Southeastern Oklahoma and Arkansas whirlwind tour - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Southeastern Oklahoma and Arkansas whirlwind tour

I made an executive decision and decided it was time to get out of town for a few days. I have done all the testing and tweeking on the Versys since I made the most recent mods and it was time to take a short trip and try this baby out. I asked myself what is your plan? I then answered there is no plan. So I loaded the bike with spare parts, tools, camping gear, and decided to go east eventually cross into Oklahoma and then maybe Arkansas. The goal was to ride a variety of roads from dirt to gravel and highway. See as much as possible in a very short 3 day window.

Here I go. I cross the Red River into Oklahoma at the Taovaya Indian bridge. You can see why it is named the Red River. I ride a bit further and cross Lake Texoma. What a really big lake! The drought has taken its toll. It must have been 20 ft low. After I take the pic I look at the map and Broken Bow OK is my destination. I arrive in Broken Bow and the first thing I see is the Choctaw casino. These things are everywhere in Oklahoma. After a late start I managed 283 miles. Today most all highway. Tomorrow different story. More to come...
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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I get an early start and head to breakfast at the lodge at Beavers Bend park. Highly recommend this place great food great people. I get directions and head to the Broken Bow lake dam. Glad I made this stop. Take really quick pictures and head down the road. Too much to see not enough time.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I get my map drawn on a napkin from the owner of the lodge and head down some gravel and dirt backroads to get a view of the lake. Nothing to it gravel riding. See a random cabin here and there. Then the road starts to get a bit tight. I was trying to figure out if I missed a turn? Looked at my map on the napkin and it made no sense whatsoever. You are driving in a tunnel of trees so i guess I could have missed something. Keep going and the road just ends! Well crap! I turn around find another side shoot and come upon this hill. It doesnt look like much on the picture but its really steep and deep ruts. Keep in mind I am riding alone and have not seen anyone since on the gravel roads. Probably an hour. The bike did great. No problems getting up and over fully loaded down. I then find pavement again and notice the word "deer" on the sign. Wow, they were not kidding. They are everywhere. Got to be careful around here with the wildlife.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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I finally find the lake. I cant believe how low it appears to be. The boat ramp is almost completely out of the water. Drought! Take a few pics and hit the road. The riding is great! Just what the doctor ordered.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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I get directions to get to the highway via backroads from a fisherman and blast off. Find the pavement and am headed toward Arkansas. Lots to see not much time.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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I get into Arkansas and wow what a view. My terrible photography skills do not give this view justice. Make my way down Hwy 4 then turn south. Great riding! I am now in extreme Southwestern Arkansas. If you can imagine the middle of nowhere I am there. I turn a corner and I cant believe my eyes! I was needing a break but did not feel to bad. I said to myself it is 65 degrees and snow on the ground? I must be in worse shape than I thought? Well, it is not snow. I am not sure what it is? Then, I turn the corner and there is this plant mining this stuff. Dont have a clue?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:15 PM
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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I make my loop back to Oklahoma and then into Texas. Cross the Red River again and it is like night and day how the scenery changes. Getting late and need to find a place to stay. Paris sounds good to me. Paris, TX.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Get up early and head home. Blast down the highway 75 to 80 cruise. No cops no issues. As I get closer to home I see the all to familar sight this time of year. Plowed ground and winter wheat starting to pop out. We have been fortunate and had some rain. The farmers really need a break and the latest rain is just what they needed. I then make my way home and my biggest fan is waiting on her daddy to show him how good she is doing driving the ranger. That's my girl!!

All in all a great trip! Way to quick. The Southeastern area of Oklahoma is wonderful. The highway,gravel, dirt and scenery were just great! Arkanasas exactly the same. The bike performed wonderfully. Not that I expected anything different. I am looking forward to next spring when I can head back and spend more time.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 01:10 AM
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Broken Bow is my hometown. That road into Beavers Bend is a blast!
Thanks for the pics

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stazjemo View Post
Broken Bow is my hometown. That road into Beavers Bend is a blast!
Thanks for the pics
Broken Bow and Broken Bow lake are awesome places. What a great area to grow up. I cant wait till next spring and head back.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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Looks like a great trip and thanks for taking some pics!

The white stuff which isn't snow is probably saltpeter, used in the manufacturing of gunpowder. Apparerntly Arkansas has a history of mining saltpeter going back to the civilwar.

http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/en...x?entryID=5472

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 12:55 PM
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Great ride report. I'm in Dallas and I have inlaws in Fayetteville so I go all through Oklahoma and Arkansas all the time. I try to take the back roads as there are so many great places to explore. You went just a little south of Mena Arkansas which has some of the best dirt roads anywhere. I've never done them on the Versys but I would love to give them a try on some wheels and tires like yours. If you ever want a riding partner to go up there let me know.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Great riding indeed. The bike handled the dirt and gravel roads perfectly. I am planning on going back in the spring to do more exploring. 4 or 5 day long weekend trip. I would really enjoy a riding partner or partners. More the merrier. Keep in touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DR_ View Post
Great ride report. I'm in Dallas and I have inlaws in Fayetteville so I go all through Oklahoma and Arkansas all the time. I try to take the back roads as there are so many great places to explore. You went just a little south of Mena Arkansas which has some of the best dirt roads anywhere. I've never done them on the Versys but I would love to give them a try on some wheels and tires like yours. If you ever want a riding partner to go up there let me know.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 03:14 PM
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Most of the dirt roads in the Mena area are maintained so they would be easy on a Versys, especially yours. Just don't get side tracked on the Wolf Pen Gap ATV trails there, as that would be a big mistake on the Versys. Could you trailer the ATV and Versys?


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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I have a trailer that will accommodate both. That would be a blast! Might need more than 4 or 5 days for that trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DR_ View Post
Most of the dirt roads in the Mena area are maintained so they would be easy on a Versys, especially yours. Just don't get side tracked on the Wolf Pen Gap ATV trails there, as that would be a big mistake on the Versys. Could you trailer the ATV and Versys?
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:05 AM
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Great Ride Report! Thanks for posting your adventure.

I road the Talimena Drive a few years back, awesome road from Mena, AR to Talihena, OK. Went up to Heavener Runestone State Park... cool history there about the Vikings.

Your trip has inspired my to do the trip again on my V.

What kind of wheels did you put on your V? What else have you done to it?

How did the knobbies do at highway speeds?

Post your plans for the ride redo in the Spring... you may get some company if you want it.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Beautiful country. Ready to go back. The wheels are Excel with Rad MFG hubs. Tires are Hideneau K60 scouts. Front fender raised. Fork protection. Everything else is pretty much stock. The tires handle perfectly at highway speeds. I will definitely post the re-ride plans. The more riders the better. That would be a blast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kankujoe View Post
Great Ride Report! Thanks for posting your adventure.

I road the Talimena Drive a few years back, awesome road from Mena, AR to Talihena, OK. Went up to Heavener Runestone State Park... cool history there about the Vikings.

Your trip has inspired my to do the trip again on my V.

What kind of wheels did you put on your V? What else have you done to it?

How did the knobbies do at highway speeds?

Post your plans for the ride redo in the Spring... you may get some company if you want it.

Last edited by moechester; 11-08-2011 at 08:17 AM.
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