold onto until our next big adventure and help pull us through the bad times.