My sleep was abruptly interrupted by the sound of Rod’s KTM 950 Super Beast at 6:00am. He exclaimed we had about a 30 minute window between storms to break camp. It had rained pretty much ALL night and I was super glad I had decided to set up my MSR Gear shed to keep all my equipment dry. We hurried and packed everything up and headed back to meet the trail. I know several people have commented that on the DeLorme tracker it looked like we did a big circle and they’re right. We had to ride a way back east to find this campsite, so backtracking was inevitable. The ride through this part of Arkansas was pretty, but nothing like what we see when we finally reached the Ozark National Forest. Great tracks and beautiful scenery. We were flying pretty fast on a downhill section when I reluctantly entered the “Club”, Crash Club that is. I picked a line a little too tight on a sweeping downhill sweeper and got off into the ditch. It sucked my front tire in and the rear followed in a big way, spinning me around to the left so quickly I didn’t even have time to react. Yes, there’s video evidence of my embarrassment. Rod came back and helped me get it back on 2 wheels and off we go again.
We got to stop at the infamous TAT Shack, nice little stop over someone has provided for trail weary riders. We took a quick look and kept riding. Further down the trail is the Oark Café. An absolute MUST stop for grub! It’s a total throw back to a time when little towns had a General store, café and gas station all in one. Awesome burgers and fueled up the bikes and back on the trail. Later on we unfortunately witnessed a little dog get hit on the road. We stopped and found some locals to go help him. Being a dog owner, it was really hard for me to see this unfold, hopefully he’ll be able to survive his injuries because Rod went out of the way to help.
Then there was War Loop Rd… The locals said “Go down War Loop, you’ll have fun!”. Yeah right. This “road” ended up turning into basically a rock bottom creek bed, going down a mountain side! When I say rocks, I mean ones the size of your head! Ruts cut back and forth making choosing a line virtually impossible. Several big drop off rock shelves with 6-10 inch drops. Needless to say, it was pretty treacherous. Unfortunately, Corey had a pretty good fall right in the middle of one of the steepest downhill sections. I was up the hill behind him, so could park the bike, so Rod passed him and found a flat spot at the bottom to park so he could go help him. Once we got back going, we all made it down without further issues. We set a course for a hotel for the night (I think we deserve it!) and got the laundry done, website updates and electronics charged.
As far as the title today, sadly I have to report that Corey has decided that he wants to go his own way. He’s going to meet up with his dad in Colorado and they’re going on together from there. I wish him all the best on his journey. Rod and I will continue as planned, carrying the DSJ banner to the Oregon coast.
Good night from Arkansas!