Day 2 of my 3 day tour….
14 hours of adventure leaves a lot to talk about. What an epically fantastic day!
This morning I discovered that southern Missouri is quite wonderful aside from the helmet law. That half of the state is jam packed full of swervy curvy hilly roads and wildlife.
Does anyone know why The armadillo crossed the road?
If you think you do you are probably wrong because from what I saw today none of them actually made it across! These crazy creatures along with the poor turtles were obviously never schooled on the “look both ways before crossing the street” theory and they repeatedly fail to make it all the way across the road down here. The fox are much smarter or maybe just faster because they seem to be living long enough to hang out in the ditches waiting for unsuspecting vehicles to pass by so they can dart out in front of them.
I’m going to come back to this roadkill/wildlife subject later at the moment I have another question.
What do breakfast, Chinese food, salads, and burgers have in common?
They are all served here before 11 a.m. Now, I will give the owners credit the advertising is perfect, very first thing I saw when I pulled off the interstate was big bold bright red letters saying “CAFE” and I was starving. If you do not like your coffee refilled & are a huge fan of liquid smoke saturated bacon this my friends is your breakfast café! I try hard not to criticize I know everybody has a bad day once in a while so I will just leave it at that. The biscuits and gravy here were actually pretty fantastic. That is all I have to say about Nevada Missouri.
I left there and headed to fill up with fuel where I discovered that on top of having famous motorcycle roads this area of the country is also well-known for jeep & 4×4 trails! These guys looked like they were about to have some fun.
From here I was headed to Arkansas it was only a few hour ride and I was very excited to get off of the interstate. The weather was sketchy off in the distance and I was happy to steer away from it successfully… Once I finally did I found heaven. Rolling paved Hills winding through the forest and bright blue sky! After many miles of twists and turns down highway 86 I found myself right where I wanted to be, the Stateline where I could remove my helmet since it was 92°! I wear my helmet when it’s cold and when it’s raining but on a day like today I prefer to let the wind rip through my hair and feel the sun on my face. Helmet laws will be a subject of another post here soon. Now THAT feels better!!! I know you are all jealous of my $7.99 gas station sunglasses.
Strolling along through Arkansas I couldn’t help but notice that not only do they have armadillos and turtles they also have snakes on the roads. One lucky turtle was saved today though, I came around a curve at a rather high rate of speed and there was a man walking down the road, as I got closer I realized he was holding a turtle that he had pulled off of the road to go back and save! Now that is a standup kind of guy don’t you think ladies?
Where I live we also have tons of road kill but ours consists of deer, raccoon, and possim for the most part. It is a whole different world down here trying to get used to seeing all of these other creatures in the roadways. The most fascinating thing I may have ever seen crossing a roadway was right here in Arkansas on this day! I have seen numerous animals in numerous states on numerous roads all over the country. I like to consider myself a fairly well traveled person in the US. Today I was cruising down a back road I had just rounded a curve and was leaning the bike back up right when I caught sight of a raised shadow ?? towards the centerline roughly as big around as a soup bowl and an inch or 2 high.
I simply could not get to my camera fast enough but right there ladies and gentlemen was the biggest spider I have ever seen in my entire life! And I saw him on the roadway of all places! Shortly after that sighting I found myself driving down the road singing in a true Wizard of Oz tone armadillos, turtles, snakes, and spiders oh my! Then I hit shuffle on the iPhone and found one of my all time favorites…excuse the dirty dashboard I’ve been too busy riding to stop and wash it!
Next up was a place I was very happy to have my camera out for, Eureka Springs. What an awesome little town it is jampacked full of everything & anthing. I was trying my best to take in all of the sites around me and almost ate the rear end of a Cadillac, I’m guessing that would not of tasted so good so I’m glad I got stopped in time to avoid disaster. There was one picture from Eureka Springs that needed to be set aside from the crowd so I am going to upload it here and you are probably going to think I was taking a picture of a mural on the building but that is not what caught my attention.
Can you zoom in and find what I found so entertaining? After Eureka Springs I headed south on Highway 23 down Arkansas’s Pig Trail & stopped for a snack at a neat little souvenir shop where I met 4 combat veterans on their way from South Carolina to San Diego on their bikes. That was a half an hour not wasted out of my day, awesome people! Maybe I’ll see them in Sturgis this year.
The Pig Trail ride was nothing short of amazing it was just like being in the smoky mountains in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina the entire ride felt like I had been there before and my pictures won’t even do it justice! There are 50 mph curves all the way down to 10 mph U-turns. The road crosses and follows a few rivers and creeks and is surrounded by lush green forrest on both sides full of 4×4 roads! Highly recommend this route as long as you watch out for the armadillos, snakes, turtles, and spiders oh my! After today’s ride down route 23, I am convinced I am the last motorcyclist in the country to know about this place. Not exactly sure how I have never heard of it but I’m glad I finally found it! It was awesome to see the parade of other bikes around today from all over the country. The cage drivers down here are very motorcycle friendly and about every other house in north western Arkansas has a “lookout for motorcycles” sign in the yard, very welcoming!
I was being followed by a giant Dodge truck as I was following a Ford Ranger and there were three sport bikes that came flying down the hill behind all of us, one by one we motioned them around us on the straight parts of the road since there are no passing zones we shared the lane as best we could so they could get passed us to enjoy their stroll through the winding curves. I can only corner so fast before my pipes dig into the pavement and I was trying to behave and obey the speed limit. (A few of you who know me will find that hilarious) It was an excellent team effort from a group of people who will probably never know each other and we all got to enjoy our ride at our own pace. After finishing up with the Pig Trail I found the Scenic 7 Byway which led to Jessieville! I’ve been famous down here all these years and never even knew it!
The sun was going down and it was time to figure out where to end my journey for the day. I headed back up Scenic Route 7 and took a different stretch of it than I had on the way down and discovered that it just doesn’t matter where you are around here it is beautiful! 560 miles of nothing but fabulous weather, roads, people and scenery today!
A margarita and Mexican food hit the spot and I was back at my hotel for the night. Around 1 o’clock in the morning I heard something that woke me up and set me straight up in bed, it turned out to be the most wicked thunderstorm I have ever witnessed. The lightning in thick bright white bolts coming down all around and thunder so loud it shook the entire hotel and drown out any other sound. Never in my 35 years have I heard something so loud that just echoed for what felt like several minutes, I’m sure it was seconds but WOW Mother Nature has one hell of a voice on her here tonight! I am a lover of thunderstorms so this was quite an awesome end to my day that I thought had already ended hours before!
Tune in tomorrow for day 3 and my report of Arkansas Dragon, HWY 123