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Old 09-11-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
wswartzwel OP
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Where does the time go???





I think it was back in 1999. I attended a HSTA event in Mena, Arkansas. It was called the T-10. Each year they add a number, I guess to signify how many events have occurred. I met a few folks there, and for some reason, a few of us became good friends and regular riding partners. Few people like to ride alone, and it is always nice to have friends that you get alone well with, to share your riding experiences. I probably put more thought into who I ride with, than when I chose my wife. (been married for almost 25 years so I must have gotten lucky on that one :) ) And even guys to laugh at you when you screw up. Over the years these friends and I have enjoyed many rides together. Some out of state trips, and track days. It is interesting how our friendship also extended to one another's families as time went on.
When we first started riding together all we did was sport ride, and sport-tour. A few years later one of the guys started riding off road. Then another, and soon we were all riding trails, as well as, sport riding. Life was good.

Then over time, kids were born, businesses were started, and life got in the way of our riding. Before, one of us would mention a ride, and everyone of us showed up ready to go... Now it seem like it takes an act of congress to get the group together. Eventually rides quit happening... I say all this to communicate how excited I was last week when one of my old riding buds, sent me a text that he was buying another bike...
Scott who has been hanging out on his house boat every weekend for the last couple years, found a deal on a WR250. Seems as if Big Dog Adventure's stories may have sparked a little interest, and fanned into flames the desire to start riding again.



I had planned to go pedaling this morning in preparation for the Big Dam Bridge 100 coming up in a few weeks, but when a bud has a new bike, priorities need to be realigned. Our plan was to meet at Williams Junction at 0800. I got up at 6:00 am and took a look at the weather radar... Hmmm Lots of yellow and red coming our way. At 7:00 am it looked as if most of the bad weather would be north of where we planned to ride, so I made a blast towards the southwest hoping to catch the window of no rain that the radar showed... 5 miles from the house I remembered I left my backpack/camelback on the garage bench... In it were all my tools, air pump, snacks.. So a quick u turn and then back out again... It was now 7:30.. I would have to hustle to make Williams Junction by 8:00.

The rain started at the edge of town. 70 mph rain drops go through the helmet opening and provide a deep cleansing effect that will cure any combination skin problem that Clearasil can't fix. I rode one handed with my glove covering my face, until I was well out of town. Then the rain let up. I have the 690 pretty well broken in now, so I decided to open it up and see if I could make some time. I glanced down at the speedo and saw it was far enough past 100 to land me in jail so I figured I better back it down. I rolled into our meeting place at 8:05 and topped off the tank. 41 mpg on that little jaunt... Well below the 60 mpg I normally get.
We rode out Winona Forest Drive and turned south toward Lake Winona. I used to take my son fishing here eons ago.




Lake was still there, but there were signs everywhere, restricting access.
even camping spots are now closed.





The lake is a drinking water reservoir, Not sure if it is a security thing, or if ATV's has been muddying up the banks.
No problem we were not there to camp or fish, just out sight seeing. After riding for a bit we stopped to get some photos. Scott and I were talking about our bikes and he asked me how many miles I had on the 690... I didn't know, so I turned on the key to light up the odometer, and looky here at the mileage... the same as todays date. :)




We continued on our ride circling the lake and enjoying the scenery. The older I get the more I stop and look, smell the roses. I am closing in on 50 years old... If I make it to 65.... That means only about 15 riding seasons to enjoy... Hopefully I will get more than that, but I try not to be so wasteful with the time anymore.
The road we were on wasn't getting much traffic or maintenance, which made for an enjoyable ride.








We left the lake area, and just started exploring roads that looked interesting.

Didn't see to many gates, so we had lots of options. One gate that we did see was open so we took advantage of the opportunity and it was worth the trip.

What a view.






It dead ended at a quarry, so we turned back to continue our journey.





The weather was perfect for riding, we had no rain on us, and cool temps throughout the morning. Several times I was overcome with what a blessed experience riding can be.




We took the high road...



We both needed to be back home by noon, so we headed east toward the Flatside Wilderness area. Lots of really nice scenery...





A couple times we heard thunder off in the distance, but never saw any lightning or rain in our vicinity. We began to get closer to the highway and back onto more familiar roads.



As we were getting closer to hwy 9, I saw a sign by a road that said Vista Point... It was one I had never stopped at before. Usually I am in a hurry, or have something on my mind. so we went up and came to a great place to camp, enjoy the view.



Our time for today was up... So we headed our seperate ways and went home... Hoping that soon, some of the others guys from my old riding group will be strapping on their helmets, and be ready to ride again.. Time waits for no one...

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wswartzwel screwed with this post 09-11-2010 at 10:02 PM
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:55 AM   #2
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Some nice scenery in your area. Great pics. I can relate to your story. I was a long time sport & sport touring rider. I also joined the HSTA back in 92 and met some great riding friends. It seems that many sport riders, including myself, have discovered off road riding. I still love riding twisty paved roads but the ability to ride off road opens up a whole new world of riding.

Thanks for posting
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:20 PM   #3
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Time runs through your fingers... Thanks for the report and pics
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
opjocephus
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I turned 50 myself this summer....

Quote:
Originally Posted by wswartzwel
I am closing in on 50 years old... If I make it to 65.... That means only about 15 riding seasons to enjoy...
And have found, again, my fondness for off roading. Arkansas looks awesome.

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Old 09-13-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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...good to see come over to the dirty orange side wswartzwel!
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
wswartzwel OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid Dog
...good to see come over to the dirty orange side wswartzwel!

Hey Rapid... After i sold my 450EXC, realized I didn't have a decent beer bottle opener anymore.... I bought the 690 just for the handy bottle opener that comes in the tool kit. :)
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