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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Rode to Hokum. Labor Day 2011

Chuck and I enjoyed our visit at the Hub so much a couple of weeks ago, we decided to go back and visit again.  Since it was the Labor Day weekend, we took off on Saturday morning, and Jennifer & Steve Alvey are going with us.  We have plans to get to The Hub and drop off our stuff, and go to Mystic Caverns.  The Caverns are just down the road from The Hub.  Very un-eventful ride.  Was pretty hot, but I don't even think that is anything new this year.  It got up to 95 in Harrison Saturday, but we have a cold front coming in, so we are really hoping it will live up to its name, and actually be a COLD front.
We pull into the Hub, and our rooms are waiting for us.  We are lucky to even have rooms there, as they are booked solid, but Debbie assured me there would be some cancellations.  She had called me Friday to let me know she has 2 rooms with King size beds in them.  We unpack and head to eat some lunch.  We are going to check out the Daisy Queen that is down the road.  Have to say it didn't disappoint us.  3 of us had cheeseburgers, and Chuck tried out the beans and cornbread.  Food was really good, and Jennifer and I had to have an ice cream cone. :)  OK, now we can head to the cavers and check them out.
Mystic Caverns....we are becoming spelunkers.  Steve says I just like to say the word.  :)  They have a cute little rock shop while you wait for the tour. I actually get a few little animals that are made from alabaster.  Find a whale for my friend Dee.  It is really cool.   Quite a few people are here to go check out the caves.  There are 2 in this area.  The tour guide gets all of us together and we are off to the first cave...The Crystal Dome.  There is a lot of interesting stories about this cave, and find out that it as well as the Mystic Cave were once owned by Dogpatch USA.  Also found out that the Mystic Cavern had at one time a working still, and that is one reason there is suet all over the cave.  Also a lot of damage to the Mystic Cave as during the depression, people would harvest the columns and sell them as souvenirs from the caves.  Actually very sad to see all the damage that had been done.  Not a very big cave,  but still had some interesting facts about it.  One man popped up and said something about buying the cave, and our tour guide told him it was for sale.  Was funny to hear him getting out of that one.  The Crystal Dome would have been interesting but we couldn't hear much of what the guide was saying cause we had a little girl that cried and screamed the whole tour.  She actually started to do the same thing on the second one, but fell asleep, so it ended up being a nice and quiet tour.  :)  It is close to 5 and we decide to head back to the Hub and chill for awhile.  Guess we will have dinner at their restaurant tonight.  We have steaks and have to say, they were really good.  I am amazed at the steaks, cause you can never get one this good at home.  I know why people, including the locals, come out and eat here.  After we eat, Jennifer and I take a hike to the Ski Chalet, and I am able to get some pictures.  We make our way back down the hill, and we make our way back to our rooms.  There is a band setting up for tonight.  This should be interesting...LOL..  They finally get started about 9 or 10....Not that bad, but if they go very long tonight, I can see that we won't be getting a lot of sleep.  Time to hit the hay, and we try to sleep.  I think it was a little after 2 when they finally stopped playing.  It really wasn't that bad, but sure was glad they were finished.  Getting some rest, cause we are going to ride some of the area tomorrow. 

Sunday....We get up and around about 8:30-9, and go to the restaurant to eat some breakfast.  The guys are figuring out the ride for today.  There are so many roads to explore and there is a book that shows some really nice rides, so Chuck mixes a couple of the rides together and we have a plan.  We do a mix of the Jasper Disaster, and the Mountain View Run.  The booklet boast that the Mountain View Run has 602 curves.  I ask Jennifer if she is going to be counting, and she says NO!!!  I know I will not be counting.  As we head towards Jasper, we actually go past a good part of Dogpatch USA.  It is really funny to look at all the abandoned rides and props.  This area is really interesting.  Jasper is really a cool little town.  There are lots of bikes in this town.  We pull in to gas up, and notice there are a lot of motels in this town.   I have said it before and I will say it again.  I have no clue what direction we are going.  These mountains really have me totally confused.  If you want directions from me, forget it.  The ride is wonderful.  Love the scenery....and the small towns that are all but blowing away.  The population of some of them are pretty much gone.  Got a big kick out of the names of some of the towns.  We make it to Mountain View, and stop to eat some lunch.  We find a Mexican food place, so decide that is the flavor for lunch.  Really a cute town, and seems like there is a lot of people buzzing around.  Stores are open, and of course I spot an antique store, and in the window there is some Jadeite, so I will have to go back and check this out after lunch.  :) 
We eat lunch, and it was pretty good.  Sat and watched all the bikes and people that are milling around.  Nice relaxing lunch.  Was great weather, as the cold front was working on coming through, and the light cloud cover and cooler temperature was really nice.  We finish, and I make it back over to the antique store.  I just have to go ahead and buy the Jadeite pitcher.  It was really cute.  I am so excited!!!  Love my find.  We get back on the bikes and head to the next destination.  Not sure why we are so lucky, but seems like we always seem to get behind some idiot that seems to think he has to break around every corner, and go about 20 mph.  Really gets to be annoying.  Chuck finds a cut off and it says Blanchard Caverns, and he turns.  We ride into the area, and we take a really nice road down to the Cavern entrance.  We go in and check out the times for the tours. We won't be able to make this one, as the next tour is 5pm, and it takes about 2 hrs. to go thru the caverns.  Well, looks like another road trip.  Will have to do this next year, as the ladies tell us that the caverns close today, and will re-open Memorial Weekend next year.  So glad we found it, and hope we get to come back and see this place.  
Back on the road, and I got to laughing at the names of the towns we were going through.  We went to Fifty Six, and then Big Flat, and even made it to Yellville.  I have failed to say, during this trip, Ginger is using some oil, and sounds like she is rattling quite a bit.  Chuck had brought a 1/2 quart of oil and used it this morning.  Well, it is Sunday in the Ozarks, and of course we can't find a Harley store, or anything that would have oil, so he checks to see where there is a Walmart, and there was one in Flippin....Yes, Flippin....so we leave Yellville, to go to Flippin.  Sure enough, we find it.  He gets some heavy duty oil and we are off and running again.  We get back to The Hub around 5 or so.  Debbie said the restaurant would be closed tonight, but they would pick up pizza to eat.  Sure enough, they had lots of pizza to eat.  We sit and chill for awhile and enjoy the quiet.  The wind is pretty brisk and actually getting a little cooler.  Time to put the hoodies on.  Thinking that the ride home, will be a little different than the ride we had on Saturday.  Jennifer and I start googling about Dogwood, and we learn a lot about it.  Has really been a nice relaxing weekend.  Would like to have a week or so to explore this area.  May have to work on that for next year.  We will be pulling out early in the morning, as we have to be back at the house by 3 to meet a guy about our mattress.  I think we have had a really nice get away.  Jennifer and I got to see a beautiful sunset from the 3rd floor.  Sure didn't look like it was west, but I know.....It was!!!  
Monday....We are on the road about 7:30....Steve is going to lead home.  We have on quite a few clothes this morning, as it is in the 50's.  What a wonderful morning.  The north wind is up quite a bit, but it really was just about perfect riding weather.  We are making our way towards Springdale, and we get behind some bikes that are totally scared to death to ride.  Steve tells Chuck, when he gets a chance he is going to pass them.  I told Chuck, we will scare them to death.  Sure enough, when we get the chance to go around them, this one dude was totally white.  I think we actually scared them.  Finally we have some open road.  Nice riding.  We pull in for gas, and there is a little diner next door, so we go ahead and grab some breakfast there.  We are almost finished eating, and Steve sees those bikes we passed so very long ago, go by.  LOL.....Hope we don't meet up with them again.  (we never did)  Seems to be quite a few police and patrols out today.  They are working on their quotas for the month I guess.  We make another stop in Tulsa, and fill up and say our goodbyes.  Our next stop will be home.  We had a great ride, and enjoyed our friends.  Good times were had by all.  We logged 868 miles.  Ginger will be at Harley World first thing in the morning.  Poor Ginger.  Got to love her!!!