Memorial Day Ride - Flooding in Oklahoma

Memorial Day 2019 - I like to think of Arkansas as the motorcycling world’s best kept secret – where every road twists and turns nonstop to offer view after amazing view of vast canyons and valleys. On any NW AR road you can find nonstop hairpins, switchbacks, and sweepers - a motorcyclists dream come true. NW AR is only a 10-hour ride from Minneapolis – making it not only one of my fave places to ride, but also a do-able 3 day weekend adventure! Not one to waste a perfectly good 3-day weekend, Memorial Day seemed the perfect time to drift away to happiness and live on the curves for the weekend. I rode down solo from MN and planned to meet a friend in Eureka Spring AR. When I messaged her the day of my arrival, she eagerly replied that she ‘took a wrong turn’ and was in Mississippi. For those who are not overly familiar with the geography of that area, MS is on the FAR east end of Arkansas… so when I said I was detouring to ES via Oklahoma, well… we were a ways apart! Neither of us have any concept of "its only an inch away on the map!!!" and this is why we travel well together LOL I had intended on just taking a sneak peek ride into OK to get to AR… but I was sucked into the area by the recent storms which included massive flooding and tornadoes. Seeing the devastation first hand was eerie to say the least. I came across tons of ‘road under water’ signs on my 200-mile venture into OK… not only were the roads under water, so were houses, sheds, vehicles, lawnmowers, docks, and state parks. It was sad to think of all the people who have lost so much due to Mother Nature's overzealousness for rainfall....

The water was up the road in many places, with evidence of the sheer wind volume that had torn through the area as recent as the day before. The water levels told their own stories - full of debris from trees to boards to parts of vehicles and everything in between.

Road signs were under water, leaving only the top triangle of a yield sign visible. While riding through the wreckage was sad and eerie, I also witnessed people making the best of it. For I rode over a hill through a golf course, there were 2 full size fishing boats floating ON the golf course for fishing, with trolling motors purring away and golfers taking swings nearby.

When trying to leave Oklahoma to head to AR, I literally could not find a way OUT of the state due to flooding. While stopped on the side of the road pulling up a map, up came a couple of 'work trucks' - and as soon as they jumped out to move the 'road closed' signs.. I yelled out asking if I could follow them through - to which they laughed loudly and yelled back that "There's no way you will make it through the water on that thing!" "I bet I can!!" I eagerly yelled back... at which time they moved the road closed signs back into place, shook their heads, and waved me off. Apparently they didn't want to be responsible for some crazy chick on a bike floating away downstream on two wheels with the rubbish.

Onward to Arkansas I roll....