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Old 05-21-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
jglow OP
Two wheeled traveler
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Oddometer: 394
I'm still in Oklahoma at this point, and headed East towards Arkansas.

This section of the route takes you by a gas station in Haw Creek. This is just North of the Black Fork Mtn Wilderness area. Well, it appears that the gas station is no longer open. Maybe somebody can confirm this
(just in case they were closed for a random reason on a Saturday). This is not an issue for me with my bike. I have a 3.7 gal tank, which gives me about a 200 mile range, but it could be a concern for folks with less range.

I'm not quite sure how long I had this leaf stuck in my visor for... I only just noticed it after reviewing the photos

A little while later I am crossing the state line, leaving Oklahoma...

...And heading into Arkansas.

I'm heading up towards Poteau Mountain, where I will follow the ridge across towards Waldron, AR. I come to a section of forest that has recently been harvested.

And while it sucks that this area is now void of old trees...

I don't necessarily have a problem with the fact that it is harvested - It's certainly renewable, and I am a consumer of wood and wood products, but...

There's something about the way it's done - the workmanship if you will...

I mean, the least you could do is remove the empty 5 gallon buckets of Hydraulic Fluid (there were several more). I suppose they are trying to compost them

But I am probably just making a stink about nothing, as it's probably more of an aesthetic issue realistically. But the argument can be made that compares the damage created here (timber harvesting activities) to the minimal impact of a 12" wide single track through the forest

Climbing up the mountain now...

There was a trail that I saw on a MVUM (Multiple Vehicle Use Map) that looped out of the Poteau Mtn Overlook, but I could find no trace of it. I didn't spend a ton of time looking though. There was a dude in his car, and dudes in their cars by themselves in a remote location sorta freak me out. Keep in mind though, as I mentioned earlier, I am a

I kept on across the ridge, and stopped about halfway across for a late lunch of Slim Jims and granola bars.

Very good riding today.

I finally make it across the ridge on Poteau Mtn, cross over the Hwy, and keep heading East to Sugar Creek Multi-Use Trails. A friend and I rode some of these trails back in the late Fall, and had a blast. I wanted to sample some of the trails I hadn't been on, as well as explore the area.

Jumping into Sugar Creek Trl 1 (?)

Some of it got a little more gnarly than I was looking for, but it was fun none the less.

Although the bike was a bit heavier all loaded up, and therefore didn't feel quite as nimble, it actually did really well over the really rough and steep stuff. I think the extra weight on the rear tire helped to keep it in contact with the ground

Some nicer sections...

Looking back...

After traversing across the trails in a generally Eastern direction I came out to a forest road that I took up to the Knoppers Ford Rec area. I was looking for some camping spots, but these at Knoppers were really exposed and right off of the road. I went on a few more miles to the Jack Creek area, but they only have about 5 camping spots and they were occupied. Seems like a popular spot to do some swimming. My plans were to head South from here towards Fourche Mtn. As it was starting to get late in the day I figured I would just bypass the Fourche Mtn trails for now and shoot down to Mena, AR, see how I felt when I got there, then decide if I would hit the forest south of there or snag a room. Well the distance from Waldron to Mena was further than I had remembered, and by the time I got to Mena I was done for the day. I snagged a room at the same motel I stay at every time I am there.

On the bike stats:

It was a pretty long day considering that I had driven up from TX earlier that morning. I picked a tick off of my leg, jumped in the shower, and fell asleep pretty early.

Tomorrow would be a lot of familiar riding areas for me, with a visit to the curve in the road that gave me a bit of grief on a trip ended early back in January .


jglow screwed with this post 05-21-2012 at 03:17 PM
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