8/30/11 (Tuesday) Daily mileage: 274 miles Overall average: 30.6 Got on the road today at 10:30. Yesterday the road in Arkansas started looking up at the end of my ride… and so the good vibes continue. The first part of the ride consisted of rural gravel roads through pretty countryside… some of which was covered in this fantastic yellow wildflower. Like it so much, I even took a closeup of it. In Romance, Arkansas Delightful yellow flowers. (angus) Beef! It's whats fer dinner. In Scotland, Arkansas, I stop into a gas station to fill up and get lunch and on the wall was a framed photo entitled, ”TAT, Tennessee to SFO, 2010” There was a montage of pictures of dudes next to motorcycles ( I think they 80s/90s Hondas and Kawasaki road bikes)and doing water crossings. I asked Tina, the woman preparing my lunch if she knew the guys in the pictures. She said they stopped in last year, when the gas station first opened… then a little later they sent the framed picture to share their adventure. Maybe these guys are on ADV. Lunch YUMMM After my delicious lunch, the ride takes me into the Ozark National Forest. This is the best ridings so far of the trip. The forest roads would wind up and down the mountain with switchbacks and occasionally would open up into a forest “highway” where I went WFO for a bit (with my gearing lower and the lack of traction offroad, this really only mean around 65-70 mph). Up on the mountain top. The plane! The plane! Cool. WPA marker from 1939. I've seen this on another TAT post... whatever.. isallgood. That was all good fun, but as the day wound down, so did my water supply and my gasoline. The sky also started looking not so hot… I thought I might be caught on the mountain during the rain. After 20 miles with the gas light on, I finally make it down to a town and filled up. It started raining every so lightly as well during my ascent, but ended shortly after. And so with a full tank and camelbak, I was continue on to the next leg which was Warloop Road. I remember hearing hoopla about the difficulties with this part, so I asked a local on a crotch rocket who was coming up from behind me. He said it wasn’t bad. A pickup truck coming the opposite direction stop and the old man driving says, “that road is really rough down there. Be careful…. You can see it on youtube.” After thanking them for there insight, I continue down Warloop. Its not that bad. It is rough, but on the not so heavy WRR, I was able to go through it trials style feet on the pegs, picking my lines carefully through the rough cannonball sized rocks strewn about larger embedded rocks… If I were here a couple of years ago, I definitely would’ve been stressing, but I’ve been putting the WRR through its paces and on some pretty rocky rides in through the Berkshires, PA, and upstated NY, so I felt prepared and knew what I and the machine were capable of. At around 7pm, I make it to the Alma Days Inn. Go across the street to the Red Rooster Bistro and order a ton of food and then here we are… enjoy the photos.