December 1, 2016 – Sun, 60 degrees
Miles Today: 91
Miles to Date: 19,626
States to Date: 47
I woke up to the delights of Delta Resort, where Cindy Smith, Commissioner for the Arkansas State Parks, Recreations and Travel Commission, hosted me in grand style. Such a fine day for cycling – clear and bright and just warm enough. Good thing, as I had many miles to tuck under my belt.
I hoped to get out early and visit Lakeport Plantation before lunch. But I got chatting with other guests over breakfast. Then I picked up an unexpected Arkansas souvenir: a gnarly bent nail on US 65 that dug into my back tire too deep for goo tube to seal. The hiss was long and slow, but the flat inevitable. I can’t much complain; it’s been 5,000 miles since my last flat. But by the time I reached the plantation, the staff was on midday break, so I only got to see the exterior.
Up and over the mighty Mississippi to the state that bears its name. Some very tough riding along Highway 454: no shoulder, ruble strip, heavy traffic, unhappy drivers. At MS 1 south I took a break to eat and untangle my nerves. Then I enjoyed forty miles of smooth sailing past water glistening in the bayous, plowed rows of black earth, crop dusting planes, and a tireless dog who ran alongside me for two miles.
Rolling Fork is a quirky town. Route 14 narrows along a ravine and a lovely wooded glen lined with stately homes. The gravelly strip along Highway 61 littered with chaotic commercial, is less nice. Perhaps tomorrow will reveal the charms of the Blues Highway.