Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 1: Dallas to Eureka Springs

Conversation the days before our trip to Eureka Springs between me and Tony:
Tony: Planning on leaving around 10:00 am to avoid the traffic.
Me: OK
Tony: Planning on leaving early to avoid the traffic.
Me: OK
Tony: We’ll leave when we're ready.
Me: OK

At around 4:00 am, Tony gave up on sleeping (I couldn’t either – it always happens before a trip) and we got packed up and left by 5:30 am. Al & Eileen had left the day before since they had a 12 hour drive from Knoxville.

Our route to Eureka Springs: Woodall Rogers to 75, which turns into 69 in Oklahoma, then Interstate 40 (drops you off in Fort Smith) to 49 (this used to be 540 on my old maps) to exit to route 62 in Rogers, to 187 to the road to the Beaver Lakefront Cabins (www.beaverlakefrontcabins.com). We have booked the Hot Tub Cabin (a four bedroom, 4.5 bathroom cabin with a pool room, hot tub, outdoor patio with firepit and grill, sunroom. From the pictures, looks nice.

No incidents until Denison when the bike started really swaying on the trailer (doesn’t help that the road through Sherman and Denison is AWFUL. We pulled over and tightened things and swung through Braums for breakfast (the exception to non-chain food is on the road).

In Oklahoma, 69 is sometimes a highway, and then you hit stop lights on occasion. Speed limit bounces from 40 MPH to 70 MPH. And sometimes the roads are nice. And sometimes they are AWFUL (yes, this word will be used a lot on Day 1 and Day 5). Interstate 40 is relatively OK and traffic has been good. Interstate 49 is when it starts getting pretty and hilly and we’re starting to get excited because we’re close.

There was this really red watered lake. 
Hard to see in the picture, but the lake was really red.

Tunnel (Al doesn't like tunnels).

In Fayetteville, we stopped at Harps Food Store (http://www.harpsfood.com/ ) so we could get all of the dinner stuff we were in charge of that we didn’t want to transport all of the way from Dallas. Steak, burgers, brats. Guess American Express thought my card was stolen and wouldn’t approve my purchase. Thank you backup Visa. Rogers isn’t far and we stopped at the Harley Davidson Pig Trail Dealership (http://www.pigtrailhd.com/default.asp?page=hours ). OK, but their T-shirt supply was depleted (and even Tony thought most of their selection was pretty “dark” theme wise on the front.
62 leaving Rogers turns nice and windy – Steep curves 6.5 miles at one point. Not so fun with the truck and the trailer. Would be a nice ride. We’ve decided to rely on the paper directions provided by the cabin instead on Wayzee. She’s good, but sometimes in remote areas she gets turned around. I told Tony I thought she’d get us close, but we may have to swim across Beaver Lake to get to the cabin. And, I like directions that give you input like – turn right at the brown sign that says Beaver Lake Dam 2 ½ Miles and church is across the street from the road to the cabin.


We get to the cabin and head down the road to the office. The website said it was 1.25 miles and unpaved. What their website did not say was that the road was 1) one lane, 2) very bouncy, 3) very steep in places, 4) had a switchback. Not exactly a road you want to have to unload the bike or ride up and down on a bike on (especially since we were looking at this time at 90% chances each day of rain). I’d be walking up and down it (done that before when we tried to do this 12 mile to a waterfall ride on an unpaved road – didn’t see bears, but saw bear poop).
Road to the cabin (before the switchback).


Check in at the cabin with Luke and go through all of the instructions and rules for the cabin. And have a conversation about the road. He said that often people parked up at the church and he could call Pastor Mike for us. Alternative is across the street from the church is a grassy parking lot.
Get to the cabin and it’s nice – spacious with a good flow. We’re here first and get to choose and chose the bedroom in the basement next to the pool room. Unpack the truck. Al & Eileen show up and unpack. Time to unwind. We decide we’re definitely going to take parking up top up and leave the bikes on our trailers.

Back of Cabin (bottom floor has hot tub, second floor has sunroom).

View of Beaver Lake from the back of the cabin.

Steak night, hot tub night. Overserve ourselves night. We’re still not sure what going on weather wise and will figure things out in the morning. Betty Lou and Rick and Tom show up on Friday. They are riding, not trailering up.


One last note on the cabin: we all had No Service on our phones the entire time. But we had Wi-Fi. Heaven, unless you really need to call someone. They give you free phone calls and suggest you give anyone who needs to reach you that number.

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