Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rolla Missouri to Eureka Springs Arkansas

It was a little cool this morning in Rolla, but we weren’t in a hurry. The hot breakfast at the Drury was a buffet with biscuits, gravy, sausage and pancakes plus an assortment of yoghurt , juice, cereal and pastries. We enjoyed it before mounting up and continuing west on I-44.

Down the road, we encountered some low lying cloud that misted on us so we stopped in a rest area to put on the rain pants. As we came back out onto the highway, we found ourselves behind a red 1500 Wing with Missouri plates. He was running about our speed so we tucked in behind and followed him to Springfield where we both turned south on Highway 65. He got off a few exits down and we waved to each other as he went down the ramp. This is one of the pleasures of motorcycling, sharing some miles and moments with a total stranger of kindred spirit.

As we approached Branson, we stopped in one of the tourist information places to get a list of upcoming shows in case we want to stop there for a few days after the Reunion is over. Then we cruised the main strip to see what had changed. There are new places every time we go through here. At the end, we cut down over Table Rock Dam, the structure that created the massive, man-made Table Rock Lake, and took a winding road back to Highway 65.

A short distance south on 65, we cut off on Highway 86, a favourite winding road that would take us to Berryville, Arkansas. Not too far down this road, we were carving through turns and catching up to a white Cadillac when a large buck with many points on his antlers decided to run out between the car and us. I hit the brakes hard in case there was anything else following him but I guess he was alone this day. Not really close but a reminder to be vigilant.

We entered Arkansas in the middle of the small, somewhat rundown town of Blue Eye, Missouri and then followed a pair of log trucks into Berryville, which interfered with our enjoyment of the remaining curves.

The Iron Horse Stables is a small motorcycle oriented motel and campground located between Berryville and ES. This will be our home until Sunday and will also be Reunion Central. Sherm, Karen and Preston from Oregon were setting up their camper trailers when we arrived. Janey checked us in and we unpacked. A variety of early arrivals trickled in throughout the afternoon.

Sherm, Karen, Preston, Sandy and I wandered into Berryville for some lunch and had sandwiches at the Ozark Café in the downtown square.

The town has been here since 1850 and the restaurant had toys, models and paintings of more John Deere equipment than I ever managed had existed. Afterwards, we wandered back to the Iron Horse to visit some more.

About sundown, a group of us headed into town looking for food. After a less than heartwarming welcome at Sparky’s, we found a buffet place that was just about to close. They welcomed us with open arms (business had been slow) and we chowed down. The ride back to the HIS was done carefully in the dark. Everyone spent the rest of the evening sitting outside the rooms swapping tall tales until the last of us went to bed about midnight.

A short note about communications is in order here. No phones in the rooms. The cell phone is connecting to a company that doesn’t recognize my phone despite the Digital North America package that is supposed to work everywhere. For Internet access, we have to run down to the AlpenDorf motel about four miles up the road where Lucky has WiFi set up. Our access to the outside world will be sporadic, so please bear with me over the next few days.

1 comment:

Biker said...

Just like the "good" old days, no phone, no computer just roads & friends.