The forecast for Sun night into Mon was for a serious rain event. Just after dark rain fell and fell and then fell harder. All snug as a bug in a rug. I even put the rain cover over the bike before rain started. Rain continued into daylight hours then lessened then quit and the sun came out like the forecast said it would. Almost an inch fell.
Monday was a rest day. I drove back thru MT Ida. I started a quest for pulling out my bent carrier. I drove out to nearest body shop out by Fishing Village and a Womble crossing. Guy came out of the house and said it would be mid next week for him to get after it. Hmmm. Drove away.
The Womble crosses Ouachita River just down the way passing under the Bluff where I was on Sunday. I planned on knibbling on the eastern end of the Womble maybe from here. I continued down the hwy to the houses in Washita and turned on rt 88. The Womble crosses this highway and a TH is off the road. I checked it out, not suitable. I continued down the road then turned onto the first right hand turn onto a FS road. Parallel rd to Deer rd where I found a nicer turnout off a gravel road. Dirt seems to be fractured rock w/ no organic on top. I went for a road walk looking for the trail I would ride today. I walked right by the exit off the road, never seeing it. I walked the dirt road turning around at Cripple Owl Nest rd. I found the trail crossing just beyond where I parked. I walked the trail a ways to check on the trail tread condition. Rain just left wet leaves as it let gravity pull it down ward. One small puddle was trapped in a dip. The trail could be ridden in the rain.
This morning fog lay upon the land. I looked outside seeing these whitish objects attached to the short bushes. They were spider webs and were only visible because of the trapped vapor.
When I returned from my ride hours later they all had “disappeared”.
The puddle was no longer there. The trail stayed up on the hillsides except when it crossed the small streams then climbed out. The first time I rode the Womble I was full of pent up desire to just pedal after spending the winter negotiating the chunk of Sedona. I parked near the Bluff. late spring, heat and humidity. I took off like a shot riding to the eastern end of the trail then turned around riding just as hard. The heat finally caught me. I stopped at a stream crossing to soak and warm the water. This was the spot:
I rode past where the Womble connects to the Ouachita Rec trail following the end point on MTBP. Trail was inside a selective harvest done by feller bunchers
A faint trail justified copious painted white blazes to stay on the trail
Bitch of an out and back is just that. I rode 13.66 miles climbing 2264′ pedal time of 2 hrs 8 mins. Pretty chunky climbing. Bit of a hump up and down. All by myself. Just ridden in tread over the wet leaves.
Back at the van the spider webs were gone. I changed out of my sweated kit and drove to MT Ida. I pulled into a national chain propane supply dock to what appeared to be a dark store however the sign in the door said I was there during business hours. In the past I found that this company did not fill tanks of drive ups. I opened the door and there were 2 women inside. One said she would fill me up.I told her of my last week’s propane frustration. She told me that Tractor Supply can’t keep help that are licensed in the state to fill tanks. Instead of saying they don’t have help to pump they say they are sold out. This is consistent with what I learned in Russellville. The tank took 5.4 gals, just .2 gals short of empty. I didn’t think I was near that close.
I stopped at a local gas station and helped myself to their spigot water to put in my tank. Another tank that was lower than I believed it should be.
I drove out to where I camped on Sat night. Tomorrow I will ride a bit more of the Womble heading west.
On my 2 previous visits in the heat I rode the entire 35 miles in 2 days as out and backs meaning like 30 mile days. Time has settled in on me as this time I will spend 3 days on the trail and not ride it all. The trail is just a pedaling trail, my bike is beyond over kill, a 29 hard tail with a short travel fork is the cat’s meow.
I have an in town base in Bentonville. Going back. I will ride 2 rides near Ft Smith then hit Bentonville. I looked at the weather forecast for Hurricane, UT that showed snow and night temp below freezing creating freeze thaw mud. I am planning on staying around here as the riding is still good.
What a difference there is between full on green and full on fall: visibility. Leafed out nature hides with greenery, in the fall it’s like she is undressed.
Dry county. 2 beers left.
Still wearing shorts and sandals which are amazing hiking foot protection.