Tag Archives: 7

Day 5 – Harrison, AR Motorcycle Ride: Jasper Disaster & Twisted Lady Rides Combined and more GPS Confusion.

Today’s Route minus detours. 120 miles

Jasper Disaster & Twisted Lady Rides

It’s another cool morning. The kind of weather I enjoy riding in the most. We were up again at 6:00 and on the road around 8:00. We started with partly cloudy skies turning to clear blue skies and sunshine. The high temperature climbed into the upper 80’s before the day’s end.

Today we are riding the Jasper Disaster and Twisted Lady ride. These rides partly overlap the Eureka Spring ride we didn’t ride yesterday. So we got to ride it today. Combining these two rides made the route look like a figure eight except for a detour caused by me not reading the signs and the GPS trying to route us down a gravel road.

The Jasper Disaster ride between Ponca and Jasper via Hwy 74, mile for mile is the curviest riding route of the 7 motorcycle rides out of Harrison. Traveling down Hwy 43 we ride through Boxley Valley then pick up Hwy 74 just south of Ponca and ride toward Jasper. You know the ride down Hwy 74 will be a good one when you see a sign which says “CROOKED AND STEEP NEXT 14 MILES DRIVE WITH CARE.” Hwy 74 was very scenic, with massive drops in elevation. There was the possibility of seeing deer, turkey, elk and eagles but today there wasn’t any that we saw. Just before getting to Jasper we turned onto Hwy 327 and headed to Parthenon.

The sign says it all…

I thought there was an old store in Parthenon still in business. I had intended to stop and checkout some of the history there. Frank James’ grave is near there and on July 4, 1888 Wash Middleton, AKA Wash Gibbs of “Shepard of the Hills” fame was shot behind the Parthenon store. But there was just a large old building which I’m assuming was the store. It was obvious the store did not exist any longer.

Maybe we should have stopped and explored a bit but we rode on toward Deer. At Deer we turned on to Hwy 16 heading back to Ponca. Because “Goldie” (the Goldwing GPS) had tried to route us down a gravel road earlier I had turned her off and was following signs instead. I miss read a sign and we took a detour. To make matters worse I dropped my bike turning around. No damage done except to my pride and the embarrassment of it. I was not happy.


We eventually made it back to Ponca and had lunch at Buffalo Outdoor Center. We enjoyed visiting with several of the young ladies who served up some good sandwiches, the local judge and several local workers who had dropped in. For a judge he was a nice guy. He told us about several good roads we should ride in the area. Maybe another time…

After lunch we walked over to the Elk Education Center across the street. It was free and had many displays of elk and other animals of the area.

We continued our ride heading south and riding Hwy 74 again from Ponca all the way to Jasper where we picked up Hwy 7 heading north back to Harrison.

Hotel Seville where we wanted to stay in Harrison but were booked

For dinner tonight we walked down to Dixie Café. Dixie’s serves up some good home cookin’ and deserts. It was a good thing the cafe was a ways down the road from the hotel because I ate too much and needed to walk some of it off… Yes, it was that good. A fitting way to end a good day.

In conclusion is was another fun day riding with good friends, over very scenic mountain roads with lots of curves and elevation changes and great weather.

If you want to follow us on the other days of our trip click the links below…

Ride introduction…
Day 1 – Georgetown, TX to Bowie, TX via scenic FM 4. (250 miles)
Day 2 – Bowie, TX to Wewoka, OK to Holden, OK  (193 miles)
Day 3 – Holden, OK to Harrison, AR  (263 miles)
Day 4 – Ride 1 out of Harrison, AR  
Day 6 – Ride 3 out of Harrison, AR  (207 Miles)
Day 7 – Harrison, AR to Jessieville, AR (149 miles)
Day 8, 9 & 10 – Jessieville, AR to Scroggins, TX to home

Day 4 – Harrison, AR Motorcycle Ride: Peel Ferry & Eureka Springs Combined Rides and GPS confusion.

Route for today

Getting ready to go. Larry T., Janet, Ivan, Larry C.

Today was another good riding day. The temperature was in the low 40’s and it warmed up to the mid 80’s before rides end. We were up at 6:00 and on the road by 8:00.

On our way to Peel Ferry

There are 7 different rides out of Harrison, AR. Today I combined the Peel Ferry & Eureka Springs routes for what should have been a 228 mile ride. We didn’t ride the route as I had laid it out due to some confusion on my part and being miss directed by the GPS. I learned some new things about my bike’s GPS on this trip… Most of them were not good. In the past we have always traveled from point A to point B with a few via points in between to control our route. For the next three days we will be traveling from point A (Harrison) and back to point A (Harrison) with various via points in between. Not only does the GPS not like going from point A to point A, it got confused several times on the via points and tried to send us down a gravel road, wanted us to make U-turns instead of continuing on or just routed us different. I now know I need to add more via points. Any pointers from Goldwing riders using the older GPS would be greatly appreciated. Enough venting…

Other than the above mentioned problems the ride was a good one. We saw some scenic country and rode some nice twisty roads.

Riding Peel Ferry to Missouri

We headed north out of Harrison on Hwy 7 to Hwy 14 and rode east a very short distance to Hwy 268 north to Hwy 125 where it dead ends at the Peel Ferry. Then we rode the ferry across Bull Shoals Lake into Missouri. The ferry ride was free and a fun break in the ride. We continued on Hwy 125 to Rueter, MO where we turned on to Hwy 160 and followed it to Hwy 76. We took Hwy 76 west to Branson. The route from Harrison to Branson was very scenic with lots of twist and turns.

Crossing river into Branson

We visited Branson the first time last summer a year ago. We sort of knew our way around but then we did get sort of lost. The traffic on Hwy 76 is terrible through the entertainment area so you want to avoid that. Last year we ate at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner several times. We thought it would be fun to eat there again. All the waiter staff sing in between taking and serving your order. The food is as good as the entertainment.

Janet and Shirley relaxing before climbing back on the bikes…

After lunch we looked at some of the shops and took our time getting back on the road.

Our route to Eureka Springs was again very scenic over great motorcycle roads. We left Branson headed south on Hwy 65. We then turned west onto hwy 86 then picked up hwy 21 to Hwy 62. When we stopped for gas we decided to skip stopping in Eureka Spring. After a detour caused by me and the GPS we continued on… heading south on hwy 23. Again the GPS was taking us in an unexpected way and was causing a lot of concern and confusion. So we decided to just head back to Harrison via hwy 412 skipping the most southern part of our route for the day.

In conclusion, we did have great riding weather and rode some very beautiful scenic roads. We had a good time in spite of the mis-directions by me and the GPS. I will definitely need to resolve the GPS issues.

Checkout the other days of our ride below…

Ride introduction…
Day 1 – Georgetown, TX to Bowie, TX via scenic FM 4. (250 miles)
Day 2 – Bowie, TX to Wewoka, OK to Holden, OK  (193 miles)
Day 3 – Holden, OK to Harrison, AR  (263 miles)
Day 5 – Ride 2 out of Harrison, AR  (120 miles)
Day 6 – Ride 3 out of Harrison, AR  (207 Miles)
Day 7 – Harrison, AR to Jessieville, AR (149 miles)
Day 8, 9 & 10 – Jessieville, AR to Scroggins, TX to home