7 June 2021 Oklahoma! https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/fad5-5fe4c-4716/view Throttlemeister had invited to crash at his place in eastern Oklahoma, and today my plan was to ride from Hot Springs. Matt had encouraged me to visit one of the spas in town, and on further research I learned that they’re currently operating through reservations only. I woke up early today to see if I could get in right away. As it turns out, they’re not open at all on Mondays… so no mineral bath for me. I did join Matt for lunch, and he made me a terrific BLT sack lunch for the road. It had been raining much of the morning, so when the rain let up, I headed out and followed highway 7 north out of Hot Springs. It felt great to get out of the flat farm fields of Mississippi and eastern Arkansas, and I started to get a feel for my new tires. But the road was still wet in a lot of places, so I had to take it easy. I had to stop here for gas. In part because I needed gas, but also I’m pretty sure it’s the first operational analog gas pump I’ve seen in a very long time. For some reason the Simpson’s comes to mind. When rain started I pulled over and checked the weather radar. I could see it clearing up ahead and the radar indicated that I was just in a small spot of rain… so I didn’t put on my rain gear. Two miles down the road, a downpour. I got soaked. Naturally, after I put the rain gear on top of my already-soaked riding jacket, the rain stopped for the rest of the day. I made a stop in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. It’s a lot smaller than I was expecting. There’s a love lock fence there, too. I’ve been watching the Lockpicking Lawyer on YouTube for the past year or so. This would be a good place to practice. Throttlemeister gave me the location to meet him and I zig-zagged my way into Oklahoma, until I came across this. I stared at the water for a while wondering if I could make it across, but the water was moving too fast, so I turned around until I found a bridge. Throttlemeister had invited me to meet him at a drive up, and he recommended the Philly cheese. I followed him back to his place, the family home where he grew up. We stayed up late drinking beer and talking about Cuba and Mexico.