Author Topic: Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21  (Read 1210 times)

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Offline smithr1

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Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21
« on: September 29, 2008, 11:46:00 am »
   What drives us to do the things we do may never be known.  Last year   I mounted up and headed from Austin, Tx. to Erica Springs, Arkansas for   a small cog rally.  I remember sitting up from almost passing out at a   rest stop on the way home some 1700 miles later saying I would never do   a weekend like that again.  One year later I am not only going on a ride   like that, I am setting it up.     I just felt like we have so few events on our calendar I set out   to add some.  First priority in setting it up was distance.  A trip of   over 600 miles just to get to rally hotel was a bit much for me and many   others was my guess.  I picked the far southern end of the bumpy area   of Arkansas to get it closer to most.  I asked but got little help scoping out accommodation's so I made a list of priorities and set out to pick a rally hotel over the web.  Not the best way I know but it did work out alright in the end.  More on that later.  I kind of wanted to explore the area south of I40 anyway.  The area north of I40 is well known by me and all for its riding but there are some interesting features on the map south and I wanted to explore them.     As you might guess I am laying in bed the night before departure   worrying about everything.  The hotel called that day and told me there   was like 19 coming.  I had trouble believing that since just a few days   before it was only 4.  I did not expect a big turnout because of the   time of year and well I was not offering much more then a place to stay   and someone to talk with at night.  I did not promise parties, prizes or   even ride leading.  Since I had not seen the area and hotel in 5   years I could not remember much about it.  They told me it had good   family food in walking distance.  I like not having to get out on the   bike after dark if I can avoid it.  I picked the hotel by price,   location and food.  I had seen some bad reviews on the web after I   booked and now it was keeping me up.  I managed about 4 hours sleep I guess.     I wake just before the alarm which is not unusual since it was set   to my normal weekly time.  In less then an hour I am rolling. Deciding   to try and take a faster route up I get on interstate 35 since it   should be less traffic and nice enough early in the day.  By the time I   exit north of the east/west split it was warming up.  We were enjoying   very dry air in the wake of hurricane Ike and that morning may have been the coolest of the entire trip.  Now with a few more zippers open, XM   classic rock in my ears and the smaller back roads to take me around the   Dallas area I am starting to smile.  34 took me up to Greenville, Tx. the town my parents dragged me to when I was 11 yo and was stuck in till I moved to Austin some 10 years later.  It was easy to swing by the old hood and take a shot of the house we lived in.  There was an older couple walking by as I tried to take a picture.  I am sure they were waiting for me to break in and steal someone blind.  Some bad biker type is all I could read in their eyes as they passed.  It was a bit to early to call my friend for lunch so onward up I30 toward Texarkana.     There is an area with not much of nothing between Mt. Pleasant (no Mt. there) and New Boston (not like Boston at all) that   was to be my heart stopping moment of the day.  Long story short I have been battling fuel delivery issues since my first Concours peed gas on my leg 6+ years ago.  I have a complete new fuel system now and even though I have been running it for several long rides I still was not over confident in it.     It always happens in the most remote of locations.  I notice that feeling of loss of power and it gets to the point I am turning on the emergency flashers and pulling off to the side.  The bike never dies and as the bowls have time to refill the bike stops missing.  I figure I will creep to the next gas stop and eyeball the system there.  As I head out the bike feels fine but thoughts of what I would have to do if it goes DRT run through my mind.  I have a backup bypass to the system but was I willing to ride the rest of a weekend like that?  As it turns out I never had any more trouble with the system the entire trip.  At first I kept the tank over half full thinking I just needed the head pressure to have enough flow.  I tested that idea on the way home but it ran great at low tank levels and high speeds all the way home.  Oh well onward...     I am bad like this.  I left home at 7am and had not eaten a meal since the night before.  I stopped and had a snack at about 9am but how long can you go on a 3" mini pecan pie :)  I exit @ Hope, Ar. sometime after 2pm just less then 400 miles from home at the birthplace of former prez Bill Clinton to find aaaa nothing.  Well thats not true.  I had actually stayed there once before on a trip to ?.  I found a bite to eat and by keeping my eyes closed and repeatedly stretching my back and neck I was ready to run off the last 150 miles.  It looks by pushing it I was going to make it into Hot Springs before 5pm and maybe miss some of the Friday rush hour.  Nothing makes a trip better then to pull into a town hot, tired and frazzled just to find out it is rush hour and your lost in traffic hell.     Pulling into the parking lot I am met with the sight of a lone   Concours and looking around I was left asking where my food in walking   distance was.  There is a small cafe attached to the main body of the   hotel like the old days but it is not even open.  At check in I find the   cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch but I don't care about   lunch.  I want my dinner!  I head to my room for a rest break and listen for the sounds of bikes pulling in.  A few of us were standing round the parking lot later trying to figure out where to eat.  Sure we could walk to Wendy's but that is all I see from the parking lot.  One of   the guys states that he passed some BBQ on the way in and before long we   are making our way on bikes toward the hopes of Q.  We pull in to find a   very small but very busy Q shack.  A well known local kind of place with   awards from local papers lining the walls.  It is a seat yourself and   there is not a table in the place open.  After some wait we manage to   get a table that COULD seat 6 but since we would have to get to know   each other faster then some wanted, two decided to head of someplace   else.  The four of us left enjoyed some fine Q ribs with beans made to   almost taste like chilly and slaw that had more pepper on it then I would have ever guessed would work but some how it did.  As we are leaving several bikes pull in including two Concours.  My guess they are part of our group but in talking the guys they had no clue about COG and the rally.  They were just there because they saw our bikes.  It so happens this place closes at 8 pm even on a Friday night.  One guy that was with the new group of bikes gets a bit upset that they let him enter the front door but were refusing to serve them.  As I pulled away he was in a rather heated discussion with the manager about the situation.  http://www.mcclards.com/     Arriving back at the hotel no real sign of heavy bench racing or brew knocking are there and before 10pm I am in my room and thinking I might be tired enough to sleep after so few hours the night before.  I work on my next day route some and turn in.     We had learned that the cafe that is part of the facility has a breakfast buffet that is said to be alright and I learned there was a convenience store just on the other side of the lobby of the hotel.  In the end it seems there is just about everything I need within walking distance.  I would find out more on this the next night.  We agree to meet for breakfast at 6:30am. What was I thinking.     I was up easy enough with a fair nights sleep and wandered over to   check out the buffet.  I was surprised at how good the food looked and   before long we had scarfed down way to much food and had a general plan   for the day.  Bill, Butch and I decided to at least start out with my   route and see where we ended up.  Bill was just wanting to ride with a   group and see some of Arkansas and Butch wanted to take some stuff to   his cabin which happened to be near the route I had planned.  We turned   on a downtown street heading out of town and right off the bat it turned   into a nice local back street.  The map showed it maybe turning to   gravel and in checking on Butch's gps it also showed a thin line.  This   would lead to day two's sphincter tightening.  Butch and I knew that if   it was gravel that we would turn and head back to a cut through street,   poor Bill was not around when we talked about that.  He was at the back   of the pack after the U turn and the cross street was just past a bend   in the road.  I managed to hall me down and turn and Butch seeing me   managed to hall it down well enough to just stop.  Then comes Bill round   the corner to see Butche's stopped bike in his path.  After a nice display of smoke and a nifty swerve all was well and we moved on.     If someone tells you there are no decent roads south of I40 in Ar.   they are wrong.  We wandered around on a couple roads that are just not   going to show up on your state map.  Then Butch lead us over to his   cabin I think on Harris Brake Lake to drop off his stuff for the night.    As he turns off the road I wondered if it was a smart move.  There   was no driveway and the ground is covered with broken limbs and the ground just does not look hard enough to support the bikes.  I turn the brave knob up and follow with no problems.  Nice cabin on a quiet lake.  Thankful for the bathroom break and the water we move on.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/20211686@N05/sets/72157607519722072/     We ran from there up to Petit Jean state park overlook.  The   overlook is a nice one with us up on a ridge looking down at the Arkansas river and over flat lands on the other side.  We decided there was more money in the parking lot then the combine cost of our houses.  Just the 6 Goldwing trikes with trailers and all the farkles   ever made but it close.     When we headed down the hill I felt the switch turn.  This   switch had me in tourist mode all morning.  Now all I see is a perfect   curvy road and my wrist twitches.  Next thing you know I am in full   blown sport mode and enjoying the Ar. hills like nature must have   intended, fast and hiked over 45 degrees. :)  I held up at the next   stop and thats the point that I begin to wonder about GPS.  Butch had   set to auto route us from Petit Jean to Mt. Magazine but it seem to not   want to lead him down straight and logical path that I saw on the map so   I just took over the lead.  We stopped for gas before the trip up the   hill just to be sure my starvation issue did not return and some fool   comes flying into the pump bay right by us honking his horn scarring the   crap out of me.  I had guessed that maybe that wild man on a bmw was   someone we knew.  He ran in to pay for gas as I mounted and up the   hill we went.  At the overlook he comes flying up and said, "I knew I   could catch you"  I informed him that he only caught us because we had   stopped.  I am sorry for my lack of name memory.  I am sure one other the other guys remember his name.  Great guy and full of energy.  He informs us there is a place to eat at the other end of the road.  He said he would wait at the bottom and lead us over.  Now I can say I road from Havana to Paris for lunch on a motorcycle.  Not many can say that I bet. Thanks for the convo and the lead to good food guy.  I will add your name to the story if I or someone can remember it.     After a late lunch I decide that the rest of the route I have   planned would bring us back to the hotel about dark thirty and none of   us were to interested in that so we changed it up some to get Bill on a   hunk of hwy 7.  Many come to Ar. just to ride 7 and never get far off of   it.  I felt he needed to see some and that put us back at the hotel   about 5:30.     We took a break for a hour and met up to decide on a dinner spot.  I looked for the Brick House Grill twice as we drove through town   since a cogger had suggested it and was suppose to be only 4 blocks   away but I never saw it.  We got brave and decided to walk the four block since even if we could not find it that would put us in the down town area with other shops and options to eat.  Sure enough the place was hiding among the other shops right where the gps showed.  Since we had such a late lunch we just were not that hungry but the beer was cold and the waitress hot so we ordered a soup or salad and enjoyed.     Again bench racing was short and no one seemed to interested in taking late into the night so before long we choose to retire and hope that we would meet in the morning for more buffet but no plans were set.     I was going to get up when my body said it was time.  Guess what, 6   am was that time.  I did manage to not get up right away but soon I was   out looking round the corners and before you know it we all managed to   find the buffet line together.  I am not use to eating breakfast but it   was good as usual and I was not quite as incline to go back to the room   for more sleep as I was yesterday morning.  I finished loading the boat   and before 8:30 I was on the road home.  Fog was much better then last   time I came through the area on my way home 5 years ago.  I could   actually see the next white line on the road.  No real problems on the   ride home and I did manage to stay off the interstate most of the day.   I like pulling into and out of small towns on these roads.  It just   helps break up the ride in your mind more the drowning on the   interstate.  I took Monday off work because I just felt I needed a bit   of easy in my weekend and after laying on the floor my back felt better   for it too.  It was about 1400 miles in three days.  When I retire I   think I am going to plan a week or more up there.  These short trips are   fun but tiring.  I am looking forward to it.  See you on the road.    ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
2010 Kawasaki Concours, Midnight Blue
COG 6197, CDA 107

Offline rbentdude

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Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 04:12:00 pm »
Bob:  It did turn out to be a good ride. The weather was good as was the company. By the way I don't know Bill's e-mail address, do you?   By the way the stick's on the ground were compliments of Ike blowing through. There was a F1 tornado touched down at Alpine just about 20 miles down Hwy 60.  Thanks for setting it up.  
Butch Youngblood  Cog # 7712  DFW area AAD 
2012 C-14 "Lil Red"
2005 Connie "Goldie"

Offline smithr1

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Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2008, 05:22:00 pm »
I just emailed his address to you.  I am glad you enjoyed.  I was hoping for weather just about like that.  Every time I go up to see the real leaf changing later like in Oct. I end up baking one day and freezing body parts the next.   ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
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Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
2010 Kawasaki Concours, Midnight Blue
COG 6197, CDA 107

Offline Tony Borum

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Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2008, 09:10:00 pm »
Bob  I had a problem with fuel delivery this year  I have a 97 with 75k and it would act like it was running out of fuel . I would switch to reserve and back, open the tank and it would go again.on the way home from the BRRR ride I just kept the thottle held and rode it out. The last time it did it to me I was going up I-81 North from Hagerstown MD to  Mechanicsburg, PA it died and I had to pull over and play with it and got it going some how to making me late to meet Russell Fleming and freinds at the Sheetz on RTE 11  They were leaving when I got there so I didn't get to ask about my problem untill about 90 miles later.  Russel said to oil the gasket under the Gas cap with oil  So when we got up to Slate Run, Pa I took my oil cap off and rubbed some of the oil off it on to my gasket and it didn't do it in the 400+ miles we covered that day and when I got home I cleaned and oiled it with clean oil and it hasn't done it in ther last couple thousand miles, also the last time I talked with Russell He said he had to do the samething to his 95 which has 200 and some thousand on it  Nice right up on your trip  Tony COG 2721  
Tony Borum COG 2721  t.borum@myactv.net  301 797-4850

Offline smithr1

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Dying Leaf Rally, Hot Springs, Ar. 9/19-21
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 12:57:00 pm »
Tony if you can explain why that might work I will try it.  Well I might try it anyway but I am just not seeing the why.  It could be the vent hole in the cap but how oiling the seal would make that hole be more open is?  ----------------------------------  I will answer any question.  It is up to you to figure out if I should have.    <p align="left">My Photos<br
---
Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
2010 Kawasaki Concours, Midnight Blue
COG 6197, CDA 107