The rest of the story.
Well I should have headed the sign I guess-----but sometimes
I'm just like a little kid and just have to push it a bit.
I couldn't resist riding around on the pavement---which
was the Talimena Skyline Drive---to see where that trail would have come out.
Easy Peezy---huh ???
Ain't nobody gonna get very far down that trail.
The waypoint "0355" is where I turned back---and
I'm at the black diamond shaped arrow.
So close---yet so far away.
Little did I know---there was more tree blockage to come.
The beautiful Oklahoma mountains---like the Appalacian mountains minus all the people.
This road was easy all the way thru and went down down down for miles.
The ride up to the K Trail was getting pretty tough-----and
if I would have tried this.
I'd be home healing from a broken femar.
That would be like trying to cross 2 sets of railroad tracks----a stupid thing to do.
So why did I do it in 1977 ?????
An expert rider would have hit the first tree---jumped
in the air and cleared all the other trees and the culvert.
A good rider would have gotten his buddies to help him and made it thru-------if he was on a 240 lb. bike.
Me---------well................I turned around.
I was never that good.
Oh---it was steep also.
I was putzin' back down the mountain minding my own business---and
ran into this little guy.
I guess he was minding his own business too until I came along.
He just waved------as I went by.
My recollectin is I crossed this creek---and looking at my track log I didn't see where I turned back the rest of the day.
By far my favorite bridge.
Why you ask ??? You've crossed over 20 on this trip.
Cause I relished in the fact that this thing was just about
to fall down (don't tell anybody) and I got to cross it before it did.
It was awesome.
Maybe that concrete in the middle was saving it ?????
See that board sticking up----it was up about 4" and
I think it would have played havoc on your front tire if you hit it square.
Look beyond it--------there's more.
I love this bridge.
There's people that would pay me big money to tell where
these 2 volkswagon vans were at.
I marked the location---but dummy me---I deleted the waypoints I marked on this trip as I was downloading the tracks.
I bet I could figure it out from my tracklog---there's a railroad right behind them.
I do believe they are here.
Yes-----------I have always had a knack for smelling these
old bridges out.
I do believe after this bridge I rode into Mean, Arkansas and stayed at the Lime Tree Inn where I've stayed a few times.
Many many many years ago the dual sport ride called "The Fall Color Tour" was hosted out of this motel.
I think it was 2 or 3 years and then move to Clarksville, Arkansas for many years----but is no more.
I learned most of the trails and backroads of Arkansas riding that ride---I bet I rode it 15 times and it was always a great ride with ever changing routes.
I had just gotten into gps's and still have all those track logs recorded.
Here's a short Video of the day.
October 21st, 2014
I don't think I crossed this one---my video will tell----------I
took video of everything that some of my pictures missed.
I was heading Northeast after leaving Mena, Arkansas.
Probably North on Rt. 309 in this picture.
Mt. Magazine is in the distance---I've been up it many
times---first time on a sport touring BMW many moons ago.
I hunted up a dirt route up there---and had no idea I was headed for disaster.
What a nice road up the mountain.
What was most compelling about finding my way on these
unpaved roads was a waypoint in my GPS that I put there years ago----it was
Dang these bridges just keep getting me in trouble..
I had no idea of what it was like as I'd never been there---but it was like a carrot in front of a horses mouth and I just kept navigating towards it.
The trail got rough--------should have turned around----------didn't.
It got rougher---it would be really stupid not to turn around----------I didn't
It got super bad and was unbelievably steep as I pick my way down those rocks.
The steepness is not depicted in this picture-----I was doomed-------I was incapable of riding back up the hill.
In fact ---that little ledge in front of me at the bottom
of the picture I was afraid to roll over it as I think I would have went over
the handlebars--------remember-----it's really steep.
So I walked the bike over the ledge and the mounted up---I was just 500' from my bridge waypoint--surely it would get easier..
I looked back and knew I couldn't climb this---and besides
that---there was no way I could turn my bike around--------no way.
I know it don't look bad--but it was.
I got down to the bridge and my heart sank.
I was worn out---mostly from anxiety being alone.
The bridge looked like it was blown up in world war 1.
I tried to settle down and knew I'd have to cross this creek---but it look deep and had big rocks in it.
It looked deep----------cause it was.
After shouting for 5 minutes trying to stir up the jeep driver----he never showed up and I crossed it alone.
I would have been so much more comfortable if someone would have been there to call the coroner.
Well-------------I made it across easily------the video
of me doing this is awesome-----you can hear my fear in my breathing.
The jeep driver showed up and we had a nice chat---he said no way would his stock jeep climb the hill I came down.
He said the last time he climbed hat hill was 30 years ago when he was 15 and on an old dirt bike.
But................my main question was ??? "What is the terrain like behind you" ?????
Easy he said----what a relief-------you beg for the road less traveled--and then rejoice when you get off of it.
Kind of weird isn't it.
There was too much traffic on that bridge road anyway.
Oh hell---------another bridge waypoint !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These frickin things are going to be the death of me.
Keep in mind I'm stupid----I once rode 2,000 to find a bridge that I "HOPED" was still there.
It was cool out---but I was wet under my riding gear from
struggling on that road and that creek crossing.
I was frazzled---the only relief would be a large chocolate frosty.
I told my gps to take me to Wendy's and I even road the interstate for 3 miles to get to it---that's how desperate I was--don't tell anybody..
All was well now.
I'm feelin' cocky and ready for more.
The local gas station had a BigDog Mower Co. hat--------had to have it.
I was ready for more now-------a large Wendy's frosty is
a powerful thing.
I rode Northeast out of Clarksville, Arkansas on a road I hadn't been on.
Of course I crossed many creeks.
I stood on the pegs and started using a little bit of the
67 horsepower the KTM had and was bound and determined to smoke what was left
rear MT-21 tire----which wasn't much---------I didn't think it would get me home.
This is probably going North on scenic Rt. 7-----touted
as one of the top 10 most scenic roads in America.
I'ts awesome ------------but is number 4,356 on my list.
I'm following 3 guys on Yamaha Tenere's.
There was a Tenere rally up the road at a place called the HUB---and they roads were crawling with Tenere's.
Little did I know I'd run into these guys the next day out on a dirt road and would ride with them.
But---for now in Jasper, Arkansas I got a cheap $40 motel and roomed next to this guy---he was on a tenere too----and 80's model paralell twin.
Here's a short video of the day.
October 22nd, 2014
After breakfast at the local cafe I blew out of Jasper in a fog.
I had went down a dirt road right along the Buffalo river
and it dead ended with a barbed wire gate.
I had a track log thru there a guy gave me--so I know it had been ridden.
So like has happend so many times-----some rich SOB greases the politicians back pockets and gets the road closed.
Me and you paid for the road to be built--now Mr. rich SOB is the only one that gets to use it.
I was highly irritated but after running into these fellows
I forgot all about it---and off we went in the other direction--right along
the Buffalo river.
Nope-----------don't remember names-------sorry----a re-ocurring theme.
They were very good riders and I had to quit gawking around like I do to keep up.
Finally those guys headed back to the rally I think---and
I found a dirt road that went right down to the Buffalo river.
I took a break---ate a snack and drank a gatorade.
This was jsut off of Mt. Hersey road.
OK---you've heard it before from me. I've been putting
down waypoints for neat stuff I've heard about for more years than I can remember.
The waypoint for the ghost town of Rusk, Arkansas came into view on my gps screen. It was off the road I was traveling on but I had no where to be and went to find it.
Not much standing here anymore---but what a history this place has.
I found a primitive campground near Rush and marked it
with my gps.
Who knows when that waypoint might come in handy when I ready to camp on another trip.
I can't believe I road as far as I did this day.
The sun was going down and my shadow started following me.
I was in Missouri now.
Here's is a short video of the day.
I rode all the way to a place where I knew was a little
cabin for rent-------------$20.
Gets you a little cabin---a bed, heat, microwave, fridge, AC and a shower.
I've stayed here before and it's so basic----------I love it here.
It's called "Freeman Offroad"--------it's on the net I think---some people call it just "Links"-----the guys name.
He's an old hippy dirt biker older than dirt and is still a good offroad rider. He and his hubby are a hoot.
Talking to them is like watching Duck Dynasty.
My wife would "NOT" stay here----I on the other hand could sell everything and live here.
I heated up some chile in the microwave---I had bought a hunk of cheese in the little town of Bunker near there and it was an awesome meal.
Don't want the dew on your bike--------park it on the porch. He don't care.
Want to have some fun------ride the motorized picnic table--------he
It's got handlebars and a motorsickle motor.
Well I beat it home the next day.
My rear tire is toast-------there is no tire that will survive a 4,000 mile ride on a KTM 690----even if you ride easy and are old like me.
This ride was under 2,000 miles.
It was another great ride---I used my heated grips everyday----the
vest only a little.
The KTM never whimpered.
When it gets about 70,000 miles on it without breaking down----I'll declare it as good as a KLR or WR250R.
Until then it's just a fun bike to ride.
Boy that will piss off the orange koolaid guys !!!!
But I don't care.