April 29th, 2012
Today after a French toast breakfast and clean up i drove over to the Albert Pike rec area that exists by namesake only. Two years ago on my last visit contractors were busy finishing up Little Missouri river campsites complete w/ flush toilets and hot h2o showers. Then the flood that killed 20 people. Today the campground is closed to camping and parking. The brick comfort stations are boarded up. Debris has been cleaned up yet it appears that the government doesn’t want anyone to stay. The area is way out there, rugged, and isolated. Few people visit. I decided that I would not ride here for safety reasons in case I needed help. Nice back country drive down and back.
Area has lots of abandoned chicken raising buildings. Curious as to their demise. Must have been a real stink when operating.
Parked @ same spot as last night. Still hot, sunny, and humid. I hiked part of the Womble that i didn’t ride this year. Side trail over to Fulton branch on the Ouachita River. Checked out the XG outhouse: CXT from Spokane.
Spent evening researching rides in AR.
My in line h2o filter is slowly choking still from junk inside h2o tank. I need a new filter for h2o to still flow from sink tap. Might take trip to N Little Rock to Camping World.
Checked out LA weather for I-20 rides: Temp in upper 80s. Too hot for me although it might be cool for them.
Two nights ago @ my first Womble campsite at dusk I was scolded by a Whipporwill repeating its song ad nauseum. Local strange critters. Today I saw smashed remains of Armadillos on the highways.
Heart palpitations seem to have diminished. Blood pressure is down. Lungs are clear. Just age affected performance.
April 28th, 2012
Poison ivy, tortoises, deep shade, prescribed burns, and narrow single track. Finally shared the trail w/ a couple today. No vistas. Tortoises in park on the trail blending in w/ leaf litter. High humidity and temps in the 80s. Gotta love living and riding here. You know about it if you have been here, if you never have, come east. I like the change. Yesterday I camped and rode a section going north. This time I limited myself to an hour out to prevent my previous burn out experience when i tried to make up for all the missed spinning while i was in Sedona. I camped @ same spot out of internet range. Today I moved to another trailhead and rode 1 hr 20 mins out. I have left bits of entire trail unridden this time which is OK as I am working on reconditioning myself. Nicely cut bench trail that is not flat but lacks strenuous climbs. Today i rode 19.43 miles and climbed 2405′ all at under 1000′ elevation. Poison ivy is the main cash crop. Oak trees w/ some loblolly pines mixed in. Even Bob’s Foodland in MT Ida has been renovated. I am the non local oddity. County is dry. Horses are banned from the Womble. Moisture is way behind with just a few small streams trickling. This is the 3rd time I have ridden here. Ozarks.
Warm enough for solar showers. Today I camped @ a main trailhead but back in the weeds. I deployed my awning for shade. Yesterday i sat in the sun for 2 hours reading and paid the sun burn price that is still exacting a pain.
Tomorow I will drive over to Albert Pike rec area to ride what i rode last time 2 years ago near Mena, AR. Just after I left a flash flood washed thru the camp ground killing 18 people. Steep hill sides that shed the runoff downstream hitting about 2:00AM. Trail crosses the Little Missouri several times, this year low water level crossings are anticipated.
June bugs find openings in my netting joining many moths over the previous days.
Today I discovered some like prickly pear cactus in the deep woods intermingled w/ poison ivy. And the sweet smell of honey suckle and wild privet.
Non poison ivy section
typical trail corridor only straight
April 26th, 2012
Skipped canyon in Texas because of high forecasted temps. Instead i drove north to No Man’s Land to view the Dust Bowl area, part of region Timothy Egan wrote about in Worst Hard Times. He wrote that Dalhart, TX and Boise City, OK were ground zero. To my untrained eye and lack of finding back roads w/ original settlers houses to me the area looks cleaned up. Huge area and truly flat. Fields are mostly irrigated. Outside Dalhart the hwy took us past several large feed lots for beef. Jail time for cows but the chow is good. If only they knew the more they ate the closer they would be to your dinner table. I found a piece of USGrass Land to camp on. No mtn bike riding. The wind does blow all the time.
Spent yesterday driving Oklahoma heading east to Arkansas and the Ozarks. Flora is green. The further east the more likely h2o was flowing in the creeks that the roads bridged over.
Verizon lacks no local coverage here so I am paying extra for data which truncates my information.
95 degrees yesterday w/ very high humidity. I slept in a truck parking lot last night outside Henryetta, OK. This AM the windshield was dripping wet on the outside from the humidity. My choice to be traveling this route, however, I question my choice. I could be dry and chilly on the other side of the divide in the mountains. I did my wash in an air conditioned clean laundromat. great place to hang out. Line drying clothes will take long to dry, hopefully they won’t mold before dried. No chapped skin.
McAlester, OK where I am scribing this. OK is a 3.2 state. Not the microbrew choices in the liquor state. parts of AR are dry. A mediocre choice is better than drinking stream h2o.
WalMart is king grocery store. Sometimes peoples’ choices are made for them.
My plan is western AR to ride the Womble and learn how my body is performing.I wish I had a peaceful easy feeling the Eagles sing about.
Maybe Verizon has free coverage across the state line.