January 26th 2015 – Day 13
I woke up this morning to a very cool and crisp sunny day. Compared to yesterday I immediately took a look at that flags and they were still. I thought nice….no 40-50 MPH winds to contend with for today. Little video from yesterday’s ride.
All the weather people said so and yep, that was the case. Smooth sailing all day long and I did manage to get pretty far even with riding the TALIMENA BY-WAY.
This by-way was recommended by a few FB readers and I am so glad I was able to take it. There is a very LARGE sign, of course I did not take a picture of it that says do not drive this road if there is fog, ice or snow. There is no road maintenance. No worries about that today at all. It was sunny, dry and my riding temperatures today ranged from 0 C (30F) – 18 C (66F).The by-way was the highlight of my ride for Day 13. I actually rode instead of taking a ton of pictures. There were many areas I had to pay “attention” because of the tight twisties and all the vistas and views were breath-taking. I rode the Top of the World in the Yukon/Alaska and this is what I felt like…I was riding the Top of the World. I saw one car the entire time I was in this park. ONE car. Just me being able to take on the curves like there was no tomorrow. I rubbed my pegs so many times. After the first time that scared the crap out of me…always does the first time because as any knows who rides my bike…we are sitting tall and it takes a lot of leaning to rub my pegs. I lost count today to be honest.
I am enjoying this trip immensely and someone noted that my mood seems to be much better than my X Country Trip I took in May/June 2014. I think it is too Jim. I am coming up to 2 sort of anniversary dates. One, January 30th is now a day that will forever remind when my wife/partner of 17 years walked out. February 2nd is my birthday but it is also now the time my ex moved out. Last year was about loses, this year being in between countries, jobs and lives is about continuing making new memories and starting over.
I reflect all the time when I ride especially now that I am a soloist. Music, thinking, not thinking, riding, seeing, smelling and well…being one with my bike. Sounds stupid I suppose to some but it’s true. You do become one with your bike on long trips.
Today, both of us had a great long day of riding, sights and smells. I say smells because when in a car you don’t get the privilege to smell anything. I can’t say all smells are welcomed on the bike but nonetheless it makes you part of the trip. I have said this before, driving versus riding is so passive and I bet many miss so much. When you ride you can’t zone out. Awareness is key which enhances your trip so much more.
The above picture shows exactly how this road looked. Cuts through the treeline and you do feel like you are on a ridge. I wanted this by-way to have lasted longer. Not knowing where the heck I was going it seemed to go by too fast. I only knew how to get to the gateway to the park but afterwards? Had no clue. What’s funny with me being clueless and all…while looking for a place to stay I came across a Welcome to TEXAS sign. I was like, WHAT? I thought I was in Arkansas. 😵
Turns out I stopped in Texarkana. It’s called this because a block from where I am staying is the state’s border. So, I am really in both states. Who knew?
When I got out of the park I came to this little town called Mena.
I stopped here quickly at a gas station to figure out where I was on a map and where I should go. I asked the gas station lady and some drunk guy what I should do. This was so funny. I am not sure who I couldn’t understand more. The wasted guy or the lady who had such a very thick Southern accent. I could NOT understand either one of them. I just nodded my head said OK thanks. It was here I decided why not go to New Orleans? So, that is where I am heading next…New Orleans tomorrow, or January 27th.
It’s amazing with the smaller states you can cruise through them. I think I could get to Florida, my first goal for this trip by the end of the month. I have decided if I can get to NY, I will fly back to Vancouver, BC somewhere around mid Feb. I have no interest really in ending this trip but I do have a house to sell and a life to close up there. I really wish I could ride around the country for 2 months.
I thought I took more pictures than what I posted but I guess I was just having a great time riding. So, I am about 600+ Km’s or 400+miles from New Orleans. I hope to get a sort of early start and get there late in the day. I don’t eat Crayfish but I may just have to try some while in the French Quarters. I have not been South in the USA since I was a kid. This is really such a treat to come back to all these friendly states as an adult. I would say this is the best trip I have taken and want to keep it going.
BTW…Winter riding down here is amazing. Highly recommend winter traveling. 😉
7 thoughts on “Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Back to Arkansas!”
Glad to hear you took the Talimena Scenic Highway. I’ve rode it and I always look forward to going back. I just got back from New Orleans. Make sure you stop by Cafe Du Monde and try some chicory coffee and a beignet. Not sure if crayfish is in season yet but you might get lucky. Have FUN! – Russ
coffee and beignet sounds better
You were in the zone to be riding on Talimena Drive and end up as far south as Texarkana Leslie. Then did you backtrack to get up to Mena? Glad you are enjoying your trip and you are lucky they are having a mild winter because I can be quite icy down there at times.
I had to back track a few times because I had no plan after the by way. In the end it was a Zen day and I enjoyed it. You can tell I was into my ride
What a truly lovely day of riding! I have heard of the Talimena but never ridden it, definitely a must-do. It is nice to see you enjoying yourself so much! Don’t think about last year, focus on the positive! I know, easy for me to say, right?
By the way, winter riding is the best, no slow cars to hold you up, no sweating, just wonderful as long as there’s no ice.
Crawfish are in season from December until the end of May. By all means, try them!