OK-I takes the legendary road trip and has fun doing it.
Oklahoma’s newest Chapter — Chapter I of Bixby — left at 7am on October 26, 2013, for a nice ride that would end up at just more than 300 miles. The day began at the community center as usual in Bixby. Twelve of our Members showed up with full gas tanks and appetites ready to ride. Led by me, Chapter Director Dan Scott, the route chosen would take us through several small Oklahoma towns including Haskell, Warner and Stigler, just to name a few. We would take Highway 82 from Stigler and head towards the San Bois Mountains, a spot some of our Members had never seen before. Others kept asking during one of our photo stops about a small white spot they kept seeing (it’s not a spot — it turned out to be a house). We rode in just about every weather one could imagine that day, from beautiful fall temperatures to fog and rain.
For lunch we had decided to try out the Hateful Hussy restaurant in Talihina, and yes, that is its name. The group was very impressed with the food. We had everything from hamburgers to salads and it all was very tasty. As we started to mount our bikes, we noticed it looked like rain. Well, we all came prepared; after all, this is October in Oklahoma. So we all found our Frogg Toggs and got ready for the forthcoming deluge. Before leaving the small town of Talihina, we decided to get gas since the ride to the next town was some 60 miles away.
Just as we stopped to fill up, one of our newest Members, Bill Sayles, noticed that he had put his rain gear on backwards. Now most Chapters here in Oklahoma have what is called a “goofed award” for messing up or doing something silly. You guessed it: Bill was a shoo-in for it this time (but it’s all in fun). We made a fast stop at the entrance to the Talimena Scenic Drive for more pictures before a very nice deputy sheriff pointed out to us that we were blocking the driveway.
Now it was time for the ride we all had been waiting for, the famous Talimena Scenic Drive. This trek takes us through some of Oklahoma and Arkansas’ most beautiful scenery. There are hills and curves everywhere, plus multiple turnouts for pictures. It was pointed out several times by various Members that our elevation was more than 30,000 feet and small homes could be seen miles away. Each turnout has a name and a story posted telling you about the area you’re in and how it got its name. Most are from the Indian Territory days and they all tell about our history here in Oklahoma.
Did I mention there was fog? Yes, we found it. We managed to get several pictures before it took over the ride. It didn’t take to long before we were in Mena, Ark., and had to stop to relax and make a pit stop.
When we left Mena, we took Highway 270 then Highway 71 into Fort Smith, Ark., for dinner at the Catfish Cove. Some of our group decided to leave us and find their way to Eureka Springs and I think most everyone wishes they could had gone. We were all having such a wonderful time together, laughing, poking fun and making jokes.
By the time we finished dinner it was getting late and everyone was ready to head home. By the time I got home, my odometer showed that we had ridden just above 300 miles for the day. Here at Chapter I, we have several rides like this throughout the year. We leave early, get home late. Some leave the group early, others find a reason to keep riding.
This is what being part of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association is all about: riding with our friends, being safe, watching out for each other and learning where new roads will take us. I would like to thank everyone that keeps making Chapter I a great Chapter, one that keeps getting better and better. We are a very close group and we plan to stay that way. We are always looking for new Members, so if you don’t have a Chapter to call home, come check us out — I think you will have fun with us.
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