2013 Ozarks

Jasper, Arkansas and The Ozark Grand Canyon













Looking back as I was getting ready to make this year's photo-blog-whatever-this is I perused the pictures and stories from previous years.  For starters, we've been doing this ride in one form or another for 13 years.  That's pretty darned amazing.  Marriages have come and gone, kids have grown up and gone to college and a lot has changed in the world during that time.  Some things, however, haven't changed a bit:

  • Scott is in full throttle "go mode" from the minute the packing is done until the minute he returns home and collapses in bed at the end of the vacation.  He wants to drive all night, ride all day, sleep briefly, tear up tires, take forever to get ready to ride in the morning and take an annoying amount of pictures from start to finish.  Basically if this was a wedding I'd be the worst bridesmaid ever.  We're going to do this until I simply can't any longer.  After I've taken 4 Advil and a 5 Hour Energy Drink - if I'm still too hurt and too tired to go on, THEN I'll admit it's time to stop.


  • There is almost literally no pace that is "fast enough."  The only limiting factors are knowledge of the road, tolerance for risk, physics and respect for causality (as in getting arrested).  Sometimes this results in a pace that is about the same as a local in a pickup truck - but sometimes it results in some "amazing passes" and other subjects best suited to the motorcycle equivalent of fish-tales.


  • I'm not riding, I'm invading.  Somewhere in my head there is a Viking intent on raiding villages and leaving a path of smoldering remains behind him.  Trips like this one he comes out and plays.  Each road is a challenge, each twist, turn and elevation change is a test of my skill and my will.  How fast can my eyes focus?  How fast can I think?  How fast can I react.  Over and over and over again.  It's relentless, this drive to go farther, go faster, push myself as hard as I dare.


  • This gets old with the group. They always manage to NOT choke me on or about the 3rd or 4th day - but it becomes a matter of willpower. I'm glad they haven't figured out how to "force choke" me like Darth Vader.

This year was no exception.  Bill and Carrie were accommodating and tolerant.  Bill showed up in his brand new Yamaha FJR1300, truly an impressive ride in all ways.  Carrie was on her R6, faithful and reliable as it is.  I brought BOTH of my Daytona 675s as I just had the motor rebuilt after a thrown rod and didn't trust my baby so I brought a backup.  We rode and rode and rode and then rode some more.  I'd light off with my skull on fire and then stop, pull over and wait, and set myself up to take many of the pictures you see in this journal.  Honestly Bill and Carrie kept me alive.  There were 2 instances where I'd slowed down from a ticketable pace to have them catch up only to see a policeman around the bend.  More than once I slowed down just in time for a family of deer to run in front of me and at least once I slowed down just in time for a pile of gravel that would have sent me sliding into a ditch.  As you'll see the views were amazing, the roads were terrific and we all had a really good time.  My one sad spot is that the more of these we've done the fewer and fewer Garrett is able to attend.  I miss you man, I never stop thinking about you on these trips and I hope you'll be on the next one.