Thursday, September 13, 2012

Eureka Springs Arkansas - Mountain Home

I rode down to the Pancake House with Coyote, Zeke and Lucky Al for breakfast. Sandy and Sherm had their respective special breakfasts and didn't join us. The buffet was good and the price was right. Interestingly, the buffet was cheaper than any of the a la carte items and had pretty much everything that the menu had.

Back at the motel, we made plans to ride to Mountain Home to meet famed motojournalist Teri and her boyfriend John. We had agreed to meet them at 11:00 AM in Gassville. Sandy and I led Sherm, Coyote and Lucky Al out of the lot at 9:00 AM following US 62 towards our destination.

At least he wasn't stopping us

Along our route, Sherm noticed that we would be passing through Yellville, Arkansas. It seems that his wife Pat had lived there when she was a child. He wanted to stop and get a photo for her and so we did.

Yellville Arkansas for Pat

We continued on and arrived at the McDonald's in Gassville at 10:58. This was a very nice spot with friendly staff. We ordered coffee and waited for our friends who arrived promptly at 11:20. Teri came in for hugs and John came in soon after. Somehow, between the bike and the indoors, John lost the key to his Drifter. Thinking of Toa in Australia, we hunted high and low without any luck. Finally, one of the staff found it under one of the easy chairs. Yes, this Mickey D's had easy chairs. And we were (finally) away.

The key was here a minute ago

Being local, John led us through Mountain Home and north on SR 5 towards Missouri. We turned west on US 160 and rode at a brisk pace to Theodosia, Missouri where a long bridge led us across an arm of Bull Shoals Lake. Many lakes around here are oddly shaped with many arms and fingers. This results from dams holding rivers back, creating reservoirs which fill all the little valleys where creeks and streams flowed in.

Across the bridge, we turned in to Cookie's Restaurant at the marina. This place had great food at great prices and the service was unusually attentive. I ended up finishing three glasses of Diet Coke as I was eating and had to stop them before they brought me a fourth.

The Show Me State

Somebody wanted to be master of all he could survey

Bridge over Bull Shoals Lake

Two famous riders

Cookie's Restaurant

"A place to eat" - modest

After Cookie's, Lucky Al took the lead and we continued west on US 160. The road twists and winds more than a bit and we were having fun. We turned south on US 76 and planned to follow it, joining US 65 south of Branson at Hollister. It seems that our  fearless leader gets confused in roundabouts and took one exit too soon, leading us into Branson. Coyote and I were separated from the lead element by a semi that squeezed us in the roundabout. We had to make a U-turn in another roundabout and come back to 76 which took us to US 65 in a different location.

The group in motion

Winding Missouri roads


US 76

The RV had just cut off the semi

In East Branson

We didn't want to be in Branson

We followed the same route that Sandy and I took on our way in towing the trailer. It was a lot more fun on 86 and 21 with the motorcycle. We stopped in Blue Eye, where the Arkansas.Missouri line passes through the middle of town, for some photos. Years ago, Hot Sauce introduced me to a song by Pat Green where the opening line was "If I was the devil I'd hang out in Blue EyeMissouri where the water and the mountain collide".

Crossing Table Rock Lake on SR 86

Table Rock Lake

On the state line

They even have a post office

From Blue Eye, we rode on to Berryville. Sherm stopped to take a picture of an abandoned building that showed some character and then rolled the Harley up to almost 100 MPH to catch us. He was all smiles when he did.

Back in Arkansas on SR 21

I love the countryside here

The group made it to Berryville and then rode 62 back to the Inn, arriving about 4:00 PM.  Sherm and I went out to gas up and then went back to the Hoedown because he hadn't gotten a picture of Chisai Childs, the lady from the show last night  that he and Pat used to see in Branson years ago. It seems she  was quite the mover and shaker in the history of Branson, Missouri.

At the Hoedown

Sherm and Chisai Childs

Typical Eureka Springs street in the background

From the Hoedown, we rode back to the Inn and hung out in the lot with everyone for the rest of the afternoon.

Hot Sauce, John and Lucky Al

Duck and Badger

Magellan and Teri

Margot, Susan, Sandy and Katie

Forge and ?

Watchman and Travis

Grandpa D and Coyote

Sherm, Bass Man, Laura and Susan

?, Brian and Grandpa D

Around 6:30 PM, we put together a small group to go to the Roadhouse for supper. It included us, Lucky Al, Forge, Teri, John, Travis and Lisa. The service was slow but the food was good and we had time to swap tales and  tell a few jokes. I had what they call a Skinny Dip, basically a roast beef sandwich au jus. Sandy had a Biker Betty sandwich, their name for a chicken bacon club. As we came out, the rain was just starting to fall so we high tailed it back to the motel in the dark.

Travis tells his story

John, Teri, Travis, Lisa, Sandy, Forge and Lucky Al at the Roadhouse

The rest of the evening focused around the girls doing their secret lemon drop ceremonies while the guys tried to stay out of their way. Spirits were high and everyone seemed to be happy. Sandy and I finally crawled into the room about 2:00 AM trying not to wake Sherm, who had retired a while earlier.

A good day, a good ride and good  friends. Who could ask for more than that?

Do NOT ask about the shiny necklace

Today's Route (227 motorcycle miles):

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