Arkansas Spring Fling: April 23-26, 2009

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Arkansas Spring Trip: April 23-26, 2009
Riders: Jerry & Jamie James, Vern & Shelly James, Rob Spruell, Herman Van Beek, Jackie Gunn, Richard Kirby, Stephen Slisz, Mark Jensen and Jim Schumacher.

Thursday April 23: We will meet at Starbucks on Bethany and 75 [1212 E. Bethany Dr., Allen, TX, 75002] at 8:00AM. Kick stands up at 9:00 AM. This allows the guys coming over from Ft Worth a little time to make it over to the rest of us.

It is 321 Miles from the starting location to the Ozark Inn. This is where we will stay at the end of the day on Thursday evening. Everyone should have their reservations in place. If not please call them and get that squared away ASAP. Make sure you tell them you are with Jerry James so that they know to put us all as close as possible to each other. The information for the hotel is listed below. I have made a route in both Mapsource and MS Streets & Trips. These can be found here; MS Streets & Trips file. The Mapsource file will be e-mailed to everyone.

Ozark Inn

Friday April 24: The group will eat breakfast and we will hit the road at 9AM. We will do 302 miles and a bunch of that will be in the fun stuff (i.e. push mt and other twisty roads) I think we will make it a goal to eat lunch in Mountain Home. There is a nice town square and we should be able to find something decent to eat there. We will end the day at our favorite little hotel in Eureka Springs. They have a great Italian restaurant with 100 feet of the hotel that serves pretty good food. Just don’t piss off the waiter? / Waitress.. hehehe Today’s route is here: MS Streets & Trips file. Last note please make sure you have made reservations at the Edelweiss, again mention my name to get the rooms together

Edelweiss Inn

Saturday April 25: KSU at 8AM. We will shoot over towards Jasper and do the Cliff House Inn for Brunch. Then we will ride 7, 16 and more on our way back to Ozark. This will be another 300 mile day. This will be another fun day of good and twisty roads. Today’s route is here: MS Streets & Trips file

Sunday April 26: KSU at 8AM. We will hit the road for the long journey home. We will probably eat in Idabel for lunch. They have a great catfish place that we seem to stop at every time we are in the area. The fish is very good. The total miles for the rip should be somewhere around 1200+ for the 4 days with more twisty roads than you can shake a stick at. It will be a BLAST! Today’s route is here: MS Streets & Trips file

Arkansas Here We come!

We are headed to Arkansas in the morning. the bike is loaded up and ready to go. I have packed, cleaned the bike, lubed the chain and check the air pressure in the tires. I am so ready to go. We are meeting Jackie in Paris for breakfast and then will head up into Arkansas. I can’t wait. If you want to see where we are from time to time, ckick on the link below.

Where are we?? Find out here

Breakfast farewell Ride for Paul

Paul getting the plugs into those old ears!

We had a little farewell ride for Paul on Saturday morning. It was pretty nice when we met at the Starbucks in Allen. I think the Temp was around 70 or so. It was hot a few hours later when we came back, but it was a great day. We will miss having Paul right around the corner. He gives us just another reason to go visit Arkansas in the future. It was a great day with great day with great friends. A nice collection of bikes as well. See gallery of pictures here.

Why I love motorcycling

This morning I woke up and headed down to meet a few of my friends at the local Starbucks. I pulled up in my truck, I did not want any temptation to ride off in the sunset so I left the bike in the garage. The guys were headed out to Arkansas. A trip that I had planned and made routes for. It is going to be a great trip. Plenty of well maintained curvy roads to play around on.

Things in my life had to take priority over this ride. I will be staying home. I started to think about the ride this morning and realized that “the ride” was only a small part of why I love motorcycling.

Now don’t get me wrong… nothing beats carving your way down a smooth, twisty mountain road without a care in the world.

No! Nothing beats that feeling of loading up the bike for that first long adventure of the year. However, this hobby that we love, would not be the same without the friendships that we make while enjoying our favorite hobby. I don’t want to sound to sappy here, but our motorcycle friends are my BEST friends. I know that whatever is going on in my life they care about me and my family. If I need anything, or any help they are the first ones there. (I do have to say that my lifelong friend Pete does not ride, but I know he would do anything for me and my family as I would do the same for his)

Sitting at Starbucks, I realized that I am a very lucky man. My friends are wonderful and they take me for who I am. They don’t care about the bike I ride, the money I make or that I leave my turn signal on for mile after mile on many rides that I lead.

Sure, I will miss the Arkansas roads and the feeling of the open road on two wheels, but what I will miss the most, is the comradirie that takes place among all involved in the ride.

On my way home from the coffee shop, after they loaded up and headed off, I thought to myself about how much fun they were heading off for and that I hope deep down in my heart that I am as good a friend to all of my motorcycle friends as they are to me. Ride safe everyone!

Rain Rain Go Away!

The rain started around 11:30PM the previous evening and it was still coming down pretty well as we woke up. We knew crawling out of the tent that things would be wet! The ground was really damp. The tent was dry and that is always a great thing. We got up and went and had breakfast. We decided that we would kinda hang out and wait for the rain to go away. We had some great roads on the list for today, but wanted to do them when the roads were dry. I find them much more fun that way J Jamie and Jackie decided to take a nap after breakfast. It was still raining and we told them we would wake them up if the weather broke.

Rob was a tad bored

Jamie came wandering out of the tent after a 4 hour nap.

Rob and I hung out and chatted with the few brave guys that rode up to ride the dragon in the rain. It seems like a bunch of cruisers came in that day. I guess they do not attack the dragon like some sport bikes so the rain did not seem to bother them. I do have to say that the people that rode into the Gap were all very nice and friendly. The people are there to enjoy one thing and that is a wonderful road. I had a nice day of relaxation.

Rob had some time and took a few pics as well. Please turn away as the next picture is not pretty. He did not catch my good side.

Jackie and I did find some time to take a few pictures and I tried my own hand at some action photos. Killboy I’m not! But it was a fun way to pass some time.

We did get a break in the weather around 2PM. We hooked up with our new Buell friend named Ray. (We also ran into another person we met at TWO on a Buell). It seems like they are becoming more popular. I know one thing, Ray rode the wheels off of his. He was from Maryland. He camped right next to us. We all headed into Robbinsville to get some pizza and hit some of the curves. It was a great plan as the roads cleared and the pace was pretty brisk. We ate pizza and decided to take 143 over to 28 thru Fontana Village. We wanted to get some beer for hanging out by the fire later that evening. We got the beer and then BAM.. the skies opened up and we road the last 10 miles in a hard driving rain. We were soaked by the time we got back to camp.

The ground could not take more rain and our site became a swamp. We decided that tomorrow we would ride the roads we wanted to hit, instead of heading out of TN. We knew this would make for a long day later in the trip, but we wanted to enjoy all of the cool roads. We just hoped the rain would go away.

This was Jackie’s first long moto camping trip. Jamie and I love doing it. I think he was getting tired of the rain, as were we… but hey what can you do? We enjoyed the camping and will do it all over again.

The fire pit at the resort is awesome. They supply the wood and all of the people hang out and chat motorcycles. We met some cool people while we hung out and drank some beer. Here are a few things that struck me as odd, cool or something else but I thought I would mention them.

We spoke with a German man that came all the way over to the GAP to live his dream. He explained that he had always wanted to ride a Honda V-65 Sabre on the GAP. It was a simple dream, but he was so happy. You could not get the smile off his face.

There were two guys, from Rhode Island hanging out and telling stories. They rode down on a GSXR 1000 and a Yamaha Warrior. The kicker was they had no bags. They carried everything in a back pack. They left on the morning that it rained. They could only go 100 miles at a time as the Yamaha needed fuel with such a small tank. They rode off with a smile and back packs that had to weigh 50lbs each. I hope they made it home safe.

We spoke with a couple of people from Wisconsin. They had ridden down on a couple of Harleys, a Honda Black Bird and a Honda 600. Two of them were two up. They decided after having a couple of beers that they would run the dragon at NIGHT. We tried to stop them but they said that they did it all of the time. Man I guess I am just a wimp, but those curves, that road and all the critters that could jump out and get you, I would not ride that road at night for any amount of money. But hey that is me.

We went to bed hoping the rain would go away.