I went riding on Labor Day with Dave, Snake, and Chris from Memphis, down to Marianna, through the St. Francis National Forest, into Helena, across the Mississippi River, up through Arkabutla, then through Walls, and back into Memphis. 3 states, 7 hours, 2 bridges over the Mississippi River, and 1 great ride.
I finally got around to pulling the Arkansas Circle Ride pics off of my camera and posting them. (Did I really have that much gear on my bike?) Anyway, as you can see, the trip was a blast. It will be a little cold the next few months for such a long trip, but I’m looking forward to another on-road/off-road ride soon.
The rest of the Circle Arkansas trip was relatively uneventful, as we raced the sun back to Memphis. The sun won, setting about 45 minutes before we rolled back into town, but even passing through some of the flattest country, around Des Arc, the setting sun set the trees turning colors afire, with beautiful explosions of yellows and reds, only rivaling some of the colors we had seen along the ridgelines of the Ozarks earlier in the day.
Big thanks go out to Scottie (I hope you getÂ your bike running again soon), Chris, and Wisch (who kept my front tire aired up long enough for me to limp home).
The route can be seen in some detail here, if you are interested. More photos are pending.
The trip from Oark to Haw Creek Falls was the most exciting of the trip, with a few trips down washed out gullies and across big puddles.
Unfortunately, Scottie had put his bike down in a creek heading to meet us in Oark, so it was out of commission. Chris, Wisch, and I roared up Parker Ridge in time to see the sunset.
This morning, we explored the eastern part of the Ozark National Forest, riding ridgelines until our throttle hands ached.
There wasn’t much rain overnight, but it’s at least 20 degrees cooler today. That’s OK; just throw on the thermals.
We just had lunch at the famous Oark Cafe. Fried mushrooms and a pound of hamburger. Yum!
Wisch and I are near the end of a 350+ mile day through the backroads of Arkansas, as part of a larger 3-day trip circling the state.
One unexpected highlight was a busting, wonderful rib plate at McLaren’s BBQ in Hot Springs.
We brought a campstove to ridgeline to welcome the day and caffinate.
Mr. Ross let us take his 4-wheelers out and explore the far end of the farm today.
Later, we got back on the bikes and tried to find all of the cool places we found, including Table Rock.
Pretty warm, but fun, fun, fun!
It is about 50 degrees warmer this time compared to our last trip to the Ross Farm last December.
Tonight, we are going to see the Marshall Tucker Band. Seriously.
I wish that Wisch could be here tonight.
Made it to the river near Shelby Forest.
An eclectic mix has joined, from Triumphs to Vespas, vintage BMWs to BSAs.
Hoping the rain holds off for a few hours…
Saturday – What a great day! Fall has finally arrived in Memphis, at least for the weekend.
I took a solo motorcycle trip through the St. Francis National Forest, just south of Marianna, Arkansas. There is a national byway called the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway that runs along the tops of hills though the forest. I saw no other people for more than an hour, but butterflies of all colors skimmed through the cool morning air. At one point, a couple of deer ran alongside me while I was riding before bolting into the forest.
Saturday evening, Kath and I got to catch up with Carrie and Patrick Lenahan, some friends that live in Kansas City. Dinner was a tasty and fun affair, hosted by Scott and Paige Walkup.
Two weekends ago, Dave and I traveled to the end of the road near Fort Pillow State Park north of Memphis. It’s a spot where the Mississippi River is slowly eating into Tennessee Highway 87.
I’ve been coming here for 20 years, since Sarah Cooper showed it to me, but I haven’t been back to the spot for about 5 or 6.