Not quite but pretty close out near MT Ida, AR in the Ouachita mtns, all 445′ above sea level. Spent the day driving from furthest NW corner of Arkansas in the Ozark Highlands to here Did stop & do laundry in Russelville, a dry city. Besides that no alcohol sales on Sunday in the wet counties. Two beers to last for 3 days. Religious people spoil all the fun. Bit of Baptists around.
Camped last night up near forun in the Madison cty game management unit. Area was recommended for all trails but nothing is mapped. I camped @ the posted camping area and hoped that riders would show at least for a Sunday ride. Nobody arrived. Last night I crafted my decision that if I didn’t ride here I was going to drive S to the Womble & whatever around Hot Springs and then maybe drive back north to pick up the Syllamo.
Pretty countryside, very green cattle grazing, several large chicken ranches and more abandoned ones. Ice storm damage. Crossed Buffalo River @ Boxley, saw an elk right off hwy. Missed Turner’s bend. twisty roads in great driving shape.
Found same spot I stayed in last year almost to the day where the trail just kisses my camp. Walked short distance N on trail conjuring up past ride. Poison ivy away from trail. After dinner I walked S to next road crossing. This year the trail is dry with several of the streams i crossed last year are dry this year. This trail is so much fun to ride as it is mostly a sit & spin trail on narrow tread twisting thru forest. Last year I rode North out & back from here for 28 miles & 4500′ vert. hard to say but the GPS spit that data out. The second day was 38 miles. I am thinking about starting a bit south to even the 2 days out.
Today it was 86 in Russelville and humid. I swapped out my down blanket for the lighter thermal one. AT camp the side door is open and the netting is blocking insect access, sort of.
Yesterday but to go back to friday @ Bentonville. Friday @ noon I was to meet mark loosely connected w/ Phatt tire cycles right on the town square. I arrived but he never showed. I hung @ the shop for a while. Local rider Benji showed up and he offered to lead me around Slaughter Pen from town. Neat old town that has a square w/ buildings facing the street. Quite old town. On the west side squeezed between other bigger buildings is Sam Walton’s original 5 & dime store which is now a museum to him & WalMart. Mr Sam & Walton Way street.
Benji rides a 29″ rigid. We rode out from town along a new paved trail. A new piece of mtn bike trail is being constructed w/ machines to make an introductory skill experience b4 getting to the good stuff. IMBA layed the trail out & it is being built by a professional trail building company. Back @ far end there is an impressive dirt jump track. Benji smoked on the single speed. Needed to saty back bebhind him because the line he chose & how he pedaled it is different than a geared squishie bike. Also on the grunt climbs when he was out of the saddle cranking for his worth to make the hill he would squirt rocks back.
Short intense ride. He had to leave. back @ the square again. Attractive young woman laying on gras working on a computer w/ a butterscotch colored lab @ her side. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pet one of them. Hass, the lab let me. Girl w/ a dog is a guy magnet.
Just outside the square the new world of automobile exists. Battled heavy traffic to FedEx store to return my Edge. And I joined the freay exiting town to drive to Lake Leatherwood up near Eureka Springs. City campground, not poshly developed but for $11.00 and a funky shower life is good. Picked tent site in lower field where a nearby campsite was occupied w/ mtn bikers. I sat outside reading to be greeted by husband & wife who invited me to share their camp fellowship. More riders were coming. After my dinner I jioned them around their campfire. My radar didn’t sound off. Bits of conversation topics revealed the group to be god squaders bent on converting native people in far away places to speak english & accept jesus. destroy the native culture & replace it w/ something that will add to further religious strive. They left me unconverted.
Bebji texted me his friend’s name that would be @ Leatherwood. I planned to call him in the AM. In the AM I dallied and didn’t call. I saw a white Sprinter in a distant camp. I pedaled over to learn of this guy in a Sprinter w/ mtn bike. Name of Riley & he is Benji’s friend. Cool. We chatted. He left the Army after 8 years and is taking a year off traveling & riding on his scale. He shared a couple volcano bags for a good buzz. He invited me to ride w/ his group. Shortly Pat pulled in in his Sprinter. Both guys converted their rigs. Before we left we were joined by 3 younger guys full of piss and leaking blood. One of them endoed onto a rock & gouged his leg. He needed first aid and shots of medicinal alcohol. Everybody is on 29″ mostly single speeds and younger. We set off @ a blistering pace. i stayed w/in switchback sight. They were faster mostly until we encountered technical rocks either up or down. Squishy bike rules. I waited @ an intersection for 2 slower riders in fear that they would miss the turn. The faster boys were on ahead. I treid to tell them why i was waiting and they tried to tell me that they turned back. They left and I eventually moved forward. They were gone and I was alone. I made my way ultimately back to camp where all of them were gathered drinking beers. The 3 guys left for their second crown of their trifecta of Slaughter Pen & Hobbs, which I rode 1 per day. Ah, youth.
Muddy trails that were acceptable to ride on. Needed shower for me and bike to wash off the brown mud.
Which now brings us back to last night.
Yesterday on my solo ride i came upon 2 buzzards in a tree just off the trail. They flew away b4 I could take their picture.
Tonight during my after dinner walk i heard many Whipperwills calling, my first hearing.
Way slow internet, going to let this fly as is.