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Old 05-14-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
Downs OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
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MSTA T-24 Rally

I'm a member of the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association and they have events though out the year. Their latest one was a yearly event they hold in Arkansas in the Ozarks. It's usually in Mena, Ar. but due to the reconstruction of the "Lodge" at the Queen Willihema State Park in Oklahoma they moved it to Marble Falls, Ar.

Embeded below is the SPOT Tracking for my trip

I checked out on leave at noon and stopped at a few places on my way off base to get some stuff done but was on the road and heading north on I-35 by 1245. I got off the interstate soon after crossing into Oklahoma. I hate running interstate unless I have to or if I'm in a hurry in on this trip out of 1600 miles of riding I was only on interstate highways for about 150 miles.

I cut across the south end of Oklahoma moving at a pretty good clip. Passing though a few towns I usually pass though when going this direction.
Thankfully no run ins with deer even though I passed though the "deer capital of the world",

Pretty neat old bridge on the "Indian Highway" in eastern Arkansas. From here I'd start moving mostly north to my first stop of the trip at the Queen Whillahema (SP?) State Park.

As a Marine I'm always on the look out for War Memorials and try to get pictures at them unless I'm in a serious time crunch. I used to have a SSGT. stationed with me that was from this area.

The start of the Talimena Trail. If you ever get a chance to take this road do it. It follows ridge lines all the way into Arkansas and will take bit to make it though to Mena.

Some of the views from the Trail.

I made it to the lodge around 645. and setup camp.

Other than some RVs at the top of the hill the place was empty and I had the entire tent Camping Section to myself.

No burn ban up there so I gathered up some small deadfall and made a small fire.

Not a lot of pictures after I left that morning I spent the rest of the day chasing Russ a man probably 2 or 3 times my age up the twisties. He was on a GSXR1000 and he was moving. We ziggzagged across the state heading kinda north. I did get some pictures at the place we stopped to get a snack. This restaurant is built on the side of a cliff of sorts and has an awesome view off the back porch.

The next stop was The Hub Motorcycle Resort. Most folks got room I continued camping. This place is hidden and VERY easy to miss. When I first started up the road towards it you pass an abandoned amusement park that was called Dogpatch, USA. Guess it shut down years ago when the owner let a local kid ride a dirt bike on the property. He got clothes-lined off his bike by something which paralyzed him and the family sued. He couldn't afford to pay the settlement so he just gave them the deed to all the property.

This couple bought the support facilities for the park which is a 3 story Motel, banquet hall, warehouse and some other stuff.

That's my bike in the far right hand corner. Yes that used to be a swimming pool. There are still signs posted saying to swim at your own risk.

The event Organizers Becky and Bill were great at getting everything setup quickly after we helped unload their bikes and gear. Hotdogs and Chili for everyone

My tent and bike on the left

Everyone Chowing down.

I slept good that night and was out of the area heading out for my day ride by 730 the next morning heading north and east. Most everyone else went south or west. I proceded north to the Bull Shoals ferry. For no other reason than to ride a ferry. I've ridden the various ferries in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina but never on a motorcycle. We took jeeps up there.

At this point I headed east across southern Missouri. Came across a friend on a no name backroad.

I went further west and dropped down hwy 5 into Moutain Home Arkansas where I went and saw some friends that helped me and my dad out big time when his bike broke down there. They loaned up shop space and better tools, and helped us arrange parts for the bike with another Yamaha Dealership in Harrison, Ar. The picture below is from Last July when the bearing on the driven hub went out.

After seeing those folks I dropped south out of Moutain Home and just happened to stumble across this which was perfect since "Flying Saucer" was the newest subject for the phototag game

I wound up back around 345 that afternoon and lounged out till the 7pm banquet. We found an arcade game in the back that invovled motorcycles. Needless to say hilarity ensued when you try to tell folks that counter-steering doesn't work on the game lol

The next day I woke up packed up camp and was heading home (kinda) by 8am. I wound up going north into Missouri and picking up Route 66. Overall it's just another road. I'm sure it gets better as you go west but as you enter Oklahoma it start following I-44 and it's bleh.

I saw a boat load of old M-60 tanks in Kansas even though I was only there for a short while. All of them seem to have been donated to various communities by the Kansas National Guard. I guess the National Guard in that state had lots of them.

Annnnd here's most of Kansas for you. Roads laid out like grid squares and stretching to the horizon.

I did stumble across this in Kansas. I've been to Wake Island twice now(my coveralls patch is hanging on a cork board there). To think that us and the Japanese fought over this tiny spec of dirt in the middle of the Pacific is crazy. I get why they did it. It was a strategic spot to have an airfield for refueling but you can see most of the island from any one spot. There was no where to hide There. Unfortunately the VFW post was closed and couldn't go in and have a beer with anyone.
Wake Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Only one more mile and I'll be back in Texas at this point I'll get off of 35 just inside Texas and head west on state highways from there. There was a lot of construction going on, on 35 and traffic would stop at times. I'm glad I was on the bike. Splitting did ensue on those few stretches.

Over all I covered just over 1550 miles, burning around 34 gallons of gas and a few ounces of used motor oil from my Scottoiler. After I get done posting this I'm going out to get the rest of my camp gear cleaned up and repacked and washing the bike. I leave for Ruidoso, NM day after tomorrow for another 1000+ miles :)

For the life of me I can't get this damn thing to embed
2004 Suzuki DL650 Weestrom
1978 GS 1000
"Those who would trade security for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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