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Here is the article...from Motorcyclist, August 1988, page 34.  Very nicely done!!

Eureka! Arkansas is for Riders

Arkansas, in the native tongue of the Cherokee, means "land of twisty, curvy wagon trails with scenic hills." The emphasis is clearly on the first syllable, since Kansas simply means, "straight trails, no hills."

Arkansas is a motorcyclist's playground. Yes, Arkansas. Land of the recurring inbred-family jokes, redneck stereotypes and the first family. Actually, Oliver Stone has found that the jokes and rumors are the works of an Arkansas-based riders club determined to keep the truth of its secret roads hidden from two wheelers like you and me. Stone asserts that the conspiracy goes as high as Bill and Hillary. The president's press agents report that he once owned an El Camino when, in fact, it was a '71 Triumph Bonneville. Local legend says that he and Paula Jones used to raise hell on Route 64 from Little Rock to Fort Smith with a state-police escort.

After a few hundred miles in the Natural State, I understand why they want to keep the roads secret. I have to ride 150 miles from my home in Kansas City to find the nearest selection of curves and hills. Oh sure, there's Kansas Route 7 to Leavenworth that's about 10 miles of twisties and sweepers through picturesque farmland and one federal prison. But there always seems to be an abundance of law-enforcement types around. So, to keep my R1100RT apex skills sharp, I grab a camera and my favorite passenger and head for the hills. Ozark, that is, hot springs and swimming pools...

My favorite loop starts and ends in Eureka Springs, a tiny hamlet forged out of the cliffs that overlook the White River. Once a resort town built at the turn of the century for wealthy railroad barons. Eureka Springs has developed into a bustling center for artists and innkeepers. Northern Arkansas roads are often described as the closest things to Germany's in the States, where Eureka Springs is reminiscent of a Swiss Alps village. The town boasts activity all year around, including music festivals, art shows and half-dozen car or motorcycle weekends. There are also plenty of inns, resorts, and restaurants to keep you comfortable during your stay.

Once you've rested in Eureka Springs, head west, on route 62 to Fayetteville for dinner at Herman's Rib House. Herman's is a local secret where the wealthy hobnob while dining on the best steaks and ribs in the state. Don't be fooled by the building, where there's not one sign to let you know you're at Herman's (2807 North College, Fayetteville). Once inside, you are treated by Bruce and PJ, to a fine meal of aged beef so tender you don't need a knife, or a rack of ribs done so well that the meat literally falls from the bones. Try the fresh tomato salsa with crackers. Arkansas lore and heroes adorn the walls, dominated by Razorback material, as Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas.

Out of Fayetteville, head south on route 71, past signs that display the number of souls that has perished on the roads. Take 71 through Fort Smith to 270 east. Both 71 and 270 are two-lane roads that wind through scenic country at a fair clip. Traffic can be heavy or light, depending on the time, but the roads are always in perfect conditions. Slow down as you approach towns and the local police will appreciate your respect. Route 270 will drop you in Hot Springs is much bigger than Eureka and has a more touristy feel, but it is still a great place for dinner and shopping.

The roads from Hot Springs north to Eureka are the most challenging of the loop. Route 7 is the most direct, and the most traveled. Route 9 is a few miles east and less traveled, but has some flat spots. Route 27 to 10 to 23 is my preferred route, with a wide selection of riding challenges and scenic vistas. Any way you choose, you will be treated to spectacular views of wooded valleys and hillsides. There are several national forests to cross and more than a few Ozark mountain peaks. Services are sufficient so as not to cause worry about being stranded and traffic is rarely heavy, although the area is popular with the RV crowd.

The loop ranges from 300-400 miles and affords riders many opportunities to sharpen skills, sample local cuisine, and enjoy the scenery. The roads are clean and always kept in fine condition. The local communities are receptive to motorcyclists and welcome all travelers. So, get out the map and plan your next getaway to the Ozarks of Arkansas.

And remember - it's a secret.

Chris Cimina


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