I had to go into work on Friday for 6 hours. It seemed like the day was never going to end. I went in really early so I was hoping to get off by 10AM. Vern was leaving Ft Worth at 9AM and he would hook up with me at my house as soon as I got off. The clocked finally struck 10 and I was out the door. The weather was wonderful. It was in the mid 70’s with plenty of blue sky. Vern rode up about 10 minutes after I got home. We finished putting things on the bike, and then took a few pictures. I love the storage that the Connie has. The bags are big and I had plenty of room for my stuff. I even took a chair to sit in by the fire at nights.. Life was good.
We did our regular route, as we jumped on 75 and then cut across 121 over to 82 thru Paris then 195 over to 37, then up 259.. or something like that. I might have left out a couple of roads. hehehe. We were out of town around 11AM. We stopped in Paris and ate a quick lunch at Popeyes, then headed the rest of the way up to the good roads. 259 is always fun and this was the first time that the Connie got to spread it’s wings.. It is an amazing machine. We did fast run up, getting the tires heated up and doing some high speed sight seeing. The bike was flawless. I am loving it more and more every single day.
While taking these pictures, we were sitting at the intersection of 259 and 1, when a black pick up came flying down the road, heading for the 20MPH corner, going at a rate much faster than that. He locked up his breaks, started to swerve, actually got up on two wheels before the truck finally came to rest just a few inches from the guard rail. I will make you a bet , that the driver is still pulling seat out of his ass. He was a very luck man, as he could have killed himself.
Another strange thing happened on this corner just a few minutes later. We were parked on the far side of the curve, when a group of cruisers came down the hill and turned left, THREE of them almost missed the corner and almost hit our bikes sitting there. Talk about target fixation.. We sat there for a little while as we did not want to hit the twisties with them holding things up. We got our gear on and headed up to Talimena State Park where the rally was being held. I took off and was doing a pretty quick pace up the hill. I would wait for Vern at the rangers station as we turned onto 271. I caught the Cruiser group about half way up and had to make my way around them, most was very nice and just moved over so I could proceed. One guy on a new Honda Fury, saw me coming and he decided that he was going to take off so I could not pass him. Well that lasted a few seconds and then I over took him. When I pulled into the ranger station to wait on Vern, the cruisers came into the station. I started to talk with the Fury guy and he was actually laughing.. I think the words he came up with was “what was I thinking” talking about himself trying to hold me off. We laughed together and shook hands. It was all good. At that time Vern rode in. We chatted for a few minutes then headed down the 1.5 miles to the camp ground.
We got to the camp site around 4PM. The cost to camp was $10 a day. The camp ground was very nice, it would get packed later as this BMW group was having their rally and a bunch of KTM dirt bike guys were there as well. The bathrooms were nice and they had plenty of stalls and showers. We set up camp and then headed into Talihina for some fuel and food.
We ate at some Mexican food place, the food was nothing to write home about. the local high-school team was playing a football game right next door so the place was hopping. After we got fuel we walked inside to get a six pack of beer, I got the beer and then asked the lady if I could fill the bag up with ice. She looked at me like I was speaking another language. She finally snapped out of it and told me I had to pay .64 cents for the ice. I just laughed and gave her a dollar. She asked me why I wanted the ice, I told her to keep the beer cold. She looked like she finally got it as she smiled and said thank you. I think she must have been mad, that she had to work and was not able to attend the game.
As we sat down to enjoy dinner we ran into a few of the LSBMW guys. Jim, Fred and Russell (I hope that is right) They were eating and then heading back to enjoy a relaxing night by the fire. Bo Griffin showed up a few hours later. We all hung out and chatted as we watched Bo assemble his camp site. Bo rode up with the biggest pack on his bike. When we asked him why he brought such a big tent, he laughed and said that the big pack was his SLEEPING BAG?? The biggest bag I have ever seen in my life. Too funny! We just hung out Friday night and enjoyed everyone’s company. It was a great night.
We woke up on Saturday around 7:30AM. It was still chilly, not freezing but had to have a sweat shirt as the cool morning air was refreshing. It got down to 45 the night before so people were still trying to warm up. I loved it! It made for great sleeping weather. I just curled up in my bag and I was snug as a bug. Vern was not, as he told me we had to find a wal-mart so he could get some long johns.. (big wussy.. hehehe)
We walked over and got with Bo and the gang, We all decided to head over the hill and go eat at the Queen Wilhelmina lodge. We had a nice ride over. We ate, then we departed in smaller groups as everyone had their own agenda for the day.
Vern and I headed down to the wal-mart in mena, so he could get his johns and we could also get some lighter fluid for the camp fire later that night. We called our friends Dave and Traci that have a nice little spot of land next to the river down by Pencil Bluffs. They invited us over to have lunch and to check out the place. So we decided to ride over. The road to their land is gravel,it is not a bad road, but lets just say that the connie is not a dirt loving machine. Vern’s strom made easy work of the road and he had to wait on me a few times.. (yes, finally he was waiting on me haha!) We had a great lunch and really enjoyed our afternoon with friends.
We headed back to Talihina around 3PM. We took the long way home and just enjoyed a beautiful day of riding. We stopped back in Talihina and grabbed a sandwich and chips and headed back to camp. We stopped and took a few more pictures of the bikes on the way back.
When we got back to the camp ground, the Texas guys were loading up. They had looked at the weather and decided that they would head back to big D and try and beat the rain. The forecast called for rain all night and they did not want to sleep in the rain and have to break a wet camp. Vern and I watched as they loaded up and then waved as they rode off. We decided that we would hang out and ride back on Sunday as planned.
It was a great night as a group from Oklahoma sat around the fire and told stories of rallys from years past. Vern and I hung out and enjoyed the company and the warmth of the fire We went to bed around 10PM as the rain started. it rained all night, but it was a slow steady rain. It made sleeping very easy. It stayed warmer than the night before, so it was very comforatble. We woke up around 7:30 and it was still sprinkling. We got our things together and broke camp. The tent was really wet, but I just threw it in my camping bag for the trip. I think we broke camp in 45 minutes. We said our goodbye’s and was on the road by 9AM. We decided to slab it home as it looked like rain was in our future. We rode in the rain for an hour or so and then it stopped. It was a light rain, so no big deal. We jumped on 75 and made it home before 1PM. It stopped raining around Sherman and I rode home the rest of the way, chilled but with a smile on my face. It had been a great weekend and I will make sure to make this event again next year! Good times! I think I recorded almost 700 miles for the weekend. You can see all of the pictures here.