Day 1, August 5.
I had been planning this ride for some time, and it coincides with attending the Horizons Unlimited event in North Carolina. So, if I’m headed to North Carolina from Cincinnati, why am I riding towards Arkansas. Well, there’s a good explanation for that.
My goal for this year was to finish filling in my “States Visited by Motorcycle Map” for the lower 48. And for some unknown, idiotic reason, I left Arkansas and Louisiana sitting out there in left field. Sure, I had the chance to ride there once. All I had to do was ride across the Mississippi River, and ride north, after I finished riding the Natchez Trace. But nooooooooo, I had it in my head to ride US 61 up to Vicksburg and see the historic battlefield instead.
So here I am, at the end of the first day, a rather uninteresting ride on the Interstates for nearly 500 miles and three hours in the rain to reach the first state, Arkansas. Or course there was that little episode at the gas station in Elizabethtown, KY. I errantly entered a wrong digit when the pump asked for my zip code to verify authenticity of the user. When I cancelled the entry in order to enter the correct Zip, it locked up the pump. “See the cashier.” After explaining my error, he reset the pump, I got my gas and went on my merry way.
On the western end of the Western Kentucky Parkway, I ran into rain. Pulled over in time to put on the rain gear, and just a quarter-mile down the road, I ran into the rain and stayed in it for the next three hours. It stopped as I pulled into the motel in Blytheville, Arkansas.
Arkansas … check.
See you on the highway.