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Old 11-27-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
ejtv OP
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Location: Mentally? Out west...
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Quick Ozarks Loops

A place to report on several visits to the Ozarks from Baton Rouge.

Prior reports:

one in 2009
and one in 2010

This one following the RR from Thanksgiving 2011:

Plan was to trailer the bikes (one for me, one for my wife) from Baton Rouge to Russellville, then ride to Eureka Springs via SR123/Jasper then head west, spend a couple of days there and ride back south via Pig Trail, hook up with SR215 west, have lunch at Oark General Store and then 103 south plus highway back to Russellville. All pavement. Luxury accommodations when I travel with her.

Russellville to Jasper:

Thanksgiving day, early AM in Russellville, the beast:



The beauty:



Chilly morning to ride, down to about 44, but electric-heated vests and grips plus and hippo hands did the trick; this is already on 123:











Of all the road riding I've done in the Ozarks, this is just my 4th time around, 123 is so far the best

More on 123:













Hungry around lunch time, Jasper's Ozark Cafe did not disappoint on Thanksgiving day. We did not see one other motorcycle on Thanksgiving. No idea why. Maybe cold weather. Who knows. We had the whole 123 and the town of Jasper to ourselves.





For a donation, all you could eat at Ozark Cafe, to benefit the town:



The turkey was baked to perfection, very juicy, great stuffing, with chunks of dryer turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet tea...
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:44 PM   #2
LFD Kansas
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Jasper is a great town. Ozark cafe has the best strawberry cake I have ever had.
Have a great ride! Check out "The Barn on the Buffalo" for accommodations in Jasper. Not affiliated, just a fan.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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Jasper to Eureka Springs

Our favorite signs:



Now on 74 going west, crossing the Buffalo River, then 103:







Here's 412:



And back on 103 heading north and leaving the hills behind:

http://etkj.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/.../IMG0165-L.jpg

Eureka Springs. Wife looking at the strange shape of the sign for our hotel. Here's the bottom of the sign:



Here's the top:



After all, The Palace was a brothel in during the boom times at the turn of the century...neon sign and all, first neon west of the Mississippi...

Sweet Spring, one of four on Spring Street:



Start of Spring Street:





Luxury Thanksgiving Dinner at Grand Central:



Best wine we've had in a while, Caymus 2009 Cab:



Strolling around after dinner:



Sunrise on Spring Street:



Breakfast at Mud Street Cafe, a must if you are spending the night:



We did a little exploring north on 62 and found this, a must if you like architecture:

Thorncrown Chapel:



South on 23, but highlight was a fun little road, SR221, connecting Berryville to Eureka Springs. Worth the side trip if you like twisties. Here's sunsete on it:



More food, dinner this time at Tavern At Rogues Manor, a bit overpriced, but solid; great wine list too:





Next day was a wet day riding back to Russellville.



But we were looking forward to more food:



And again, the only motorcycles on the road...

Best homemade pies; try buttermilk:



And burgers:



Until the next visit!

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:47 AM   #4
achesley
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Winter time is one of the best times to explore Arkansas. My favorite times also. I started running up there through the fronts in my truck with KLR on the back several years ago (age thing lol ) . Then you have a few days of good weather before the next front hits. Then come back to Louisiana in the comfort of da Truck in the next weather pattern.
You have near everything to yourself. Just gotta get some of those hippo hands. Had some in the 80's but where they went to????????. Used to love to base motel at Marshal but that place has really died in the past years. Now it's Mena, Jasper or Mountain View. Enjoyed the pictures.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:41 AM   #5
bobw
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I love the Ozarks, thanks for taking us along. Very cool that you and SWMBO can get away like this!

Cheers
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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Cuisine Ozarks Loops

You should have ridden bicycles between those sumptuous meals.

Nice write up and photos.

Cheers!
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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Cry

Great pics, glad you had a good time enjoying Thanksgiving in Beautifull NWA. I spent it (and am still here for a few more days) in Minnesota. (No riding).
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:29 AM   #8
dogmoon
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Thanks for the pictures and ride report, I love Arkansas its a very neat place to ride.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:31 AM   #9
motoxer
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Cool2 Makin me homesick

Traveling with you was always more fun when KJ was along. The accomodations and company were definitely better. You're makin me homesick. I'm gonna have to go back soon.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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good pix

Ride on guys, keep the pix rolling...
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #11
JayElDee
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very cool, I do a run up there for 5-6 days every year, sometimes twice. For the sake of just plain motorcycle roads, imo, they are the best in the country.
In Jasper I can recommend the Arkansas House as a place to stay. I think Jasper is best suited for day rides, though I usually spend a couple of days in Clarksville, too.
so day 1 NO->Hope (190-49-Minden, then backroads), Day 2-3, Clarksville, Day 4-5, Jasper, Day 6 long day back via LR and Delta Country to I 55

I prefer Clarkesville to Russelville. I think Russelville has some of the most dangerous drivers in the country, really.

John
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:36 PM   #12
red bud
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made to eureka springs this fall, best riding i've seen in ark so far. i gotta get back, try these rds

thanks
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:09 PM   #13
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Looks like fun!

Nice set-up for keeping the hands warm! Great food pics. Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:40 AM   #14
CSI
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123 is a twisty little section of road, isn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAviki-ypxQ



That little gas station looks vaguely familiar:

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Old 12-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #15
swoody126
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NW Arkansas

never get enough riding in north western arkansas

you would have a hard time finding a road w/o beautiful scenery

i've had the luxury of being invited to ride that area w/ some new friends, for the last few years

the roads, the food & the vistas...........

add good friends & the combination is almost impossible to beat!!

looks/sounds like your trip included the best of all, the above

oark, jasper, eureka springs.....WOW!!!!

there is a vista point/scenic overlook just south of jasper that will let you see for a while(attached photo)

on your next trip, try looking up/going up magazine mountain, the highest point in the state, just south of the big road & not far west of russellville

there is a beautiful lodge up there w/ an outstanding restaurant that is surrounded w/ huge windows

thanks for the pics & narative

you mentioned several places we have yet to visit

shiny side up
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