Sunday morning dawned with clear skies and promises of a hot day later on. We had packed our bikes the night before so we only had to shower, slam a cuppa coffee, surf a little internet and then off on our new adventure. We decided to call this the Candy Ass Adventure since we decided to avoid the interstate as much as possible and ride small, rural roads, exploring parts of America we'd never seen before.
Our goal was Grand Junction, CO to work staff at Justin Phillipson's How the West Was Won rally. From Tupelo, it is about 1,400 miles to Grand Junction via the Interstates. Now, typically, an Iron Butt or Long Distance rider can do this in a day or maybe two. I no longer have an Iron Butt and believe me the saddle on my GSA is NOT an LD saddle. It's about a 300 mile saddle so that's about how long we decided to ride each day. Thus, the Candy Ass Adventure :-)
We left Tupelo at 9 am, made a quick stop to fill up the gas tanks and headed west on a nice two lane road. We're new to the Southeast and when planning our route we quickly discovered that you can't just get on a two lane highway and ride a couple hundred miles like you can out west. Nope. You gotta take a bunch of roads ranging from nice 4 lanes to nice 2 lanes to rough 2 lanes to wicked, pot holed, lumpy, bumpy goat tracks!
And, that's just how our adventure went today! The weather stayed clear and the temperatures climbed to 93 by afternoon. But, as long as we we moving it was fine. We had pretty much zero traffic to deal with and not a single stupid person was encountered today! Hooray!
We rode through beautiful farm fields, crossed the Mighty Mississippi into Arkansas (I LOVE crossing the Mississippi!!!!!!), and putted through wee towns that listed their population with some as large as 2,300 peeps and some under 300 peeps! Once we got past the agriculture areas, Arkansas showed her gorgeous side with rolling hills and forests. So lovely! I think our average speed was around 50 - 55. Sometimes a bit faster and sometimes a bit slower but we never encountered any traffic jams or slow moving traffic. It was just a super, duper, pleasant day ride.
We stopped in West Helena, AR for lunch around noon. Sonic .... don't need to do that again for quite a while, lol. Then back on the road heading west. I didn't take any photos today :-( We didn't really stop anywhere suitable. We really intended to get a shot in Romance, AR, but it was so small there was nothing photogenic there. Our rest stops were at gas stations or just dead businesses with a paved lot. Sorry! However, we had an enjoyable day riding and true to our goal, we stopped at 300 miles in Clinton, AR at the Super 8 on US 65. Our room is actually quite nice and very clean (bonus).
Right after we checked in, three dual sport bikes pulled up with some (ahem) older dudes. They are riding the Trans America Trail (TAT) and started in Tennessee. One is from New York and the other two are from the eastern shore of North Carolina. This is their 3rd attempt in 3 years. Hopefully they will be successful this year and we'll see them in Colorado! So for photos, here is a few pics of their bikes and our bikes at the Super 8.
Later a couple of guys on Harley's showed up. One from Virginia and another from Illinois. This brought back memories of my Harley days when riding with my Harley peeps. Our days were usually about 300 miles just like today, lol!
Tomorrow, I will try to be more diligent in taking photos because heck, we all like pictures :-)
We plan on walking across the parking lot to Walmart and grabbing some salads for dinner. We've already started on cocktail hour, lol. Then maybe some boob tube and off to zzzzzzzz land.
Stay tuned to see what happens tomorrow!