David & Jean Take on The Queen...Wilhemina, That Is.

(Ed. note: Jean and David Hanson wrote up this ride report to share with the group. We all know that Jean and David do not blink in the face of riding adversity, they just order more pie. They are my heroes.)

Jean and I decided to take a small trip on Valentines. She reserved a room in Mena at the “Lime Tree Inn” after finding that Queen Wilhelmina Lodge was full. That actually was a good thing as we saved some money and the Queen was in the clouds, windy and cold, while down in Mena it was sunny and not so windy and warmer, plus more places to walk.
Our route from Doyline was Minden-highway 159 north to Arkansas 19, Magnolia, 82 to Hope and I believe 27 mostly to Mena. We pretty much had the roads to ourselves the whole way.
We had several light showers going up between Magnolia and Hope and north of Hope, but they didn’t last long. The temps, while in the low 40s, were not as cold as you might think. We were running heated grips and dressed warm with lots of layers.
We arrived in Mena 5 hours after departure from Doyline, having made 2 fuel stops.
Before checking in at the Lime Tree Inn, we ran up to the top of Talimina and stopped at the Queen Wilhelmina lodge. I think there were 2 others in our side of the motel, it has 3 separate buildings with a restaurant and buffet. Turned out to be a great place to eat, seafood night on Fridays!

Saturday morning, we left at 37F via 71 north then 28, and 7 to Ola. Nice little fuel/food stop in Ola and small bike shop “Twist-N-Grip”. The owner gave us a map to Magazine Mountain State Park, the highest point in Arkansas. We set off for the lodge on top of Magazine Mountain via 10 and 309. They had sanded the upper parts of the switchbacks, so it was cautious going. We stopped at the lodge and walked around and took pictures.
On the way down the mountain I made a few short comments on the bike- to- bike radios to Jean and she did not answer. I had lost sight of her in the many turns and switchbacks, so was just about to turn around to go check on her when I hear, “ I AM BUSY!” Turns out she can’t reach the little mic button with her thumb when making steep tight turns in the mountains. Job well done, Jean!

On the way back we took the long way to Ola via 27 north to Dardanelle, then south on 7 back to Ola.
On the way back to Mena, we took 27 to get another view; this has to be one of the best roads in Arkansas with many twisties and hills.
Sunday morning found 34F so we took a nap in the room after another breakfast buffet at the Lime Tree Inn restaurant.

We left around 9 am with temps starting to rise above 38F. We were back in Minden about 1:30pm to find I-20 east bound closed and traffic being routed through Minden, welcome to Louisiana! We rode 700 miles in total, it was a very enjoyable trip, Arkansas rocks for the nearest point to get into twisties!

(GPS Route of the Mena adventure)

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