Weekend For Two

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Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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2012 Honda Gold Wing

Northern Loop (approximately 200 miles)

Highway 62 wanders northwest toward the state line. Route 112 finishes the job and crosses into Missouri as it treats the rider to plenty of long sweepers. From there, 248 flirts with the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest before 13 and 39 plunge straight in. The Mark Twain is Missouri’s only National Forest, and at nearly 1.5 million acres, it spreads into 29 counties in the state. Routes 37 and 90 meander through small towns and a quiet rural landscape before 94 crosses back into Arkansas and lazily winds its way back to- ward Eureka Springs.

Southern Loop (approximately 246 miles)

Route 23 is a twisting, turning, climb- ing, and falling roller coaster that aims due south from Eureka Springs for nearly 80 miles before running into 16 and the Ozark National Forest. Along 16, the feast of curves continues as the tour works its way farther south and eventually exits the forest on 21 before turning north and reentering on 123. A quick side step on routes 295 and 45 heading back to Eureka Springs yields up even more opportunities to push the Gold Wing’s lean angle.

 

Paso Robles, California

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2012 Honda Gold Wing

Coastal Loop (approximately 170 miles)

Departing from Paso Robles south on Highway 101, a right onto 41 leads straight to Morro Bay and the deep blue waters of the Pacific. From there, it’s mile after gorgeous mile of crashing waves and crying gulls along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Following the slow sweeping curves of Highway 1, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road offers a stark contrast with a rapid series of tight turns and switchbacks. Working its way inland, the route mellows out again. It snakes past Lake San Antonio to the north and Lake Nacimiento to the south before finding its way back home to Paso Robles.

Inland Loop (approximately 175 miles)

Highway 101 follows the Salinas River north from Paso Robles past several vineyards and the historic Mission San Miguel, which was founded in 1797 by Franciscan monks hoping to reach the local Salinan Indians. From there, 198 runs east and south as it wanders through wide-open California cattle country and passes through the small town of Coalinga before returning to Paso Robles via routes 33 and 41.

 

Staunton, Virginia

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2012 Honda Gold Wing

Northern Loop (approximately 233 miles)

Route 250 winds up into the mountains northwest of Staunton. The road starts out straight enough, but it is interrupted by sections of curves and switchbacks that keep things interesting. The tour’s northernmost point is at the tiny town of Harman, WV, where it continues with more twisties along Route 33 back into Virginia. West of Harrisonburg, 613 and 42 head southward as the roads eventually lead back to Staunton.

Southern Loop (approximately 180 miles)

A short distance down Interstate 64, the Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed at Swannanoa, VA. Weaving south through lush deciduous forests for miles with plenty of long sweepers, the road keeps the ride entertaining while the scenery begs for a stop and a closer look. Route 611 heads back north from Buchanan, VA, toward Lexington, and 252 flows through rolling rural farmland all the way back to Staunton.