Sunday I took the "scenic" route home through the Talimena Scenic Drive. I say "scenic" in quotes because the first half was great, but the second half of 259 south back to Longview was miserable, I learned what is an isn't fun on the T-Dub, that's for sure.
I started of around 8AM and climbed up into the Talimena Drive from Mena AR. A few minutes in I was greeted with the first overlook.
There's and old Fire tower up there too
The road up there on the mountain in the morning was absolutely beautiful, the clouds were only a few dozen feet above road for the first bit as well, then it cleared up later in the morning
Here is one more vista, I stopped taking pictures after a while and just enjoyed the scenery for myself, I think I took enough to show people the gist. The rest you gotta see yourself.
I met a couple other bikers up there that morning. A few cruisers, touring bikes, and one guy on a BMW. They all asked the typical questions that are asked of us who tour on a 200cc like "How fast you dare go on that thing?" and "You rode that thing from Longview?" but like everyone they couldn't help loving the bike.
The next leg of the journey was splitting off at about the halfway mark of the Talimena Drive to head south on 259. That descent from the mountains was beautiful and I stopped for a snack and gas at a middle of nowhere corner store.
My last sightseeing of the trip was at Beavers Bend State Park, there is a nice winding road to ride on and a dam to look at. I dipped my bandanna in the spillway for cooling, it was getting hot now in the afternoon.
The rest of the ride was pretty boring, and hot. It was alright while was moving but when I stopped I immediately started overheating. Part of the problem is I'm still using the only safety gear I have which is my waterproof ADV suit. I need to get some warm weather gear soon. The other issue was after Broken Bow 259 turns highway, and it was long straight, and high speed. People could always pass me so it wasn't too big of an issue. And though the TW can handle being rung out for 4 hrs, you still start to feel bad for the poor thing. It kinda feels like whipping a puppy, its just feels wrong. So I don't think I'll take that route again.
If I hadn't had somewhere to be at 4:00pm that day I probably would have searched out a better route, but at the end of the day I had finished my journey, my TW had taken me to Arkansas and back, and I learned a lot about how and how not to have a great adventure on the TW200, so I consider it a weekend well spent.