MSTA Ride event – Good times with Good friends.
I got up on Friday morning to a cool breeze and a feeling of peace. I made my coffee and got ready for the day. Today was not a work day, it was a ride day and I could not have been happier. I had packed the bike a few days earlier as I was excited to head off on my first moto camping trip of 2019.
Jame would not be riding with me as she had a prior commitment, so this was one of those rare times where I would be heading out on an adventure by myself. I needed a break as work had been very challenging heading up to this wonderful Friday.
I loaded up on the bike and hit the road with a big smile on my face. My first destination was Eureka Springs where I would have some breakfast and log into a mandatory work conference call. I am fortunate to live within 3 miles of some of the best roads in NW Arkansas and Southern Missouri, it is a great way to start the riding day. I rolled into Eureka Spring at 8:45. It was perfect timing. My call was at 9:00 am and this allowed for me to order food and have it in front of me at the start of the call. So far the stars had aligned and it was starting to be a fantastic Friday.
I was back on the road around 10:00 am. The sun was shining bright. My next stop would be at the T-31 Rally sight in Marble Falls Arkansas. It was only 80 miles away. I wanted to get to the site and get my camp site set up so I could rendezvous with some of my MSTA riding friends. I arrived to find that I had my choice of camping sites. I chatted with the owner of the Marble Falls Resort, she said I could pick a site anywhere on the grass out in front of the resort. They also had left room 101 open so that all of the campers had a restroom and shower. I was the only camper so this was awesome.
I pitched my tent, got all my camping gear out and in place in record time. I loaded up again and headed down the scenic byway that is Arkansas 7. As I headed south on 7 I was grinning from ear to ear. The scenery was amazing, the smells intoxicating. It was a great way to spend the day. After a few miles, I see the gang heading north. Kris & Linda Poole in the lead with Gayla O’Brien close behind. I swung a quick u-turn and caught up to them pretty quickly. We headed off to the Cliff House inn to get a piece of pie and a refreshing beverage. It was awesome getting to catch up with my MSTA friends. It was all smiles and storytelling. My root beer float tasting even better as I enjoyed it with these wonderful friends. The view from the Cliff House is breathtaking.
We finished the day hanging out at the resort, fellow shipping with all of the riders who had started to show up at the rally site. I counted 32 bikes, as I walked to the restaurant for dinner.
The rally offered hot dogs and chili for dinner, however that combo was not really something I wanted to take part in before crawling into a tent for a good night’s sleep.Besides that I ran into a couple of friends from Dallas that I had been riding with for over 10 years and they asked me to join them for a steak dinner. It sounded like a great idea. Dinner was great, as the steak was good and the conversation was even better. I was beat as I said good night and headed to my tent. It had been a fantastic day.
Saturday arrived with the sun trying to break free from a cloudy sky. The weather report looked very ominous for later in the day. Some severe weather was headed our way. We had a quick breakfast and then loaded up to hit the road. The riding for the day included great roads like AR7, 123, 16 and 27 and a few more scatter within the daily route.
We had pie in the small town of Dover AR. In fact we helped the wait person win a contest for selling the most pieces of pie during a shift. She got 9 just from our table. Yes we like pie!
These rallies are so much fun for so many reasons. It is so great meeting new friends, catching up with old friends, while enjoying this great hobby. Everyone loves kicking tires, telling stories of past and future rides. Then you throw in some of the best riding roads in America you have a fabulous event. The T-31 Rally did not disappoint.
The afternoon sky was starting to show signs of the severe weather that was forecasted for the evening. We followed the twisty road back to the resort. I wanted to get back in time so that I could take down my camp before the winds and rains arrived. Plus I wanted to be done so that when the T-Rally dinner was served at 7, I was not late. I wanted to take advantage of breaking bread with my MSTA friends. I got all of my things taken down and packed up, just as the rains came.
It was not an awful storm, however there were 30 minutes that was pretty intense and I am afraid that my tent might not have fared very well. I was thankful for my friends taking me in.
Dinner was great, I don’t think I have laughed that much in a long time. It is so enjoyable to hear everyone’s stories, to take part in their ride, even if you were not physically present for their ride. It is always one of my favorite times of any rally. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Sunday arrived and the skies were again clear and the sun was coming out. The last day of any rally are always bitter sweet. You remember all of the fun times, but you also know that the time is coming to an end. That reality is pushing its way back into your life. The cool thing of the last day, is you have another day of riding before reality calls.
We loaded up and found more twisty roads, more spirited riding. The day was a perfect ending to the event. We enjoyed the ride, while we also noticed that some areas were impacted by the storms more than we were at the resort. We took our time, stopping frequently and not wanting to say goodbye.
As we parted ways, we knew that this was not the last time we would meet. We would have many more miles in our futures together. I smiled as I rode off, remembering all of the fun times over the past three days. I was thankful for having such good friends, having the opportunity to get together and enjoy our wonderful hobby together.
I stopped and reflected on the weekend and the day. I came to the conclusion that life was good and I was glad to be sharing it with my MSTA friends. Until next time. Ride safe!