Day 18 Talimena Lodge to Arkadelphia AR

Never knew what was hurting until I stopped

Today was a recovery day that I didn’t know how much I needed. Tuseday’s ride on the Talimena Scenic Drive was very steep, over and over, in the afternoon sun. Looking back, it was a great ride, incredibly scenic, and really only possible with the support of the PAC Tour.

Today we rode 99 miles from the Queen Wilhemina Lodge to Arkadelphia Arkansas. Still no tailwind, so we had to settle for winds out of the north east.
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The start was a few more up and downs on the Talimena Scenic Parkway before plunging down to Mena AR then a gradual downhill for the rest of the day.
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My point-and-shoot camera has a nice timer function and a mind of its own. It took a very artistic shot at the Blue Haze Vista, or was that Purple Haze?
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Here you can see Jim M, Lynn, and Jim S before we rolled down into Mena.
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After a day up in the mountains, seeing homes was very puzzling. This corner of Arkansas was scenic with field, forests, and a nice little pond. Still saw a few ex-armadillos, but no live ones.
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I’m eating many types of food that I would never have at home. At water stops I am drinking coke and gobbling mesquite Pringles plus smoked almonds. At my request, the PAC Tour has provided Halloween Oreos and chocolate wafer cookies. Laura – please do not let any of this in our home.

For Arkansas, Susan managed to find some appropriately themed treats for the water stop – Southern Biscuits and Gravy potato chips and banana Moon Pies. The chips tasted like sour cream and onion ones, with a strange gravy twist.
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The PAC Tour warns that you should never bring any equipment that can’t be fixed in Norman OK. While we never made it there, we did visit its Arkansas cousin.

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Lunch was hamburgers cooked on the grill, served by the side of the road. Dessert was pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, and carrot cake. I only had room for two.

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At the end we rode past De Gray Lake and a huge dam.

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Rebecca, daughter of the tour organizers, gave a wonderful reflexology massage of my hands and feet. Afterwards I was ready for bed, even though it was only 5:30pm. My stomach had other plans. Dinner was across the street at Fat Boy’s BBQ which was close, tasty and cheap, always a good combination. Ribs, pork, BBQ beans, and green beans cooked with bacon.

The number of days left in the tour are down to single digits and a hurricane is headed to the east coast. Stay tuned…

Please support my ride to raise money for the Pan Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Spear

P.S. Check out Jim Salvie’s blog