December Spring Ride

December Spring Ride

After looking at the forecast for the upcoming weekend, I just had to take advantage of the weather… and I know one person who would definitely be riding…

From: Basher
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:36 PM
To: Mark Sampson

Subject: Riding

Mark… sorry I missed your call I was out all night.. do you have any plans to ride this weekend.. I was thinking of getting a ride in. I can call you tomorrow..


The following morning…

From: Mark Sampson
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 6:13 AM
To: Basher
Subject: Riding

My plan is on this page Bill.

HERE (link to ADVrider post of his)

I’ll be leaving in 2-3 hrs———and won’t be by the computer anymore for a few days.


That’s how it all went down… I had a half day of work on Friday which would give me enough time to pack up the WRR and get her ready to meet BigDog at Loggers Lake by dark-thirty on Saturday evening.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday morning I was up early and ready to head out..


I’d make my way south to ride through Mark Twain National Forest before meeting up with BigDog. On the way down, I decided to take the eastern route which passes by this old bridge spanning over Mill Creek.


It’d take me along some beautiful creeks.. most of which are spring fed.



And I never miss riding some of my favorite trails on the way down..


Some had a lot of standing water on them…


This old truck is still sitting there.. just love it’s character.


After stopping in at Bixby for a good lunch, I headed on down to Loggers Lake.. on the way there I ran into “this is a RV” on his KLR. He said the campground was blocked off..”toondebt11″ (Kevin) confirmed it. So we headed back into town to try to text BigDog, but without any luck, Kevin and I decided to hold up at the campground and wait for BigDog. “this is a RV” would head home..

Loggers Lake Campground closed…


With the campground closed, we decided to head a few miles over to Link’s and see if we could camp there. Once we got there it was dark, no one around, cold and the wind was blistering.. Right about then Kevin said he’s heading north, so BigDog came over to me and said,

Well, looks like its just me and you, buddy!

I could read his mind, I knew the adventure wasn’t about to end here.. so we saddled up and headed towards Lesterville. I told BigDog I was getting hungry so the plan was to eat in Lesterville… but as we pulled into Centerville we saw a nice litter diner all lit up. I think it was called the 21 Diner, they had a 21 Burger that was a one pound burger. We both passed on that!

As always, BigDog made more friends and this time with the nice old lady cooking up our meals. He asked her about a place to stay and that’s when she told us about this house that you could stay in called the Butterfly Inn.  We had no clue what we were going to end up with.. but thought what the heck, lets call them. BigDog talked to the nice lady and she said come on up… we finished our meal and headed back in. Earlier BigDog had seen the “Butterfly Inn” sign on the side of the road, but we were looking for a Inn.. not this…

Watch BigDog’s reaction to not pulling into a nice big fiery campsite… then take a look at our digs for the night!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


This place sure was too fancy for the both of us.. it was the nicest campsite we’d ever stayed at! This is why you never ever bail on a BigDog Adventure!


Before leaving town, BigDog took us back to this old mill, it was amazing! The second best one we’d see on this ride…

The Reed Spring Mill

This 56 degree spring is channeled into small lakes, with waterfalls, which eventually empty into the Black River. It is not known how far into the hills this beautiful spring starts but it has served the area surrounding Centerville in the most useful ways in every era of its time. In 1881, Nathaniel Scott built the dam and grist mill to grind the corn into meal and wheat into flour. Shortly thereafter a saw mill was erected supplying much needed lumber to early settlers to build their homes. Sometime before 1915, Dr. Shy had the idea of generating electricity from its water power, so they took off the overshot wheel, installed a turbine and ran electric lines into town. Though the lights were bright at the mill, but dim in town, this supplied the towns’ electric until 1929. The original building and wheel were taken apart, board by board, and sent to San Francisco for exhibition at the 1939 Worlds Fair. This display is now in storage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Although privately owned, this incredibly picturesque mill is fully visible from the road.

One of the locals told us this mill site is going to be willed to the state after the current owner passes on.. hopefully they will keep it restored for many, many years to come!

Photo Gallery

[AFG_gallery id=’2′]

It was still very early as we left the mill and we were both hungry, so heading out of town we’d stop at a small cafe for breakfast, I thought it was called Cindy’s?! It was very good eats for sure.. but we had much riding to get done… so we said our “goodbye’s” to the local old fellas that are always hanging around these places and away we went..

I just followed BigDog since I didn’t have a route, and I think for the most part BigDog was wing’n it, at least for a few hours in the morning that is..


We turned in this grassy drive.. I had no clue what I might see next..

a Random Spring

Then around the corner was this neat, bubbling spring.. You could see the bubbles coming straight up out of what looked like quicksand to us. Neither one of us took the dare to jump in it and find out for sure!


My WR250R was eye’n BigDog’s old KLR all weekend long…


A new tradition BigDog has picked up on in his old age……. climbing up these things!


Yep.. you see him up there yelling down at me to hurry up..


This is where I yelled back…

I ain’t lettin’ no old man out do me!!

So up and up I went..


Guess I was wink’n at old BigDog… man he flew up that tower too! Sure enough.. it was locked at the very top.. dang it!


That’s ok though, we sat up there and talked a bit, told a few stories, poked fun at life and what not.. oh and the view was stellar too.



Me & BigDog

Back on the ground, I finished off one of those little Cutie oranges and we hit some tarmac… it was time to head west to find a spring…

A spring hunting we will go,
Hi – HO ‘a Merry OH, a spring hunting we will go…


We continued moving west, and I could see a few Waypoints pop in and out of view on my GPS… but the way of the BigDog is always a bit different and I’m always in for a surprise. And this next stop was, well just epic!

There was a lot of this…


Around a corner I come to see this.. which usually isn’t a good thing. BigDog sitting on the other side of a creek crossing, or in this case, water hole with his camera out and ready! So I stopped and took his photo first…all the while I’m scoping out the line he took through the creek..


You can see his track coming out on the left side of the creek.. but I’m pretty sure he entered on the right.. I would figure out quick why his camera was out..

Deep Crossing

There was a large mass that kicked me left as soon as I hit it.. but no worries, I put ‘er on the pipe and powered right through that crossing! Glad BigDog got a good photo of me and it didn’t end with my WR taking a drink.

Just a few miles down the road, BigDog led me to, now, one of my favorite sites.. .

The Klepzig Mill



Klepzig Mill


Missouri is rich in history and I sure hope these sites stay around so I can bring my boys on a ride down here some day. Since Rocky Falls Shut-Ins was so close we had to stop and check it out.. its another awesome waterfall in the Ozarks.

Rocky Falls Shut-Ins

Few places in the Ozarks provide a glimpse of earth’s turbulent past as well as Rocky Falls. The reddish-brown rock you see here is rhyolite porphyry. It formed as molten rock deep within the earth and flowed onto the surface about 1.5 billion years ago. At the time, no living thing existed to see the awesome flow of glowing hot lava slowly advancing over the barren landscape.
Normally, a stream eroding softer dolomite, a type of limestone, would make a wider valley for itself. Since the rhyolite is harder, the stream tends to stay within whatever cracks that it finds, deepening them only a little by erosion. Thus a“shut in” is formed where the harder rock has “shut in” the stream. Farther downstream, past the constricting rhyolite, the stream valley widens once again. This allows the stream to expand into a pool.


Here’s a little look around Klepzig Mill and Rocky Falls.. man it was beautiful! I’ll definitely being returning in the spring…

By this time.. I could tell.. BigDog was really itchin’ to find that spring, heck I think he even put that KLR into 5th gear a time or two heading out west… He had told me earlier that there seemed to be an error with the Waypoint he had for the spring.. but said he thinks he figured it out. We were to meet up at an entrance to the property where the spring was and let ourselves in with a golden key. What an adventure this was going to be.. and boy was it! Have a look…

Stupid Dog Spring

BigDog @ Stupid Dog Spring

That was a lot of fun.. the unexpected is what makes trips memorable, and this one was making out to be one for sure.  We decided to make our way back east a bit so Monday’s ride wouldn’t be as many miles for the both of us… so we headed back to Eminence..

On the way, BigDog spots another one of these..

Eminence Tower

He headed up while I gave my beautiful wife a call to check in on my family… and this time.. the ole man out did me! Back in town we stopped at a place to eat but they were closed, we also checked out a campground there in town and it was a dump! So we decided to see if Alley Springs campground was open… and it was. In fact, we had the entire place to ourselves.


After finding a nice site, BigDog got his Sven saw out and went to work. We gathered wood, put up our tents and started dinner.  I had a Mountain House Chili Mac while BigDog heated up a can of chili… we even figured out how to open the can with OUT a can opener! HA! Add that to my ADV packing list…

Another must have ADV accessory is the Dingweed’s ADV Multi-purpose Tarp-o-matic 3000. Mine was a 2012 model.. I think BigDog had the older model.. nah nah!


Mmmm.. dinner is served! We talked about how if our wives brought us a Mountain House for dinner at home we’d think they’d drove off the deep end… but out here, these things are so tasty!

Before bedtime BigDog read an adventure rider story.. it was a good one, reminded us of a lot of things we already know about lightweight adventure riding, heck we both own WR250Rs.. “We got this!” That little book also was a good reminder of how to view riding lots of miles on a trip.. don’t fret the little stuff and keep plans open, don’t be tied down by deadlines but have a high view plan or route.


It made me sleepy so off to bed I went, Big Agnes awaits..


About 3am I hear some rustling in the woods.. it’s making weird noises, huff’n and puff’n.. then.. I hear the Sven saw at it again..

BigDog….is that you?

Yep.. I can’t sleep so I’m gonna stoke this fire back up.

Ok.. well I can’t seem to climb out of Big Agnes just yet…

Off to sleep I went and I slept hard for the next couple of hours.  BigDog said he too went back to sleep, getting that fire going again at 3am really made it easy to have a nice morning fire as we broke camp.

Monday, December 3, 2012


The morning fog was thick over head, we couldn’t tell if it was rain clouds or just river low-land fog. Soon the fog started to lift and we could see blue skies above.. that was good considering they were calling for rain today, but we wouldn’t see a single drop!

Today we would head back home.. but first a little breakfast in Eminence and.. one of the best roads we’d ride all trip long!! I had two loops I’ve planned on riding two times previously and never got the chance. But this time.. I wouldn’t pass them up, not a chance..



I just sat here and took it all in.. what a great trail this was, winding along the Jack’s Fork river.. up and down valleys finishing up with a small remote logging road.

Me on the Trail

BigDog and I ran up Hwy 19 for several miles just enjoying the scenery. Unfortunately, it was time for us to part ways.. I would head north through Hermann and BigDog was heading to Bixby for a coffee then.. wander his way back home.

This little trip was exactly what I needed…a refresher, a relaxing couple of days riding on my motorcycle, and another great time with a really good friend who has taught me a LOT about adventure riding, climbing lookout towers and most of all, just enjoying each day we are blessed to have. BigDog… its time to fill up that bucket list buddy!

Read BigDog’s Ride Report


, ,
  • Mark
    Posted at 21:01h, 14 December Reply

    Bill——really nice hearing about our trip from your perspective.

    I hope we can have many more Bill—I’m sure we will.

    I really enjoy being with you.


Post A Comment