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Old 10-20-2012, 07:35 AM   #16
HowlingMad OP
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Cotton fields everywhere. It was nice to take a break from riding into the wind.


Strange how wet the land is here. Everywhere off pavement and the kickstand sinks into the mud.

Currently in Hardy, Arkansas, btw.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:40 AM   #17
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Must be a sign. Well it is a sign, but maybe it's for me.

Photobucket
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:03 AM   #18
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The trip gods smiled on me this morning

Walked into McDonalds for coffee this morning (see a pattern yet?) and found an older woman sitting by herself at a long table. I asked her if she'd look after my laptop and atlas while I got rid of my first cup of coffee. When I returned the table was almost full of older folks enjoying breakfast and each others company. Each and every one of the 5 people gave me a warm smile and invited me to join them. It was tempting to sit a quiet table with a good view of my bike and much needed time to catch up with internet time, but it was hard to resist the warm welcome.
Photobucket
Barb and Bud ride a Goldwing and were quite interested in my unplanned quest. They introduced me to Sam, Joe and another one they called the "Old Senile One". Bud was a truck driver so he had lots of wisdom on great roads, local and otherwise. They knew everyone in the restaurant and introduced me and my journey to each new face.

Not sure how long I've been here now, but I now feel like one of Bud and Barbs kids. We exchanged information and they urged me to call if I needed anything at all.

Maybe that sign was for me. The trip gods have given me a little magic this morning. I found a tiny little piece of what I was looking for outside of Hardy, Arkansas.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #19
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Whereabooots?

Yeah, we're reading. Where is your "Never give up" sign this trip?

I have no idea where you are each post. If it is quick and simple, can you add town and state? [EDIT - I see that you have in the last few posts - thanks]

Be well!
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #20
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Almost there ................

Hey HowlingMad,

I've been following along and enjoying your ride report. Thanks for posting.

Saw where you are in Hardy, AR. You my friend, are on the verge of some absolutely great bike riding. I'm envious. Do you know about Butler Maps? They have released a riders map of the Ozarks ......... If I were you, it would be a priority of mine to find one of those maps and start riding some of those highly rated roads. There are some great little towns up that way also.

Watch out for all the Arkies heading to and from church tomorrow morning. Many of them will be hungover, or still drunk, from Saturday night. Woo Pig Soooie!

Have fun and breathe it all in. Ride safe.

Rob
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:49 PM   #21
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Hey thanks Rob, I don't think I know about Butler maps yet, but I did find some if the finest riding I've seen on the east. Some really amazing roads down here.

Thanks for riding along
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #22
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Hobbes! Great to hear from you, and great point, I'll try to give a current location and maybe even a direction if possible. I'm not above letting someone buy me a beer along the way.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #23
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Just broke into Oklahoma this evening. Today finally warmed up and overall it was a spectacular day. Although it started at 42 then dropped to 36, it eventually came up to 80. It was the first day without thermal liners and electric vest or grips.

The roads in Arkansas are really spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The bike seems to be enjoying the weather more too. The fuel economy was just as wild as the temperature today starting at 36 and eventually reaching 44 at times. I suspect there may be an issue though and need to find time to plug into the computer. The engine light stays on longer than I remembered. Funny thing about these types of trips is that you obsess about your machine and every little noise, vibration or smell becomes a focus. That or I have OCD.

I'm currently in a little town called Disney,OK. Really, I couldn't make this stuff up. View from my campsite:


Tomorrow I get to see the action packed Oklahoma again. I can hardly wait to wear the rubber from one side of my tires as I ride in a straight line for a full day while leaning dramatically to compensate for the constant wind. Yippee skippee.

The short term goal is to head for Cimarron National Grassland in Kansas, someplace I've been trying to get to for a while.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:06 PM   #24
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I like the thought of a ride without schedules but I don't think the lower 48 is big enough to clear my little mind.

Enjoy every minute of the trip, then write about it
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:12 AM   #25
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Cranberry Country Rider

John- I knew there was something I liked about you the first time we rode together at the Toys For Tots Adventure Bike Ride a few years ago, your sense of adventure. You're not alone with your spiritual restlessness as I think a lot of us think about just taking off into the unknown. You however are actually doing it despite a lot of soul searching and questioning. You will learn a lot about yourself on this trip and maybe even find what you are looking for. Thanks for taking us along with you. We've got your back. Be safe.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nice_Rumble View Post
John- I knew there was something I liked about you the first time we rode together at the Toys For Tots Adventure Bike Ride a few years ago, your sense of adventure. You're not alone with your spiritual restlessness as I think a lot of us think about just taking off into the unknown. You however are actually doing it despite a lot of soul searching and questioning. You will learn a lot about yourself on this trip and maybe even find what you are looking for. Thanks for taking us along with you. We've got your back. Be safe.
Hey Skip!
You know, I've been fighting a cold for two days(always fun being sick on the road), fighting the wind for 400 miles today and your comment really made my day.
Thanks for the support.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:03 PM   #27
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Hypothetically speaking, what's the protocol for passing a firetruck? I mean one on the way to a fire, with lights on and all that. What if he was only doing 70, in Oklahoma which only has straight roads? Guess I was in a bigger hurry than him. The look on his face was priceless though.



And in Oklahoma, if you want to go in a diagonal direction, say northwest, you can't. They severely frown upon anything that resembles a curve or turn. In fact this is the only way to do it in Oklahoma:


Oh, and let's not forget the wind. It's a good thing gas is cheap here because between the boredom and the wind, I was down to 33mpg today.



And to the Trip Gods; thanks so much for responding to my request for warmer temperatures. I really appreciate the enthusiasm you put into it, but I'm all set now. You can turn off the oven anytime please, thanks.



Currently in Liberal, Kansas. Decided to treat myself to a hotel room since I'm still not feeling great. That, and I stink.

Had lots of thoughts about job stuff that I wanted to get to tonight as well as compiling some footage from Skyline Drive, but I've simply run out of steam. More tomorrow I hope.


Thanks for riding along, I needed the company today.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #28
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Brilliant RR
Keep it coming man, lovin' it!
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:35 AM   #29
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Oh it's a trip alright

With all the cold weather (before the 95F), feeling sick, and needing a hotel - It sounds a bit like an old winter trip I remember. Hopefully you won't have to park in any snowbanks soon. And don't chew your medicine.

What has been your sleep spot tally so far (trail/offroad, campground, house, hotel)?
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:13 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillNighSciGuy View Post
With all the cold weather (before the 95F), feeling sick, and needing a hotel - It sounds a bit like an old winter trip I remember. Hopefully you won't have to park in any snowbanks soon. And don't chew your medicine.

What has been your sleep spot tally so far (trail/offroad, campground, house, hotel)?
Oh, man that was a trip. No flat tires yet either. While shopping for cold medicine yesterday I noticed TheraChew (Theraflu when you don't have water) and it still made me shiver a bit.

Last night was my first hotel, but I've been cheating and camping in state parks with all the luxuries like running water and toilets, although not always in the same place. Hopefully back country camping will get easier soon.
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