Friday, May 24, 2013

May 22, 2013. Vicksburg, MS to North Little Rock, AR.

Sometimes the best plans go awry... Overnight the power went out at our hotel, thus no lights, no breakfast, no ice for our cold water jug. No problem, Cracker Barrel was nearby so we loaded up and went to breakfast there.

Then we headed west... we got to the southern border of Arkansas by about 10:30 AM, bought ice for cooler and jug, aired up the tires and headed out on the bikes with a state map from AAA and a plan. Ah, but the best plans go awry....

We rode out of Eudora, the Catfish Capital of Arkansas. The road we planned to ride, a secondary paved road according to the map, does not exist! I flagged down a local driver, and he suggested we ride on the levee. So we crossed a cattle guard and climbed up on the levee; the road there was not paved. There were a lot of cattle on the river side of the levee and they started following me. Dianne called out "look the cows are following you; I think they want to be milked". And they were indeed following me, at first slowly and then they started running. I was not worried since they were on the other side of the road and running parallel to us (by then Ed and Dianne were up there too). Below is Ed riding on the levee.

Soon Bill arrived and we discussed a different route. But suddenly Bill said "you guys better get out of here and over that cattle guard". We looked up and there was another herd, hundreds of cattle  running at us full bore! No kidding! It was like a stampede in a western movie! So we pedaled quickly to the cattle guard and crossed it. Alas, I could not even get a picture of them; we really had to get out of there!

About 2 miles up the road, Dianne's shifting cable broke. If you remember, Ed changed Diana's cable  a couple of days ago, but he only brought one spare cable with him on this trip. We went back to Eudora, where we bought the ice, but there is no bike shop there. Locals said there was a WalMart about 40 miles away in Greenville, MS. But we thought it unlikely that WalMart would have a shifting cable.

So we decided to head toward Little Rock and Ed started looking for bike shops on his smart phone. There was one about 80 miles away, and it took much longer to find the shop than it did to have the cable replaced.

We decided to continue driving to Little Rock, so I emailed my friend Peggy, from the Cross Country bike trip in 2008. She always said if I was ever in Little Rock that I should call her, and that I should ride the Arkansas River Trail with the famous Big Dam Bridge. I guess she meant it, because she is meeting us tomorrow morning to ride, even though she was not yet home from a road trip to Florida (anticipated getting home before midnight).

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