The irony of “Independence Day” weekend falling during the first weekend of my new status was not lost on me.  As I rode to meet my riding companions for the day, I smiled at how quickly things change.  It was Saturday, July 2nd and the four of us on three Harleys, me along with Terry Orman and Paul & Lorena Wood were headed out for adventure.  Well, ok, maybe not all that, but certainly for a good ride and as you know from earlier posts, adventure seems to follow.

We ate breakfast at Penguin Ed’s and were served by a really funny waitress who teased us all, cracked lots of jokes and asked a lot of questions about riding.  She was a hot and a lively way to start the morning.  I almost didn’t need my caffeine fix.  We rolled out of there at about 9:00, and headed west on 6th Street  towards Hwy 59, which we could pick up on the other side of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.  Hwy. 59 runs north and south close to the Oklahoma border.  It’s a nice route to ride, because there’s less traffic, it’s got some nice winding curves and pretty scenery—plus Terry, Lorena & Paul had never ridden it.

We knew from the weather forecast that it would be a hot one, but figured that the 62-59-64-71 loop would be doable before it got unbearable (famous last words).  We’d been riding a while so we stopped in Natural Dam for water and gas (guess who). 

 

 

 

 The parking lot of the Sunshine Cafe with it’s one pump was all rutted out since the last time I’d ridden that way, so we pulled into the post office across the street. Actually, they did because as I subtly noted, I needed gas.  My gas light was on (duh), and that’s when it hit me, “Geez what if they don’t have super?”  Plus, it meant I had to pull in the rutted, gravel lot. Sigh.  I gingerly pulled up to the pump to discover that, yes! There was super unleaded.

As I was filling my tank, those guys went inside.  A few minutes later, Terry came out with a strange look on his face.  “Umm, not sure how I feel about you going in there.”  “Huh?” I said.  “Why, what’s wrong?”  By that time I was about in the door.  Once I entered, I was greeted with “Hey Girl, where ya’ been?”  Terry started laughing and said, “I should have known.”  Well it was like old home week and we all had a lovely visit.

 

Unfortunately, I’d left my bike in front of the pump.  This isn’t a station with several islands just one and a farmer was waiting for the pump, so I went and moved Bea, and while still hydrating, the visiting continued.  One of the guys, Johnny, followed me out and sat on Bea.  He told me all about his bike, and said he sure did miss it.  I asked him if he wanted me to take a picture of him on it and he said, “Yeah.” So he posed and I took a picture—I thought.  It turned out to be a video.  Hilarious. 

Just then, the farmer called me over to the truck.  I thought he was gonna fuss, but he was smiling.  Terry kinda subtly walked a few steps behind me. It turned out that what he wanted was to tell me why he needed me to move my bike. “I guess you wondered why I didn’t pull around?” “No, sir. I was blocking you.” “Well I’m not a jerk, but these old boy—yes I know I’m old too—but these old boys can’t drive.  The last two times I got gas from the other side they backed into my truck.  That’s why I asked you to move your bike.  Besides if I’m mean, you can throw a rock at me.”  So you all know at this point I was cracking up.  Terry relaxed, and when I told him what we were talking about he cracked up too and shook his head in amazement.

When it was time to roll out, the other fellas came out of the store and one of them said, “I just came out here to see how the hell all of y’all were gonna fit on your bike.” Funny (Remember the other bikes were out of sight across the street in the post office).  I pointed over there and we all had a good laugh. Now here’s where I got nervous.  I have bike “performance anxiety.”  So I’ve got all these older fellas standing outside to send me off (Terry thought they were gonna have to come over and rescue me), but I’m taking off on rutted gravel with an audience.  I backed out and took my time and waited til I was on the highway to wave. Whew!

By that time, it was time to eat again, not really, but that’s what we told ourselves.  Actually we wanted to stop at Ima Jerk barbecue because I’d told them how amazing

IMAJERK BBQ

the food was.  It’s really good cooking, large portions, and very reasonable.  (By the way, if you go there, look up on the wall behind the cash register and you will find the Chrome Divas of the Ozarks logo.)  When we rolled in, there were several police officers who gave us, particularly me, the once over, but never said anything.  We had a great time, laughing about our gas stop, and other funny riding adventures.  Terry is a real crack up and soon we were all gasping for breath, listening to his misadventures. 

From there, we headed south into Van Buren along route 64.  This section of the ride was miserable because by now it was hot and we were catching seemingly every darn red light.  Once we got across 64 into Alma and headed north up Hwy 71, the ride was a lot more pleasant.  71 has lots of shady stretches, plus we were moving and out of the heat of the traffic.  We stopped at the rest stop in Brentwood (which is quite pretty and maintained by the local community—Thanks!), for a stretch.

The view a few steps off the highway

    

 

We made one last stop in West Fork for water and gas.  We cooled off, a bit, though it was really hot by now.  We said our goodbyes because we would each peel off in different directions, a bit up the road to head home.  It had been another good ride, and I’d made two new, fun friends.

 

Paul, Terry & Lorena

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