Riding the Talimena is always a great ride. The incredible vistas and winding roads make for a memorable ride every time. Fall however can be an enhanced experience over the rest of the year. At the last minute on a Saturday afternoon, we decided to make the ride to the Talimena with some friends. Monday was a government holiday and work was slow for me so it seemed like the right time to take an impromptu trip on Sunday and Monday.
The Ride To The Talimena Scenic Byway
We left with our friend on a mid-Sunday morning at a comfortable 72 degrees. Actually, the entire trip didn’t get very hot. By the time the afternoon heat kicked in we were at 2681 feet on the Talimena which helped to cool the afternoon down. We took our time getting there as well by taking scenic backroad’s the entire way. Nothing like cruising small roads and enjoying the scenery. We often stopped to stretch, chat, and just enjoy being out doing something together.
Riding The Byway
Once we arrived at the Oklahoma side of the Talimena we stopped to take pictures at the entrance sign before heading into the mountains. It was getting late in the afternoon, the temperature was at its peak for the day, and the sun would be behind us. That made for a great ride without having to fight the sun glaring in your face.
This was a special ride for Angie in particular. She just bought the beautiful white 2016 Street Glide and was putting it on its first road trip. During the ride, she would complete the first 1k miles on the bike and have to get the service done on it upon return. We stopped at many of the vistas along the byway to take pictures and enjoy the afternoon and let her wipe the bugs off the front of her new Street Glide. We didn’t quite get to the Talimena late enough in the year as the leaves were just beginning to turn to fall colors. The Arkansas side seemed to be turning faster though so we did get a bit of a taste of fall.
Mena Overnight, Return Home The Next Day
We stayed overnight in Mena, Arkansas before heading back on the Talimena to make the trip home. We took even longer to ride it going back, stopping more often to enjoy the scenery and take pictures. It was quite cool in the morning and the winds were extreme. There was quite a bit of cloud cover in the morning. This made for some great visuals as the wind pushed the clouds over the mountains. On the road, you could watch the clouds blowing off the crest. It did clear up by mid-morning and the sky opened up to far-sighted views.
It was a fantastic short 2-day ride and again the Talimena didn’t disappoint! We had a great time with good friends that we can keep in our lifelong memories.