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Tuesday, January 8th 2013

12:00 AM

Peel Ferry Run and Rockaway Beach

August 2009

My buddy, Greg called me up Friday night.  Said he and a couple of other guys were trying to get together a ride for Saturday.  I said, “That sounds like it would be fun.” So I sat down with my maps and tried to figure out a good run to go on.


Saturday morning came and my air conditioner at home had frozen up so I was feverishly working to get it to work when my other friend, David called.  He said that Greg had called him and he thought a good ride to do would be the Peel Ferry/Rockaway Beach run.   I told him that sounded like a great idea.  He said he had a couple of his friends that had never been on that ride that would like to go. I couldn’t leave till I got my air conditioner to work and he said maybe I could catch up to them in route.  So I left a little late to rendezvous with them on highway 412 just past Huntsville. 


I thought everybody would be mad that I had taken so long, but when I got there my buddy, Scott’s bike (a Harley Electroglide classic) wouldn’t start. Nobody had the tool (a specialized torx wrench) to access the wiring to the starter button on the handlebars.  Lucky for them Sharpie (that would be me) had the exact tool needed for the job.  Scott took it apart and had it working in a few minutes. Everybody was really glad that I showed up.


We went down hwy 412 to the East with David in the lead and me toward the back. It was a fairly large group so I looked out for the people at the back and David took the lead.  We went down to Harrison on hwy 65, cut across to scenic hwy 7 and headed north towards Missouri.  We stopped at a gas station in Lead Hill (Arkansas) then went east on hwy 14 over to hwy 125.  It was sure beautiful riding up the curvy road through the pine forest. 


We got to the Peel Ferry landing and found the Ferry was on the other side of Bull Shoals Lake so we had some time to talk and joke around before the Ferry got back to our side of the lake. I gave some last-minute instructions to the ones who hadn’t crossed the ferry before (leave your bike in gear, etc.).  We started across Bull Shoals lake with the spray coming up into our faces with the Ferry filled with the bikes from our group.

When we got to the other side of Bull Shoals Lake we put on our helmets (Missouri has a helmet law) and exited the Ferry. Headed up hwy 125 till we got to hwy 160 where we turned back west towards Forsythe, Missouri. This is an especially beautiful part of the ride as hwy 160 winds through a section of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Just past Forsythe we turned south on hwy 176 and curved our way down the side of the mountain into Rockaway Beach. We passed by the shops on the right with the marina on the left till we got to the Pizza Cellar. It’s a restaurant that I love to go to. It is built underground with an entrance at street level. As you walk down the steps you can feel the cool temperature and the cellar atmosphere - great on a hot summer day. Me and my buddy, Greg shared a pizza and of course the beer is nice and cold.

When we left Rockaway Beach, we turned east on hwy 160 and caught hwy 65 north to Ozark where David and some of the group wanted to go to a Landry’s restaurant. It must be a very popular restaurant because there was a line all the way around the building and we were told it would be an hour and half wait. So me, Greg, Scott, and Tammy peeled off from the group and went down the street to a little Mexican restaurant with no waiting and very cold beer.

When we left there we went straight over to hwy 60 and headed toward Aurora (just outside Springfield, Missouri) to another of my favorite watering holes called Bootleggers. Bootleggers has a microbrewery in it and it was originally a bank built in the 1800’s – great atmosphere, good beer, good food.

Then we headed back down hwy 60 west all the way back to hwy 71 then back to Northwest Arkansas and home. Another great ride with friends.

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