Winding Down the Drive

My BMW R1150R at the tourist info center on the west end of the Drive.Brad and I made a run down to the Talimena Drive this weekend.

We unknowingly picked a great weekend to go— cooler weather and less traffic. In a week or so the leaves will start turning and the twisties will be crowded with Land Yachts full of gawkers. It was almost like we had the place to ourselves!

We headed down with cameras and gear to start collecting some video to eventually find it’s way on to Places 2 Ride TV. The plan is to begin enhancing the content available there with video segments about the places to ride and roadside attractions along the way. The Talimena seems like a perfect place to start this project. Eventually we hope this would grow to become a standalone site, then shortly followed by fame and fortune. Ahem.

It's no Rocky Mountains. But the Ouchita National Forest is pretty cool just the same.After setting up the tent at a campsite on Lake Wister and a bite to eat in Poteau, we made a quick loop around Heavener and a portion of the Talimena Scenic Drive, or just “drive” as the locals call it. At one scenic turnout we marveled at the rolling hills stretching from one row of mountains to the next. The once majestic mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma have been beaten down by the millennium, but to my eye, still offer a view worth an oh-ah.

The ride back to Wister was purdy as a pitcher. As the sun set I tried to keep my mind off the threat of deer darting across the road (a constant threat but multiplied during the twilight hours). We cruised along and enjoyed the ride.

Brad plays locomotive engineer. But safely.At the Queen Wilamena Lodge we ran into several other motorcyclists. Some of them were from Dallas and stood shivering as the wind howled through their light mesh jackets. I remarked how different this landscape must seem from than anything near the Metroplex. They heartily agreed.

It reminded me how great it is to live only a couple of hours away from such a great place.

Here’s a couple more photos from the trip (click to enlarge)…

Cushmans in Kinta
On the ride down we “discovered” this gathering of Cushman scooter owners in Kinta, Oklahoma.

Stateline Tavern on US-270
Since Mena, Arkansas is in a dry county this is the closest place to the Queen Wilamena Lodge to buy a beer.

Bottle Caps in front of the Stateline Tavern
The parking lot of the Stateline Tavern is carpeted with bottle caps…

Outhouse behind the Stateline Tavern
and the ladies room is well ventilated.

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