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.
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.
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…
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