Arkansas 2017 | Bikes, Blues and BBQ

Dear Arkansas,

You are stunning.

Love, Me

September 20-24th | 2017 Annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally in Fayetteville, Arkansas came and went.   And in the 10 years that Clint and I have been going on big motorcycle trips, this one wins for the most unique, challenging and entertaining of adventures.


We packed, we loaded, we headed out.   En route with us: Tyree, Cole and Tyree’s brother, Clint S., riding my Clint’s old bike.


Part 1, 2 and 3:


  1. St. Joe with fumes to spare for fuel and to hook up with Erika and her trusty Jeep.
  2. Harrisonville for some grub at The Garage Burgers and Brew
  3. Gas station just 90 miles out of Fayetteville for a top off of the tanks and some much-needed hydration thanks to the cool and crisp 95-degree fall weather.

Part 4:

24 miles out of Fayetteville… the true adventure began.  As we pulled away from a small connecting community I noticed we were down half of our crew.   Over the course of a handful of minutes, slow riding on a four-lane waiting for them to catch up, a mid-traffic exchange between Clint and a friendly caged passerby we found out our trio were landlocked due to a bike malfunction.   A phone call exchange once stopped at an exit ramp we came to realize that the bike Clint S. was riding was unfortunately beyond any type of repair, and in addition to that major breakdown, Clint simultaneously had a gear shifter malfunction that caused him to have to get creative with some RPM timing and shifting.   So, with nothing any of us could do but make it to our destination, our half of the crew (Clint, Tyree and I) limped into Fayetteville while the other half (Cole, Clint S. and Erika) went on their own adventure of locating a Uhaul.   I should mention that during the Uhaul hunt,  ColeMan’s engine and oil light also came on, but that took third place in the line-up of current issues adventures.  Surely just over-heated, ya?


Fast forward several hours and the second half of the trio made it into camp with one functioning bike, one Jeep and a trusty Uhaul with the untrusty bike, John made it in from Eastern IA and Clint fixed his bike issue.  With the crew together and camp set up, we all settled in for an evening of ice cold beers, conversations, and a little hackysack.


Nothing but smooth sailing from here on out…

Or something like that.



The Uhaul had to go.   Thanks to our buddy Vern, the Uhauled bike found a temporary resting place in his garage in Oklahoma, so Clint, Erika, and Coleman took off in the AM to take care of that ordeal while the rest of us went cruising the beautiful Arkansas landscape.


We set out in a general direction and ended up landing on Devil’s Den Road.   If you are looking for a lot of curves and switchbacks, add this short 23 miler to your list of roads to find.  Bonus: a few miles outside of it we found Backwoods Beer/Goods where we stopped for a 6pack and to finalize lunch plans once back in Fayetteville.

With the entire crew back together early afternoon, it was high time they got some open road under their belt.   With Erika riding bitch with Clint and Tyree with John (her bike went to her brother since his was having a sleepover in Vern’s garage), we set out towards Devils Den Road so they could experience those curvaceous 23 miles.



Lean with it, rock with it…




We had to visit our friends at the trusty Backwoods One-Stop-Shop for a cold brew and a view of the landscape before deciding to head down to Dickson Street for some grub, evening entertainment and of course, more beer.



But ColeMan’s bike had other plans for us.


Come to find out, he wasn’t holding a charge.  A little over an hour of being side-lined, some battery swapping and fingers crossed, we made it back to camp where we hunkered down for the night and enjoyed some entertainment courtesy of the Mr. BBB’s contest and odd camper sales pushing from an equally as odd salesman.


My fear was these weirdos tipping the camper over and us getting stuck purchasing it.  She was a pretty little penny for not being able to stand up in it.



I’ll spare you the details of the events from the evening prior through the course of 18 hours, but there was a lot of diagnosing, replacing, tearing apart, putting back together, test runs and the like before succumbing to a motorcycle repair shop to get Cole’s bike back in running order.


Erika’s Jeep for the win, take TWO!   While ColeMan and Tyree set out on their “bring ColeMan’s bike back to life” adventure, we set out on our own towards Pig Trail Scenic Byway.


The view on this byway never disappoints.

We, of course, stopped at the lookout point for a few beers and photo opportunities.  What we learned from our 2016 trip is that if you want a beer at any time during your time out on the road, you must bring it with you in your saddlebags.   Bars are non-existant and convenience stores are hard to find.



PBR girls. 


Somewhere out there is a photo of me with some random dude at the scenic overlook.  I had wandered away from our group to take some videos of bikes coming out of a curve and he asked me to take a pic with him.   All I know is he was from Iowa, coincidentally.

So, if you find that photo roaming around out here in the interwebs, lemme know, k?


After a short delay descending Pigs Trail due to a motorcycle accident, we landed in Ozark, AR for the #1 Rated TripAdvisor BBQ joints,  Rivertowne BBQ!


Delicious grub.
Amazing sweet potato fries.
Sweet and savory BBQ sauces.
Big Appetites.
Belly’s full.

At this point, we were into the mid-afternoon and knew it was time to head back up towards Fayetteville.  The LAST place you want to be after nightfall is in the Ozark National Forest area, let alone any backroad in the depths of Arkansas.  You are just asking for it, on many fronts.



Back at camp we reunited with the Sejhaur’s and headed on down to the famed Dickson Street.   Let’s give THREE cheers for Erika’s jeep now, shall we?


You guys… I don’t know if I need to apologize, try to explain what is going on here, or just let you come up with your own elaborated story.   Apparently, this means #BBB17, or something.  I don’t know.


It’s Clint and John.

No one ever quite knows.


Dickson was a street.   With bikes.  And Vendors.  And Bars.   And people.   We met up with some Omaha peeps (hey, Adam) before heading back to camp for the night.   The majority of the group was definitely OVER it by this point in the day.  Peace out Dickson.  Maybe we will try you again another day.   Also, can this happen when we are there next time?  I feel bad for whoever’s bike this is, but that’s legit!

Hey Progressive – I don’t see Flo helping out.

What gives?



Up and at ’em by 7:30, we made our great campground escape for a hot breakfast before heading up to Eureka Springs for the first half of the day.





Beautiful backroads, quaint little Eureka Springs for beers at The CatHouse, good company, a few random stops for souveniers and a group photo before Erika packed up and headed back to Des Moines.


Please note Clint’s facial expression.

Now note mine.

What is that?


Meanwhile, is Cole trying to look like a badass, frozen in fear, or just holding one in?


Bonus points for rocking the Pirtlefest shirt.

Take off 10 for the Husker shirt.


What a GREAT day Saturday turned out to be.


Mid-afternoon we headed back to camp to allow Erika to pack up her belongings to get back to Des Moines.   The rest of us headed to lunch where we inadvertently ran into Adam Sandoval and Scooter on his Mission: Thank You tour.  Click HERE to find out more.

Tyree didn’t know who he was and asked a question that perhaps gave that away.

I say she was just humbling him a little.



Saturday evening consisted of campground cleanups, cold beer drinking and lawn mower pulls for a low-key end to our adventerous Arkansas vacay.



Time to head home.


What’s this series of three photos with someone pushing me back you ask?   Just adding some flare to our Sunday departure by nearly running straight into that pole you see in front of me. Listen – the sun was GLARING, I couldn’t see anything and instead of taking the sidewalk path like we had taken over the course of the last three days, I wondered why no one ever went straight.

That would be why.

And thanks to the incline behind me, I had to be pushed out by some folks standing by while the rest of our crew snapped photos and laughed at my expense.

Hey, what can I say?  Just adding to the adventures.

Wait, wait.  What is this photo about?

Like I said… Just adding to the adventures.   Mere seconds after getting assistance from my near decapitation, my front tire went down and Fix-A-Flat had to come to the rescue due to a leak in the tube.

Seriously guys.  This trip.


Tensions were a bit high for me at this point because I had little control over the front end.   Looking back, I am thankful for my dumbass move of nearly running into a pole in the campground because I think it was during that incident that my tire went all the way down and had just been a slow leak up to that point.  I had forgotten that on Thursday ColeMan asked me if my front tire was a little low… but we dismissed it.

And so we forged on.

The Kansas City outskirts provided us a stopping point for some fuel and drink and to check the tire pressure.  All was looking good!

It was also here that Tyree and I switched riding situations and I hopped on the back with Clint, and she hopped on my bike to finish out our journey home.  She needed to stretch out after being the bitch on back for the entire vacay and I am sure she was itching to get some miles in, even it was just interstate miles.


This provided me the opportunity to take some videos and stupid snaps of our journey home.  And check work emails.  Cuz work goes on, vacation or not.


What a crazy adventure we had.   Hands down the most unique trip I’ve expereinced in the years we’ve been going on large motorcycle trips.   Omaha was certainly a happy sight to see with everyone accounted for and all safe and sound.


Cheers to #BBB17 and to the many trips yet to come.
















Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2016

Now that winter has set in and the cold has forced the two-wheels into hibernation, it only seems logical to rub salt in the wounds and reminisce on 90 degree weather and wind in the face, right?




I had no idea how beautiful a state Arkansas is.  The trees, the hills, the hidden gems, the miles of curves.   Hands down my favorite rally trip so far, minus the time Clint did that little down on one knee number in Sturgis.



On Wednesday, September 21st, a small group of us took off from Omaha to make our way down to Fayetteville, AR for the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally.   It was a relatively easy and quick ride down there (I’ll bypass how much my seat SUCKS).  We made a pit-stop at the The Garage in Harrisonville, MO where we signed our names to the wall.  Score 1 for me as I found some fellow friends signatures who had been there a few days before us!



We only made three official stops on the way there for fuel and to stretch, so we made great time!  Far cry from the ride to Sturgis!  Once there we set up camp and awaited the arrival of the Sullivan’s before we settled in for campsite brews and laughter.



When on vacation, we are in no rush to get anywhere at anytime.   No rules.  No schedule.   When everyone is up we all decide where to go and what to do.   This particular rally included a lot of riding and a lot less walking around and boozing.  During the day anyway.  That might be due to the fact that towns in the hills are few and far between and they apparently don’t believe in bars.   This rally is the complete opposite of the Sturgis experience and I think is why it might have taken over the #1 spot in rally experiences.   #beentheredonethat



Our first day of riding was pretty spectacular.  The sights, the curves, the beauty!



Tourist alert



We found ourselves a pretty incredible BBQ joint called Rivertowne BBQ in Ozark, AR.   The sweet potato fries and accompanying sauce to dip them in was to-die-for!





Bellies full, beer craving satisfied and back out on the road we went for several more hours, winding our way back to Fayetteville for campsite shots, brews and relaxing.




The next two days consisted of a lot more riding…


Parking lot rest-stops while waiting on a few lost riders…



Getting lost collectively…



Dancing while lost…



Roadside beers FINALLY thanks to a random roadside convenience store…



Ever wanna take a back road?  Or put a little gravel in your travel?  Tear down two lane country roads?

We feelin’ ya, Rodney Atkins.



I wouldn’t necessarily say we were lost again.  Just exploring…



Tracy has this fun way about her.  And when I say fun, I mean she holds a convincing personality that gets me to do things I wouldn’t normally do.  Last year Sturgis?  She had me ziplining.

This year?





It. Was. Incredible!  I need a helicopter hook-up, like stat!   So fun and slightly terrifying when the pilot pulled some funny stomach dropping business.

Thanks, Arkansas Helicopters for the fun!



A little lawn-tractor pull action to close out our campsite experience was entertaining thanks to a very drunk redneck.

Y’all.  This guy was redneck.

Feel free to re-watch his awesomeness from my saved Snap here.

Should I remind you the pulls were lawn tractors.

It wasn’t really that cool.


My take-aways from Arkansas.

1. Take beer in the saddlebags anytime you leave camp



2. The official campsite of BB&B doesn’t really have anything official going on so bring your own entertainment.



3. We should have used Uber to get to the action on Dickson Street.  This is a reminder for next year!

4. If you don’t sit next to the girls they will create snap stories about it.



5. Find the camping spot with the fans!  Drowns out the interstate noise and the flysimg_0658

6. If one trailers a bike to a rally, one will always get made fun of.



7. Twinning is appropriate



8. Time spent with the hubs is always the best.



Cheers to BB&B 2017!




TurboKick Certification and St. Louis Adventures

It’s Throwback Thursday.

And I’m throwing it back to September 2013.

That counts, right?


In front of the St. Louis Arch


Last Fall, Clint traveled with me to St. Louis, Missouri so I could attend a TurboKick certification class.    Turbo is one of my favorite classes to teach, aside from Insanity.

TurboKick is a mixture of kickboxing, shadow boxing,  sports drills, yoga, and simple dance moves that is highly choreographed.  Turbo makes you work your butt off while having a total blast.   Now – before you run away screaming because I said the word dance – just know it is nothing like Zumba or Jazzercise.   I am not much of a dancer…. or well… not much of a dancer in the shake your butt “look at me  – look at me” kind of way.  Yuck.  This is different.  It’s fun.  It’s work.  You’ll feel it.


My day started off at the JCC -St Louis which is a BEAUTIFUL facility.  Holy smokes!



All participants signed in, met our instructor Sara, got a folder of information and then got to work!



The outline for the day basically went as follows:

  • Check-in
  • Welcome
  • TurboKick Background Information/History
  • Warm-up
  • Form and Technique Practice
  • Choreography and Physiology
  • Music, proper cueing, attire, creating a fun atmosphere
  • Full Workout – SO FUN!
  • Injury, Incident Reporting, Pregnancies, Age, Adaptations
  • Review technique
  • Small group technique and cueing
    • We were split into groups of 4-5 where we each were given a section to memorize and “teach” the rest of our group members
  • Full Class Demonstration with small group leaders
    • I was chosen from my small group to lead our large group – so fun!
  • Question/Answer Time
  • Practical Tests
    • We were lined up and demonstrated technique and form on cue
  • Written Test
    • Ungraded- completed in a group format.


Sara – our Master Trainer – is in the yellow on the left.  She is SO GREAT!

I am basically dead center in the back row.  See me? 🙂


The Certification was scheduled to run from 8-5, however, we got out a little early since we were basically the best class Sara has ever had.   Clint came to pick me up and we headed back to the hotel so I could shower and then head out for a date night in downtown St. Louis!


First Up:  The Arch of course!






I had visited the Arch YEARS ago with my family, however, it was so cool seeing it again and experiencing the sheer magnitude of this thing.   Sadly we missed the cut off for the rides to the top, but considering my finicky belly, it was probably ok.

After a quick walk around the Arch and tourist watching, we headed down to Laclede’s Landing for some beers and pizza.




What a cool location!  If you visit St. Louis you MUST take a walk through Laclede’s.  Tons of bars, restaurants and even a wax museum!   I was starving by this point after basically exercising ALL day so we landed ourselves at the Morgan Street Brewery.

First up?  A flight of beers, of course!





What a sexy son-of-a-gun that hubby of mine is. 😉


Clint kept talking about how we HAD to order pizza since St. Louis is apparantly known for the Provel cheese they use?  I knew nothing about it, but am always up for some pizza, so we ordered two.   Clint chose the Italian Sausage and Pepperoni and I ordered the Veggie & Portabella.


Oh.  My.  Gosh, you guys.  This pizza is SERIOUS.  

Heavy, rich, and so filling.  I barely could even get down ONE slice.   It was insane.


Sadly no photos, since we took this trip PRIOR to starting up the ol blog.  Who knew I’d want photos of my damn food?  ha

Just trust me.  If you go – order the pizza.  But just one.   And Clint and I both agree that the Veggie & Portabella is THEE way to go.

Following Laclede’s we went to this little corner bar off the beaten path and enjoyed a few beers while we watched and laughed at this large group of folks who had clearly been having a great evening of beer drinking themselves.

Our little trip to St. Louis was a quick one!  Far more time in the car than in the city, however, it was successful!   TurboKick certified and a night out in a new city with my main squeeze.  Can’t think of a better way to spend a random September weekend!



Cheers, my friends.

Viva Las Vegas- Part Two

Why is sleeping in impossible on vacation?  It’s vacation.  We are supposed to sleep in right?

I was up at 6AM.

Six…. A…. M….

Internal Alarm Clock is a bitch sometimes.   Or it could have been the Red Bull still going strong in my system and a killer headache I had started to sport.

Aleve, water, a few more hours of dozing in and out of sleep and magic: headache be-gone.

On the agenda: The Forum to shop with my girl, Cyndi.


Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Armani, Gucci, Tiffany and Co. and I all rubbed elbows for the day.

And, after witnessing the shopping styles of the rich and famous, we soothed our egos and slimmer wallets with Fat Tuesday Slushies.



Vodka Red Bull Slushie for Cyndi, Rum and Fruit Punch Slushie for me!

fat tuesday mug

Next up, Cyndi took me through the Bellagio to check out the Botanical Garden.  Truly amazing to see the extensive displays of flowers, plants and scenery.


Each horse was covered entirely with grass, moss and other types of greenery.  No green thumb here, so don’t ask for descriptions beyond a kindergarten level.


On our way out we checked out the Fiori Di Como, a glass sculpture that hangs above the 18 foot ceiling.


On our walk back to meet the men in our lives, we caught a quick look at the Bellagio fountains, Eiffel tower and I had to throw in a pic of Planet Hollywood where my girl Britney is living for the time being.


I am very sad she and I couldn’t match up our schedules this trip.  I’ll catch her next time around. 🙂


Once we caught back with the husbands, we all decided to take a walk to the Harley Davidson Cafe.



The cafe had a conveyor belt that circulated the room.  Pretty cool to see a handful of Harley’s floating above your head.  We decided to stick around the Cafe and sit outside on the patio.  It was GORGEOUS that afternoon and it served as a good meeting point for the rest of the group.

Our bill was impressive!


The afternoon soon slipped by and soon we found ourselves in a limo headed to Fremont Street!   While there we ate some great food, listened to decent music, drank a lot, gambled a little and had ourselves a great last night in Vegas!


Limo Shenanigans


Fremont Street


Cyndi and Shelli.  End of night and adorable as ever.


After Fremont Street we headed back to the hotel and ended our night in varying capacities.

But, a weekend in Vegas wouldn’t be complete without random cots in elevators and someone getting arrested a few doors down from us.




I’d say this was the perfect ending for a Vegas weekend.