Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eureka Springs Arkansas - War Eagle Mill

We woke up at 6:00 AM. It hadn't been planned that way but Sherm's phone alarm went off, followed a minute later by my watch alarm. We discovered that Eureka Springs had a power outage overnight and the juice had only come on minutes before we were rudely awakened.

It was a hazy overcast morning, cool with a prediction of rain later in the day. I finished the Talimena blog entry and sorted yesterday's photos. Biker called from Sudbury to firm up plans for a weekend outing after we get back.

The motel here built a fire pit just for our gathering. It is very nice but it is also far below the level we are staying on. The hike back up would be tricky, even more so after a few adult beverages. I'm not sure how much it will get used.

Our new fire pit is way down there

A few of us decided to run down to War Eagle Mill for breakfast. Sherm led, followed by Sandy & I, Brandon & Sheila and Stewey. It was a spirited ride down, as are most that Sherm leads. He said he was just cruising while I figured we were moving along at a pretty good clip. There were several ways to get to the Mill. We looped around on 12 and came in from the south.

Stewey wants to be seen


Sherm leading to War Eagle Mill

That is where we are headed

Modern buildings at the mill

A happy group looking for breakfast

War Eagle Mill

The restaurant on the 3rd floor of the old mill was very woodsy and quaint. I'm not sure if the engaging young man behind the counter had been partying last night or if he was always like this. Despite his friendliness, some of the orders got somewhat screwed up. He brought Stewey's food with eggs over easy when scrambled had been requested. Then we find that the table at the other end of the hall was looking for their over easy eggs but got theirs scrambled instead. Sandy and I were served way after everyone else and her pancakes were covered in almonds after specifically asking for them not to be. My country ham steak and scrambled eggs were fine but everyone else had finished before I got them. Still, it was breakfast and it tasted good.

Sherm ignoring food to check in

Food at last

We wandered around the mill site and Sherm's blog has an awesome set of pictures from there.

New planking was good on 182 foot span

I spent time talking to a fellow from near Victorville, California. His Harley was at home in the shop and he was touring by car, but he had been a lot of places and we compared notes. Rick showed up so we would have a token Vulcan for the ride back. The group had another spirited ride taking 12 north to 126 back to 23.

Sherm leading back to ES

Back at the motel, we hung around for a while and then we (including Sherm) decided to make the obligatory ride to WalMart in Berryville. Sandy was looking for a watchband and a new pillow while Sherm, once I pointed out that one of his low beams was out, was looking for an H7 bulb. We got the pillow and the  bulb and then we stopped at McDonald's so Sandy could have her daily blueberry pomegranate smoothie. As we were pulling out to come back, a red GL1500 rode by. It looked like Zeke so we stepped up the pace, caught him and followed him to the Motel 62. He wasn't sure who the two GL1800's in his rear view mirror were until we got into the parking lot.

The WalMart run

Sandy showing off her new pillow

The weather had turned hot and humid and there were riders started coming in all afternoon. Zeke from Illinois, Didsbury Dave from Alberta, Coyote, the Gambler Clan and others. Dave road in with Harvey from Oklahoma, a fellow who accompanied the VROC crew to Alaska at least ten years ago. Harvey was on a KLR 650 back then and did a Deadhorse Iron Butt after they reached Fairbanks. I only rode as far as Fort St. John with that crew but that was long enough to learn a bit about Harvey's unique style. It was good to see him again, as well as his neighbor Dan who came along for the ride. David Bell came by to drop off free copies of his magazine, Cruise The Ozarks. I remember talking with him a few years ago when he was taking a group picture of us.

Zeke has arrived

Coyote makes an entrance

Gambler and Stewey

David Bell - publisher of Cruise The Ozarks

Condi, Bubbles and Sandy

Didsbury Dave

Dan, the infamous Harvey and Dave

Eventually, the talk turned to supper but no one seemed to be putting together a solid plan. The original idea had been to go to the Rockin' Pig BBQ where Bike Night was supposed to start at 7:00 PM. Then word came down that it might not be Bike Night after all. Having been to the Rockin' Pig on Bike Night, I figured this would improve our chances of finding a table and getting better service (more on that later). Watchman and I decided that we would leave for the RP at 6:00 and spread the word that anyone else was welcome to join us.

I led a good sized group out of the lot at 6:00 sharp. We got the the Pig a few minutes later and, based on the parking layout, it sure looked like Bike Night. Being early, we took most of the close parking spaces. The deck out back was empty so we pretty much took it over. In the long line, Sherm, Coyote, Sandy and I ended up at one table. The table beyond us got drinks right away and food soon after. Our server kept stressing how things were backed up. Our drinks came after the other table's food and the food took forever. Sandy and Sherm had strawberry salads while Coyote and I had BLT's on sourdough with kettle chips. Very good food but it took a while. Then the bills proved to be almost more than this young lady could handle. Still, we had nowhere to be so it was a good evening among friends.

While we were there, Scooter showed up from Tennessee and then Wrong Turn and KT wandered in from Indiana.

Getting parked at the Rockin' Pig BBQ

VIP GoldWing parking

A good turnout

Liz, Jim, Bubbles and Gambler at their private table

The reverse view

Ice Cream's half rack of ribs

There was a  lot of meeting and greeting back at the motel. Some bottles were being handed around to grease the wheels of conviviality. Rick had gotten a large bottle of tequila and a large bottle of margarita mix. He didn't realize that the second bottle was actually pre-mixed margaritas. They were both on ice and he was encouraging anyone to have some. I can testify that the pre-mix was very good.

Scooter explaining something to Stewey and Ice  Cream

Brandon and Cargo

Didsbury Dave, Condi and Coyote

Magellan, Sandy and Flamekiller

Dave wondering what startled Condi

It finally feels like a rally is underway. Unfortunately, being an official old fart, I headed off to bed about 10:45. The only saving grace was that I was the last one in my room to retire.

Sherm's blog of the day.

Today's Route (63 motorcycle miles):

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