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Natural State Overland Event – Byrd’s Adventure Park

Jamie and I had decided to attend our first Overland event. The Natural State Overland event was being held at Byrd’s Adventure Park, in one of our favorite areas of Arkansas, so it was an easy choice. Besides our friends from Dallas, OKC and the Hill country would be attending so we had to go. 

We loaded up the jeep and hit the road on Saturday. We took the fastest way there so we could get set up and walk the event and catch up with our friends. Camping is always so much fun. Doing it with friends is even better.

We got all set up with no issue. You could tell it had been raining a ton, as the site was rather damp and all of the roads were muddy. We had fantastic weather the entire time we were there. We caught up with friends and then just walked around and enjoyed all of the rigs in attendance. There are some amazing machines out there. 

Another cool thing from this event was the Fly in. There were a number of small planes, coming and going all afternoon. It was so cool camping right across the road from the run way. What a cool idea. 

Now I have never had the flight bug, however this was really cool. It was fun walking around, looking at the planes and chatting with the pilots. Then I saw this.. 

I decided to walk back to my safe Jeep that has been approved. haha! It was a great afternoon of catching up with friends. We did a short little drive to get some lunch, before heading back and doing some sight seeing in the vendor area. 

We got back in to time to attend the raffle. I was amazed at how many gifts were handed out. We wanted to win the portable fridge but it did not work out. The Roof Top Tent would have been great as well but alas we did not win that either. It was cool sitting around and chatting with all of the folks in attendance. It is truly a family affair as kids young and old were there enjoying the activities. Everyone was so friendly and it was a great vibe hanging out with people who enjoy the great world of off-roading and camping. 

We enjoyed a great evening. It was a little chilly but nothing unmanageable. We got to use the new table that I just installed on the JK to prep for dinner. My only bummer for the night was that my coleman stove would not fit on the table as the bottle was to large. So we cooked in the back of the JK and that worked well. That is until I decided to make some coffee to go along with my Baileys and pie. I left the lid on and so BOOM, it exploded all over the back of the jeep. It was actually funny, but it was a mess to clean up. The steaks came out great and tasted amazing! I love the taste of camping food. 

We woke up Sunday morning to a chilly 38 degrees. It was not bad, just a little chilly. Today was going to be a great day. It was our wedding anniversary of 13 years! I love that my girl enjoys these types of events. It seems we spend every anniversary on the motorcycle or in the jeep. I love Jamie and I am so glad that we are living our life adventure together!

Jamie and I cooked breakfast for the guys before we picked up camp. We were going to take the Dallas crew to Spainhour falls for a little off road fun before breaking off and heading back to the house. They were staying another day to enjoy more camping and wheelin. What a great little trail. It was a beautiful day and the company made it even better. I miss our friends from the DFW area, however I DO NOT miss the Dallas area itself. The move to Arkansas was the best thing we have done in years and we are so thankful for all of the cool things this beautiful state has to offer. 

We ran into Clarksville and had lunch before saying our goodbyes to Rob and David. It was such a fun day. Can’t wait to do it again soon. 

We really enjoyed our first Overlander event and will be looking to attend more in the future. It was a great time and we look forward to meeting more people with similar interests. We got home, enjoyed a tasty beverage while setting up the camping gear to dry out. It was a great weekend and not a bad way to spend our anniversary. You can see all of the pictures here: Natural State Overland Event. You can see all of the videos here: Jerry’s YouTube Channel

Until next time. Drive safe and go Explore!

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MSTA – Byway Boogie


Rain – Rain – Rain


Jamie and I are starting to think that every time we want to attend a MSTA get together it is going to rain. Just like Bull Shoals, the weather report was not looking very promising. 


We headed out Friday afternoon and decided to get to the hotel the fastest way possible as the skies were looking very ominous. We had an uneventful ride and arrived at the Sherwood Inn – Best Western around 4PM. While checking in the phone rang and it was the group getting a late lunch at The taste of Italy next to the hotel. We had already eaten so we took our time, got a little warmed up and just enjoyed the slow rain. 

The gang came back to the hotel, it is always great catching back up with MSTA friends. Barbara and Steve were there along with Gayla. As we were kicking tires, Denise arrived in her cool little convertible and Bill showed up just a little later, as he had to wait and finish work for the day before joining us. The rain was pretty steady, so we just sat around told lies (..err stories) and enjoyed the company. We also got to speak with the guys who braved a lot more miles than we did to attend. Jerry S from Kansas, Doug F from Mo, Jon N, John Campbell from Iowa along with Roger & Virginia  had rode in earlier and were just drying off and thinking about the routes to pursue the next day.

The Texas gang of Kris, Linda and Lisa arrived in the late afternoon. The gang was all here. I was delightfully surprised at the turn out as the weather was not being very welcoming. 

That evening a group of us headed out to dinner. Our first choice was the Italian place next door, but it was slammed! They had an hour wait, so we decided to walk down to the pizza hut. (Jamie & Linda did the speed walk) It was a fun evening. We decided that the rains would hold off on Saturday until 1pm or so. We all decided to do a quick jaunt to the Ozark Cafe in Jasper for breakfast. Good plans always have some sort of flux.. stay tuned.


Saturday morning arrived and the weatherman seemed to be on his game. It was not raining, however it was a little chilly. We all loaded up and headed out for a little Arkansas fun. The group was a large one as we all had the same idea, to get back before the serious rains came. Somehow Jamie and I decided to pick up the pace and go hunt down the quicker group. Well this was a great plan until we hit the cut off at 16 and 21. My GPS said to go right, my wife said I needed to go left. The wife is always right, so left we went… wrong! No big deal, as life is always an adventure. Once we realized the mistake, it was way out of the way to head back to Jasper so we decided to venture out on our own. Jamie had not been to Oark and the General store, so we went that direction. 



It always amazes me when we ride in Arkansas on how beautiful the roads are. It is hard to find a bad experience. We enjoyed the having breakfast and warming up with a nice cup of coffee. We decided to take back a pie for the group since we figured they would be a little baffled when we did not show up. We texted everyone to let them know we were safe, but as most of you know the cell service on the back roads of Arkansas can be very spotty at best. We headed out to make sure we would get back before 1pm as the rains were coming. 



Our timing could not have been better. We rolled up right as the skies opened up! The rest of the gang arrived, right after that so no one got really soaked. The afternoon was filled with fun times of story telling, college football and nap time. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 


Dinner was at 6:30 at La Chiquita. Everyone attended. The food was very good and the margaritas were amazing. This is the best thing about staying at a hotel close to food options. We had an enjoyable evening. Thanks to Bill and Gayla for arranging all of the activities. It was so much fun!




The sad part about these rallies is saying goodbye on Sunday morning. The weather looked gloomy but it was not raining so we were all ecstatic. Jamie and I rode home with Bill and Gayla. We encountered some cool temps, a few miles in pea soup fog and then all of a sudden the SUN! The last hour home was sunny and bright. All and All it was a great weekend. Our hosts Bill and Gayla did a fantastic job and we look forward to next years Byway Boogie. Until then Ride Safe my friends. 





You can see all of the pics from the event here. We did not take as many as we usually do as the weather was not cooperative. I will leave you with a few more fun shots. 


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MSTA – Bull Shoals (BS) Rally – Theodosia 2018

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. 

Well that is it for this ride report. If you want to see all of the pictures from our 9 day journey you can go here. Until next time.. stay safe and Let’s Ride!

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Kentucky Healing – A much needed journey


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. 

Sunday morning greeted us with warm temps and some serious humidity. We headed out, wanting to get some miles under our belt before we stopped and had some breakfast. We made our way through the back country. Cairo Illinois, Fort Defiance Park before having breakfast at a small local place on Land between the lakes recreation area
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!

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Reflections – A Colorado Journey

I have to be honest. My heart has not been into this Jeep recap. I will post some pics, but will not be as in depth as I am in most reports. Sorry about that. 


As many of you know, my Colorado trips are always a highlight to the year. One of the reasons for that is I get to see my lifelong best friend, who lives in Evergreen Colorado with his amazing wife. Unfortunately, this will not be happening going forward. The day before I headed to Colorado his wife called me and told me that my best friend of over 30 years passed away the night prior. I will never be the same, My heart will never be the same. I miss you Pete and will forever remember our fun times, our epic conversations and that warm heart. I miss you so much. RIP brother, I love you. 


I did get to spend some time in the mountains of Colorado, enjoying some jeeping and camping. I was by myself and that is probably a good thing, as I would not have been very good company. It did allow me to reflect and to be thankful for my family and friends. I camped in Crested Butte, Ouray and Gunnison. I got to do some great sight seeing and I truly enjoyed the cool evenings and waking up outside. Here are a few pics. 

Colorado never disappoints with all of its grandness. The weather was amazing and I only got rained on a few times. I got to take my time and just enjoy the slow pace of not having a timeline. There were many moments where I just took out my hammock, and stayed for a few hours, just hanging out with mother nature and remembering my friend. I headed back to Red River NM for Jamie’s family reunion. I would only get to stay a few days, but it was so much fun. Here are more pics.

The best day of the vacation, was getting to spend some time will all of the kids in Denver on Sunday evening. We had so many laughs, so many fun memories. It was a great day. 

You can see all of the pictures here. Until next time everyone. Remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Make sure your true friends know and understand how much they mean to you.. Life is short. Be safe everyone. 
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Colorado dreamin

I am headed to Colorado the week of July 13 – July 18, then headed over to Red River NM for our family reunion. I am in need of a mountain getaway and this should fit the bill perfectly. Here is a look at the plan that I have set. Hope you all enjoy the prep work.

I will be heading out after work on Friday the 13th. Jamie will be picking up our daughter in Tulsa at the airport that same day.  We will meet up in the metropolis of Hays Kansas for the evening. 


On Saturday (July 14) morning the alarm will go off early as we still have a few miles to get to the Denver area. We are staying with friends in Evergreen Colorado. We will get my son Alec and then head over to Denver and Mile High Stadium to catch the Santa Clara Vanguard and our favorite trumpet player, Jacob Diewald at the Drums across the Rockies competition. It is going to be EPIC! Stay tuned!

Sunday (July 15) we get to hang out in beautiful Colorado. We will have the family together for the day. The older the kids get, this becomes harder and harder to achieve. We will take advantage of the family time. Stay tuned for the pictures. 

Monday we will all head our different ways. Jamie and Megan will head south to Albuquerque to spend time with family and help granny prepare for our Red River festivities later in the week. I will be heading out in my Jeep, with camping gear in tow. My first stop will be the Crested Butte area. 


I will get there in time to eat lunch and then go off and explore the Paradise Divide. It looks like I will try and camp at oh Be Joyful campground. Its free and on a first come first serve basis. I am hoping a Monday should not be very busy. They have camp sites only accessible by a river crossing. Sounds like a fun time. It will be fun using the jeep again for what it is designed to do. Nothing crazy, but it should be a beautiful day. 

Tuesday (July 16) will be another great day. Last year we did Engineer Pass on the way from Ouray to Lake city. This year I am going to do Cinnamon Pass and complete the Alpine Loop. I will be staying in the 4J campgrounds in Ouray next to the Uncompahgre River. It is within walking distance of many restaurants and the breweries in town. 

Wednesday (July 17) Today will be another wonderful day of exploring. I will hit Ophir Pass and Alta Lakes on my way to Telluride for lunch. Then I will do Last Dollar Road up to Noel, before heading over and staying in Gunnison for the evening. 

I love staying in the Gunnison area. I will make sure to get some dinner at the Twisted Fork. I will also make a trip to The Bean on my way out of town. It still ranks as one of my favorite coffee places on the planet. I will be staying at the Tall Texan just outside of Gunnison. We have stayed here the past. Its clean, quiet and has awesome showers. Plus it is close to town. 

I have made the choice to do easy to moderate trails on this trip. I will be doing them solo, So I feel it is best to take it semi easy. Plus I want to take my time. Do some sight seeing and just enjoy the solitude. I am really looking forward to this trip. 

Thursday (July 18) will be the day that I start heading to Red River for our family reunion. I will eat some breakfast in Lake City and meander my way along through Creede via Slumgullion Pass. Then down wolf creek pass to Pagosa Springs and then drop down into New Mexico. I should be able to meet up with Jamie and her family late that afternoon. 

The rest of the weekend will be spent enjoying family. We will be eating too much, drinking a little (wink wink) and getting to catch up with family. We will be doing some jeeping here as well. Looks like we will do Goose lake one of the days.

 

It is always one of our best trips of the year. I will be posting more pics and details on my Facebook page and Instagram Feeds. Stay tuned. It should be a great trip.