Searcy, AR to Clarksville, AR – 272.5 miles
For the first time on the trip, my feet hit the floor before Naomi’s. I was immediately back in bed after turning off the alarm, but I think it still counts. We were up and ready to go in plenty of time to make the appointment I set at Sunrise Motorsports and pulled in the parking lot as they were unlocking the doors. I checked the bike in and explained the issue to my mechanic, Chris. We then grabbed a cup of coffee and a chair for the wait. About 1.5 hours later Chris emerged saying the bike checked out just fine and he didn’t find any problems with the front end. He put a new tire on the rim and sent me away with no real explanation for the excessive wear. I’m beginning to think it couldn’t handle my riding skills and I hope Michelin makes a tougher tire than Dunlop did. A sincere thanks to the guys and gals at Sunrise Motorsports for the quick and excellent service.
We backtracked to Beebe where we met the trail and continued in a lefterly direction. The flatlands soon turned back into rolling hills of hayfields and cattle. As we tore along the gravel roads we noticed some of the cattle had head ornaments not typically seen in Virginia and at one point Naomi claimed to see a roadrunner shoot across her path. I didn’t witness this event, but did hear a distinct “meep meep” and see a strange dust cloud appear.
We stopped to fuel up in Hector at the base of the Ozark Mountains and Plateau, where we poured some gas in the bikes and stuffed a couple corn dogs in our mouths. Some locals who were hanging out said we rolled in about 15 minutes behind another group on the TAT. Before we left, they warned us to watch out for deer, black bear, and anvils. The road into the mountains was thin gravel which was perfect for the winding climb. We ascended through a forest of old growth and thick underbrush with the occasional homestead along the track. The ride was fantastic.
After an unintended 35 mile detour, we arrived in Clarksville around 8:30 pm and found a place to stay. The clerk said we were lucky to find a room because of the weekend’s big event…Arkansas’ longest yard sale which extends 160 miles along US 64. As we settled in for the night, we tried to beat the dust out of our clothes and Naomi pulled the air filters off the bikes for the same treatment.
Today’s lesson: A waterpik shower head on the right massage setting is almost as good as the real thing.