I usually try to get a short trip in during the spring and fall each year with one or all of the frogs. This trip was nice and it was just me and Dave that felt the cool fall winds whistle by our ears. We left out on Saturday October 25 at 9:15 am heading towards Bonham, TX and stopped off at TnT Café for a greasy, delicious breakfast. This is always a nice way to get the bowels loosened up and ready for the days adventure. After blazing though highway 82 to Paris we headed north to Hugo and eventually the good riding began when we got to Broken Bow, OK at around noon. There is not much to see until you get to Broken Bow, but that’s the way it is. The short drive on 259a towards Beavers Bend State Park is beautiful but short lived. It loops you over the lake and eventually back to 259. The beautiful fall foliage of gold, green, brown and red surrounds us, and is very picturesque. The weather couldn’t have been any better either with the afternoon temperature holding steady at 75 degrees. We stop off at the Lake as we always do for a quick break and take in the scenery. Then were off on 259 towards Big Cedar, OK and to catch highway one which is part of the Tamimena Scenic Byway. This is a nice northerly ride to get there through a nice mountain pass, which is about as good as it gets in our part of the world. Pine trees are so tall and line the road that much of the time you're riding in the shade. A few stops for fuel and a gas station burrito for Dave, we made it to Hot Springs at about 6pm. We filled our bellies with pork ribs at McLards BBQ and headed to the hotel for some well needed rest. Davids friend, Kevin, met up with us to watch a painting show on TV and have a few drinks. You know you're getting old when you watch some old guy try to teach you how to paint on TV and you're not even participating. In between this, watching YouTube videos of camels throwing Arabs by their heads and Trunk Monkey, we laughed our asses off until we fall asleep.
DAY 2 - After a hardy breakfast at the Best Western, we left Hot Springs headed back to Texas at about 9:20. Back towards Mt Ida with the Talimena pass on our minds. Their is nothing better than a sunny morning, nice crisp 65 degree weather and Here Comes the Sun on the radio. It's something that everyone should experience at least once. One other note, if you ever take this route, when you get to "Y" City, turn left on 71, not right. I always get confused here, because there is not a sign that tells you that Highway 270 E is "that away". We stopped in to a local gas station where we met a truck driver named Jerry. Seems Jerry is part of the MC Club, Booze Fighters. He was on the road this week and was very envious that we were able to take advantage of such nice weather and scenery. We headed off towards Talimina after a brief chat and were met with dozens of other fellow bikers along the way. Shortly after turning off on 270 east, we hit highway 272 up the pine and oak covered road to the Talimina Scenic Byway, highway 88. Riding is such a physical experience. Those who don't ride might disagree, but think about it. You're always moving, the wind is touching every part of your body, you're eyes are seeing thousands of things pass before them at 65 miles per hour, your ears are hearing loud pipes rumble and wind whistle though time. Your nose picks up a thousand different scents down every road, through every forest, every town and through every turn. You body feels nature, both hot and cold, wind or rain. At the end of a long 10 hour day of riding, through all of this, your body is tired and drained of energy as if you had just put in a hard days work.