Now for today's century ride. The weather was absolutely perfect. Why couldn't every day be like today???? After riding about ten miles on I-30 frontage road, which doubled as US 67, I broke away from the interstate. Contrary to GPS girl's recommendation, I spent the entire ride on US 67. It continued to parallel the historic Bankhead Highway, and I could see the old road and old bridges in many places. I thought it was going to be a nice, quiet ride. I even saw a fox cross the road in front of me. Then things picked up. US 67 reminded me very much of riding US 40 last year. Local traffic, many small towns, and decent road. Two lane road took me into Mt. Vernon after about 20 miles, and another 20 miles took me into Mt Pleasant, with several small towns with population of about 1000 dotting the map in between. Towns like Naples and Omaha each had one strip of buildings that served as there downtown area.
The road was just loaded with mild rollers, and on the second half of the ride, I crossed four dike type areas, with swampy areas that held a lot of water. The land between My Pleasant and Texarkana was the lowest in elevation I have been on yet, and it showed with lots of lakes and swampy areas. The Sulphur River is one that I've never heard of, but it was high, muddy, and flowing pretty good. Other areas were full of water, but they were their normal tea colored water.
One thing I noticed that was different, was how much time I spent riding in the shade of huge trees. They were oak as well as other species, but I haven't seen trees over their size anywhere on my route. There were an abundance of dead turtles on the road, probably because of the high water.
For the second time in two days, I was chased by a three legged dog. I almost felt bad for them, but I cheered them on as I rode just a little faster than they could go. There were quite a few dogs in the small towns, and I had the lock off of my weapon (bear spray), but I didn't have the need for it.
I did the first 50 miles of the ride in 4:09, and the second 50 in 4:08, so I was happy with the negative split.
Once I pulled into the Motel 6, and drug my bike up to the second floor, I ate and had a beer at an Applebee's, where I had a small amount of celebrity status, as the bartender spread my story, and people responded with free drinks. Not many cross country riders do this route, as none of them had met a bike tourer before me. Cheers.
|The Sulphur River was pretty high|
|I was happy to see Texarkana. I'm officially in the Arklatex area! 30 miles from Louisiana, 3 miles from Arkansas and STILL in Texas!!|