I'd had all I could take at work, I had to have a week off and it had to be now. As meticulous as I am about maintenance on my bike and laying the routes out that I wanted to take, conversely I just haphazardly threw anything that got in my way into the dry bag about an hour before we left and strapped it on the bike. I'm on vacation!
We head up through the Ozark National Forest and ran across a guy from KC with a Husaberg 570 ... I was jealous. Soon we jumped back out onto asphalt and found some incredible roads through the mountains to ride. We passed by the old Vendor one room schoolhouse which has been taken over by trees and vegetation. There was also an old spring, still running, out behind the schoolhouse ... with snakes galore. We were there between 5-10 minutes and saw 3 good sized ones.
We left the school house and head out for the old Sylamore suspension bridge. It is one of two suspension bridges still left in Arkansas. I was a bit disappointed after seeing the Beaver suspension bridge first, much longer and in better condition. Still cool though and after shooting it from different angles, we rode across it. Then we were off for Yellville to get a hotel room and something to eat. First day mileage 303 miles.
The next morning we got up and headed out. We caught the ferry across Bull Shoals Lake and then rode up into Missouri. If you have the nerve to push it a little bit, the asphalt roads in this area rival a roller coaster. Spent most of the the day in the Mark Twain forest riding till we were whipped out. Second day mileage 140 miles. At this point I was hurting and started dreading the long ride home ... I knew it was going to be uncomfortable at best.
Day 3 we packed up and headed out of town toward St Joe. There is an awesome little smoke house there by the name of Coursey's. Greg bought a small bone in ham while I went for some thick sliced bacon. Next we finished our ride back via highway 123 through the Ozark National Forest. It's not for the timid, especially pushing a bike, but it's an absolute thrill ride! We found an old abandoned service station that we stopped and milled around at for a while. Once back down to Clarksville, it was pretty much uneventful ride back in to my house. Third day mileage was 219 miles. Little dawg was once again excited to see me arrive back home. She just can't contain herself some days. If I ever find a girl that gets so excited that she pees in the floor just from me walking in the door ... I'll marry her!
The DOWN side of the trip is that I hurt badly and was pretty much incapacitated over the next 3 days. I did manage to mow the yard but could not trim it. I couldn't lift my right arm over waist high without extreme pain. It finally eased up the third day after returning. The UP side is I had a great time, saw a bridge I have been wanting to photograph for 3 years now and the bacon. I baked some in the oven the next day and if it tastes half as good as it smells ... well, lets just say I will be happy. After eating a couple slices for breakfast, I have to admit this is THE BEST bacon you can get anywhere.
I still have 2 days left before returning to prison, aka work. I have logged, to date, 879 miles for my vacation week and am shooting for 1000. We have heavy rain forecast for the next 2 days so I'm not sure if I will get it or not, but I will do my best. Still, even at 879 miles for a week, thats not too bad for an old, fat, crippled guy!
|Dirt roads that never end|
|Ran across a guy from KC with a Berg|
|The old Vendor school house|
|Spring out back that was running|
|Entrance to the school house|
|Sylamore Suspension bridge in north central Arkansas|
|Bridge from side|
|Bridge deck ... pick your line wisely if on a bike|
|My hand would barely reach halfway around the cable and |
look at the size of the threads on the bolt for the cable tie
|Sylamore creek that runs under the bridge|
|Bikes on the ferry|
|At the start of Glade Top Trail in Missouri|
|On the Glade Top Trail|
|Ft Douglas bridge|
|On the bank of the Big Piney|
|Abandoned service station|
|Car rack outside the old service station|