RLT: Kansas! (Remarkable Road Day 7)

RLT: Kansas! (Remarkable Road Day 7)

7 Sep 2021

Looking ahead at the route we are planning today I think it’s going to be incredible! First off, two new states. I suppose, technically, I could take credit for Missouri after crossing the Mississippi river bridge yesterday, but today is the real deal, spending six hours slicing off a wedge in the lower right part of the state. Then into new number two – Arkansas and the Ozarks!

Old school rest stop…

As expected I suppose, this part of Missouri is pretty country, but not loaded with a lot of geographic features as we travel away from the great river, out of its bed, and towards our destination. Midday and beyond we got into more hills and turns, then as we were dropping (climbing – that’s weird, what do you call up in elevation moving south) into the Ozarks came across this lovely rest stop. There aren’t too many of these kinds of places around, I think of them as ‘old school’. Lots of unique, local flavor, perhaps one could describe them as homespun. It’s also interesting that all seem to focus on picnics. So unlike the featureless cookie cutter Interstate travel plazas/public toilets filled with ads. Here’s a call to return to our roots! Take the road less traveled ;-).

… demonstrating an authentic expression of gratitude…
… for a beautiful, if not extremely grand, vista.

And now the interest meter is about to get pegged!!! So, probably need a teensy tiny bit of the backstory? Last night as I was figuring out where we might stop I came across a backwoods cabin deep in the Ozarks. Looked perfect, and it was available, so I booked it. The directions that came back said what ever you do, don’t follow Google directions that include County Road 6200. The proprietor continued: my husband has had to take the tractor out and drag so many of our guests off rocks they were high centered on that we now charge for towing service when that happens. Oh, and we are not responsible for any damage to your vehicle. Did I mention cabin deep in the Ozarks?

Of course, plotting the route our best path includes – County 6200. All day I’ve been thinking about it. We are not on a car, so it would have to be ridiculous to high center, but, we are also on an RT not a GS… Decisions decisions. Being all about roads less traveled tilts us in a certain direction to be sure… plus, we can always turn around if it gets really bad right? Right.

And now the interesting part…
… you may not notice…
… this is a Google map recommended route. JS.

Yep, it was BAD! Well, in a good kinda way. The camera never shows reality, dramatically flattening the scene. Crazy crazy crazy. What in the world possessed me to think _this_ was a good idea? Having said that I have to admit the RT handled it remarkably well! Two up, and with fully loaded bags. I was doing the math as we were bouncing down the “river bed”, as my wife called this thing shown on the map as a road. Bike (which is svelte as tourers go) + two riders + luggage = ~1100 lbs. Imagine trying to keep a half ton upright on two wheels over these giant rocks laced with smaller rocks sprinkled with gravel, let’s just say it was quite a challenge. As much as I am grousing, it was an amazing, wonderful, intense bit of ride. Not a fan of ani-lock brakes in this kind of situation for sure, it sucks jamming on the rear brake pedal trying desperately to slow down and not bottom out the suspension one more time, or smack the bottom of the engine/transmission with a grinding thud, and feeling the wheel roll freely! What else, well, defiantly could have used some more ground clearance ;-). I’m happy to report no falls, but the bike did not come through totally unscathed. The front wheel flipped up one of those mid sized rocks that marred the exhaust pipe with pretty good dent, but hey, if that’s the worst that happened I’ll take it.

All in good time we arrived. Take a look at this place. Incredible. Gorgeous little cabin not too far away from the owners home, and just look at those views. Wow. Breakfast or dinner on the porch often. We only got to visit for a short time, they were heading out, over night, for a medical appointment in the morning. Did I mention deep in the Ozarks? They were originally from ‘up north’ and fell in love with the area as they passed through year after year on vacation. On one of the trips they stopped by a real estate office and the rest is history. Another gem.

Destination perfect 🙂
Picture worth 1000 words
Simply stunning
How’s that for a back yard? Just doesn’t get any better