Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2009 - The Helix to Arkansas - Part 1

It was right after we celebrated our traditional July 4th back in 2009 that I left for Arkansas on the Helix.  In a perfect world I'd have most likely waited until later in the fall for cooler weather but the world was close enough to perfect since our daughter had a summer job down there and I was anxious to mix a visit in with a ride back to AR.  It had been years since I'd been there; neither of my previous two visits gave me much time to do any exploring.

Milford, our Corgi and one of the truly best friends I've ever had, sadly and reluctantly wishing me adieu.

Planning to camp, I had some extra gear along.  A helmet for Lauren as well as some other stuff that she'd requested from home were packed on the Big Cruiser.  I started down US 63, sticking with the big Federal highway almost to Ottumwa, when I swung a bit west and then jumped on Iowa 5.  At the Iowa border, just outside of Chester, the former home of one of my friends' family.

On through Iowa, then into Missouri, sticking with MO 5.

Purdin, MO

I got as far as US 36 and stopped to camp in Pershing State Park, just east of Chillicothe, MO.

Visited the covered bridge nearby late that afternoon before turning in.

On the way out the next morning....

The bridge across the Missouri River at Glasgow was being rebuilt, so we used a ferry to cross.  You can see the old bridge in the background, new beams in front.

Across the river and where the new bridge will line up with the highway, old bridge on the left.

At the Arkansas border.  I did what I could to avoid Branson, heading west on MO 86, then dipped south into Eureka Springs on AR 23.

While bypassing the Branson area, I remembered old photos I'd seen of dad's ride down there.  He was attending Radio School in Kansas City, around 1950.  He and his schoolmate "Smitty", rode down to Lake Taneycomo and Rockaway Beach one weekend.  The area looked very different then.

Lake Tanneycomo....

Dad on his HD at Rockaway Beach.....

Smitty resting on dad's bike, his Triumph off the edge of the photo....

The want-ad that dad responded to in KC when he bought his 1949 45ci. Note the Pierce Motor Sales ad just above it......

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