Day 2 was a nice one for riding. It had rained all night Saturday night, but by Sunday morning it had all cleared up. Roads were a bit wet at the outset but quickly dried under the sun. We spent most of the day on Missouri 19 and Arkansas 9 heading south. We didn’t stop for lunch at all, but kept pressing towards Jason’s uncle’s house in Jacksonville, AR. We arrived there just a bit after 3 PM, significantly earlier than I had expected.
The riding was superb as I had remembered on those roads. Plenty of elevation changes and twisties to keep your mind focused. If you look away at the scenery for just a second, you lose your line and a brief second of panic sets in as you try to get back on track. If you lose focus for 2 seconds, you are in the ditch or the woods. Not good. Jason and I had ridden these roads before but it was Kent’s first time and he commented about the couple times he found himself drifting off the optimal path through the turns at speed. We kept the speed down to make sure everyone was comfortable, but it was still challenging riding.
There were a few animal encounters during the day. It seems it is turtle migration season in Missouri and Arkansas. We saw at least a dozen box turtles crossing the roads. It was very odd. Additionally, Jason almost took out a full sized Tom Turkey that zipped across the road literally 5 feet in front of him. Not a mile down the road from that some sort of ground squirrel or mole or something shot out into the road, avoided Jason’s tires, but was unable to avoid mine…..splat! We also saw a deer that, thankfully, decided it wasn’t time to cross the road.
After a dinner at Olive Garden with Jason’s extended family, we spent the night in Jacksonville with them.
Day 3 was an early start to try to avoid a storm that was moving across central Arkansas. We left before 8 AM and made it to Hot Springs, which we plan to use as our base of operations for a few days, before 10. We caught just a few sprinkles… nothing too bad.
We checked into the Country Inn and Suites early, unpacked, then went to grab some lunch, fix Jason’s lost shock bolt (discovered missing the day before), then to see the movie Safe with Jason Statham. It was OK.. I’d recommend waiting for it to come out on video. While we were in the theater a big storm came in, but ended before the movie so we rode back to the hotel after drying our seats off with paper towels from the theater bathrooms. We did some laundry, cleaned up the bikes, and are trying to plan for tomorrow. Forecasts vary for Tuesday so we are trying to come up with some contingencies. We really don’t want to lose another day of riding…