2019 Arkansas motorcycle trip

Day 1

Our trip planning often takes many turns. Initially we had planned a trip to mid-state New York for this year. Mike and Donna both hail from that region. However, logistics became a negative consideration. We couldn't find any 4-bedroom, 4-bath houses that didn't cost a fortune. Eventually we turned our sights the opposite direction and decided to go to the Ozarks. None of us have ridden that area and it wasn't as far away. Pat & Christy will be joining us again from Texas. There is a possibility their friend Wes will join us for a few days also. We found a nice house and set the date for May 23.

After the 'almost home' alternator death on last year's trip I replaced the alternator with a 2006-newer version. It has more power output at idle. Hopefully it'll be good for another 100,000 miles. Also, for years I have been complaining about the shortcomings of my aged Garmin GPS478. Well, Garmin finally came out with an updated model...the GPSMAP 276Cx. It has a larger screen, more memory, and faster processor. It has a high resolution, non-touchscreen display that is readable in direct sunlight. It has modern amenities like Bluetooth and Wifi. I have been using it for several months and so far I really like it. It stores the entire North America map set. The 'distance to next turn' display is different and also tells you which way to turn or which side of the road your destination is on. Very convenient.

A year or two ago Patrick bought a new Goldwing. He could never really get it to fit him, and the bike is for sale. Because it is for sale he didn't want to add a bunch of miles or risk damage taking it on our trip. One idea that was floated was for Patrick & Christy to fly into Indiana, then ride my Victory to/from Arkansas. The only issue with this is the Victory is NOT a touring bike. It is a butt killer after a hundred miles. Ultimately Patrick decided to rent a Harley and ride up from Texas. I was glad. They would have been miserable on the Victory.

A week or so before the trip we recieved some good and bad news. Christy got a promotion (good) but now she can't go on the trip (bad) due to work conflicts. Pat will now ride to Oklahoma, collect Wes, then meet us in Arkansas (or Ar-kansas as we have taken to saying).

Trip report note: All the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

May 23

Vacation day is finally here! Donna had the day off and I took off work early. I had hitched the trailer the night before so I pulled the bike around front and we loaded it.

Earlier this year Donna purchased the camper in the background from her friend. She is now an RV'er. I have been building a garage addition for the past several months. The floor was just poured a couple days ago so it can dry unmolested while I'm away.

Waiting on departure time. Donna's garden is growing like crazy with all the rain we've had. Rain is a threat for our departure but it should be dry in Arkansas.

The hardest part of every trip is leaving behind our dog, Buford. While we are packing and loading the trailer he seems to know something is going on. We get 'that look'. As we walked out the door he tried to come out with us because he knew we were leaving and he wanted to go with us. As we saddled up he was looking out the window at us, and our hearts were heavy. Donna's daughter Kenya is here to take care of him so he'll be in good hands. She's bringing her beagle Scrappy so Buford will have a pal. Throughout the trip Kenya sends snapchats of Buford to Donna so we won't miss him as bad.

Bedford, IN. 15:37, initial mileage 99,769 - We are planning to meet at John & Debby's at 4p so we stopped at Revere's for gas. Donna got ice and some drinks for the cooler. We are trying to drinking less pop and more water.

It's always nice to get to the Potter's and stage for the trip. Donna & I were the first to arrive followed shortly by the Kurdzioleks. It sprinkled a little while we readied to leave. Although we are officially on vacation it doesn't feel real until we pull out of the driveway and get some wind in our faces.

The planned departure time was 4:30 but we were on the road at 4:11. It's nice to be ahead of schedule. Vacation has started!! Here we are westbound on the east side of Bedford.

US50 west of Bedford. I love the clouds as long as they don't rain on us. It feels good to be on the open road, our whole vacation ahead of us.

Photo bomb! Such a silly girl. Donna is having two more grandchildren this summer. She has been planning a baby shower for her daughter Shanon and she is ready to get away for vacation.

Our first stop was at BoMacs in Shoals for supper. We eat here often and it is on the way. I always hope to see a train on these rarely used tracks.

Sitting in the shade at BoMacs on the first evening of vacation. Ahhhhhhhh!

This little dog immediately endeared himself to us when it took a whiz on Mike's bike tire. Good dog! He got a lot of scraps.

The clouds looked threatening but no rain was had. We are in the flat part of southern Indiana west of Loogootee. I'm sure flat farm land is what most of America thinks of when they think of Indiana. However, a lot of southern Indiana is hilly.

After a long stretch of riding on boring I-69 we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky. Traffic has been light which is nice. I-69 doesn't go all the way to the state line so we actually crossed into Kentucky on US41...with associated traffic and stoplights.

Henderson, KY. 18:16, mileage 99,896 - A fuel stop once we got into Kentucky. Donna & I stopped here on our trip to Gulf Shores a few years ago. We've gained an hour by crossing into Kentucky. Another nice feature of the new GPS is it updated the time accordingly.

The falling sun peeking through the clouds makes for a pretty picture. Kentucky's parkway system is great for traveling. The roads are good quality and usually not crowded.

I'm ashamed to say some of the bugs on the windshield are probably leftover from last year's trip to Pennsylvania. John and Mike's bikes were freshly cleaned and shiny. Mine wasn't.

It was still light out at 20:56 when we arrived at our destination for the night...the Relax Inn near Eddyville, KY.

Our rooms were together at one end of the motel. Donna called me to the bathroom to dispatch a spider. Upon inspection it was a brown recluse. I killed it carefully.

We sat outside the rooms that evening and talked about the upcoming vacation. Ahhhhhhh...vacation.

205 miles.

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