I got up early and headed out for a relaxing, sightseeing, corner scraping kind of riding day..... I was not disappointed! But first, my bike was disgustingly dirty from top to bottom. Bugs, dirt, grime, more bugs, and more dirt. Having stayed in a number of hotels in the area, I knew right where to go for a quick whores bath (quick wash and rinse) to appease my eyes when I have to look down at the tank, if nothing else. The back of this hotel has a hose on the wall and in that cabinet lies miracle juice. Ok, just bike wash and some rags, but same idea!! By the time i finish washing her off real quick, I was already sweating like crazy so I took the hose and rinsed my head with freezing cold water to cool down. Glad I showered today! Haha!
With the bike a bit cleaner, off I rode onto some old roads and some new finds. I was very happily surprised to find the area had minimal traffic - weird for this little tourist town, but it was awesome for me! The corners are amazing here... and cars don't feel the same. Nor out of area bikers for that matter.. while i know I will have to be patient when behind others... its pure heaven when I own the road!!
Passing by 'sharp curve' signs, '10 mph ahead' corner signs,
the old iron motorcycle statute, more corners, more views of the hills... I took a minute to appreciate the surroundings, take a deep breath, and truly let myself relax. I had everything I could possibly want in the moment... sunshine, heat, music on, corners to play on, and minimal traffic. Life is truly great. I could feel myself relax more and more with each mile.
In that time, I came across 4 motorcycles and only one area of road construction.. luck!
It didn't take long to hit the point of needing gas. But, when I looked to see how far I had come... I was completely shocked... I totally failed to pay attention to my gas levels... I was at 189 miles on the tank. 191 is my record and I was sputtering at that point. I saw a sign at a 4 way intersection - no matter which direction i went, I was 30 miles from any town. And had no cell service to find out if there was another gas station nestled in the hills around me. Shoot. No traffic, no gas, no cell service. Here's to hoping!! I pick a direction and hoped for the best. As each mile passed, I was getting a little more nervous. On the hills (everywhere) I would pull in the clutch and coast down, trying to gain momentum for the uphill that was coming next. Each corner I hoped to see a miracle aka gas station, but each corner and each hill brought a view of more corners and more hills.
And then I wound up behind a truck and camper. I was fine with his minimal speeds as I was savoring every speck of gas I could. Then he pulled on he side a little and repeatedly waved me by. I dismissed it the first 3-4 times.. but then went to pass.. and hoped to heck this wasn't the last speck of gas I was using up. Because once again, I come over a hill, hopeful as can be... and see nothing but the beautiful AR landscape - more hills and more trees and more curves.
At last!! I come up to a 'town' and see one lone gas pump in what looked like a convenience store from the past.. I didn't think it would be open. I pull up on the gravel and pull aside the lone gas pump. Luckily I am 'old enough' to know how to work it - its old school. The 'grab the gas handle, 3/4 spin the metal stopper to turn the pump on and then go' style. IT WORKS!!!!! I was soooo happy!!! and Relieved! I filled up, not caring about the cost. Cindy's convenience store saved the day. I would have paid far more for gas! I put 4.97 gallons in the tank. In my 5 gallon tank. I have tried to run the tank down to see just how much it holds because it never comes close to even 4.5 gallons when I fill up. I guess this confirms the tank size! Also lucky was the fact that I had cash on me. No cards accepted in these woods! I go inside, meet Cindy herself, chat awhile, grab a few cold waters, give many thanks and I am back on the road.
I look at my mileage for that tank and saw 219.5 miles. HOW the heck did I A.) ride that long without even thinking of stopping B.) Not realize I needed gas at any point in the 100 miles prior C.) get that far on that tank of gas??? Lady Luck was definitely on my side today! HAPPY!!!
On to more riding - corners, views, hills, nature..... one lane bridges, funky houses nestled in the trees.. and then hunger came on.. strong. Shortly after that thought, I came up another round up hills and around the last corner to the top of the hill, there sat a building that said Burger... it said more than that, but that was all it took for me to stop and be excited for food! Mind you.. if this place were near my home.. I'd likely keep driving. But it fit right in in the hills of AR and smelled AMAZING. I order up and hang out, looking at my maps and chatted with the only other person there.. a local.
I ate and continued on the roads... at the end of the day and after 327 miles (!) which felt like 150 miles... I wound back up in Eureka Springs... I had planned on hitting a couple of the other local pubs but was so tired I didn't care. I stopped by the gas station to fill up, find a place to sleep for the night, and get some Yuengling.. my FAVE beer that is not sold in my area. Then I relaxed and went to sleep a very content and relaxed human... setting the alarm for 5:30am... because tomorrow I go home. Its been a GREAT 28 hours Arkansas... super super happy I made the decision to ride down.