In July 2021 We took a trip to the Ozarks in Arkansas with our motorcycle Club. this is a collection of recordings of our experiences on that trip. Bryan’s bike breaks down, Derek Gets an injury, and we visit a road side attraction that sounds like it was created by 4th graders. 

The trip did not go to plan. 

Correction: two others from the club rode but not with us. 

Blog post written by Derek

Day 1

Day one started strong. we left Western NY headed for Terre Haute Indiana where we stayed at one of the worst hotels on the trip, having stayed here on a previous trip I knew it would be bad, but the beds were soft and the sheets were clean. 

This Is a picture of us at the Jelly Belly store in Erie PA. this store was infamous for selling not only candy, but also fireworks, knives, swords, stun-guns, brass knuckles Bows and other weapons. A very unique business that has shut down due to Covid. 

Derek (front) and Bryan (behind) in front of the jelly belly store in Erie PA
Derek (front) and Bryan (behind) in front of the jelly belly store in Erie PA.

Day 2

The sign at "Fort Uranus" a roadside attraction on historic route 66
In addition to the fudge factory they have a jail, "freak show" and other attractions.

Our Second day brought heavy rain and other challenges. My right riding boot broke and began to scoop water into my boot.  Bryan also had Foot Moisture issues to a lesser  extent.

After riding nonstop for about 5 hours we started seeing signs for Uranus, I wanted to press on but Bryan insisted that we stop. After almost an hour and a half of passing billboards I gave in and we stoped to have a look.

One of the weirdest things about the state of Missouri is how gas stations have slot machines and liquor. as New Yorkers this threw us through a loop a bit. 

Day 3

On day 3 we took a break, I tried to fix my Sena which was partially successful.  We had lunch at a local restaurant, grabbed supplies at Walmart and took a dip in the pool.

I could not miss this opportunity to bring his disc golf disks and play on a beautiful local course.

after a long day in the sun we retired early and did not join our crew for that evenings group ride.

Play Video

Day 4

Some of the Motorcycle club having lunch.

Day Four was fantastic and the roads were getting beter and better, I had some close encounters with some wildlife but Arkansas was beautiful. 

I was the designated leader for our group and I encouraged everyone to  ride their own ride at the paces they enjoyed, we waited at the end of roads untill everyone caught up. so that we didn’t loose anyone.

Day 5 & 6

Day five was rough for me, I had to bail on our group due to an issue with my bike The idle air control valve had failed and i was unable to shift my automatic bike due to high RPMs.

Day Six Bryan was feeling the hurt and the region was expecting intense thunderstorms. knowing that we still had almost 5 days left riding we opted to go to Branson Missouri, it was the last day for the majority of the club so they opted to risk it. Branson was interesting but really just felt like an outdoor mall. we did hit the storms on the way back which were intense.

Day 7 & 8

Derek and his Africa twin on a ferry
Derek Had the Peel ferry all to himself as he crossed Bull Shoals Lake.
Derek does a wheelie on the Tail of the Dragon
Derek on the Tail of the Dragon.

Day seven we headed to Alcoa Tennessee. Bryan and I split up, bryan got on the highway and i took a route suggested by our friend Mike G that would allow me to take some of the best twisty roads from the trip and Peel Ferry, one of the last highway ferries in the US. i got on the highway a bit behind Bryan, we ended up catching up at lunch.

At the end of the day we got to the worst hotel of the trip, a La Quinta Alcoa near the airport. our room was hot and humid, the chair and desk had mold. and the shower had no pressure but we didnt really mind because tomorrow was going to be epic.

Day seven was fantastic we rode some of the most fantastic roads in the country as we made our way across Deals Gap.  this is a region I am Very familiar with,  having been there 5 times. previously.

Deals Gap

Day 9

Our last day, it was sad to know it was our last day but I think we were ready to head home too. We had not realized how close we were to the back of the dragon and had to add it to our route the next morning.  

the next morning we headed home and enjoyed our little section of twisty roads before hitting the slab (highway) all the way back to home. 

Photo of GPS
A photo of adding the Back of the Dragon to the next days route. you can see it added 5.6 mile, We really were that close. it added time that was totally worth it.
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