A quiet night at the Rock & Roll Motel. I guess that is what you get when 20 cops are guests. I enjoy motels and understand why they became popular. I like having my vehicle right outside my door. Loading the Cub this morning was nice, because I didn’t need all of my gear on and work up a sweat right before riding. It was 47 degrees at 7:30, and the forecast was for a quick warm up in the morning. I decided to layer up, but not at the maximum, and if I got sweaty, it would be a really cold start. I left the motel at 8, and even before I got out of Pocahontas, you could tell that I was leaving the flatlands behind. I headed west on US 62 and quickly got a feel for the best way to take the hills with traffic. It was like driving a heavy truck or being a fighter pilot in that I had to use my momentum and trade altitude for speed and use it for the uphill. For most of the day that worked fine. It also helped where slow lanes had been made on some of the sections. I joked before the trip that I would be doing 10 mph up some of these, but I could maintain 30mph if I needed to. What surprised me the most was the amount of traffic over almost the entire route and especially the amount of semi traffic. I waived people around or found spots to pull over, and did not observe any road rage. I like the phrase our British friends use for a speed bump: a sleeping policeman. Yes, I was a moving sleeping policeman. I left 62 for 56 and really started to enjoy the ride. Arkansas aggressively promotes motorcycle tourism and they certainly deserve it. Beautiful scenery, twisty hilly roads, on or off, they have something for everyone. The general traffic volume and lack of pull off zones made it difficult to get photos. This is Hardy and it’s representative of the many small towns and their focus on tourism. I was able to remove some layers by 9:30 as it did heat up as promised. From 56 I went down 9, and the traffic diminished. I’m pretty sure that I took this from my Butler map when I originally planned it. The first leg of 9 was very good, but the portion from Melbourne to the White River was outstanding. Blind curves. Blind hills. Blind curves with blind hills. Double apex curves. I actually used some trail breaking on the Cub! The only problem was finding a good spot for a photo, as the trees obstructed the views. I guess that’s a good thing, because the distraction could easily take you over the edge. I finally found a spot. 9 took me into Mountain View, another small town catering to the tourist trade. As I exited the town, I was greeted by this sign. There was another when I started 9, but it said the next 20 miles. The last gem in the trio was Hwy 254. I took advantage of the stop to lose my last layers. The only disadvantage to riding these great roads is that there are few services. I ended up going the farthest I had so far on a single tank of gas. 90.1 miles and 0.73 gallons to fill up. My previous stop was also long at 82 miles and at that fill up I was able to get premium without ethanol. I was in the town of Hector, it was after 2 and I needed lunch. This gem was nearby. I had the Wildcat and a slice of tres leches cake for dessert. Food porn follows, but my phone overheated before I got a shot of the cake. Easily the best road food in several days. It’s almost 6 as I write this and I’m still not hungry. I rolled into Russellville and pulled up to the hotel right at 3 for 7 hours of travel time. With my Bonneville, I’m used to having a lot of strangers strike up a conversation, usually “my uncle had one of those’. The Cub, surprisingly, starts even more. ‘How big is that engine? How fast does it go? Where are you going? Where did you come from?’ Two guys at lunch. Two guys on the ferry. Someone at most fuel stops. I think I’ll save some of my thoughts for my wrap up once I complete the ride. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Another shorter day of about 110 miles to the Talimena Scenic Drive and a night at the Queen Wihelimina Lodge. I’ve ridden the drive several times but it always seems fresh. I should have good views from a weather perspective. It look like I should miss any disturbance from Hurricane Delta. If my past experience is any indication, I’ll be well on the NW side and my last time in a similar situation, it just makes things even hotter than previously forecast.