After a bad case of cabin fever I was ready to get on the road again.
Unfortunately that stretch of US62 was as bad as it was on Sunday. I kept hitting slow traffic in one big rural sprawl along the whole highway. Some 60 miles later, things become really rural again.
I picked up some gas in Mountain Home and found that the highway was all covered in gravel to be chipsealed. My snack had also been sitting on the shelf a LONG time. It had expired six months ago and the shelf life of these are about two years! The GPS has a detour feature I’d not used. It worked beautifully.
The stretch between Mountain Home and Mountain View was through national forest so the views were great. It’s a tough balance between taking pictures and just soaking it in. I know I’ll regret it later, but it’s nice just to be able to enjoy. The road winds through a mini canyon with deciduous trees all around.
I caught some simple flowers blooming as the sun began to hit them as the day wore on:
At this point the main goal was getting down to the Mississippi river. Much like the Continental Divide, the Mississippi river notes the move from the Central US to the East. Eastern Arkansas flattens quickly and it’s mostly straight shot to Memphis. The area is mostly filled with rice farms so the land is swampy and you spend a chunk of time on bridges. I hit the freeway to cross the mighty river and am into Memphis.
Mountain View was a great little town. I had lunch at Kin Folks BBQ. The chicken fingers were so good. I think they probably get them from the same place as the Oasis in Menlo Park, CA. The BBQ sauce is local though (at least they claim it is). The town claims to be the folk music capital of the world. While not quite the same as Mountain View, CA, it was worth the stop along the way.
I’d not gotten any good reviews of Memphis and US-78 was in some pretty bad hood. I hit every red light in an area I don’t want to be in so I’m getting frustrated. The highway is supposed to be freeway just makes it worse. I’m wondering where I am going to be as the GPS is telling me that I have 12 miles to go but I’m still in the hood.
The transition into Mississippi was like night and day. Things quickly got rural and much nicer. Tonight I was at a bed and breakfast rather than motel, USA. The B&B, Brigadoon Farms, was an old farmhouse that has been converted into a B&B, retreat center, and place to have a wedding. The woman who runs it seemed to be a bit gruff at first. Part of me was wondering if she’s not hospitable, how does she stay in business. She warmed up soon enough but I was put off a bit at first.
The place feels like old town Mississippi. Everything is country themed and the house had the southern style shutters. There was another couple there from Memphis on their honeymoon so we were sort of an odd mix of guests: a lone biker and honeymooners. The place had a nice deep pool, so it was good to get some laps in and stretch my arms and legs after a few longer days on the bike.
I think I like the communal aspect of B&B’s, especially traveling alone. Having some type of human contact is good every now and again. The host started talking about good guests and bad ones. She’d learned in life to not sweat the small stuff. If the guest unsatisfyably pisses and moans about the place… just let them go. We somehow got on the topic of faith and the conversation turned to why some believe and others don’t (sounds like Sunday night). Her contention was that those from the line of Jesus were more likely to become believers based on some work out of Florida. Interesting theory, but I don’t think I agree.