Last week on my 4 days off, I hurt badly. I slept 11 hours Saturday, 12.5 hours Sunday, 16 hours Monday and 10 hours Tuesday. I have had many weeks where I didn't get that much sleep in 7 days. I am feeling much better this week but am anxious (ok - dreading) to see if the next cold snap throws me back to hurting again. Just finished another Humira injection and no matter how many of these I take, they still hurt. I have tried, I think, all of the tricks. I guess I'm just going to have to face up to the fact that I'm not nearly as tough as I like to think I am!
It was 71 Monday and I felt good enough to ride. Greg showed up at noon and we headed north. No particular place to ride, just riding because we needed to. Anyone who rides understands that last sentence. When riding, you have to be focused 100% on the road and other drivers (cars), you clear your head for a few hours of all those pesky thoughts, what if's and any conflicts. Plus riding a motorcycle, you experience the trip versus looking at the scenery through a piece of glass. You feel every mile, smell everything from roadkill to flowers and honeysuckle along the way. The sheer acceleration and hearing the motor rev are just a bonus.
With it being 71 degrees today, I decided to wear my light jacket and shoulder pads ... who needs a big heavy jacket with a liner today, not me ... oh no. Then suddenly clouds moved in and the temperature must have dropped 10 degrees, maybe more. Crap!! Too far out to turn around, I sure wish I had worn my heavy jacket! After about 20 miles of shivering, the sun popped back out. It never was as warm as it was before we left but thankfully conditions didn't deteriorate any further. We turned north on AR215 and picked the speed up since there is little traffic on this narrow, windy road. Boy did I get a surprise as I topped a hill running 70mph. There was a trailer house blocking the road with numerous cars lined up. As we rolled up to the line of cars, they waved us on through ... the advantages of being small enough to get through a ditch. The people sitting in line didn't look to happy with us. Once by, we lit the bikes up again and shot through the forest with the reckless velocity of a teenager on a crotch rocket. We didn't slow down until we were descending the hill by Shores Lake spillway. I would like to point out that while I do enjoy the adrenaline rush from the acceleration and speed of a motorcycle, I will absolutely not leave the house without all of my gear on, all of the time. I cringe every time I see riders with no helmet, or shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes.
We stopped at the spillway and I was thrilled to see water rushing over the spillway again. We have been in a severe drought and while we have had an abundance of rain over the last 2 months, we are still way down. There were still several creeks we crossed that are still dry. As we headed on east, I wasn't exactly sure we were going to come out at. We rode the next 15 miles of dirt roads through some rugged, twisty, hilly country, but it was beautiful. We even rode a few miles next to the Mulberry River and at one point I thought I heard banjo music. We were in some "Deliverance looking country", then suddenly we popped out on highway 23. I never did tell Greg that I didn't know where the road went but we came out somewhat close to where I thought we might. We stopped at Turner Bend and had a world class sandwich and a welcome rest. A guy, looked to be 60, pulls up, gets out and says nice bikes (Greg was riding a BMW 1200GS) and we start talking about riding. He rides a DRZ400 but is looking to buy a KLR soon and was admiring the farkles on my bike. We talked for 30 minutes, turns out we have rode much of the same stuff from Mississippi to Colorado. Small world ... I get to meet a lot of nice people on rides. I would like to rent one of the cabins this spring and take Donna up there, I know she would love it once we got there.
|Shores Lake spillway|
|It's Pirate Greg|
|Lake from the overlook on top|
|Mulberry River with water flowing|
|Lunch at Turner Bend|
|You know me ... I love bridges|
|An outhouse on blocks! yes, I used it.|
|One of the cabins for rent at Turner Bend|