What did you do to celebrate American Labor Day, September 4-6, 2006? This year we trailered the bikes to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Apparently, Hot Springs is a Mecca of sorts for motorcyclists. It is one of the more beautiful places to ride and there are several long, winding roads in the area that we had read about. These roads were supposed to be fantastic for motorcycling. They were touted as having some beautiful curves and vistas (See below). We were not disappointed.
We did a little geocaching on the way there and back, as well as during our motorcycle rides. We dropped off several travel bugs and picked up a few more to bring back to Alabama. One thing we enjoy about geocaching is that it takes us to places we never would have ventured into. We crossed the bridge in the below photo on our bikes several times, but it wasn’t until we went to find the cache down below by the river that we were treated to this view.
Headed for a cache just off the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi
One of the bridges we crossed on one of our bike excursions.
Found this one in Memphis, TN on what appeared to be an abandoned golf course.
While we were out caching on our bikes I came across this little guy and decided to go back and save him from squashing. Doesn’t it look like I am giving him a lecture about the benefits of staying out of the road? Even though he wouldn’t come out of his shell, I think he listened to me and will stay in the woods from now on.
The rides we took each day were tons of fun, with lots of winding curves, switchbacks, and mountain vistas. Once I got up next to the sign I couldn’t believe how big it really was. These signs were one after another up and down the mountains. What a blast!
There he goes….
Here he comes…
There he goes again…
As I said this place is no secret to motorcyclists so the roads were filled with them every where we went. We had loads of opportunities to see all kinds of different bikes (and riders). Everything from trike riders with female drivers and male passengers to a man with his dog, front paws perched on the handlebars balancing nicely. We really didn’t know that there would be so many bikes there. It really was a treat.
Two of the many riders we met along the way.
We stopped by Wal-Mart and bought a disposable camera for our rides after we realized that it might be fun to take pictures of each other and anything else while riding. Be sure to check out the last photo in this set. That is Scott in the back of that 1/4 mile long group of motorcycles roaring down the road. I was actually the last rider in the line and it was so much more fun to ride in a pack than I thought it would be. Some of the photos are a little blurry, but hey, try taking photos with one hand and cranking the throttle and steering with the other. YES, mother, we were being careful…
Everyone has to eat and of course we found some of the coolest local places to go. Dwayne’s Bar-B-Q and Grill is located in Dover and their parking lot was full of bikes when we passed by. Since Dover was at the end of our route for the day, about a half an hour later on our way back we decided to check it out. We have learned to never underestimate the ability of bikers to find great food at fantastic prices. The food was abundant and excellent and we got out of there for under $20.
Our hotel was located on Lake Hamilton and there were a couple of resturants on the lake to choose from. Fisherman’s Wharf was located one bridge over from our hotel and we decided to eat there, overlooking the water and the city’s fireworks display on Labor Day evening. There was so much boat traffic going across the lake for the fireworks it was great fun to watch them all. Dinner was so good and the people/boat/firework watching was so much fun that we ended up staying long enough to watch the boat traffic returning from whence they came after the fireworks were over.
At the end of each day we made time to come into town and actually enjoy walking the city of Hot Springs and the National Park that is the heart of down town. I had been here many times before, but Scott had not. So, as we walked the streets I explained how the city had fountains that were piped from the springs and the water that came out of them was super hot, 115 degrees. The citizens of the city and anyone who cares to is able to go to these fountains and fill their containers (containers vary as much as individuals) with all the water they want, i.e. can carry. The water is pure spring water and tastes great once it cools off. He was a little skeptical so we visited one of the more famous fountains so we could fill up a few water bottles we had saved. The water is very hot and under quite a bit of pressure so when you open the spigot the water flows out very fast. It takes some practice to get it in the bottle and not all over yourself. We both got soaking wet, but it was a lot of fun anyway.
The bath houses here are all undergoing intensive remodeling, thanks to the federal government and are slowly reopening to the public. They are quite majestic and were very popular in their day. If you walk up to the windows of the bath houses they have displays behind the windows explaining the history of the houses and the redevelopment plan.