Jamie and I were excited to attend this rally. We have met some great friends in our short time in NWA. Bill and Gayla have been awesome! We have started a great relationship both on and off the bikes, that we hope will last for years. Bill was the first person we met in Arkansas in the motorcycle riding community. We were visiting Bentonville BMW and heard that we were new to the area and loved to ride. He introduced himself and the rest is history. Both he and Gayla said we should attend this rally. So we made it a priority to attend and we are glad that we did. This was also our first MSTA event and after our experience at Theodosia it will NOT be our last! The weather did not really cooperate but the weekend was so much fun. We did get some riding in, it was a tad wet but fun non the less. We met some great people and felt like we welcomed from the first day we road in. What a fun event. Here is a quick ride report with some pictures. We woke up Friday morning to a number of bikes in the parking lot, overcast skies and well rested. We ate at the resort and then decided to take a little ride before the weather kicked. We hooked up with Tom on his ST1300 and hit the road. It was a fun day of rising and we actually made it home mostly dry. We rode the last 10 minutes in the rain, so it was no big deal.
We enjoyed the afternoon,just talking with new friends. Thanks Tom, Jim and many others for introducing yourself and making us feel like we belonged. It was a great day. Bill, Gayla, Lisa, Linda and Kris all rolled in later that afternoon. Kris had the big surprise as he rode up on a brand new Kawasaki Ninja H2 SXSE. WOW! what a beautiful machine. We spent the night catching up and telling stories. I love the atmosphere of motorcycle rallies. Its so cool having so many different people, talking one universal language. I had one guy walk buy and give me a beer, we introduced ourselves and chatted about his beautiful Ducati. These rallies are so much fun. Our paths would have probably never crossed excpet for our love of motorcycles brought us together.
The weather report for Saturday was not very good. However that did not dampen… our spirits. We had breakfast and headed out to ride. It was a pretty good morning, however we rode on wet roads most of the day. We stopped at the Trout Ranch for lunch and it was amazing! I will definitively be stopping there again. 125 in Missouri is a beautiful stretch of twisty fun road. I can’t wait to return.
The people make these events so much fun. On this trips we laughed so hard at times, it is hard to describe. The Spider Monkeys made their debut and I am learning the difference between WE and I… its a long sad story to be told at a different time. haha!
Saturday evening was a lot of fun as well. The Rally hosted a dinner, Chicken and all of the fixings. It was awesome. It was a great finish to the day. We all stayed up on the front porch and told more lies… err stories and laughed our butts off. It was so much fun.
Sunday arrived and we were again greeted with overcast skies. This was a little disappointing as all of the weather reports said it would be clear for the day. Darn weather people are the only ones I know who can be wrong 50% and still have a job. It did not stop us from having a great ride back to NorthWest Arkansas. Jamie and I have already made plans to attend next year.
Like I said at the beginning of this ride report. We will be looking to attend more MSTA events. The hospitality was amazing, the people were so welcoming and never made us feel like newcomers. The riding was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to ride up in that area when the roads are dry. I am so glad that we live in this area.
I want to take a quick moment to thank Jim Williams for all of his hard work. These events are not easy and he did a great job! I also want to thank all of the riders, more than I can name who made Jamie and I feel very welcome.
Last but not least are are Bill, Gayla, Kris, Linda and Lisa. We all seemed to hit it off and Jamie and I look forward to riding many more miles with all of you. Can you say Colorado? Stay tuned.
Have you ever needed to just get away and not think of much of anything? I was in this state before we headed to vacation. I have lost three very influential people in my life the past 90 days. All were taken way too early. I needed to reset and spend some time with my wonderfully supportive wife and I must add.. World Class Pillion.
We decided that a long road trip on the Versys was much needed. We started to look at destinations. We were planning on ending up in Theodosia Missouri for the MSTA BS (Bull Shoals) Rally. I will have a full ride report later for the rally. So stay tuned! I had ridden in Kentucky a few years back with the Lone Star BMW group and my good friend Jackie. He and his beautiful wife Alta are going through a tough spell and they were in ours thoughts many times during this ride. Jamie had never ridden in this part of the country so it was decided! Bluegrass state here we come! We headed out on Saturday Sept 1st. Our trip started off great as we were able to hook up with a few of the guys from Lone Star Riders group from our old stomping grounds in N Texas. We met them at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper Arkansas at 8AM. This meant that we hit the road at 6AM. Before I get too far along I need to go back a little. We are often asked how Jamie and I can go on a trip for 9 days to camp and get all of the stuff needed packed on the bike. Well let me tell you , it takes years of practice and a wife that understands that less is good. Let me explain.
We needed to pack gear, for a 9 day road trip. 4 of those days were going to be spent camping. This meant a tent, sleeping bags, air mattresses and anything else needed to pitch a tent and stay for that many of nights had to be packed on the Versys. This along with clothes, riding gear and of course our cribbage set. It took a few days of planning but we made it happen. The pictures show all of the gear we loaded up on the Big V.
The only gear casualty was my tail bags raincover and my heated jacket. At the last minute we put the jacket under the cover. We took off early that Saturday morning, only to realize that the cover and the jacket blew off… it would have helped if we had strapped it down.. doh! Lesson learned and I needed a new heated jacket anyhow. Well not really but what was done was done.
We rolled into Jasper right at 8AM. It was great seeing Mark, Rick and Randy already inside ready to order breakfast. We love living in Northwest Arkansas and have not thought twice about leaving the Dallas area, but we sure miss our friends. We enjoyed catching up with the guys. It was a great way to start the trip. After breakfast we all headed our own directions. The guys were spending a few days riding our wonderful roads. (I still have to pinch myself. That we live here in motorcycle mecca) Jamie and I were taking the long way to Cape Girardeau Missouri, for our first night away from home.
As many of you know, Jamie likes her casinos. The Cape offers this activity, so after we checked into our hotel and showered we headed to the Isle Casino. We had a nice dinner, a few drinks and even took part in some gambling. Jamie played some slots, while I made it to the bar and watched the college football game. (UCLA still sucks) We had a fun evening. We were back at the hotel and sleeping by 9PM. It had been a long day and tomorrow would bring more adventure.
After taking a number of beautiful back roads we ended up at our campsite for the next few days. We decided to stay at a KOA so that we could have nice bathrooms and showers. The KOA Renfro Valley just 30 miles south of Lexington. When we checked in the place was packed. It was Labor Day weekend and we were lucky to have a place to pitch the tent. The hosts told us we would have the place to ourselves on Monday and they were right. It was awesome!. We went down the street and grabbed dinner after setting up the tent. We cooled down as it was very warm and humid. No trip is complete without cobbler, so we took some back to the campsite. It was a short night as we were exhausted. We both were looking forward to some great riding the next few days.
We awoke to a rooster alarm clock from the farm down below us. The fog was heavy in the valley. Jamie and I got together and was on the road by 8AM. It was a great day of riding. We got lost a couple of times, but we did not care. We were riding the bike and enjoying the Kentucky rolling hills and manicured horse farms. Life was very good. We got back to the site around 4PM. We showered and enjoyed some time playing cribbage. It is a favorite of ours while on the road. Guess who won 2 straight games.. not Jamie.. haha
Tuesday we decided to explore some of the local horse farms in the Lexington area. It is amazing how clean and manicured the fields are. We spent most of the days just riding around, enjoying the countryside. From time to time we would see beautiful horses living in paradise. I have to admit a couple of times it struck me that these horses live better than some families in America. These horse palaces were grand and you could tell, very expensive to keep up to these levels of beauty. We had a great day of exploring the kentucky Horse farms. It was a great day of riding.
It is so hard to write and paint a picture of how beautiful the Kentucky landscape is. It is truly a beautiful place.
Monday evening we got to have dinner with some of Jamie’s family that lives in Georgetown KY. She had not seen them in almost 18 years so we had a great night of food and family. It was a great evening. I was so glad to meet this side of Jamie’s family. They treated me like they had known me all my life. Hopefully it wont be nearly this long before our paths cross again.
Wednesday we had to call an audible. Seemed like tropical Storm Gordon was going to make the rest of the trip a wet one. We decided to head out a day early so if we had to ride in the rain, we would minimize the amount of time in the torrential rainfall. Turns out it was the right plan. We got up Wednesday under cloudy skies. We closed up camp and hit the road. We decided to visit Cumberland Falls on the way out of Kentucky. That was another great choice. We avoided the rain in the morning and the falls were beautiful.
After spending some time at the falls, we headed towards Paducah KY. We dodged the storms all day long. At times it looked like we were going to get soaked, only for the route to take us a different direction. It was a great day and ultimately we made the right choice to leave a day early. The Lexington area was soaked for most of the day. We jumped in the shower and walked across the street to grab an adult beverage and a steak. It was a fantastic way to end the day.
We woke up to a muggy warm morning. We got packed up and headed over to breakfast. This was a sad start to the day, our KY journey was over. The good news was the trip had a part 2 that would be happening. We would ride today, taking the long way to get to Theodosia Mo, home of the BS (Bull Shoals – MSTA) rally. This would be the first one we have attended and we were looking forward to seeing friends and meeting new friends as well. We rode in and out of showers for most of the day. Little did we know this was a precursor for the next 3 days. We rolled into the Marina and Resort around 4PM. There were already some bikes there. I love motorcycle rallies.
Kentucky was amazing. We enjoyed our much needed time together. We got to see some visually stunning sights, rode beautiful roads for mile after mile and ultimately had a fantastic time. This Part of the story is over, but stay tuned. More fun was on the agenda. Here are a few more of my favorite shots from the first part of our trip. You can see all of the pictures from this journey here. Thanks for reading this ride report. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay safe and Let’s Ride!