Saturday, August 2, 2008

(Day 5) Slowly losing elevation...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Day 5
Sardis, MS to Beebe, AR

…and that could only mean one thing, big waters ahead. Actually, once I passed the Blue Ridge Mountains, I was expecting I would slowly ascend as I moved westward; this was a pleasant surprise to be close to sea level so far inland.

After riding over 300 miles of backroads yesterday, I caught a few extra winks of sleep this morning and was rolling shortly after 9am:




One of my original plans was to take a picture of each city sign that I saw. Here is Crenshaw, MS:

I was then going to make a video to the tune of Johnny Cash’s version of “I’ve been everywhere”. This probably would have added another couple days to my trip, they were everywhere. I scraped the idea. (I looked up the lyrics and there are a few places that are on the trail: Oklahoma, Tennessee, Richfield, Colorado and …Jellico! A few other places are very nearby: Tulsa, Little Rock and Crater Lake. Did I just plan another trip?)

It’s about 200ft in elevation where I was traveling in the Mississippi River Basin. I could watch the altimeter for miles and it would not change. I started to wonder if big muddy would change directions on me. It seems entirely possibly.

Capturing the vastness of the rice fields on camera is impossible, but here’s my best shot:

Find the crop duster:

My first welcome sign and I only get half of it:

It’s big, it’s muddy:

Goodbye Mississippi:

Hello Helena, AR:

Al waved me over and asked me if I was riding the Transam Trail:

Yes, sir, I am. Al said he sees a lot of riders coming thru. Some standing, some driving too fast and sometimes he’ll see 2 or 3 groups a week.

All I left behind here and on most parts of the trip was simply a puff of dust:

Shade was sparse; here was a big oak tree out in the middle of nowhere. It kind of reminded me of “The Shawshank Redemption” when Andy was describing to Ellis on where to go when he got out:

So I ate lunch there at about 1pm local time. Still had a little ways to go before reaching Beebe, so I marched onward, bring on the levees:

Not all of the roads were traveled on very often, but still easily passable for the Orangutan:

I was wondering when I’d cross I-40, this is westbound traffic:

Here is my westbound path from that point:

Time for another granola bar; I sat at this church and watched a crop duster work a field to the south. I thought about the cemetery behind me and how creepy it would be to find [My Name] and [My birthdate], 1878 – [Today’s Date], 1908 on a gravestone. I knew it was back there, but it would have been a long and hot walk in boots to find it. I moved on after the crop duster show:

I roll into Beebe, AR, find the hotel that Garmin was sending the GPS CD to and I got a room. I wonder how and why this privacy lock was broken? No privacy for me:

Turkey and swiss sandwich at “The Grill”:

I actually met a crop duster pilot here and learned that his pilot license was very limited. It sounded like a cool job until someone else walked in and was talking about how someone had recently gone down in one of those planes.

Laundry time again. One of my pet peeves is when “your” is used when “you’re” is the correct spelling. But, when “you’re” is used when “your” is the correct spelling, I just laugh:

Made good time in the straight flats today, and although possibly obtainable, the max speed is inaccurate once again:

Total mileage: 1169
Daily mileage: 187
Wildlife observed: Remarkably few wild animals today, I did see a fat deer who didn’t “run like a deer”, maybe pregnant? Maybe old?
Favorite Sight: Rice Fields and crop dusters
Favorite Scent: Nothing in particular but the incense in hotel lobbies is obnoxious.
Favorite Sound: The KTM running strong and Al from some farm near big muddy: “They just dumb”
Favorite Taste: Eh, I guess the grilled turkey and swiss from The Grill in Beebe.
Favorite Feel: Letting the back wheel get loose accelerating out of the gravel turns
Ailments: Nothing in particular, it seems sleeping like a rock has helped a lot with any pains. Do have some strange bug bites left over from Tennessee though.

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