DAY 30

April 13, 1999


I slept in my tent without the rainfly on and had a dream that it started raining hard.  In my dream I put the rainfly on.  I also had a dream that I was at work doing wound care and had to find some latex gloves.  Just more crazy dreams :-)

Getting up before sunrise, I was hoping to leave before the park rangers arrived.  I decided that since the bathrooms were locked and I had no access to the shower or toilet, I didn't want to pay.  Most places allow people to come in late and just pay in the morning.

I fixed some instant oatmeal but couldn't find my spoon.  Dang-it!  I must've left it at the motel.  And that was my titanium spoon :-(  I've been having a problem thinking clearly sometimes, especially after a long day of cycling.  I managed to eat with fork and left at 7am with the temperature in the low 50's.  I was wearing my shorts and short sleeved shirt, so I was coooold! Especially on the downhill!   As I crested one hill and started down I saw a deer near the road.  He was startled and was running beside me, then he ran ahead and crossed the road in front of me.

The temp began to rise making it a nice ride.  Not too hilly, lots of farms and pastures of green and yellow, while I headed west on 10.   Not too much traffic but when there was, it seemed that if 2 cars were going to pass, it was always where I was.  Most people were considerate  and the trucks got out of the way.  At one point, 2 big trucks were getting over to go around me and they caused a small silver Mazda pick-up truck coming in the opposite direction, to go about a foot off the road.  The guy in the pick-up glared and honked his horn at me...If looks could kill...That guy had a very enraged, evil, look on his face.

Arriving in Ola I stopped at the Ola Superette and had a turkey sub.  Then, while passing through Danville at 12:30, I noticed quite a few high school age kids.  One girl yelled at me from across the street "You dumb-ass idiot!"  It didn't have the slightest effect of me.  I only wondered what possesses some people to be so mean and cruel.  Then, as I was leaving town, a trucker goes way around me on a hill and a curve, when I saw a black car coming.  I cringed, waiting for impact, but the truck swerved very sharply and just barely missed.   I thought that truck was going to roll on it's side.  You know, they really need to put shoulders on all roads to keep people from being hurt or killed.

Reaching Havana after 65 miles, I was considering calling it quits for the day.  I met a very nice lady that told me how people love to cycle over the mountain.  My original route was taking me around Mount Magazine.  She told me many like to start on the north side with the lesser grades and come down this side with the steep grade.  She went on to say that it was the tallest mountain in the Ozarks and the highest point in Arkansas.  I decided to put myself to the test and treated myself to a Hershey bar with almonds for some quick sugar.  I also bought some Gatorade, fig bars, and bananas.  Another guy there went in to great detail about the twisty, curvy, road ahead and about the best scenic overlook on top.  He said it's usually 13-15 degrees colder up there and if I camp, hang my food away from my tent because of bears.

As I was starting up I thought "this isn't too bad."   After a few miles though, I was thinking "Sheesh!  When am I going to get to the top?!"  As I was climbing I started sweating profusely and never even noticed the decrease in temperature.  Nine miles later, I'm finally at the top.   Wow!  What a spectacular view! Even though it was a cloudy day I could still appreciate the view of the valley from here.  I ate two bananas and used the timer on my camera to take my picture on top.

Going down was the best part.  I put my bike to the test to see how fast it could take the curves.  There was very little traffic so I had the whole lane to myself as I blasted downhill.  By that time I had noticed the decrease in temperature and was getting colder fast.  Brrrrr...  The bike and trailer handled the 30mph curves very well at 35mph.  As I was increasing in speed and accelerating past 41mph, I had to brake hard on a curve  as my bike and trailer started to wobble just a little.

Approaching Paris, some young punk rode up behind me on a small dirt bike then turned around as he passed me yelling "Waah Hooo, You Faggot!"   I stopped at a gas station and found out there wasn't a campground in the area.   One guy said I could put my tent up in his yard but he was 10 miles south.  He also told me that the motel might be a better idea because heavy rains and flooding was predicted. 

I checked into the only motel in town and soaked in a bath tub of hot water.  My legs were sore from going up the mountain.  But even though I rode almost 100 miles they weren't as sore as they were the first times I rode 100 miles :-)

Today - 94.07 miles
Total -  1684 miles
Average Speed - 10.5mph
Max Speed - 41.5


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