Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Tour Day 5 - Paris, TX to De Queen, AR

I'm happy because we had a GREAT day of bike touring today. 87 miles, sunny, temperature in the 70s, a tailwind, dozens of miles of scenic back roads with no traffic, what more could you want.

If you are Jim, you'd want that cow running loose on Farm Road 195 to go away. He's been calling everyone he knows to talk about his confrontation with the cow. "It had a dangerous look, like an desperate prisoner! Who knows how many fences it had to break down to escape!" When I passed the cow, it was calmly eating grass in the front yard of a house. It was more like a large calf, too.

We are at the Palace Motel in De Queen, Arkansas. You say "De Queen" as two separate words, with emphasis on the "De", as if to avoid confusion with the B Queen or the C Queen.

Check out the local paper.

What else could you name it, anyway, but the De Queen Bee?

The Palace Motel is very excellent. It's quite cheap, has wifi, has spacious rooms, everything works, and there is a Mexican restaurant in the parking lot. It's actually very sad, because they have no business, and neither does the restaurant, and it's a cool old motel and not at all sleazy or dilapidated. We called up for a reservation this morning before we left Paris, and the woman at the desk said not to worry about it. She sounded sad.

We had breakfast at Denny's (sigh) on the way out of Paris. There aren't a lot of options in Paris, unless you need a payday loan.

Forty miles, no services, and one desperate fugitive cow later, we made it to Oklahoma. A state in which I have never ridden a bike!

We observed that the Oklahoma sign had been shot many times, but few of the shots penetrated the sign. We were puzzled by this. Do they not have big guns in Texas?

Here is a view of the Red River, which is the border between Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma is in front.

We left the mesquite scrub and prickly pears and ranches today, and now it has become pine forest where all the trees grow in straight rows and there are a lot of lumber trucks on the road.

The strongest impression I have from Texas is that it is very smelly, due to the astonishing amount of roadkill, over half of which are skunks. There is about one dead skunk per mile. They apparently have a buzzard shortage in Texas. It makes you realize there is at least one good thing about a crosswind.

Lunch was in Idabel, at this barbeque joint, which was a total score. It was fabulous. I had a two meat platter, pulled pork and smoked sausage. It was something else. I can't believe how good the pork was especially.

We chatted with the lady who owns it for awhile. She said she'll ship her food anywhere. She also said she won't drive Farm Road 195 to Paris because people's livestock gets loose all the time and she knows a woman who ran into a horse on the road one night and it went through the windshield and killed her son.

Oklahoma didn't last long. Soon it was time for Arkansas.

The shoot bigger bullets in Oklahoma than they do in Texas it seems. Or maybe they make thicker signs in Oklahoma.

We had dinner at the Hopperesque Mexican place in the parking lot of our motel. It was a cool old restaurant building, that could probably seat over 100, but it had three parties eating including us. It was very sad.

Here is our spacious and posh room at the Palace Motel.

And we are very happy, because even though we are in a dry county, we planned ahead and got some booze in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Cheers, Tim!

Here is the MotionBased page.

1 comment:

Jimboblay said...

"A state in which I have never ridden a bike!" - and according to the State of Maryland, you apparently still haven't!! :^)

Great blog, Drew. Thanks for keeping us posted on your progress and observations!