Day Seven – Oark AR to Hot Springs AR
Miles: 359
Elapsed Time: 10:10

We weren’t going to get any breakfast in our condo especially if we wanted to leave by 7:00. We still had some good roads to ride so we started out going west hoping to catch the Pig’s Tail, AR23 south down to I40, but as rode we got deeper and deeper into fog. It was fine back to the East, and we didn’t want to ride in these conditions so we decided to turn around. AR 103 looked to be equally good so we backtracked a little and soon we were headed south on AR 103 toward I-40 in clear weather. The road was great and we found ourselves at MacDonald’s before we knew it. We blasted west on I-40 toward Ft. Smith. Once we crossed the Arkansas River we exited and head for the Ft. Smith historical area. We walked around the grounds for some time and we were really impressed with how well the grounds were kept and we easily imagined a scene from Hang ‘Em High.

Our main objective for the day was to move over into Oklahoma and ride the Talimena National Scenic Byway. We hit the entrance by around 11:00 and we pulled over at the welcome station to remove some gear as it had become a little warm. We took off and the riding was great. It was more of a racetrack than a scenic byway.

This track is as good as Cherohala Skyway in my view. It was nice to really air it out and get into some aggressive turns. There were many places to stop but we blew by them not wanting to stop the enjoyment. We pulled over just east of US 259 but the view didn’t look that great so we continued on. We stopped again, this time at the Queen Willhelmina State Park as we were running out of time on the trail. It was around noon and we noticed a trailer that was serving burgers so we stopped for one and sat and looked over the countryside 1500 feet above the valley floor. The end of the line is in Mena AR and it arrived all too quickly. The ride to Hot Springs was also pretty good but not many stops. Once we arrived in Hot Springs we toured the town a little on the bikes and then on foot. We checked out the overlook on the North side of town and toured around before calling it a night and heading out to eat. We stayed at the Embassy Suites and it was within walking distance to all of the old bath houses many of which have been converted to restaurants. We chose the Superior Bathhouse and Brewery where we had several beers and a good meal. After a few drinks there we walked around and had our last one at the Ohio Club. A fitting end to the night.