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Friday, July 22, 2016

Field Of Dreams

No, nothing about a baseball field in a corn patch.  Something quite different.

Winding up our tour of the back roads in Arkansas and Missouri, we rode through many amazing twists and turns including the Ozark National Forest, the Mark Twain National Forest, around the Buffalo River and a few million others that overwhelmed my poor brain.  A gem of an area of our country that my brothers and I enjoyed immensely.  I think I put more miles on the sides of my tires than the middle!  :c)

To take it all in, we stopped at a roadside pull off for a few minutes, giving the bikes a chance to cool down and the blood to recirculate in our butts.


Gordy installed his GoPro camera on his helmet to record some of the roads we were on.  One reason was to show the folks back home the fun we had, the other reason was so he could watch the videos over the winter when there will be snow on the ground where he lives and his motorcycle will be in hibernation.  


At one stop, we looked down on a river that was pale green in color, not from any pollution, but from the many minerals leached out of the ground.


Did you ever take a moment to try to remember all the cars you've owned?  It's pretty hard to do, at least for me.  We've discovered on many of the back roads, people don't have too much of a struggle remembering all their cars because they usually are all over their yards, left right where they died and now are sporting all kinds of weeds and trees growing out of them.

We came to this one field where there were dozens of old cars and trucks just left to the elements.




But this one got us thinking...and dreaming.



It was complete except for the seat and windshield.  We think it is either a 1941 or 42 Chevy pickup, it would make a great restoration project.  The wheels in our minds started turning and we dreamed of how fun it would be to take on a project like that.

Where is it?  We ain't telling, or somebody else might decide to take the truck home.   ;c)

Our ride was coming to an end and we had our last lunch before we split up, with Dave and Gordy heading back to New Jersey and me going down to South Carolina.  Dave mentioned that exactly one year ago we were on our annual motorcycle trip and we were under cover in New York state waiting out a heavy rainstorm.  We were amazed that we hadn't hit any rain the entire time we were riding.

After we split up, guess what I ran into?



A frog strangling thunder storm with heavy rain, I sought shelter under an overpass.  I saw the storm clouds building and decided to stop in a hotel for the night.  The storm hit one mile from my exit.  Talk about bad timing!  I waited and waited for the rain to let up but it kept on coming, harder and harder.  

Between the trucks dowsing me with spray as the went by on one side and the wind blowing rain in from the other, I got pretty wet.  After a half hour, I donned my rain suit and pulled out, heading for the hotel.  I was a sight as I sloshed in to the hotel front desk to get a room.  Signing in, I left a puddle where I was standing.  A nice hot shower never felt so good.

This morning, the sun was shining and I motored down towards where we are at the COE, I met Marti here:


Yep, that is our new home base being built in Chapin, South Carolina.  No, we're not stopping traveling and the Journey will still be with us, but we're looking at the future to have a place to come to if we ever decide to hang up the keys.  We're enjoying seeing it being constructed, it should be done early to mid October.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

I Bought An Indian

Instead of eating breakfast at our rented house, we rode downtown in Eureka Springs to a highly recommended restaurant.


The eatery was actually down in the basement of the building,well down below street level.  It was decorated in early hippie colors.  It was quite nicely done and no, they didn't serve mud, but did a great job on bacon and eggs.


After breakfast we walked up the stairs to street level again to start our day's ride.  The streets were deserted, sort of like many campgrounds after a weekend.


Across the street there was a larger than life sized Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall.  I hope he was careful because I didn't see any King's horse or King's men anywhere around.


A nice mural of Eureka Springs history adorned the wall of the building next to where we parked.


Off we went riding more of the great roads in Arkansas and later Missouri, too.  Somehow, we ended up stopping at an Indian Motorcycle dealership.  Silly me, I should have recognized the danger I placed myself in.

They had many beautiful motorcycles on display.


Some were antiques nicely displayed, but not for sale.


My dad had this exact model Indian motorcycle.  I saw it in 1969 at his uncle's house, my dad had sold it to him in the mid 1950's.


Then it happened. At the end of one of the rows of bikes, there it was.  THE Indian I've always wanted, the "Soul Mate" of motorcycles for me.  It was irresistible and I had to have it!


Then I looked at the price tag, I whimped out and bought this Indian instead.


Something slightly more in my price range.

Later, after a very hot day riding, we stopped at an ice cream store,


where I was able to drown my sorrows over the Indian motorcycle in a root beer float.



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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dropped My Bike, Dropped My Camera

We've been having an amazing time riding the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and Missouri.  We marvel at the roads, their condition is phenomenal.  We figured the reason they are in such good shape is because nobody seems to use them.  Most roads are empty, we see very few cars.

The curves make riding the bikes so enjoyable.




For those of you that asked, Marti is visiting with her sister Gail, and they are having lots of fun shopping together.  For me, shopping ranks right up there with watching paint dry.  Lucky me, my two brothers, being Harley riders, have to stop at every Harley store we pass and shop, usually to buy t-shirts.




You can buy all kinds of things at Harley stores, even things like this:


Often, we have to compare modern electronic navigation devices with paper maps to figure out where we really are.



Out in the middle of nowhere, we like to stop at interesting little eateries for lunch or cold drinks.  While there, we still try to figure out where we are, where we've been and where we're going.




When all else fails, we man up and ask for directions.  Then we're back on the road again.




We came across this interesting bridge, built with wood planks for the deck.




The clear roads occasionally have a traffic jam.  We came to one which we sat and waited, and waited, and waited. 


After a long while, we decided to turn around.  While tip toeing my bike into the empty other lane, I dropped it.  My bike weighs over 900 pounds and when it decides to lay over, there is no stopping it.  Fortunately, I have crash bars on it so nothing was damaged, except my dignity.  Gordy helped me pick it up and we headed back the other way. 

With all the twists and turns we traveled, Dave thought maybe it would be a good idea to check his brakes.  A quick look showed there were plenty left.  Always good to be sure.


After a great ride through beautiful country,



we returned to the house we've rented in Eureka Springs for the night.  I poured myself a large glass of soda and walked into the living room where I promptly dropped my camera right into the glass.  No crash bars on the camera, I killed it.

Guess where we stopped first thing this morning on today's ride?  Yup, Walmart to buy a new camera.  I hope I've finally finished with my dropping things!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Call Us The Flat Butt Brothers

Yep, we've been doing a lot of riding in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.  There are so many roads twisting though the forests and mountains we had a hard time choosing which one to ride.  We're trying to ride as many as we can, which results in a pretty sore butt after a while, Buns Of Steel we're not!

We started out for today's ride around 9:30 am, but first we checked over the bikes to make sure all is well.  Dave looked mine over to ensure all was right.


Gordy had a new Go Pro camera he wanted to try out.  He mounted it on his trunk.


He puzzled over the directions for a while until he got it working right.


Or so he thought.  We stopped a mile or two down the road for Take Two on the programing.  He got it right this time.


The roads in Arkansas' Ozark Mountains are in excellent condition, with nary a pothole to be found anywhere.  Other states need to take lessons from Arkansas.  At first we drove on some long straight roads.


Then we got to the long sweeping curves, just what we were looking for!






Of course, every once in a while we had to stop for some road construction.  The way Arkansas keeps up their roads, it's worth the wait.


We stopped at a little Mom and Pop store for a breather and a cold drink while circulation returned to our posteriors.  We got a tip from the clerk of a close by place we had to see.  So we went and checked it out.


On the road in, we came to a section where the water was running across the road about six inches deep.  Dave and Gordy drove their bikes right across and I almost fell off mine.  Not from driving bad but seeing my brothers, who keep their bikes in showroom condition (I think they spend more time cleaning and polishing them than riding) splash water all over them.




They actually had so much fun doing that that they drove back a forth through the water while I took pictures and filmed them with their I-phones so people back home would believe they did it.

We rode a dirt road through the woods and came to the parking area by the falls.


The falls, while small, were really beautiful.  We stayed a while and enjoyed the view.


I sat on a big stone while Gordy and Dave explored the falls.  I noticed the rock was softer than the seat of my motorcycle.  


On the way out, after driving through the water, Gordy took off his shirt and soaked it in the water, then put it back on to cool down.


I reminded him that we didn't know what might be upstream contaminating the water, but he was so hot he said he didn't care.  As the oldest brother, I try to keep the lads in line, but sometimes their behavior is more than I can keep in check.  Hopefully tomorrow he doesn't wake up with sores all over his body!  ;c)

Now we're planning on where to go and ride tomorrow.  I have to say the Ozark mountains are an amazing place to enjoy.

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