Riding Around in Arkansas

Hello? (tapping on screen, peering around) Anyone still there? I did not abandon blogging, or Giada, or my family and friends whom I am thankfully tethered via the Internet connections we inhabit. I was on vacation!

It’s hard to come back from vacation. The last time we took off for two straight weeks was back in 2007 when our son graduated high school and we bummed around Ireland . It was hard to come back then. It was hard to come back this time.

I won’t tell you about each day but just give ya highlights…….It can be broken up in three segments. The Arkansas Mountains, rural Mississippi and St George Island Florida .


The second day of October greeted us with gorgeous blue skies and crisp temperatures. As my leather clad legs wrapped tightly against my perch on Doug’s Road King, we took off before 8:00 a.m. and rode 420 miles in 6 ½ hours, stopping in Tupelo , Mississippi for the night. For anyone who rides – a Mustang seat can not be valued more highly. It was sooo comfortable.

We met a beautiful young woman named Bailey who brought us very strong top shelf margaritas, coconut shrimp and tenderloin steak on foccacia. Doug and I are now her friends on FB and while we’ll probably never see her again, she made our night. It was a fun interaction :-)

The next day we made it 280 miles in 6 hours. The roads were twisty and hilly. The temperatures cooler and more enjoyable than those we left in Tallahassee FL. Some mornings were 38 degrees and we loved it!

In Arkansas , some village signs boasted a population of 600 while others had 2,400 residents. Sparsely populated and beautiful. We stopped in Mountain View Arkansas and stayed at a cabin 4 nights, The attraction? The roads.

4 October – riding up (and then down) Push Mountain is like a racetrack of curves, high speed leans where I had close-up views of the asphalt as Doug handled that smoking hot Road King with professional precision. Our descent, hurtling us downward in a succession of leans to the left, right, left…..avoiding the suicidal deer which stand near the road then dart out last minute.

Can you say adrenalin rush? Seriously…it was a mixture of excitement, fear, fun…a heart thuddin’ blast! We can’t wait to go back.

Click HERE
for great photos and descriptions from motorcylists on Push Mountain .

On one of the rides we made it into Missouri just to tick off another state. Well….have you ever read any of the Sookie Stackhouse books where they describe the town of Hotshot …the one the werepanthers inhabit? No, I didn’t think Bakersfield had werepanthers….but there was an eerie feel to it.

Doug and I pulled off and it was quiet….you could tell people were around, you felt like you were being watched. Expecting a curtain in a window to drop if you turned toward a house. There were a few “thunk” sounds from an abandoned building. No people visible at all.............

We left hurriedly …a good reason to ride fast. And away.

One of the last rides we took was one Doug had looked forward to since reading about it in Road Runner magazine

It was particularly twisty and had no guard rails so he saved it for last, after getting experience on the other rides. Sadly, we started out too early and the sun would blind him, then as he rounded the mountain, the hills would pitch him into darkness, then back to being blinded by the sun….made it so he couldn’t see on coming traffic. We’ll do that one next time and make it later in the day.

One place we stopped in Jasper so we could eat at the Ozark Cafe as it's been open for 101 years............

But we ate BBQ at Dylan's since we really wanted BBQ, and we plan to make it back up there anyway...one day...to Ozark Cafe.

Some rides for anyone interested:

Push Mountain – 146 miles with 342 curves

Mountain View Run -168 miles with 602 curves. Time frame: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Jasper Disaster – 56 miles with 316 curves. Time frame: 2 hours It is described as “mile for mile, this route is the curviest riding route with beautiful mountain scenery, massive drops in elevation and opportunity to see deer, turkey, elk and eagles.

After 4 days we headed south toward Tylertown Mississippi to visit our aunt and cousins. More later…………..


Janel said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip! Glad to see you back home safe and sound after all of those curves. :)

Katerina said...

How much I wish I was in your luggage. These pictures are so beautiful. You did have a wonderful time out there. I am happy for you.

Pierce said...

Janel - it was just so relaxing to get away from Florida and have fun. Thanks! I need to catch up on blogs but I see you were published again - good for you!

Katerina - Thank you so much. I bought postcards where I found them and forgot addresses!

girlichef said...

Wow Tina!! This sounds absolutely amazing. I want to try to drive a motorcycle one day...hubs and I talk about it sometimes. Haven't been on one since I was young! I can just imagine cruising the winding paths and dodging werepanthers.... ;) Glad you're back, even though it means you're no longer on vacay.

Kim said...

I'm so glad that you got to keep your vacations plans and take such a break from real life. All that riding is good for your soul. Peaceful and quiet with beautiful scenery. Sounds like my idea of a great trip!

janie said...

I'd love to see that part of the country, but I think I'd have to do it from a car!

Joie de vivre said...

I'm glad you had fun. I've never been in that area of our country before. The vistas look beautiful and all of the restaurants look incredibly charming.

Rita said...

What a trip; Beautiful pictures and I salute you; you are a brave lady! Happy you had fun and a safe return home.
When I return I always say'Home Sweet Home' and I mean it.

Brenda said...

That was a lot of fun and interesting to read. I love hearing about your travels, even when it's just a day trip. Looks like you had a wonderful time, great pictures. Welcome back!

Drick said...

oh yeah, those mtns were meant for riding, sounds like ya'll had a blast winding around out there, thanks for sharing the memories... looking forward to your other two reads...

Pierce said...

Girlichef - It was fun, LOTS of fun! Take a safety class and see if you'd like to ride. You guys would have fun together.

Kim - Thanks, it was great to get away. Wish we could go again soon :-0

Janie - There's alot to be said for ebing in a car as you'd see more of the mountainside scenery!

Joie - Thanks, it was a blast!

Rita - It was good to get back to our own beds after so long but what a nice time away.

Thank you Brenda, that means alot. I love to write and think I probably get too wordy about adventures and food!

Drick - I did manage to read some blogs through reader and have printed out one of your recipes. Thanks for the nice commnet!

Velva said...

What a wonderful to enjoy a vacation-it was all up close and personal. Awesome. I can imagine the sense of freedom. Love the photos.

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