DS Riding around Mena, AR

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DS Riding around Mena, AR

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:34 pm

This is a re-post of a ride we did in July. I posted it originally on a local MC forum, but I figured I would share it here since it has BRP content.


My son Charlie, and I spent three days dual sport riding around the Mena, AR area. It was our first time there and I must say it's a great place for dual sport riding!

We didn't have any set plans or routes planned out, but I did spend several evenings looking at Google Map and getting the lay of the land before we headed out.

We decided that the 'must rides' would be the Kiamichi Ridge as much as we could, the Talimena Scenic Drive some, and the Wolf Pen Gap area Southwest of Mena.

Day One:

We arrived at the cabin a bit after the check-in time of 3:00PM. Good timing on our part. We unloaded the gear and bikes and got the cabin squared away and decided it was time to ride. It was about 4:00 by that time, so we knew we had about 5 hours of good daylight to play around with.

We decided that we would ride what we were calling the 'East Kiamichi Ridge route. Basically from Hatfield, West to Highway 259.

The 'roads' were sometimes just jeep two-tracks or less than that sometimes, but all very doable on any DS bike I would think. Not too many rocks but some climbs and descents that were pretty steep. We didn't take any pictures during the ride until we reached highway 259. The trail came out right at the Three Stick Monument. It was nice to see a little pavement after all the trail time.



Looking West from Three Sticks.




Charlie setting up some kind of photo feedback loop at Three Sticks.


After a rest and photo-op we headed North on Highway 259. Great curves and nice climb for being slab. Hooked it East on 270 to head back towards Mena. Great road and ran with a freight train for several miles. Fun stuff, man. We took a small road that lead us onto the Talimena Scenic Drive after several miles on 270. There was an RV park off to the right of the road where I had a small dog dart out from nowhere. I mean I'm always looking for dogs at rural driveways and fields where I see a farmers truck, but this dog came full bore from underneath an RV, and I was on his road. Since he was cat size, I gritted my teeth and braced for impact, it was that close. I missed him or vice versa. But I now look for dogs in places that I didn't before.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and we had burgers and bench racing when when got back to the cabin.

Taking in the view on Talimena Scenic Drive.



Charlie checking his rigging.


The gotta-do-it self portrait.












Day two is on it's way...
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Thunderchild
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Joined : 2008-11-20

Posts : 62
Location : North Texas
XR650R Year : 2000

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Re: DS Riding around Mena, AR

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:36 pm

Day Two:

We decided that today we would check out the Wolf Pen Gap OHV area and the roads Southeast of Mena.

We rode 375 East out of Mena and it's a fun road with lots of tight twisties. Very fun on a dual sport, but a little tight and narrow for the sport bike crowd to get any speed up.

We found the WPG trail head and headed out on some of the tighter trails of the trip. We did a fairly long loop on one of the trails marked as difficult. Not very technical, just a lot of rocks and climbs involved. I took my one spill during the trip on these trails. I came to what looked like an easy mud hole to cross and I just plain picked the wrong line and my front wheel slid down from the high spot on the trail into a quad rut and down I went. No harm to me or the bike, but I did tear my Klim pants right on the seam near my knee.

We kicked around until we found a way off the trail and decided it was time for something different for awhile.

Resting after the WPG ride. It was hot and humid that morning, with absolutely no breeze. If you weren't moving, you were sweating.


WPG trail. Got rocks?


Charlie waiting on me after I fell.



We worked our way towards Langley since we knew there was a gas station there.

One of the roads took us onto Eagle Mountain. It was a dead end, but we still had fun doing the trail. We ended up on the summit where there was an antenna farm and microwave gear. Very scenic view from the top. We didn't know that we had climbed Eagle Mountain until we got back that evening and looked at the tracks in Mapsource.

View from the top.




Wild berries near the summit.


We found pavement again at Athens and headed East towards Langley for gas and food.

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Thunderchild
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Re: DS Riding around Mena, AR

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:39 pm

DAY 3

Day three was our last day to ride and we still wanted to do the Kiamichi ridge West of Highway 259.

We took the Talimena Scenic Drive out of Mena and then headed South on 259 to the Three Sticks Monument. The trail west starts right behind the parking area.

The first mile or two of the trail was smooth and graded, but once past the cell/microwave towers it got very rocky. A lot like the rest of the area, lots of loose rocks. Sharp pointy rocks. We took our time and went at a fairly slow pace to avoid getting flats or having a bad fall. We had spare tubes and tools, but I rather ride than repair flats on the trail! We were in no hurry anyway.

Along the trail, I looked back to see where Charlie was and didn't see or hear him. Found some shade to stop in and turned off the bike to listen. Nothing. I walked back around the bend and could see Charlie strapping my drybag to his bike. Yep, it fell off. I didn't even notice when I swung my leg off the bike. You think I would have.

No drybag...



Charlie caught up with me and we took a break in the shade and enjoyed the view for a bit. When we were suiting back up, we saw several bears cross the trail about 100 yards in front of us. Wow! We wondered if we would see any. Too bad we didn't get any pictures.

Anyway, a little farther up the trail we found the Kiamichi Fire Tower. I've seen it in other K trail ride reports. Cool!
Bust out the cameras and let's take a break here.











Look, a bear! While we were in the tower another bear rambled out of the woods. We were very satisfied to get a picture of a bear. My younger daughter had that on her list of things for us to do.



We were getting bit sore and tired when we reached the Indian Highway, which was our turn North to Talihina. Filled up the tanks and camelbacks and found a nice, little burger joint and enjoyed some good home style burger and air conditioning for awhile. No pictures and for that matter I don't even remember the name. I remembered we turned right at the light off 271 and it was on the left after a block or so. Good eats and good people.

After lunch we slabed it back to Mena on OK 63 that becomes AR 8. Not as twisty as we were hoping, but we were getting little saddle sore by then anyway.

Crossroads 63 and 259. No gas here, but there's shade!


That's it folks! For Dual Sport riding just a few hours from North Texas, it can't be beat!
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