Sunday, September 24, 2006
Eureka Spring, AR to Cypress, TX
Sunday dawned bright, clear, and cold. DonZG had already left when I walked out of my room to load the R1200ST. Phlatlander paused from packing his bike to walk up to the office with me. He laughed at the amount of coffee I put in my sugar while serving up some yummy cinnamon rolls from the complimentary continental breakfast counter.
After hugs around and promises to repeat the event, I rolled out of the driveway at 8:15.
With my grip-warmers running full-blast on this chilly morning, I took the express route out of Arkansas, only pulling over once. I usually fail to take pictures on high mileage days, so I was trying to be on the lookout for good photo-ops. A military reservation had a jet fighter on display that caught my fancy.
I-540 from Bentonville (Walmart-central!) to Ft Smith was actually enjoyable. The speed limit was high and high-speed curves many. It’s always a bonus to have fun while making time.
The interstate ended when I entered Oklahoma. Although rural, the road slowed through lots of construction zones and small towns.
I had high hopes as the US-259 began to rise out of the flatlands into Ouachita National Forest. I found myself climbing a pass with two lanes going uphill and one downhill. I don't normally ride so squidly (irresponsibly), but the completely empty road with tight-banked curves was screaming for full-utilization. I fell into a groove using both uphill lanes. As the road swept to the right I followed it in. Twisting back to the left, I leaned hard and moved smoothly over the dashed line to the inside. Somewhere inside I was offering hallelujahs that my tires were still rounded enough to take advantage of this opportunity.
I crossed the Talimena Parkway and pulled over at a vista point to compose myself.
The rest of the ride down US259 to Nacogdoches was mostly uneventful. Taking 259 was an experiment. I wanted to check out alternatives to the boring, busy dash down US59.
I had to request chopsticks when I ate lunch at a busy chinese buffet in Broken Bow, OK.
I was running on fumes when I found out that NOT all Interstate/major US highway intersections are blessed with gas stations. Fortunately, there was a town nine miles down the road with fuel.
Closer to home, I was proud of myself for leaving the highway at Moscow, TX for some local twisties. Usually, return trips are devoid of fun at the end of the day. This time I wanted to buck my trend and do some leaning. It was getting to be forest-rat time, but I kept an eye out and tried to enjoy the brief break from monotony.
I rolled into my garage at 8:15pm, exactly 12 hours after leaving Eureka Springs.