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Old 01-07-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
rjudge OP
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A weekend with a TART

Hi Guys,

It was supposed to be a fairly warm and mostly dry weekend so I headed for Arkadelphia to try to ride the TART up to I40. The friday ride from McAlester to Arkadelphia was great! A little windy on the Talimena Drive, but ain't it always? Some beautiful scenery on the top of the drive. This is a pano created from about 5-6 shots with my new droid phone. Color is a little hinky but not bad res. I'll have to see what Bibble can do with the color. Click on the pic for full size.



I looked like I should make it to Arkadelphia before sunset, which was good, since the GS was telling me that the headlight was out. Damn, 10K miles on these HID lights and one is already out? Ahh well, I made plans to stop at an auto supply and pick up a H7. About halfway through the T Drive my gas light came on. I should have filled up in Talihina. A little study on the GPS and I saw I had 40 miles to Mena and about that left on the GS computer. No problem, I've got an extra emergency quart in my tailbag anyway plus I know that the my GS will go 20 mi past the computers zero mile (DAMHIK). Onward, through the fog! No kidding. Some of the clouds were low enough to be skimming over the drive and sometimes made seeing the road difficult.

I made it to Mena without running out of gas and after fueling up my headlight started working again. Maybe the GS computer just needed a reboot. The roads from Mena on were mostly deserted but not a fun as the T Drive. I found a few gravel shortcuts to cut some miles off. I made it to the Hampton at about 3:30, cleaned up and whipped out the Kindle for a rest before a gargantuan mexican dinner at the place next door.

Awoke at 6:00, downstairs to get a bowl of oat gruel (with bacon, everythings better with bacon) and went back up with gruel to work on the PC for a bit. It looked kind of cloudy outside but it was still mostly dark. Later: what's that noise? I looked outside and it was coming a frog strangler. Damn weatherman said partly cloudy, no rain. I brought up the radar and there was a 5 mile diameter heavy rain crossing right over me. It passed in about 10 min but there was a light fog.

I packed up and waited till about 9:00 and headed out. The roads were wet for about 25 mi then dry. Much of the TART within 25-30 mi north of Arkadelphia is paved but fun roads. Just south of Lake Winona it turns gravel. The area around Lake Winona gets a little washed out and rocky, not much loose rocks though. Some water holes but they did have bottoms that were firm. I did miss the part that runs down the North Fork Saline River though. It had a sign that said foot traffic only. The sign was on a gate that was half closed. I would have decided it was half open but I had just passed an official looking pickup in some rocky areas and didn't want to chance it. Later I looked at the other end and the gate there was wide open.



A couple more Pics:





I made it to I40 early afternoon and slabbed it home. 565 total miles.

RJ
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rjudge screwed with this post 01-07-2012 at 09:09 PM
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Great!
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
TRZ Charlie
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Glad you enjoyed it! Is there anything I need to change on tracks from the portion you rode?


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Old 01-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
rjudge OP
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Originally Posted by DRZ Charlie View Post
Glad you enjoyed it! Is there anything I need to change on tracks from the portion you rode?


Charlie - From my iPhone
Hi Charlie,

Nothing to change, really.

I would ask for clarification. I’m assuming I’m right about the gates with the signs saying “foot traffic only allowed”. If the gate is open and swung to the side so you do not see the sign unless looking 90 deg to the road, I say the road is open to motorized vehicles. I’m a little paranoid about closed areas. Thanks again for the route.

Rick
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjudge View Post
. I’m assuming I’m right about the gates with the signs saying “foot traffic only allowed”. If the gate is open and swung to the side so you do not see the sign unless looking 90 deg to the road, I say the road is open to motorized vehicles. I’m a little paranoid about closed areas. Thanks again for the route.[/FONT][/COLOR]

Rick
As Charlie knows----i rode the complete TART not that long ago---and never saw a sign about no motorized vehicles. I'm sure Charlie wouldn't route you thru something like that----I'm thinkin' you might have been off route.

I'm always carefully watching for stuff like that.

I did run into a couple gates closed for hunters---but never saw a no motorized vehicle sign ?????

BigDog
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
As Charlie knows----i rode the complete TART not that long ago---and never saw a sign about no motorized vehicles. I'm sure Charlie wouldn't route you thru something like that----I'm thinkin' you might have been off route.

I'm always carefully watching for stuff like that.

I did run into a couple gates closed for hunters---but never saw a no motorized vehicle sign ?????

BigDog
Wassup BigDog,

The first gate was at the red X (I added X's to the map above). It was half open. I was using an early version of the route that went along the mountainside starting there heading west. Instead, I continued on on NF-179, across the river. Then I missed the entrance to the road along the Saline River(CR-58?). I continued along CR-57 and found another fully open gate with the same sign at the green X at the other end of the river road when I tried to backtrack onto it. I had to basically look for the sign to see it from the road. Not obvious at all. I though about taking a pic and emailing it to the Ranger and asking. There was a number to call on the sign for questions. I really should have taken a pic...

Did you ride the road along the river or the one further south along the side of the mountain? Were they much more difficult than the section south and northeast of my red X on NF-179? The parts of the roads I missed that I could see looked less traveled and possibly more muddy. I was a little worried about deep mud since I was sans knobbies.

That area looks like a fella could spend a few hours just making loops and have a good time exploring.

Thanks!

Rick
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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Looks like we went a little different way near the Lake-----Not sure about your other questions---I've slept since then.

Was a fun ride tho. The weather almost got really miserable my last 2 days.

But I-------endeavored to persevere'd
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
Looks like we went a little different way near the Lake-----Not sure about your other questions---I've slept since then.

Was a fun ride tho. The weather almost got really miserable my last 2 days.

But I-------endeavored to persevere'd

Yep, your route was my planned route before I encountered the gate with the sign. I should have continued on and pled ignorance if questioned. I'll go for it next time.

RJ
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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I've been out of town for a few days and just saw this. There was only one questionable place at a hunting lease where the gate was closed. However, we didn't get off road and went through. The areas in the Weyerhauser forest open and close seemingly at will. I didn't knowingly route the original route in closed areas and I've made every attempt to insure the updates are accurate as well.

In any case I'm glad that you enjoyed the route. Thanks for the report.
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