April 12, 1999
|Last night I dreamed I was sitting in some authoritative
office with some official looking person sitting at the desk. He was telling me that
I was not allowed to ride on the highway in Arkansas.
It was 54 degrees according to the bank sign in Haven as I was leaving. I was only wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt so I was a bit chilly...especially, the faster I rode! And the bottom bracket had quit making that noise...
The sky was really blue and the road into Little Rock was pretty flat. roadkill for today was turtles. I had seen mostly armadillos since entering Alabama, now I see dead, smashed, turtles everywhere. Most of them are small, 3/4" to 2" in length. They were everywhere! It was mostly very small towns, farms, and pastures of green and yellow. At times I felt like I was in a parade with all the people waving :-)
Just before Little Rock, a very scenic swampy area appeared and lasted for several miles. With many big trees coming up out of the smooth water, it looked like a great place to relax in a canoe. As soon as I hit North Little Rock, 70 got very narrow and very rough! I stopped at a gas station and found several bike shops listed in the phone book. I picked one that advertised "Specialized" bikes since that's what I have.
The road got much better once I got downtown. I found the bike shop, I think it was called "Chainwheel Bikeshop", and they tightened my bottom bracket at no charge. They were pretty cool but didn't have any suggestions for what roads to take to Missouri.
After leaving the bike shop I continued west on Kavanaugh, it had a nice park on the right. That whole section of town was pretty cool with quaint little shops and cafe's lining the streets. The smell of food made me hungry. I stopped at a convenience store and used the phone to call Steve. He's been maintaining my email for me while I'm on this trip. I wanted to see if there had been any messages regarding the whole NPR thing. I decided to call the NPR member station KLRF90.5. They wanted to do a short segment about my ride and told me to call back in 2 days. This ride is turning out to be the best thing I've ever done and it would be great to share it with others. maybe even inspire others to ride or just build an awareness of cycling.
I took 10 west and headed to Lake Sylvia National Park and Campground. Where 10 junctions with 9, there was a convenience store. I stopped and asked for directions.. The lady inside said I needed to go north on 9/10 about a mile then turn left on 324. There was fresh pizza being made and I could smell it....Now I was really hungry! She took the pizza out and it was half Pepperoni and half Supreme (including pepperoni and sausage.) I told here I'd take a slice of the Supreme and just pick off the meat since I don't eat red meats. She said she'd only charge me half price for the slice of pizza so I only paid $1.81 for it and a Gatorade. Actually, I didn't have the 81 cents, I only had 55 cents in change. Instead of me having to use another dollar bill and getting more change, she made up the difference from the "Biker Box." She said a lot of cyclists ride through here and don't like carrying change, so they started a "Biker Box" to keep change in. Cool idea! I donated a dollar to the box and scarfed down the pizza.
As I was riding into the park I passed two Park Rangers leaving. Arriving at the camping area I found a locked gate so I unhooked my trailer and went under the gate. I set up my tent and headed to the bathroom only to find that locked as well. So I bathed while squatting next to a faucet for an RV hookup. The whole place was deserted and very quiet, I was completely alone. I guess that's an advantage to camping early in the year :-)
Today - 89.28 miles