#BOSTONTOAUSTIN – DAY 4

Start: Mammoth Spring, AR
End: Van Buren, AR
Route: 9 South/412 West/62 West/49 South
Miles Ridden: 230

I left out a story about a run in with local law enforcement in yesterday’s trip. From the old time convenience store in Bixby, Missouri we continued for a while on 32 West, but before we could make any real progress someone had called upon the boys in blue to come check us out. We had only made it one town over into Salem, Missouri and definitely didn’t know they were looking for us. We’re still not sure what we did, but apparently someone called in about three motorcycles that had stopped at Casey’s convenience to fill up, right where we were. Again, really not sure what we did to warrant this as we were just cruising along our trip…seriously. Sometimes motorcyclists just get a bad rap no matter what. I was still fueling up while David and Chris had moved their bikes away from the pumps to make work calls and plan the next part of our route. Unbeknownst to me, two Salem police cars pulled up right in front of the bikes and told them of the report. It was really anti-climactic as we told them about our adventure and shared a laugh or two. They were extremely nice, loved the bikes, and helped make some route suggestions. After that, we made it to the campground safely except for the bit about nearly dropping my bike.

The next morning after camping, we grabbed a quick bite to eat consisting of breakfast burritos from the Sonic drive through nearby. From there, we took 9 South to 412 West and stopped in Henderson, Arkansas at Norfork Lake for a quick picture on the bridge that spans east to west across the serpentine shaped body of water. Continuing on 412 West we found a great area where we could take the Tigers off road and test all the new technology and updates they offered. I honestly hadn’t ridden off road almost at all and let David and Chris have most of the fun. There was a trail through a grassy field, some ruts to navigate through and an area with some huge mud puddles. The bikes were so much fun in this environment and I took the opportunity to slosh the Tiger around in the mud as well. I quickly learned that staying loose on the bike and utilizing the engine’s torquey power band were the keys to having a good off road experience. (See: not crashing or dropping the bike.)

After leaving the off road playground, we ran into 62 West which took us into beautiful Eureka Springs. We found that it resembled Jerome, Arizona where we had visited in April of last year on our Thunderbird LT’s. The Ozarka Water Company was founded in Eureka Springs in 1905 after Dr. Alvah Jackson claimed that the water from the springs cured issues he was having with his sight. Prior to that in 1856, Dr. Jackson set up a hospital in a cave during the Civil War and treated his patients with the water. A fun fact about Eureka Springs related to our trip is that its tourism bureau offers a motorcycle guide to the area. Before leaving we stopped for Mexican food at Amigos restaurant.

Outside Eureka Springs after some tight twisties, there was an abandoned house on the side of the road that Chris had stopped at last year with his Thunderbird LT. We stopped and spent some time checking out the dilapidated state of the structure, theorizing how everything broke down and analyzing the construction of the house. Corrugated steel roof panels were bent over the crest of the roof, overlapping the others which stretched to the overhangs. You could see where the floorboards of the second floor and ceiling boards of the first floor were made to go through the wall board on one side of the house where the outer wall boards were missing. From our view about 40 feet away behind a barbed wire fence, we noted how well-crafted the molding around the windows and doors was as well. Chris took a moment to re-create the photograph he had taken a year ago, this time with his Caspian Blue Tiger just as he had done with his Caspian Blue and Crystal White Thunderbird LT.

The rest of our trip was a quick blast down 49 South into Van Buren. We opted for the Hampton Inn knowing we desperately needed to get cleaned up after two days in the saddle without a shower since we had chosen to camp out the night prior.

#BostonToAustin #BahstinTaAhstin #ForTheRide #ForTheAdventure #MS5000

-JR

 
 
Posted on April 9, 2015 .