Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day ONE - Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and (accidentally) Oklahoma...

I finished the last blog, we went through Kansas City for final goodbyes, and hit 71 south all the way through Missouri. We had lunch at Dairy Queen in Nevada, where we met an older lady having coffee by herself. She asked if we could talk while we were riding, and I told her about our headsets. She replied, "Good, because it seems like it would be awfully lonely if you couldn't." We spoke for a moment and then headed back out. I hope she had some company for coffee on the way. 

You may have noticed our accidental state in the title. It was not as big a deal as it would appear; we were actually only three miles off course going through Fort Smith, Arkansas. Aside from that everything went according to plan, and we arrived in Hot Springs at around 9pm a little wet and a little cold. Northwest Arkansas is absolutely beautiful, and we wove through cedar scented forests for hours on our way down highways 71 and 270. I can't really describe the feeling we got yesterday as we passed through Fort Smith and left the arrow-straight four lane highways of Kansas and Missouri; suddenly going 55 seemed acceptable, being a bit chilly felt right, and it started to sink in that we have no one to answer to for the foreseeable future. It got dark too soon and was raining not long after. We checked into the Alpine Inn in Hot Springs, where we met Erich and Leslie, the Scottish couple who own and manage the motel. The Alpine Inn is a 50's style roadside motel, with one interesting difference - each room is decorated uniquely and feels like a friend's guest room. Erich showed us to the "Rose Room" which is part of a house toward the back of the motel lot. We unloaded the bike, I went and got a truly awful version of Wendy's food from the most sullen Wendy's employee I've ever met (and that's saying something!) and bought a few well-deserved High Life tallboys at the gas station down the street.

A great day by any measure, 510 miles toward New Orleans.
Jill relaxing in the "Rose Room"
Wendy's floor picnic gone horribly wrong