Eureka Springs:
Arkansas Ride

March 4-5, 2005
Three Sticks
We had a good reason for calling this the "Not Bandera Ride." The evening before we had made concrete plans to ride to Bandera for a couple of days. The next morning we checked the weather forecast for the mid & lower Central Texas counties —
John Munson - Beavers Bend
Bill Newburn a.k.a "Chief" - Beavers Bend
The radar was solid green, red and yellow. We watched and watched and watched. There was no break in the storm coming any time soon. We had really looked forward to this ride. We were very disappointed. What to do - What to do ?

Cappy Paxton - Beavers Bend
John at Beavers Bend Lake

Chief at Beavers Bend Lake
Cappy at Beavers Bend Lake
Then John pipes up, "My mom has a place in Eureka Springs, you guys want to go there?" Chief and I looked at each other - "Well yeah!"

Three Amigos at Three Sticks
A Chicken
We plot a groovy route and off we go. What we'll encounter on the way is anyone's guess. Our first stop is Beavers Bend State Park. Chief had never been there so John and I took a detour so he could see it for himself. Further north, on US-259, is a monolithic monument by the name of Three Sticks. We took a short time out to get a group photo. Not too far down the road we found a rooster, with a variety of his relatives in another cage, and some guinea hens. They were a handsome lot –

A Talimena Overlook
Mena Arkansas
It is hard to find a straight road.
A very nice 'End of Winter' ride.

We continue north on US-259, leaning into a hard right onto the Talimena Parkway, headed east. The parkway ends at the western edge of Mena, Arkansas. From there we scoot north on some really twisty roads.

John's Mom's Place
A salute to a wonderful ride!

Our abode for the night is high atop a hill. It is a very quiet neighborhood; not a peep from any of the neighbors. After a few cocktails, we settled in for the night, then hit the sack.

An older but very classy hotel.
The Chaple – St. Elizabeth's – A block away

I got up before dawn to go out and see what was what. It turned out to be a special opportunity for a photo shoot. The weather was mild, the sky clear, and as quiet as you'd ever want it to be.

A very large statue of Christ
Beautiful Statuary

Smokehouse Cafe
Guido & John

Later that morning, after everyone else was up, being as hungry as hungry can be, we all saddled up, headed for home, but first - Breakfast

This was the right place for a meal that three very hungry men - very large men - could stoke the body engine for the long ride home. The ham was top notch, eggs cooked to perfection and the hash browns were amazing.

Did anyone get a load of that biscuit? My biscuit lasted me all day long.

This should hold me for a while
We hated to go - but home we were bound.
Here is a bit of irony for you. We got Guido talking, which was one of the easier thing we did all trip long. It seems that he had moved to Eureka Springs from - yeah, you guessed it - Bandera. He showed us pictures of his ranch in Bandera. We all thought it was a fitting sequence to add to our journals. At one end of the trip we had to change our plans to go to Bandera and at our turn around point we met someone who lived and had property in Bandera. You can't plan this - you can only marvel that we were fortunate to have been a part of it.

Arkansas Road
Rich Mountain Tower
Back on the Talimena

John cutting up the Arkansas roads
The sun is low, time to say good-bye!

In conclusion, if you want to have a good time, pick your friends carefully, don't let hiccups in your plans derail you, and look for every bright spot along the way.

Cappy Out.

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