The following notes, ramblings and out right lies are about the Sandollar's motorcycle trip from the Florida panhandle to Arkansas and back from May 12, 2012 to May 17, 2012.
SPECIAL NOTE: Thank You Sandy for all the great pictures!
Sam's Reunion Thoughts:
|What can I tell you about the Reunion Tour. We had 8 people ride but we had more fun and laughed more than I have in a long time. The roads were great and so was the friends I rode with. We got the rain out of the way on the first day not long before we stopped for the night.|
|Arrived in Hot Springs the next day, toured the old Bathhouses and a grand old hotel (the Arlington) (I’m going back to stay there). Stopped on the way home for a tour of the Arkansas Railroad Museum, well worth the time.|
|Got the tour of a lifetime from a retired Conductor with lots of stories about the trains. Worth going back.|
Stayed in Vicksburg and toured the Battlefield, also with a tour guide. Best way to go—lots of personal knowledge since she was from an old Vicksburg family who’s great grandfather lived next door to the General. I would like to go back and see the changes they are making to but it back like it was when the battle took place.
Maybe you would like to join me.
The Reunion Tour 2012 by Sandie John
|Well 6 Bikes carrying 8 Sandies left out from Joe & Eddie’s the temperature was just right and we had a lot of overcast clouds.|
|Later in the ride we met up with Dave & Tina.|
|For Lunch we made it to a Wards restaurant without a single drop of rain had a nice lunch. Jerry finished his lunch first and went out and put on his rain gear as it was just starting to sprinkle a bit. I also decided I should put on mine and, as George had recommended, I had it handy so I could put it on quickly. As I was rushing to get it on I noticed everyone was mounted and ready to go and I was a little but concerned about holding everyone up but, George motioned to me that I was OK and they would wait until I was ready.|
|I didn’t realize at that moment that nobody else had bothered to put their rain gear on but, about a couple of miles down the road the skies opened up a bit and, everyone else wasn’t concerned as they thought we would ride around it. Eventually we found a gas station and some put on parts of their gear and we refueled. We met another couple two up who were just coming back from their vacation and suggested that we take Hwy 2 and we decided to take this detour as we were making great time. This road had definite WOW factor as there were nice twists and turns and plenty to look at but, at one point it seemed the whole sky dumped at once and visibility went way down. George found a service station to pull into in the middle of nowhere and we all got under cover to refuel with rain coming down sideways, 3 inches of water on the ground and an occasional pop of lightning.|
|Well, by this point everyone was either soaked or had something wet and, my bike CB’s helmet plug was shorted out with water so, I had to turn it off for the remainder of the day until it dried out. We went up the road a piece and found that on the higher parts that two cars had slid right off the road from all that rain and we were all very thankful that we were on the flatter part when the skies opened up. We made it to the hotel ok and, everyone was glad to get off the bikes and clean up and change into dry clothes. We went for dinner which was just fair but we gathered in the lobby for a night cap and stories and relaxed for the evening.|
|The next morning George took us from point A to point B and back to Point A for breakfast, we went through 5 stop signs, made one illegal U-Turn, and turned at a red light with a no turn left into the IHOP for a Mother’s day breakfast all before 7:30 am...lol. Well, all I'll say is it was all worth it as the breakfast was great.|
|The roads were amazing all the way to Hot Springs including a sharp decreasing radius turn to the left followed by a sharp right, crossing over railroad tracks at an angle while leaned to the right and, looking over your left should for traffic as you merged. Boy oh boy you got to use all your skills doing this one and, we revisited this exit every evening coming home to our rooms. It was an old school strip hotel in the middle of nowhere with picnic tables and, a swimming pool right up front in the parking lot. The sidewalk was donned with rocking chairs and potted plants and, had a certain peaceful old school charm that put you at ease as everything was clean and functional.|
|We checked in quickly and, unloaded the bikes and headed back into town. Took a quick tour of town and head for the duck ride George was talking about. I remember think “Duck Ride?” but shrugged and figured well, Bert’s Rule must apply here. Well, all I have to say is it is a must do if you go to Hot Springs, Arkansas.|
|When we got back we ate down town at a great little dinner called Granny’s Kitchen I believe was the name and, ate a very tasty dinner and then headed back for the hotel. We sat out at the picnic tables and talked until it was almost too late but, got to bed in time so everyone wasn’t too tired the next morning.|
|I could go on and on about this trip but, to sum it up, if you didn’t go you missed one fantastic ride. This place is a motorcyclist dream, great roads, things to do, locals who are happy you're there, and not over crowded with other motorcyclists. I rate this ride at the top of my list and, I will be returning there again in the future.|
Sandy and Tommy’s Awesome Adventure by Sandy S.
This is Sandy and Tommy's take on the trip to Arkansas Mountains. Started out some sun and cool - traffic was pleasant and smooth, we headed to pick up David (SUNSHINE ) and his bride Tina in Ala. and headed south west to Louisiana. Stopped at a burger joint WARDS, enough said. Praying the rain would not get us we kept going around it, it did. And then the fun was on.
|We ALL turned into kids, playing in the rain at 60 mph. Hearing George (UNCLE HO HO or best known as SANTA) yelling with such happiness. He was happy to be where we all were...The black hard rain clouds where not supposed to last long, but they did....So our Leader took us down and around the weather and we were finally out. As we went on, all the animals were out and seemed happy, as they waved to us going by. David and Tina were in the back so we heard all funny comments that he saw and between him and George the wit was amazing, funny and dam hilarious. The laughter was loud and came from the gut, we laughed every day, alllll day long...we could not stop.|
|The roads we took were curvy, wavy, up and down, very nice. Then something happened, we saw coming at us with such force a pair of drawers, they were Johns, he lost his clothes and the panic happened, slamming into Tommy's wind shield and bounced off of David’s windshield....we went zig zag - David held his ground and steered right into the situation coming at him . John was not letting his laundry go, so he headed back to retrieve and David and Tina had already stopped to pick up....There are pictures.....So of course we had to ask John if the skid marks on his drawers were made from the road, right ? All the while, we are laughing and trying to get out what we need to say. And, of course, his story is completely different, again we have pictures.|
|All this happening around Jerry on his spiffy BMW. The only problem he had was his gloves & they wanted out.... so we told him we will pin them to his shirt and help him with that.....Jerry was the map guy and made sure we were on the right track, this was his turf and he had lived in Hot Springs for a while. Do not know why he ever left,,,Fantastic place...From the DUCK TOURS to the BATH HOUSES, which we will be doing again ...and staying at the ARLINGTON. We touched that whole town, yes the water is freaken hot. Can not wait.!!! We ate like kings and queens (TOMMY DOES NOT LIKE PIE) and stayed at great places that made us feel at home. Each night at our get together meeting, Sam would bring out a dessert that she got that day and would share, we loved it - could not eat another thing and somehow we could, and what a great treat and made a memory of how to really top off the night. We would get up laughing and spend the day trying to talk...over the laughter.|
|Road the Mt's for 2 maybe 3 days (can't remember over the laughter) but I was there. We met people on the way that we will not forget. From the lady at the Arkansas visitor center who took our pictures and then cuss at us cuz she had a Harley at home and could not ride. To the lady who gave David his new nickname (SUNSHINE) at TRANSYLVANIA.|
|To the train man BILL-we spent 2-3 hours with him(again the laughter was loud) not sure how long we were there, he let Sam walk anywhere or do anything she wanted, and Joyce our tour guide for Vicksburg, most knowledgeable and gave us extra tidbits on the tour.|
|Emotions were evident at the BATTLEFIELD, from the 75lb backpacks to the 20x8 ft wide trenches they had to dig to get to the southerners - in the heat. We all agreed we could not have done it. Car museum- wow just wow...can not remember where that was again, THE LAUGHTER WAS LOUD!|
|Tommy was feeling it on the MT roads. He said everyone felt the roads, how great they were, we took 800 plus pictures and am trying to remember it all, soooo much happened- just know we laughed and road and ate, the best time ever....through the Mts of Arkansas and Louisiana and Ala....|
So thank You Riders for having us along and will be a nag till we get back up there...
.Love Sandy and Tommy
THIS WAS ONE INCREDIBLE MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE, THE BEST EVER
I have traveled by Motorcycle in Europe, Asia, well a small motorcycle and all over these wonderful United States. This was The Best Road Trip; I have ever, in my 50+ Years on a Motorcycle that I have ever taken. The Wonderful Sandies that rode this trip made it so wonderful, the hospitality of the folks of Arkansas were incredible. The roads of Arkansas are better then North Carolina, asks Sandie John, hell ask me.
Okay, 8 Sandies did 1800 simply incredible adventurous miles. Psst Ricky and Carolann Davis, you guys were so spot on, the folks at the Crystal Inn, were in a word, incredible when it came to hospitality.
Last revised: July 19, 2012
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