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You can leave on Thursday, October 4, 2018, from either the Chevron station in The Woodlands at the corner of Tamina Rd. and I-45 at 9:00AM, or the Buc-ee's in Waller at 8:30AM. The staggered start times are meant to have us all meet up in Palestine for lunch at the Pint and Barrel at around 11:45AM.
From Palestine, we will ride to Paris, TX, and spend the night at the Days Inn. I have booked 15 double rooms just to be on the safe side. If you would prefer a different room type or hotel, feel free to make your own arrangements. If you would like to stay at the Days Inn, please let me know via email to email@example.com.
On Friday, October 5, we will ride to Mena, Arkansas, via a scenic route with several stops. We should arrive at around 1:00PM, in time to have lunch at the Skyline Cafe, which has good reviews and is popular with bikers. They don't accept credit cards, so bring cash.
After lunch, we will check in at the Ozark Inn in Mena for three nights, which is about 2 miles further down the road from the cafe. The Inn is an economical two-star property, but people like it a lot. I have booked 10 double rooms and 5 king rooms here because hotel space is really tight this time of year. Like for the overnight in Paris, if you would like to stay at the Ozark Inn, either let me know via the Ridemeister email, or make your own reservation. Haven't given much thought to evening festivities. I would appreciate some ideas. Last year, we had gracious volunteers to be the "party room" and that was fun.
On Saturday, October 6, be ready to leave promptly at 8:30AM on a 236-mile day ride west of Mena. We will have lunch at Pam's Hateful Hussy Diner in Talihina, Oklahoma. I love the name. They accept plastic. After lunch, we will ride the famous Talimena National Scenic Byway. This road rides the ridge tops and is amazing. Check out their website here for more. Toward the end of this road, we will stop at the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge to take some selfies and check the place out. We should be back to Mena at around 3:00PM, depending on how long we take at the stops.
Get plenty of rest on Saturday night, because on Sunday, October 7, we will be heading east of Mena on a 280-mile loop that has plenty of twisties. Lunch is at The Shack in Hot Springs Village. No plastic accepted there either, so make sure you have cash. We should be back around 4:00PM, if we don't linger too long at the stops.
On Monday, October 8, we bid a fond farewell to Mena and head back to Houston. Of course, you're free to head back when and where you please, but if you want to ride in a group, we will be leaving at 8:00AM to Palestine, on the first leg of the return trip. We should arrive around noon, and will eat again at the Pint and Barrel. After lunch, we will split up into a Waller group and a Woodlands group, and follow our respective reversed routes back to where we started.
Also consider that the average October temperatures in Mena are high 72o and low 48o, but records are high 94o and low 20o, so be prepared for anything (especially the cold). Average rainfall is 6 inches for the month, so also be prepared for rain. And don't skimp on the cash you carry. Plenty of businesses out here choose not to give away 3% of their revenue to the credit card companies, and you never know what you'll need in an emergency.
Some basic rules ...
1. Please carry emergency contact info in your wallet or programmed into your phone
2. Let's maintain a safety-minded culture: All the Gear, All the Time. Please wear the appropriate riding gear at all times.
3. All riders need to ride their own ride and are completely responsible for their own safety. Ride within your personal comfort zone at all times. We will stop at all turn-offs from the main road, if necessary, so that no one will be left behind.
4. Please make sure you start the trip with a full tank of gas. Plan on having enough gas to travel 125 miles between gas stops. Never pass up an opportunity to get gas when we stop for a break.
BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT YOU AGREE:
I understand that the ride organizer/navigator does not assume responsibility for any aspect of my safety. If I participate in the event, I do so voluntarily, based on my own assessment of my ability, the routes, the facilities and the conditions, and assume all risk. I release and hold the ride organizer/navigator and the BMW Motorcycle Club of Houston harmless for any injury or loss to my person or property which may result therefrom. I also certify that I am in compliance with state financial responsibility laws regarding the carrying of proper insurance.