I took a short side step into Missouri and headed south on I-55. I wasn't sure if I'd have time or could make time but my mother has a cousin or two still living in East Prairie MO. Mom is 90 now and was unable to give me any phone numbers . . . .
. . . . 'cause she was driving to pick up the girls to go play bridge.
I did a little recon and made a call and sure enough mom's cousin Alberta answered. It was like she was expecting me. She had a sandwich waiting for me when I arrived. We were having a wonderful visit and then her husband Jim invited me out back.
And there was his beautiful Gold Wing. I had heard he used to ride but had no idea, at age 77 mind you, he still does. We rejoined the ladies and told motorcycle stories and filled in the more recent branches of the family tree. This intended quick hello turned into a three and a half hour visit. When I geared up to go, Jim stopped me saying, "Hang on a minute." I had a feeling and sure enough he brought the Wing around front with helmet and gloves on. He then escorted me the 8 or 10 miles back to I-55. The experience was absolutely priceless.
I took Jim's advice and rode Hwy 62 into Arkansas and stopped in Pocahontas for a bite. WOW! Shrimp galore!
I located the nearest state park, Old Davidsonville, and got my tent up just before dark. I chose a site across from a couple of hackers. Fellow inmates Mike & Pat from Columbus OH who were on their first leg of a 4 month trek to Alaska on their R80/Dauntless rig. Can't wait to read that ride report.
My new friends and I exchanged email addresses as we broke camp. Ya just meet the nicest folks when ya travel on a motorcycle.
I continued west on Hwy 62 toward Mountain Home and what do you know! I found Snow after all!
I needed to make time and try to get as close to Texas as possible but there were these little things they call Ozarks in the way. :trust: I passed up several of the roads I had enjoyed on previous trips and settled for AR 7 south. Here's a scenic overlook.
It had taken all afternoon to get only as far south as Russellville. Just check the map and you'll see why. There was no way I'd make my goal of reaching I-30, let alone Texas by nightfall. I headed to Petit Jean SP for the night. The cafe at the lodge has great food but was closed. The ranger directed me to the grill inside the Rockefeller Institute, a posh golfing establishment nearby. Since no one there really understood or appreciated my attire, I placed an order to go. I was running out of daylight anyway. I popped the tent and sat down to a flashlight dinner.
mmmmmmmmm tangy BBQ pork w/coleslaw sandwich. Now THAT'S