by Robert E. Hilliard
After getting rained out on our ride of the Pig Trail in early May, Dale, Rodney and myself planned another ride in the middle of June, 2004 and successfully rode the Pig Trail. Don't let anyone fool you...Hwy. 23 from Waldron, AR. to Eureka Springs is an excellent ride on a motorcycle. And, as an added bonus, we treated ourselves to riding Hwy. 123, which is every bit as exciting as 23. Also, on this trip, I brought my camera. So, sit back, relax and read about the "Pig".
Thursday, June 17, 2004:
I met Dale and Rodney in Paris, TX. at the intersection of Loop 286 and Hwy. 271 North. Meeting in Paris set the stage for our approach to riding the Arkansas roads. We met and promptly left Paris at 3:30 headed for Hugo, OK. In Hugo, we stayed on Hwy. 271 eventually taking us through such towns as Antlers, Clayton and Talihena, OK. Dale had already made reservations at a hotel in Heavener.
Originally, Dale tried to make reservations in Waldron, but due to a classic car show circuit moving through town, there were no vacancies. We arrived in Heavener around 6:00pm. We checked into our room, went across the street to eat at a diner, then rode down to a local ice cream shop for a nightcap.
Friday, June 18, 2004:
When we awoke, skies were clear and the weather was humid. We packed up and checked out of the hotel around 8:00am headed for Waldron, AR. We decided to eat breakfast in Waldron since it was only 33 miles away. After eating breakfast, we fueled and set out for the Pig Trail. The Pig is Highway 23, which runs just North of Waldron all the way up North to Eureka Springs.
Since we decided to ride highway 123 also, we felt we couldn't get all of 23 in this trip, so we rode as far North as highway 16 and veered East headed for highway 123. When we made our trip to Arkansas in May, we ran into some riders at a fuel stop that told us that highway 123 was an excellent road...even better than 23. So, we made the decision to cut 23 short and ride 123...we were not disappointed. 123 was every bit as good a road to ride as 23. Our stop for the night was going to be Mountain View, AR...famous for it's country music on the square. Before we arrived in Mountain View, stopped to eat at a cafe in 56, AR.
Yep, 56 is probably the only town that is named a number. Cody's restaurant turned out to be a good place to eat. We arrived in Mountain View at about 7:00pm, checked into our hotel, then rushed down to the downtown area for some ice cream and a little home grown music.
Saturday, June 19, 2004:
Saturday started out a little cloudy, but no rain fell on us until later that afternoon. We left Mountain View around 8:30am headed South on Highway 9. Our travels today were to take us through the central and Western parts of Arkansas where we planned to end up in Texarkana for the night. At least that's what we thought.
We tried to ride all the roads going Southeast that took us through the National forest area. We rode through towns called Clinton, Chotaw, Birdtown and Morillton. Then we headed West through such towns as Adona, Casa and Ola...then headed South on Highway 27 through Mt. Ida, Caddo Gap and Glenwood. After stopping in Murfreesboro, we continued on Highway 27 through Nashville, Mineral Springs ending up on Highway 71 outside Ben Lomond. Highway 71 will take you South through Ashdown and Ogden and eventually on to Texarkana. We arrived in Texarkana three hours earlier than we thought we would. After some discussion, we decided to go ahead and head on home since Dale wanted to get home a little early for Father's Day.
Heading West on I-30, we found the sky getting dark and rain looming from the West. So, we detoured to the South down Highway 59 ending up in Atlanta, TX where the bottom fell out. After waiting it out for about an hour, the sky cleared up some and we continued on to Mt. Pleasant. This is where we were to split up. I would head home by way of Highway 271. Dale and Rodney would continue on Westward on I-30 toward Dallas.
All-in-all, the trip was well worth it. I got to spend some time with two good friends and ride some excellent roads. What more could one ask for? My cost for the trip turned out to be around $140.00. We rode just over 1,000 miles in three days.
All requests to use material from this page should be sent to Robert Hilliard.