Wednesday, September 19. 2007
We left Glenwood at right about noon, travelled east thru Glenwood canyon and onward on I-70. We had a small traffic delay near Vail, but missed most of it when we turned towards Minturn. On the way up Tennessee pass, we were treated to the first changing leaves of the season. Brilliant golds and rust red in among the green coniferious trees, with snow covered peaks looming over head. I took several pictures, but the batteries had died, so none came out. I will attempt to get some on the way home. We headed down past Leadville (elevation 10,200) to Buena Vista, then headed east to Colorado Springs. That section of road is fairly dull, so we raised the excitement by raising the speed. At one point I had passed a white truck, but Yvette could not do so because of oncoming traffic, so I slowed down to wait for her. Good thing too, as one of the oncomming was a sheriff in a new Charger! I don' think he would have appreciated our rate of speed. We had a great ride, the weather was perfect and we were able to run our own speed almost the entire time!
We arrived in Colorado Springs very near to 5:00, and spent the evening with Eric (ElNomad) He was an excellent host, and we had a very nice visit. Trev (GoofyWizard) and his family came over and Eric treated us to a BBQ complete with his homemade macaroni and cheese. Good friends and good food.
We got up very early (For us) and headed out after a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon prepared by Eric. We were to meet Dave (Solo) at 8:00, in Limon, CO, which is about 1.5 hours from Colorado Springs. We arrived about 8:30 but Dave was running late too, so he only beat us by 2 minutes or so. The clouds had decided to be lazy and lie on the ground about 40 minutes before we reached Limon, so we were basically riding in a fog bank. Approaching the cloud however, was kind of spooky, as there were tendrils ofmist floating about on the fogs edges, making the landscape kinda surreal. The fog lasted most of the day, starting to let up as we neared Salina then we took 134 down to Wichita. From there we took 400 over to Fredonia, where we stopped for the day. There were only two rooms available, a semi-suite with a whirlpool tub, and a small room, neither of which had 2 beds. We were going to split the cost with Dave and save some money, so we asked if we could have a trundle bed and the small room.The clerk gave us a deal on the big room so we wouldnt be so cramped. 610 miles or so, not bad. We started out with our heated gear, and ended up in our mesh so, over all it was a very nice ride, not too cold, not too hot. The Diner next door to the hotel served up some chicken fried steak that would make Sherm proud...
Solo started the day by coming out of the closet......... He had decided to set up the trundle bed in the walk-in closet by the main door, to save us from hearing his snoring. We never heard a sound once we laid down, so we dont know if it was effective or not. We had planned to wander over to the Diner next door for breakfast, but they were closed. Dave assured us that we would be passing thru several small towns and we could locate a small mom and pop cafe soon enough. So we took off.The problem was that the highway passed 'by' several small towns, each one or two miles off the highway. If we had needed a welder, or an auto shop, a gentlemens club or an adult arcade, we could have found any number of them. However, we wanted a cafe, and there was none to be found. 116 miles later, we finally stopped at a McDonalds in Jane, MI. We dubbed that adventure the 'Solo Diet'. We cruised down to Bentonville on 71, then hung a left on 62 and rode on into Eureka Springs. What a road! Dips, curves, banked turns and more! We had a blast just getting to ES. Once there we found our hotel, and while getting off our bikes afellow approached and called me by name. On his vest was a Texas flag and a "Tupperware" patch, so I guessed it was none other than WingedNut! We chatted and got unloaded and ran over to the Iron Stables to socialize. The BBQ was fantastic, and lots of goodies were won in the raffle. We spent the evening meeting new friends and getting reaquainted with old ones.
Dave and I had decided that a small, shortgroup ride would more fun than the big, 9 hourgroup ride, so we invited a few people to join us and we were going to meet at The Roadhouse for breakfast at 8:00 AM. By thetimeCorvette, Dave, Von and I had finished breakfast, no one else had showed up, so we took off. We headed down 23 - The Pig Trail - and stopped at a general store. They had Pig Trail pins, so I bought one for each of us to commemorate the ride.We then headed down to 40, then went east to Russellville. We checkout out the huge Honda dealer then headed up 'Senic Seven'. Posted all along the road were signs that read "Warning, steep and crooked next 27 miles"... Woohoo! We had lunch at a small cafe called Macks Pines. We at first thought the place was closed, but the proprietor showed up right before we left, and let us in. She made us some wonderful burgers that we wolfed down. Sorry Sherm, I kept forgetting to take pictures of the food, and by the time I remembered, it was too late. We headed back toward ES, following the tour map that I had. It started getting late, and Dave didn't want to miss the Group Photo. He was concerned we were going the wrong way, so he took a look at his AR map. The tour map was taking us on an indirect course, so we followed Daves state map. Our 'short' ride ended up taking longer than the big ride. We arrived in time for the group photo, but it had been moved up a 1/2 hour because of the newspaper photographer having another engagement, so we missed it after all. The banquet was wonderful and more goodies were raffled off.
Corvette and I were wanting to see Eureka Springs instead of riding today, and Mitch and his girlfriend volunteered to show us around, so we played tourist. Mitch first took us to the Christ of the Ozarks. This massive statue of Christ stands in a garden overlooking ES, and is quite impressive. We then went down to the Magnetic Spring which is rumored to magnetize any metal placed within its water. We headed up to The Cresent hotel, and climbed up to its 4th floor balcony and gazed over the city of EurekaSprings.The hotel is about 116 years old and is rumored to be haunted. We didnt see any ghosts, but were awed by the beauty of the place. Right below the Cresent Hotel, across the street is St. Catherine's Church. It is a very beautiful and ornate house of worship. After that we headed out and rode across a swinging bridge Mitch knew about. Then we had lunch downtown and did some shopping. Mitch took us to his 'secret' place on Beaver Lake where we did some swimming. The lake felt very good after wandering ES all day in the hot sun. Thanks to Mitch, we had a lot of fun poking around and getting to see some of the local attractions. We parted company with Mitch, and ended up in Berryview having dinner with Chuck Burt. We stopped at this little mexican place that ended up serving really good food. Sorry Sherm, forgot to take the picture again. We spent the rest of the evening socializing and ended thenight having a very pleasant conversation with Jim "Wrong Turn" Ayers. Ah, the friendships you make at these rallies will last a lifetime...
Time to head home. We don't want to, but all things come to an end. We managed to get up early and head out. We had gotten some travel advice from "Six-Pack" Jack, and some more recommendations from Jim Ayers. But who takes advice from someone named "Wrong Turn"? JK, we used both systems on our way home. We fueled up and headed out on 62. We got fortunate and rode part of the way with Scott, but left him shortly before Bentonville. We headed up 71 with the intention of going thru Kansas City, but took the senic route somewhere, and ended up at an intersection looking at the map when a guy in a white pickup swings by and asks us what we were trying to find. I tell him and he just says 'Follow me' and heads off in the direction he had just come from. I guess Missouri really is the show me state. He led us around for a bit, out of his way, Im sure, then pulled over and pointed out the on ramps for 171. We thanked him, then promptly took the wrong one, headed south. We turned around and took the northbound one. Its a good thing we were just headed westward, as 171 turned into 400 west and we ended up driving right thru Fredonia again! Strange how things work. We went thru Wichita then headed North on 135. We hung a west when we found I-70 and travelled until we got tired. We were shooting for Colby, but had to fill up at Oakley, and decided to stop for the night. We had travelled 590 miles tho, and were proud we had gotten that far. We found a neat little hotel called Kansas Kountry Inn with WI-FI in the rooms and crashed. The trip had been really nice, with lots of good weather. It was so sunny, I sunburned parts of my arms even tho I had put on sunscreen at breakfast, and again at lunch...
Western Kansas/ Eastern Coloradois really boring. The day started out nice enough, but we encountered a chill, nasty crosswind just over the CO border. That lasted until we hit Denver, which was overcast. It stayed dark and cold, and got colder as we went up in elevation. We made several 'warming' stops but it remained dry until we hit Eagle, then it started to drizzle. It stayed wet until our exit (Thats Exit 97, Phil). We got home shortly after 5pm, and Y's mom had homemade chicken and noodles ready for us. The Nomad rolled over 20,000 shortly before home, and we put aproximately 2,500 miles on with this trip.Even with the headwinds, crosswinds, fatigue, grooved pavement, cold temperatures, rain and drizzle, I'd do it all again next week, if I could. Thanks Moon, for putting up with all of us and planning a wonderful rally. I'm already looking forward to the next one....
Dave (Solo) and Corvette in Limon
Me and Yvette suited up and ready to go.
Our first look at Kansas.
Kansas with the Sun out.
Dave silhouetted by the sunset
Our Hotel in Fredonia (Frutopia as Corvette called it)
A massive flag on a distant hill in Fredonia. Organized by a local lady who just wanted to put one there.
Riding into the sun
Carolyn's Ozark Swiss Inn. Our home away from home.
A very nice place to stay.
Von, aka WingedNut, or Nut on a Wing. =)
Yvette makes a new friend.
The Kawasaki booth at the Iron Horse Stables. Swag was available to those who visited. Hats, Keyfobs, koozies and Monster energy drinks. Lots and lots of Monster energy drinks.
Patch booth. A selection of Pipers patches and later on lots of beautiful patches that could be sewn on while you waited. Corvette and I picked up several new patches
Marlene in the foreground. Slammer, Shelby, Wrong Turn, Keith, Stewey and Corvette in the mid ground. WingedNut, ?, and Rem in the background.
"Papa" Sherm, as Corvette calls him.
Moon, our excellent hostess.
Toby, modelling the 1/2 helmet he won in the raffle. Notice the DOT sticker on the 'front'.
Headed down the Pig Trail.
Yvette and Von taking a break.
Another image from the Pig Trail. In a couple of places the trees had connected overhead making a living tunnel. This road was beautiful, just like all the roads in this area.
The little cafe we stopped at while riding "Senic Seven". Dave, Yvette and Von.
Thats a lot of Vulcans, with a few Wings. The parking lot for the Banquet.
Picture of the bikes from the balcony
Yummy and Moon officiating the Banquet
Mitch polishing his bike with his newly won Harley rag.
Ah the breakfast buffet, where we said Farewell to Sherm.
T, Mitch, Marlene, Scotty, Sherm, Jim Ayers, and Yvette.
Christ of the Ozarks over looking Eureka Springs.
A section of the Berlin Wall.
A very cool swinging bridge.
Corvette navigating the swinging bridge. The wooden planks and rivets made it interesting.
The Cresent Hotel
One of the rooms in the Cresent.
The Christ of the Ozarks as seen from the 4th floor balcony of the Cresent.
The main lobby of the Cresent. The hotel reminds me of the Colorado Hotel in Glenwood Springs. Both share some of the same history, and both are rumored to be haunted.
Another shot of the Lobby at the Cresent
St. Catherines Church
The only Church in the US where the street entrance is thru the bell tower.
All the Stations of the Cross are represented by these statues.
The front entrance to the Church.
Pretty flowers, but not as pretty as my Yvette.
The foyer, with flash.
The main part of the Church.
The Foyer without flash.
Downtown Eureka Springs. The lowest road is more than 1000' lower than the highest road in town.
Downtown Eureka Springs. Lots of cool shops to browse thru.
One of the local entertainers.
The Kansas Kountry Inn. Very nice people and a good room too.
Kansas Kountry Inn
'Color' in Colorado.... brrrrr
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