Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 24 - Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to North Little Rock, Arkansas

82.0 miles in about 7:17....(1446.42 total miles over 19 days.....averaging 76.127 a day)
Ascent....2589 ft....28729 ft for the trip...
When I rolled out if town at 8:30, I realized that Arkadelphia, as well as the town I was in before that, are pretty much built on a hill. Most of the time towns are built in a valley, by a river, or water source, and the first thing I do in the morning is climb out of the valley. Here, in the Arkansas Delta country, the town's are built on a hill, and the first thing I did was go down in elevation. Actually, there were a few rollers past two universities that I hadn't heard of ...Henderson State U, and Ouachita Baptist U. I guess I was riding today in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, which are in northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma. I always talk about the 'rollers', but u never really know how many hills I climbed in a day. Today I decided to count them.
It turns out that I'm glad I did. Today was my third highest elevation climb of the trip, over 2500 ft, and I counted 40 hills that I had to gear down to my easiest gear. This particular course that I have taken from Phoenix, is no doubt, the flattest way that a person could get to the Mississippi River. Other rides have climbed 4,5,6000 ft in one day. I only have had one day over 4000. You won't get that by going north out of Phoenix!!
My first 40 miles were once again on US 67, but in Benton, 67 went off to Hot Springs, and
I was left at the mercy of the GPS.
Somewhere out there, I had a crazy incident that I want to mention. There have been lots of dogs in Arkansas, but most of them chase me for a while, then let me alone. I haven't had to pull my weapon but once, and I didn't need to that time either. Well, today a dog was running along side me, and I was focused on it, of course, when the dog spooked a squirrel out of the high grass along the road. The squirrel shot out in front of me, and I swear my front tire just missed it by inches. I almost ran over a damn squirrel!!! I wonder how that would have turned out if I hit it and wrecked with the dog hot on my heels!!
Surprisingly, once I got to Benton, I was only half way into my trip, but I think I was in some one's city limits all the way for the next 40 miles to the Motel. I think I may have been in the city of Bryant also. There were absolutely no shoulders on roads, and very few bike lanes for that last leg of the journey. I rode through lots of residential areas, but I was also on some skinny roads that had twists and turns, and peaks and valleys, that I should not have been on. People around here are NOT used to bicyclist, but many erred on the side of caution, and did not know how to pass me. That is just as annoying as the guys who blaze by me recklessly. It was a little crazy in spots.
I was cruising along in one of the neighborhoods, when suddenly I came upon the campus of the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Just as quickly I rode right past the state capital building, then right through downtown, which has some pretty tall buildings, then across the surprisingly big Arkansas River on a bridge with no bike lane. It was very fortuitous that I was there at five o'clock on a Sunday, not on a weekday with all the traffic.
Once I got to the Motel 6, which was pretty beat up, I could not find a restaurant that was open, so I ended buying some hamburger buns and some turkey Bologna at the save a lot.

A beautiful mural in downtown Benton.  First the whole thing, then the close-ups.

The Arkansas state flag

What if people can't read???  Uh oh!

No shoulder, sharp turns, nasty roads going into Little Rock

I came to this sign a full 20 miles before I found my motel in North Little Rock

I wonder why Mickey and Minnie are black???

The Arkansas state capital building

I was right in downtown, on a Sunday with no traffic, fortunately

The bridge over the Arkansas River, with no traffic!

The Arkansas River is huge, even when it's not high, like all the rivers I've seen for a week.

I stumbled across a minor league baseball game, the Arkansas Travelers.

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