Monday, May 25, 2009

Ozark Getaway

On motorcycles. Yes. I rode my own this time. So proud of myself! Last year about this same time we got rained on going 'up.' This time rain wasn't predicted until Sunday...the day we planned to head home.

Texas roads are better (straighter and flatter)

Damnable grooves during an Arkansas road construction that went on ... like ... FOREVER it seemed. Try that on just 2 wheels! I dare ya! chatter...chatter...chatter

Repeat after me..."Never, ever. And I do mean NEVER attempt Hwy. 9 from Clinton AR to Mt. View AR. Never, ever, NEVER, EVER AGAIN!"

Have you ever in your entire life heard of a 15 mph curve? FIFTEEN MPH CURVE?! That's not a curve! That's a 45 degree or tighter TURN. Now listen up people. 15 MPH is NOT A CURVE!! I rest my case!

Do you know what is at the bottom of an "Oh, SHIT!" downhill 25 MPH curve? A BRIDGE! In the curve, aka turn! And they are also in just about every other 25-40-50 MPH downhill curve. A bridge! A narrow bridge at that!

Do you know what the double yellow stripes down the center of the road mean on those narrow pigtrail roads in Arkansas? NOTHING! NADA! ZILCH!! Which means you better stay on your side of the road because there's no guarantee that the car/pickup/18-wheeler that's coming atcha is gonna stay on his/her side of the road.

We hit the road between Clinton and Mt. View eight hours after we left the house. We stopped several times to walk around a bit, get a drink of water or a 'coke,' to eat lunch. So it wasn't all eight hours on the road, but it was still EIGHT HOURS...then get hit with those tight turns and curves. I was petrified! I took them at the recommended posted speed, but the locals in their cars/pickups didn't like it very much. TOUGH! I didn't want to get scraped off the pavement or untwirled from around a tree trunk. Eventually there was a straight (LOL) stretch of road where four or five cars and pickups could get around me...the last...a woman...laid on her car I could give a care! ;o) I didn't try to keep up with Sam and I didn't let the vehicles behind me 'push' me. I'm telling you! I could've crawled around some of those curves/turns faster on my hands and knees than I was riding around them!!

I talked to God. I told Him that I would not ride 'over my head' and He could take care of the rest. AMEN!!

Sam pulled over one time to let me catch up with him...I didn't stop...I just kept right on going. So, now I am in the lead. I had two or three more vehicles behind me when I noticed an 18-wheeler back there. Since I'm from a truck driving family...I didn't want him mad at me. Lo and behold! Thank you God! A convenience store! I whipped my turn signal on faster than you could blink and pulled into the lot...right in front of the pumps...hit the kill switch...put the kick stand off the bike and looked Sam square in the eyes when he stopped beside me. "I am NOT having fun!" I wanted to cry. This narrow, crooked, steep road was 38 miles of sheer white knuckle terror!

Sigh. I made it to the Red Bud Inn in Mt. View and parked my bike. I didn't move it until we got ready to leave...rode two-up with Sam the whole time we were there.

I love the winding narrow twisting roads when I ride with him. You know something? Hwy 9 north of Mt. View going to Melburne Arkansas (where NASCAR racer, Mike Martin, has a car dealership) is just as crooked as the southern part?! What WERE they thinking. started out as a game trail. The Indians walked along the trail turning it into a path that the first trappers followed. Somebody got the bright idea to go over the mountains in a wagon and they continued to follow the game trails or the path of 'least resistance' whenever they could. Then the Model T's followed behind the wagons. My question is when somebody finally went to college and got the 'engineer' diploma...couldn't they figure out a better way to build a road besides following a long ago game trail? HUH?! ;o)

Mt. View was so enjoyable! YOU've got to go there if you like music at all. Old-time music now! Mountain music, some country, some bluegrass...acoustic guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos, bass fiddles. You can find just about anything you like on the Courthouse Square. If you play, take your instrument, they will scoot over and let you pull up a chair!

Two groups worth mentioning:
The Turner Family from Mt. View. A wonderful gospel group. A dad, two grown daughters, and a young son. The youngest daughter caresses that banjo and can make the most beautiful music flow from it.

Cross Creek is from Paris Texas! They will be playing at the HWY 80 Mission in Longview TX June 6. (I think that's what we were told.) - Hmmm...can't find their MySpace page...But I did find a photo. The three women are sisters. The man with the fiddle is standing almost in front of his wife. ALRIGHT!!! Back to edit again. Finally found their MySpace page!

We went to the Cash's White River Hoedown Saturday. The show was good and hilarious at times! We laughed so hard during the comedy.

I asked Sam to ride out to Leslie...Yes, it's a town just like Shirley. BTW, those of you who don't know me personally...guess what my parents' names are? Leslie AND Shirley. ;o) Anywho...the road to Leslie was not as winding and treacherous. Same 38 miles but only the last two miles are tight curves. So, that's the direction we headed Sunday morning to go home. Only's raining. Not storming, but a steady rain. Yuck. We have all the appropriate riding gear so suited up and headed out at a nice leisurely pace.

We stopped at Clinton for fuel and breakfast. Waited and rested a bit then started out again. I didn't get antsy until Morrilton. Like...PULL OVER SAM! He's in front. I turned my blinker on in plenty of time for him to see...only he didn't. We get out of Morrilton and cross the Arkansas River bridge. It RAINING harder and the wind is gusting. And I'm on a bridge WAAAAYYYYY up in the air. I can barely see Sam for the rain. I WANT TO STOP NOW! Lo and behold. Thank you God! I see a convenience store. Deja vu' (more of them French words). ;o) I turn my blinker on and turn in. I watch as Sam continues down the road. I park and walk to the front and wait for the returning lone rider. When I see a bike, I wave, point to the side where I'm parked, and walk into the store...dripping water everywhere. Yep, it was Sam. We pulled off wet gear...and I do mean wet. My feet are sloshing my gloves are wet and yucky. I'm not cold though...ah...always a silver lining in the cloud.

Get something to drink. Go back out to the bike to get my paperback. Read until the rain slacks off...some...potty break...head back out yet again. When we got to Mt. Ida, somehow I'm in the lead again. LOL Sam's probably afraid I'll pull over without him knowing again. ;o) I pulled over and looked at him when he stopped. "I'm tired. Find out if there's a motel, a B&B or if someone will rent a bedroom or their camper for the night." We survey our surroundings and guess what I see? No...not a convenience store...a MOTEL!!! Mt. Ida Motel. Remember the first motels? Motor courts? That's what this was. Older than dirt! A bit run down. But clean and only $40. LOL

We slept late this morning. Although it wasn't raining, it was still dreary looking. Suited up. Again. Headed out. Again. Somewhere down the road we stopped for fuel. A car pulled up beside me. The window rolled down and I thought..."Ah-oh. Irate because I was going too slow to suit him." An older couple looked at me. "You were lucky back there. We've followed you since Mt. Ida. A deer ran out right behind you and in front of the car right in front of us. It slipped and scrambled around on the wet pavement. Got it's feet back under it, then headed back the way it came." I know I looked at him blank-faced. That's not what I was expecting to hear and it just didn't register. I didn't think to tell him about the promise I made to God about not riding over my head and He would handle the rest. Well...He did!

We ate lunch...headed out again. Had just a few sprinkles on us the other side of Dierks then the glorious blue sky started showing. We stopped at the next town and shucked the rain gear off and put on sunglasses. The rest of the ride home was sweet! We stopped in New Boston for David Beard's Catfish King...catfish of course.

So. There's the saga. Photos? Yes. I took my camera. No. I didn't take it out of the bag...not once! Like when was I going to have time? Going around those 15 mph TURNS? I'm truly surprised that I didn't get one single photo.

Hopefully this make up for the lack of photos and for this post being like the Energizer bunny...going on and on and on...


Kar said...

Sounds like your adventure with the roads in Arkansas was just like what we dealt with on our trip to Oregon. The good thing is we weren't on motorcycles. Brave woman you are! I'm right there with you about liking the roads in Texas. At least they know what they are doing.

At least you had a fun trip with everything else. I can just imagine you on the road dealing with it all. I am smiling quite big. Sorry. :) Hope the next few days are quiet so you can relax. :)

lesthook said...

LOL! You should try some of those gravel roads up there on a motorcycle! I would have been as bad as you since I left the Ozarks many years ago and just go back for visits now.

elsie123 said...

What a woman! I'm glad it was you and not me! I know you get to see everything up close and personal on a motorcycle, but I'm not that brave...