XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Arkansas - Doof Clenas, Bears & Oark Store

Today was a very cool day, we left the flat lands, climbed into the Ozark range, found plenty of twisty mountain trails, ate at the oldest store in Arkansas, met up with a US biking club called the Doof Clenas who have a rubber chicken as the club mascot... (My chicken was very happy to meet fellow chickens indeed!!). We also scared a bear, went to Scotland & generally larked about doing bike stuff!!

House with crazy statues of Pegasus, snowmen & giraffes in the garden!!

So to the details, we left Beebe around 8 ish this morning, after Geoff had taken his water bladder from the fridge...

The day started with plenty of flat gravel road as normal, however by 11am we were starting to see more climbing bits, a few twists here & there that lead us to the small village of Scotland, with some nice old buildings, a totem pole & some fuel. The properties & landscape was very pretty, with superb horses grazing on most of the properties, we also saw tortoises, snakes, (I think a Mourglia & some kind of Viper, it was very golden, with diamonds on its back), loads of birds & a road runner.. need to get a picture of these!!

 Upon leaving Scotland, we finally found the steeper mountain roads that led to the Ozarks. Yea!!

Totem Pole in Scotland
Ten  minutes later we were into the forests of the Ozarks on good switchback trails that dropped onto great mountain roads, then back into the forests again, we had several hours of this until by 2pm, we had ridden 100+ miles & reached Oark, where the store there is the oldest in Arkansas, built in 1890 & still thriving, run by a lovely young couple with loads of enthusiasm. We ate great food, drank bloody good coffee & bought a t-shirt each too.

Oark Store, built in 1890

Whilst here we got talking to two guys on Harley's, one of which was a guy from Arkansas, Bob, he invited us to stay at Eureka Springs, (60 miles away), with his mates who were all from the Doof Clenas bike club & having a meet there. This is a club founded in the US, most of the riders seem to ride Harley's but there are a few other bikes too, as well as a few other members in the likes of Scotland, (UK) too.

We had a few beers, ate some burgers, drank some Cuban rum, (shush on that one), watched their gift giving ceremony & generally had a good laugh with them all, a really great group of enthusiastic bikers, with a wealth of experience behind them & a quirky sense of fun too... ace!!

The ride to Eureka was excellent, the roads truly superb twisty mountain rides, the XT's were perfect for throwing into the bends & keeping up with the Harley boys, but the sight of the bear on the side of the road was a bit sobering.

I was the last rider in the four, Geoff the 3rd & the two Harley guys one & two... The bear was on the side of the road foraging, the two Harley' scared it & it tried to jump over the hedge in front of it, Geoff's bike made it try again, by the time I came past it had realised it couldn't go uphill so had turned towards the road, I truly shite myself & accelerated as fast as I could go, the sound of the engine roar gave the bear a moment to pause & I shot past it, it then jumped onto the road & when I looked back was stood in the middle of the road staring at us, shaking its big furry head.

Apparently it was about 600lbs, so said our local expert, Bob, (the lead Harley rider). For me I didn't care it was just really big & scary...

not the actual bear, just a pic from t'interweb!
Our original plan had been to camp just down the road at the Reddings Campsite. this was changed when the guys invited us to Eureka, but after seeing this bear, there was no chance of camping anyway!!!

Anybody interested in visiting the Ozarks, read this website first:-

I love the life of travelling on my bike, the folk you meet, the things you experience & the simplicity of life on the road... although on this trip we have complicated things with the use of more electronic gadgets & 'stuff', we still follow a fairly simple routine each day, we get up, eat, ride, eat, ride, talk, ride, sleep... nice...

Hope you all good :-)