OK some of the trail, and more wanderings that were not. Atempting the trail early means you are going to see beautiful country, and sometimes see it twice as you back track to find a different way around closed FS roads! So I leave Paris May 1st with Steve Boatanchor in tow. We stopped for gas somewhere in TN before we get to the start in MS. Mississippi is pretty nice in parts, I didnt know there were so many pine trees down here. I didn't realize I looked like the Beverly HillBillys But local scenery was nice. nice creek crossings... And here is Steve with a flair for the dramatic! Well Steve had to head back home... so I went solo from there... until I found this guy near the MS river... I was lonely so I stopped to chat! he wasn't much on talking so I just got a pic, and left him to himself. If you all remember, the weather was all over the news... flooding. I camped outside of Helena, Ark the first night, and it was nice... until about 1 am when I decided the tent needed the rain fly on! It didnt stop raining for ... well after, long after I loaded the bike up. So here is the deal, Tim from NC, had planned on riding MS on Saturday, and being a day behind me. I called in Sat am to give him a heads up on a few places in MS. It had been raining in MS all night also, so he said he would load up and meet me at my campground. After a bit of discussion, the options were to ride in the flooding... or load my bike with his in his truck and head west, out of the weather. Now I was going west one way or the other... so I can load up, and get out of the rain. So we drove through to west Ark, went up in the Ozarks near Oark, but it was all so flooded, we got a hotel in clarksville for the night. The next morning after watching the news and hearing that Arkansas was flooded, we decided to drive to Trinidad, and start there. So after tag team driving, with TIm at the wheel, we get the welcome from Oklahoma po po. now they dont mind there pic taken, but he wanted to be able to see me.. no prob officer. now here was something funny... I had my gps wired for the bike, and a cel charger wired also. No 110 chargers for me. My phone was now dead, and gps too. So we started the bike up, hooked everything up, and drove down the road. 15 minutes out of town we got stopped, and the cop goes... you know your motorcycle is running? Really??? Thanks! So he have dinner and get a room in CO, finally we are going to be able to ride! Monday morning starting off... here is TIm leaving the hotel now to be honest... since everything got out of order on smugmug, these may not be consecutive. saw some dear somewhere between trinidad and Salida. we dont see this much in TN, or eastern NC according to TIM nice little homestead I am considering for retirement... the roads were nice, just a tad tacky, lots of traction it was just great to be riding again. caught some cow elk running... high speed = fun we got sprinkled on a few times, it was always threatening rain... some aspens, you can get published here.. and it stays forever. there is still lots of snow... and roads closed. but I was having a good time. it must suck to live around here. we had to take the road over monarch, and skip alot of riding, but we still road. I hear they got some snow this year. I really enjoyed the riding... but I did notice... where ever we had to bypass around Sams route, if I looked for a route.. it was always a whole lot rougher than what we had been riding! but who's complaining. the old agency ranch... I would have hated to do this on a wagon. One thing I have to say, it would be nice of the forest service to post at the beginning of a road, that the road is closed. Just a thought. We found a nice lake, and took a brake backtracking is annoying, if you have a plan, but the riding is still fun. sometimes pavement is ok too. so we leapfrogged and took pics until we got to Gunnison. We stopped to get gas, Tim was going to head back to trinidad the next morning, and I was headed west. At the gas station, we met the coolest charachter yet. DC, my only description of him would be a cross between, Yosimite Sam, Jed Clampet, and Steve McQueen. He told us if we were here we would have to take Hwy 92 to Crawford. So towards Blue Mesa we go and the Black Canyon. It was about 5 in the afternoon, maybe 6, so we were riding into the sun. But it was such a great road, DC hit this one on the head. I was grinning the whole way! waiting for Tim finally getting the pic headed into Crawford we were riding through town, and saw this store/hote/baitshop we had dinner at a nice little place down the road. The next morning Tim and I parted ways!