Trial by Deluge (6/30/2017): AR to AR, 268 miles (0 miles dirt)

 

I spent the morning reviewing my patch job and applying another layer of rubber cement along the outside edges of the rain fly windows. A friend had also emailed the night before about a possible job matching my resume. It was a really good match, so I made use of the free internet to apply.

The rest of the day was spent getting from the very Eastern edge of Arkansas to the national forests on the West side to set myself up for a play day in the Ozarks. I had 5 hours of planned riding just in the Ozarks and wouldn’t even get to hit all of the interesting looking roads.

Just South of the Ozark National Forest is the Ouachita National Forest. I was originally planning to camp here, but I was having trouble riding only 5-6 hours a day and pushed on towards the Arkansas river via Mount Magazine Scenic byway.

Mount Magazine Scenic byway was my favorite road I had ridden so far. On the ride up from the South, it reminded me of one of the best roads in North Georgia, GA-60. On the way down the North side, it reminded me of the cruisey sections of Cherohala Skyway in TN/NC.

It also has a spectacular cliff with a great view of the valley between Ouachita National Forest and Magazine Mountain.

I again setup camp a bit early, but I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to find a site on the holiday weekend. Surprisingly, the free campsite along the river wasn’t packed out. All of the trailer and RV spots were taken, but the tent camping field right up against the river had plenty of space.

I spent the evening talking with the other tent campers and reading. Jeptha, Beverly, and Melvin had a lot of good stories, and I was able to tell some of my own about the adventure so far and previous motorcycle trips.

The easy-to-find camping early in the weekend may have had something to do with the weather forecast. The later in the evening it got, the closer the big dark thunder clouds got. They finally rolled down our side of the river just as I was getting ready to hit the sack. It was going to be an immediate trial by deluge for my patch job.

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