I have been down over the Thanksgiving holiday with an upper respiratory infection. After some antibiotics and sleeping 70% of the last 2 days, I'm feeling better today. The down side is, by being on antibiotics, I missed my Humira shot Wednesday and cannot take my MTX or another shot until 10 days after my last antibiotoc has been taken. I hope my RA will be kind to me over these next few days.
This past Monday morning, Randall and I headed out early to beat the storms that were coming in. They were supposed to be moving into our area around 1pm. We met up at Oark and headed through the Ozark National Forrest to photograph the Big Piney Creek bridge, most of you know my passion for old bridges by now. We had no more left Oark, at 9:00am when I felt sprinkles. I couldn't resist walking across, and photographing, the old swinging bridge just outside of Oark. Just down the road, the sprinkles turned to rain, then shortly later, hard rain. After getting lost in the woods, the fog was so heavy on top of the mountains, you couldn't see over 50 feet in front of you at some places, I found the bridge. The rain had let up and I shot a mere 3 pictures before my camera started acting up.
After riding across the bridge and turning back north, I found the real treat of the ride, and this time it was not the bridge. Beautiful, over hanging bluffs on one side of the trail, while the other side was a 20 foot drop off to some of the clearest water I have seen in Arkansas. This rivals Colorado beauty, is just over an hour away from my home and, at 52, this is the first time I have seen it. My camera did me the honor of taking 3 more pictures before officially committing suicide. By the way, the pictures do not do the place justice.
After leaving the overhanging bluffs, we climbed back up into the fog and rain, into the city of Deer, Arkansas. We met an elderly couple and must have talked to them for 15 minutes. As we were leaving the store at Deer, the cashier said, "watch out for elk". Randall and I looked at each other and grinned which brought on a stern reply. "There have been several run over this summer and fall ... be careful". We assured her we would. Then as I'm getting on my bike look at Randall and say, "you couldn't make something like this up. Man runs over elk on a motorcycle in Deer, Arkansas". We laughed, then proceeded cautiously until we were out of the fog.
We stopped to check the map at an intersection and heard an unfamiliar sound coming toward us. As it emerged out of the trees, topping the hill, he saw us and got on his brakes hard. He pulled in next to us and was riding an Aprillia twin cylinder super moto bike. Of all the luck, I have only seen these in motorcycle books, and here I am face to face with one and my stupid camera won't work. Turns out, he was from Canada and came down this way to get some riding in. We talked for 25-30 minutes to him before parting ways.
We have already planned to return and ride this exact same loop, with a camera that works on a sunny day.