DAY 36

April 19, 1999

All right, in last night’s dream I was told that someone needed to fly the plane. I said I could probably do it, it couldn’t be that hard. I took a look inside the cockpit and realized there was no way I was gonna fly this thing. And that’s all I remember.

J.R. and I drove to the café and opened at 7:30am. I started getting everything ready to leave, but I really didn’t want to go. When I realized I forgot my jacket at J.R.’s place, he let me use his car to go back and get it. I found it and was able to say good bye to Jana. Before going back I stopped at the grocery store to get milk and some batteries for J.R. as well as a few things for myself. When I returned, I spent some time talking to Sherry, a massage therapist. She also discussed some cranio-sacral, which is really beginning to interest me. We talked about our different roles as therapists and changes that are occurring. She seemed like the compassionate type with a real passion for her work.

Then finally, I was able to make myself leave at 10:45am. I said my final goodbye to J.R. and began pedaling away. What a weird feeling. I felt like I was leaving a whole group of really close friends. This is something I never imagined prior to beginning my journey. It was like I was leaving home and may never return again.

By 11:40am I made it to Tracy’s. Her shop was on 62 West, the route I took out of town. It was 9.5 miles away from the café and I thought for sure I had passed it, since J.R. told me it was about 3 miles away. The road there was very hilly and prior to getting there I saw the biggest snake I’ve ever seen. I was just getting to the top of a hill when I heard a noise. Seeing this huge, dark brown, snake near the road, I reflexively turned my bike into traffic. Luckily, the cars missed me and the snake was afraid so he slithered away.

While at "The Shooting Star Trading Post", I met Ruby, the lady that works for Tracy. Tracy just recently purchased the property and started her business. She showed me around the property, wearing her jeans, sandals, and a tie-dye shirt. There had been a tremendous amount of work done to fix up the house and shop. Her business includes: gourmet coffee and food, gift baskets, made to order floral arrangements, and handcrafted products. After my tour, Tracy gave me an old collectable poster that is a map of Eureka Springs, a postcard showing the layout of the town, a souvenir coin, and a cluster of Arkansas quartz crystals to keep with me on my journey. Now I know that I must return to this place and repay some of the tremendous amount of kindness and generosity everyone has shown me.

Tracy had to leave to meet her boyfriend for previously arranged fishing excursion. Leaving at 1pm, I headed up the hill and thought about all the lives I encountered in Eureka Springs. The town that will definitely see me again! After going up and down a couple of hills, a guy on a motorcycle slows down beside me. He said, "There’s six miles of steep, curvy, road ahead….Are you crazy?" And the road was indeed tough to climb up and down, but I wondered what he meant by crazy. At first I thought it was because of the climbing, but after a few close calls with cars I wondered if he meant otherwise. There was no shoulder on the narrow road and some of the cars just flew around the corners as fast as they could.

After reaching the town of Gateway, I headed north on 37, which had another sign depicting "The Trail of Tears." After a half mile on 37 I crossed into Missouri.

Continued in Missouri...

Today - 15.65 miles in Arkansas

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