Day 16-17, Tour 10 Jonesboro to Little Rock, AR

A boat on a river photographed from US 67

Day 16 was a really long day, not in distance - only about 75 miles - but in time on the road. Because of wind conditions, I didn't reach my destination till about 7:30 PM. Since I fall asleep at 9 PM ;-}, that didn't give me enough time to do much more than prepare the images for that days ride. Now, at the end of a shorter Day17, I'm doing a combined web page for the two days.

Leaving Jonesboro was pretty easy, considering the general level of 'busyness' there. I only has to ride a mile or two west on one expressway and then about five miles south, with three miles of construction, to find myself on a small, rural, US 49.

The expressway part of US 49 heading south from Jonesboro

The rural part of US 49 which I rode for a, very long, 17 miles

A strong south wind made riding south on US 49 quite challenging. It was also pretty boring since there is almost nothing on US 49 till the town of Weiner where I had lunch. Lunch was a the country store/deli which is the only store in Weiner. Lunch was good. I sat at a table of rice farmers who come into the store for lunch most days when they are working in the fields.

The most interesting part of the ride before lunch was a crop dusting plane that I got to watch in action and taking off for another session.His flying was impressive and greatly helped to relieve my boredom as I cranked into the wind.

US 49 parallels the railroad tracks as it heads straight south

What life is all about in this part of Arkansas

A crop duster taking off

And flying towards me ;-}

After lunch, it was only a couple of miles down US 49 to AR 14. AR 14 goes west and it was my routing choice, after talking to the farmers, to get to some services. US 49 offers essentially no more services until it reaches US 70. Given how long that would take, grinding into that headwind, it was wise to get over to US 67 - an interstate like highway that goes to Little Rock - on AR 14. It also offered some relief from the wind and the poor shoulder on US 14.

The start of AR 14

Another shoulder user, one that I could ride under!

These guys need a lot more than the shoulder and a lane
I bailed out off the road for them ;-}

It was a hard slog with the strong wind coming across the road, but better than riding right into it. I stopped in Amagon - it had a general store - for a snack break and a wind break. Then I rode on to where AR 14 crosses US 67 south of Newport and headed south on that, interstate like, road. The farmers said it had better shoulders than I-40, which was true, but they were in that section, like riding a smooth gravel road. I headed south expecting to fins some services soon, but ended up having to ride 25 miles, from Amagon, before the first services in Bradford. Because of the wind, those were long miles, and I ran out of water - I don't think I mention that temps were in the 90s - five miles before Bradford. I found a Dollar General, and not much else, in Bradford. I bought water, Gatorade, and some pop tarts there. Then I headed for Bald Knob, where the first motels were, on US 367. US 367 was peaceful compared to US 67, but too bumpy. I decided I would ride US 67 for most of the way to Little Rock on 67.

US 67

The Milk River one of the reasons that there are no services before Bradford

Entering Bald Knob on US 367

I made it to the Budget Inn in Bald Knob - actually pretty upscale for that name - worked on images, went to sleep about 9 PM and didn't wake up till 7 AM. It was a comfortable bed and I was very tired. I walked down to McDs for breakfast, packed up and was on the road by 8:30. Wind wasn't an issue till 10:30 or so and was never as bad as it had been yesterday. My average speed was near 12 mph as a cranked on down the 'interstate' for the first 20 miles of my 60 mile day. I stopped for a rest/snack break at a minor exit and then did another 20 mile stretch to Cabot.

The second twenty miles was flatter than the first except at the major towns - Beebe and Cabot. Folks must like to build towns on hills.

Heading down a hilly US 67 in the morning

And a flatter one later in the morning

I spent most of my morning ride dodging truck tire debris. Shortly before I reached Cabot, I failed to spot a piece which stuck into my front tire for a revolution or two before it fell off. I continue on and stopped for lunch at Wendy's in Cabot. When I came out after lunch, I was not too surprised to find my front tire was very soft ;-{. I took off the front panniers, got out my patched tube, took off the front wheel and removed the tube. then I felt inside the tire for the truck tire wire. I found it and used my Leatherman tool to remove it. I put patched tube in, pumped it up, put everything back together, cleaned up and rode on to McDs for some coffee and internet. When I came out of McDs about 45 minutes later, the tire was soft again. I decided it would be easier to pump it up a few times on the way to Little Rock than change it again, so I pumped it up and rode on.

N. Adams Rd heading south from CabotOh what a relief it is to be on a peaceful road again

US 70, heading to Little Rock, almost as peaceful as N. Adams

I did have to stop three times to pump up that tire, but two of those stops I would have made anyway, so it was no big deal except that my pump - MTN Morph already waranteed once - also started acting up. I should have known better than to trust that pump!

I stopped at the first motel I spotted heading into Little Rock. It is in a trucker heaven so, after creating most of this web page, I ate supper at a Pilot Travel Center. I would have eaten earlier, but, about half an hour after I got here, it got very blustery outside and half an hour after that we were in an intense rain and wind storm. I am meeting Dave Hair on the road to Hot Springs tomorrow and more storms are predicted. I hope we don't run into one like that!

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