Southern Missouri has the most mountainous terrain between the Appalachians in the East and the Rockies in the West. Peppered with lakes formed by dammed rivers, numerous state parks, and national forests, the area is wonderful to travel even in the brownest of Februaries. Although there was no snow to dress up the rocks and trees, bluffs, crags, and running water provided ample beauty. Plus, the roads were dry, which added to the fun of driving on them.
Routes to Ha Ha Tonka and the spectator and service areas for the rally were challenging enough in that dry condition. Roller-coaster-like hills, sweeping curves, tight turns, one-and-a-half-lane gravel roads, and even one-lane bridges over streams (which occasionally flood, forcing water crossings) were all part of the weekend’s drive.
An example of a terrific two-lane route is the 62-mile stretch between Salem and Potosi, Missouri, on route Missouri 32, Missouri 100, County DD, and County P. Do NOT expect many places to stop to eat or fill up with gas. DO expect a winding road with no places to pass and some spectacular views of Mark Twain National Forest.
Watch video of the roads around Ha Ha Tonka State Park.
For those who don’t want to travel too far off the beaten path, Interstate 44 southwest of Rolla, Missouri, rolls and turns for a number of miles.
Other more tortuous roads await you in the forest itself. Be sure to take a map.
You can find fun roads on a number of websites, including www.motorcycleroads.us and www.SundayMorningRides.com. I’ve also downloaded the Harley-Davidson app ($4.99) for my smartphone, which maps adventurous day trips for a number of areas around the country.