Monday, September 11, 2017

Branson Missouri to Eureka Springs Arkansas

We were up at the crack of 7:30. It was a moving day, but a leisurely moving day because we had a short way to go and a long time to get there. After taking a moment to reflect on the 9/11 memorial services being broadcast on TV, we headed down to the breakfast room. It was a lot more crowded than yesterday, but there were still many tables to choose from. Scrambled eggs, sausage rounds and a bit of gravy did it for me. Sandy had Raisin Bran. Sherm realized he had left his bottle of Cholula hot sauce in the truck again and had to settle for Tabasco.

After breakfast, we grabbed one of the luggage carts and loaded up our gear. We used the elevator and a wheelchair ramp to take the cart right out to the trucks. Then we took it back upstairs and went to the office to check out.

Our home for the last two nights - we recommend it

I took the Yellow Route west and gassed up at a Conoco for $2.43 if you paid by credit card. They had a discount for cash but I conserve that for emergencies. Then we followed the Red Route around the north side of town to US 65, where we took the southbound ramp.

US 65 took us to Missouri 86 and 13 which then took us to the Arkansas border at Blue Eye. Next, Arkansas 21 took us the Berryville and US 62 took us to the Stonegate Inn. The usual route.

Branson Butterfly Palace

US 65 south out of Branson Missouri

Crossing Table Rock lake on Missouri 86

D'Monaco Resort on Table Rock Lake - some day....

The traditional Welcome To Arkansas photo

Downtown Metropolitan Blue Eye Missouri

USPS would be proud of this facility

New Electric Utility building in Berryville Arkansas

Laura, our reunion organizer, and her boyfriend Bill were on site when we rolled in to the Stonegate Inn. The Inn was in new hands and the office manager, Mike Harris, was very friendly as he got us our room keys (way ahead of the official check in time). I told him to expect some funny looks if he came to Ontario.

Lanny arrived after following his GPS 'winding roads' mode from Branson.

We unloaded the gear and the trailers. The new motorcycle tie-down method had worked perfectly so I won't be needing the extra "just in case" straps in the future. I looked at the tangled strap and, having given it some thought over the last few days, gave it one twist and it sorted itself out. Then we parked the trailers and the vehicles, hopefully for the duration.

Stonegate made us feel welcome

Sherm unloading the Half-A-Busa

It's free

Official Kaw Pasture Headquarters

Laura and Sandy catching up

Time to hang the banners

So many banners

The elk doesn't look happy

Sherm, Sandy and I rode back to Berryville on the bikes to visit WalMart. I bought four Zebra G-301 gel pens. I can only find the pens in the USA but they have the refills in Canada. Go figure. We got back about 3:30 after following what had to be the slowest car in the Ozarks. Highway 62 through Eureka Springs has to be one of the most fun municipal roads I know, but a ride can be ruined pretty quickly by one slow flatlander behind the wheel of a car.

Sandy got a text from Diane saying that her mother Jan had hurt her hip. No trauma that anyone knows about, so everyone was hoping it was muscle related, and they gave her Tylenol 2's to see how she would respond.

Gambler and Bubbles rolled in shortly after we got back from Wally World. Cleve was here as well. Gambler told us about a restaurant around the corner run by an older Asian lady who specialized in fried chicken and stir fry. He said the food was the best he had ever seen in Eureka Springs, so we had to give it a try.

Gambler and Bubbles arriving

The place Gambler spoke of

An unassuming spot

Their mission statement

Sherm, Gambler, Bubbles, Cleve, Bill, Laura and Sandy

The food was OK but not what Gambler and Bubbles remembered. It seems Mom sold the establishment to her kids three months ago and they were now in charge of the kitchen.

My rib eye steak with asparagus and green beans

Sandy's beef and broccoli stir fry with rice

Back at the hotel, Hot Sauce & Margot along with Okie Smoke arrived from Oklahoma towing their bikes. Hot Sauce was a key player here because our big BBQ later this week would be his specialty. Lucky Al from New Jersey, Bucky from Colorado and Jamey T &Trouble from South Dakota also put in an appearance. One new face was Will from Nebraska who has now been christened Hancock (you may be able to infer his last name from the nickname).

Lucky Al supervising Hot Sauce unloading

Gambler and Jamey T

Cleve and Lanny

Gambler and Lucky Al

We mingled and visited and the sun went down. After dark, two KLR Kawasaki adventure bikes pulled into the parking lot and stopped.  Trouble, Jamey T and I wandered over to see if we could do anything for them. The riders, from England, had seen the Kawasaki banners and wondered what was up. They bought their bikes four years ago in Tennessee and have spent their vacations since riding around North America. John's real job is guiding adventure motorcycle tours around different parts of the world (he must really like riding), while Dom was mostly retired, having sold his office furniture business to his son. He told me he goes in one day a week to make sure he is getting his fair share:-)) They said they would be leaving tomorrow and that their destination was a place in Florida, if it was still there.

John and Dom, British adventure tourers

After John and Dom left, I retired to our room where Sherm and Sandy were already asleep.

Today's Route (55 Equinox miles):

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