Our plan this morning was to head for breakfast at the Gazebo at 8:00 AM. There was a miscommunication and Willie Wonka thought we were meeting at the Gazebo at 8:00. So we were waiting at Stonegate while he was at the Gazebo texting us. Unfortunately, my phone was in the room charging with the ringer volume turned down. Eventually, I went to the room and heard the faint sound of incoming queries. Lanny, Sandy and I then headed over to the restaurant followed by Liz and Watchman. We had the private room.
Zeke and Hang arrived last evening, so I decided to lead a ride to the Cliff House for lunch. Despite my Garmin GPS refusing to boot up, we pulled out at 10:00 AM as advertised. I was followed by fourteen other motorcycles and two cars. Unlike yesterday, Sandy was riding with me but Hang chose to ride in the Acord Accord.
The group headed south out of Eureka Springs on Arkansas 23. With no GPS, I was navigating by memory like the old days. We continued through Huntsville and past the Arkansas 74 turnoff all the way to Arkansas 16. As we headed west on 16, we encountered the first highway washout of the day.
Other than the one washout, Highway 16 was in pretty good shape. The ride wasn't challenging but it was fun.
Google told me there were two gas stations along Highway 16. Just goes to show that you can't believe everything Google has to say. The stations at Pettigrew and Boston were nonexistent. With 109 miles to the Cliff House and the limited range of the old Vulcans with the 4.2 gallon gas tanks, I was getting concerned.
Just as I was getting seriously worried, we came to the Deer Country Store in Deer, Arkansas. They had a sign that said "Welcome Bikers", gas pumps, a bathroom and even WiFi (no cell service here) so I could check how to do a factory reset on the GPS. While everyone took care of business, I managed to find out what was hanging the unit up and get it operating for the rest of the ride.
We continued on to Arkansas 7 and then turned north. There was one construction area where we were forced to wait for a pilot vehicle to lead us along a one lane stretch.
We arrived at the Cliff House just after a crowd of scooter riders (Scooting in the Ozarks), who have been all over Eureka Springs, plus other riders and automobiles. The hostess informed us, with regret, that they had just seated 84 people and it would probably be at least an hour before we could be served.
With heavy hearts, we wound our way down the mountain to Jasper where we found the Ozark Restaurant. Jasper is a fascinating little place and the restaurant was a fine substitute for what we had been expecting.
On the way back, Lanny and Brandon set out to tear up some roads. The Texas ladies, who just joined us at the Cliff House, headed back with Rainman because they were not comfortable in big groups. Sherm and Hang headed directly back in the Accord. After one more fuel stop, the rest followed me and the now functioning GPS west on Arkansas 74. It was a fun road.
Highway 74 ended and we continued south on Arkansas 43, turning north when we encountered Highway 21. This took us to Kingston, where all roads seem to meet. We stopped for a few minutes at the gazebo in the town square before continuing on.
We arrived in Berryville where a few more peeled off for gas. The remaining few of us rolled back into Stonegate and decided it had been a good day. More people had arrived in our absence.
When supper time rolled around, Sherm joined Zeke and Hang at a Thai place just down the street. The Gambler Clan adjourned to La Familia for their annual Mexican feast. Not liking either option, Stonewall joined Willie Wonka, his friend Mike, Sandy and I at Myrtie Mae's. We were just there the other day but the food was good. I splurged and had chicken fried steak but mitigated this by having broccoli instead of potatoes. I also got a visit to the large salad bar. Sandy just chose the soup and salad bar. It was a good supper.
Back in the room, Sandy and I watched the last semi-final results show for America's Got Talent. Next week will tell the tale. Then we mingled for a while before returning to the room, sorting photos and making notes.
As usual, we weren't up too late. There will be another busy day tomorrow.
Today's Route (174 motorcycle miles):