CSTN Eureka Springs – Sept 20-23, 2007
I was sitting at my desk on Thursday morning, going over my mental checklist for the trip. I was working a half-day since I did not want to chew up more vacation time than needed. Jamie could not get off until noon as well, so it worked out great. My brother and his wife came and stayed at our house the previous evening. They live in Ft Worth and did not want to have to make to the trip across town in rush hour traffic. My brother had a heart transplant a few years back and he had a doctor’s appointment in Dallas on Thursday. So we all figured that we would hit he road around 1PM.
I probably was not the most productive employee on this morning. I was getting really excited. I had never been to a Sport Touring.net gathering and I was excited to put some faces with screen names. The morning actually went by pretty quickly. I finished my tasks and was out the door around 11:15. I got home and the gang was all there. We ate a quick lunch and we were ready to hit the road. Dave & Tracey had come over early and loaded their bike onto my trailer and had it hooked to the truck. We have learned from past experiences that it is nice to have a trailer on the trip. (We needed someway to transport the margarita machine and all of the things needed to make 5 gallons of mix, as well as a few six packs of beer.) This worked out well, as Traci is not a big fan of my forced marches.
For some of you that do not know us, Jamie and I ride a 1996 Triumph Trophy, we love the bike and after making a few mods, (new fork springs, brake pads and for her an air hawk) we were really happy. My brother Vern and his wife ride a 2005 ST 1300 fully loaded and is just a wonderful machine. Jackie & Alta had left early on Thursday morning to make it a longer day and to do some sight seeing. They ride a brand new BMW RT, what a beautiful machine. Dave and Traci had loaded up their Triumph Trophy on the trailer. Life was good and we were ready to roll. We headed off down 75 to 121 then jumped on 82. This got us to the wonderful town of Paris Texas. We would not think that on the way back. We jumped up to Broken Bow and then Idabel. We rode up 259 to Big Cedar and then took the skyway over to Mena. By the time we reached the hotel, Jackie and Alta had already checked in. We stayed at the Sun Country Inn. This will probably be rethought for the next trip up there. I did not ask what the cost of the rooms were when I made the reservation. We had stayed numerous times and never paid more than $69. This stay was 89.99 that is way too much for that place. Hell our room in Eureka Springs for the meet was $49 a day. We went over to grumpy’s for dinner. We all turned in early, as it had been a long day for some of us. Not a bad way to start the trip.
On Friday morning we all got up, fueled and met at the local McDonalds. We left Mena around 9AM. We were taking the round about way to get up to the meet. We ran up to Mt Magazine. The views are great and the lodge is a very nice place. The service in the restaurant was very slow but we did not have anywhere to be, so it was not a big deal. We took a group picture out front of the lodge and we were back on our way.
Dave unloaded his bike at the lodge, so he could ride up the rest of the way. We headed up 23 (the pig trail) what a fun road, nice surface and plenty of twisties. We rolled into Eureka Springs around 4:30 pm.
There were already a few bikes in the parking lot. We unloaded our gear and got into the rooms. We took a quick shower and headed down to kick some tires and check out the bikes and meet some new friends. It was awesome seeing so many people from some far away lands. I am so bad with names, but I know I spoke with people from Il, OK, WS, KS, LA, MS and of course many from our home state of Texas.
There were a few people on my hit list. I wanted to chat with Becca as I have always missed having a longer conversation with her. She is a wonderful person and a joy to speak with. I think something was wrong with her Beemer, it glowed while sitting in the parking lot.. Very strange hehehe. I really wanted to chat with Anna and Mike. The reason I started my blog was from Anna’s inspiration. Her blog is awesome. I know mine is not that good but I try. I look in on her adventures anytime I can. I also love the new Triumph Tiger so I wanted to chat with Mike and get his thoughts on the new bike. I was not disappointed both were very nice to speak with.
We fired up the margarita machine and spent he rest of the evening, just hanging out and enjoying our new friends. We got up on Saturday and had breakfast at the Pancake house across the street from the Travelers Inn. I have to stop for a moment and talk about the hotel. The rooms were clean and the staff was very friendly. For the price it earned my 5 star rating. We will make sure to stay there again, in the near future. One of my goals was to take a ferry ride with the bike. We heard rumors that the ferry was not running. We decided to do my “short route” but just add a few miles to it. You can see the route below.
We had the best time. The roads were wonderful. We did run into a stretch of 15 miles of gravel and some chip seal, but all and all it was a great day. We stopped and took many pictures along the way. I always marvel at the roads in this part of the country. They are fantastic! We rode 7 down to the Cliff house Inn for lunch. Last year Jamie and I missed this place as we were back at the hotel, trying to heal from our little get off. We did not have any incidents on this trip. Well we did have one. I missed a turn, the GPS “TOLD” me to go he wrong way. I guess I could have read the sign that said Lodge on it, but that would have been way to easy. Once we realized that we had missed our turn I found a very narrow spot to turn around. I always forget hat the ST 1300 is a heavy bike and fully loaded two up, it is a bear. My brother laid his on its side in a slow maneuver u turn.. Nothing was damaged but his ego. Of course we had to bring that up numerous times during the rest of the weekend. Haha We saw these trucks parked at some small town along the way.
After having lunch at the inn, we decided to make a little adjustment to our route. Jamie and I wanted to go back to our crash site to see the rock that did the damage to her shoulder. Read about the crash here. We also wanted to get rid of the bad mojo concerning AR 16. Our get off occurred right at the curve going into Boston. We pulled into the overlook and went and found the rock that caused Jamie’s injury. Jamie found the boulder and jumped up and down on it. I think this was to punish the rock. It did not work, but it sure made her feel better. We conquered those demons and headed back to Eureka Springs. We got back, cleaned up and headed over to some pasta place for dinner. That was a story in itself. I think we over whelmed them some. hehehe
We had a great time on Saturday evening. We drank margaritas and chatted about bikes. It was a time to say goodbye to new friends and old. We got up and at them pretty early on Sunday. We were on the road at 7:30AM. We had a few deer sightings but nothing bad. It was a beautiful morning.
We got all the way to Paris Texas. I should say we got to with 4.1 miles according to my GPS before the hard rains came. Of course we had taken our rain gear off a few miles back, “since it was clearing up” hehehe We finally stopped because you could not see 10 feet in front of the bike. We finally got back on and made it to Paris, we all changed clothes and headed back to the metroplex.
All went well the last two hours of slab home. We got into town, only to be greeted by 75 north bound shutdown with a careflight unit taking off. It sure made me realize how fortunate we were to be safe at home and having such a great group of friends. We put 1100 + Miles on the bike. It was a great trip. I will leave you with the last of my pictures. If their are typos or spelling errors I am sorry I will proof read this again later. hehehe Sorry this was so long.