Arkansas backroads, Natural Bridges, random pitstops in BFE, & Dickson St Nightlife
We set the alarms today so we would wake up at a decent hour to get some riding in. It's hard to sleep in a hotel - you leave the curtains open and the street light blinds you. You shut said curtains and you sleep until noon because its as dark as a cave in the room. First world problems. After a quick breakfast stop, we headed out for a great day of riding and tourist-ing! We managed to be a little over-eager at how many roads we could fit into a day.. ok "I" was over eager... but they still followed! We took 23 out of Eureka Springs - one of my fave roads to pound corners on. The signs say 35 mph.. but they are amazingly fun and long sweepers and 70mph is 100% do-able (if you know the road). It was fun!!! I passed a sheriff at 72 in a 35.. which was NOT fun... but as I was frantically hitting the brakes to worn the other girls behind me, Shelly said later that he opened his window and pointed/waved... oops. WHEW! off we go to 74 through Kingston area - tighter curves, bigger hills, rougher road, all fun! We cruised through Mt Sherman area, onto 327 through Parthenon and down to Alum Cove Natural Bridge Recreation area. As we pulled into the parking lot area (after a rough road into the park), we met a few people who had just walked the path to the natural bridge and they gave us great insights and tips - including the fact that if you just walk the path that they marked, you miss the ENTIRE natural bridge in its entirety. They told us to cut down on the little path to the left of the actual bridge and walk UNDER it... and they were absolutely right!!! It was amazing!!! How something like this is created, let alone still standing how many years later, is a miracle!!! Another cool thing I learned about was the Walking Stick Bug. I had never seen nor heard of this thing.. it literally looks like a stick on legs. I was instantly fascinated!!!! From there we continued onto 327then to 74 where we found a random, hole in the wall restaurant with an insanely unexpected menu! (pics below) We made it back to Eureka just in time for nightfall. Cheers to another great day of riding with minimal traffic!
Route (approximately): 23 out of Eureka Springs - east on 74 - south on 21 - east 16 towards Deer, AR - Left on NFM28 towards Wayton, AR - to the Natural Bridge - then on to 327 north - west on 74 - north on 43 then on 103 to Berryville, AR to Eureka Springs. A solid 192 mile day with stops!
74 by Mt Sherman
327 by Parthenon
Great views from 327 / 16 intersection
A random turn off point (not planned) - off 327 - Alum Cove Natural Bridge. Totally worth the stop!
A bit of a rough road into the park
The locals said to take the 'off the beaten path' path
Walking Stick bug - these things are SO COOL!
Underneath the natural bridge... WOW
If you stay on the intended path of the Natural Bridge, this is all that you would see
16 through Deer, onto 21 north
Curves on 327
There's a ton of hills in which there is a mystery on the other side....like, which way will the road curve?!
Someone went out a little too hard last night. This sign was EPIC "Never Kick a Fresh Turd on a Hot Day"
I forgot to take a pic of the name of this little café literally in the middle of nowhere off 327 and 44 just west of Jasper, but here are the GPS coordinates. There is nothing else around for miles and this place looked like a little shack. We walked in to find it PACKED and we grabbed outdoor seating. The food took awhile due to the rush, but it was phenomenal - the menu had far more than a BLT/Burger and fries place I envisioned.. there was seafood and fancy deserts and the works! Low Gap Cafe
103 near DryFork, AR 36.081 -93.399
Just outside of Fayetteville - on our way TO Fayetteville, where we rented an apartment for the night so we can go downtown on Dickson Street to watch the shenanigans and not drive.
40's again! They are making a comeback
Bikes bikes, everywhere are bikes!
LOVED these cops - they gave us stickers AND took a selfie with us!
Me trying to get arrested by said cops on purpose while waiting for Uber.. . LOL.
Part One: How to pack a lot of gear on a motorcycle... and keep it there for the duration of the trip!! How the heck do I get ALL the gear I need on the bike to ride long distance and/or camp?? Where there is a will, there is a way! I started riding and camping with my Suzuki Boulevard M50 - Love that bike, still own it. I had two gallon size saddlebags on her and the rest was pure strategy. I bought a Saddleman luggage pack and a bunch of bungees - which quickly got traded in for LOTS of straps and then a net on top. I first went long distance riding and motorcycle camping with a good friend, nickname HD, years ago. Let me tell you, she was a GREAT teacher in the art of packing a motorcycle. I would make the effort, get to the meeting point, have to retighten every since strap, ride, and repeat. She probably felt both sorry for me and annoyed by me for the extra time I took at stops to make sure my gear wasn't going to wind up on someone's windshield. So between her expertise…
Remember when you first started learning how to ride a
bike? It’s a struggle to keep your balance and if you start to tip over your
first instinct is to jump off the bike, hands first, planting your wrists
against the ground with force, while your skin is soaking up the gravel, one
tiny pebble at a time... and then you run crying the whole way home? Well, when
you’re on a motorcycle do NOT do that. Nothing will go well if you try to jump
off a 700-pound metal beast with flammable liquids between your legs and think
that you’re going to be able superman your body farther than your bike will
land. You can’t fly. Your bike can. You won’t win. The best thing to do is
opposite of what your instinct might be – when you start to tip over, think of
the bus lady yelling the rules at you on the first day of school. “Keep your
hands and legs IN the bus (aka on the handlebars and foot pegs) while in motion”.
And motion includes that of tipping over. At least on my Suzuki and my Victory,
the bike …
A lot of people hang up their motorcycle keys once temps get into the 40's. Those people are kind of smart. I, however, choose to ride until Mother Nature makes it physically impassable to do so, aka snow falls and stays on the ground. In order to ride when its in the teens, 20's, 30's, or even 40's, there is some gear that is a necessity to try to keep remotely warm while riding. And thanks to this gear, I have only gotten frostbite once while riding motorcycle. And to be honest, I doubt ANY cold riding gear would have spared my fingers from riding 70mph in temps of NINE (9) degrees. Yeah, that was stupid. But I was on a mission..... I WAS going to ride to Daytona!! And naturally, it had been in the 50's the week prior, aka when I decided I was going to ride there. Anyways - here is my GO TO cold riding gear!
<--- In Iowa, on way to Daytona. It warmed up to 24 degrees!!! There is no solution for frozen eyeballs.
Tour Master Synergy 2.0 Electrically Heated Leath…
Ah, the annual fall trek to the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Rally - in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas is my ALL time favorite place to ride in the USA. Four of us girls took off after work to get a head start on the (easy) 11 hour ride. The more daylight we could arrive in, the better, since 3 of us were going to need to set up camp when we arrived to Arkansas.
Sporting my Nomadic Gear thanks to @NomadicMichigan
We all look so bad-ass in our leathers!!!
We stopped for the night just outside of Des Moines - get a few hours of sleep, and back on the road in the morning!
After an easy 7 hour ride to Eureka Springs, we debated between heading straight to camp to set up, or heading straight to the Cat House bar to park and walk over to Aquarius for THE BEST TACOS in the entire region. In the end, Tacos clearly won! Aquarius is a cute little place on Main Street in Eureka Springs, AR. I don't even think the name of the place is on the outside - they get straight to the point …