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Day 28: Valliant, OK to De Queen, AR

55 Miles - Nasty Morning Headwind; Motorized Bike In Broken Bow, OK; Arkansas State Line - March 19, 2011

Grass Test Outside of Valliant, I stopped and did a grass test. The grass flew out of my hand toward the northwest. A southeasterly wind. Ugh.

Biking east, I would have a vexing headwind for 20 miles to Idabel, Oklahoma.

Highway 70 Pretty view of the road.
Idabel, Oklahoma
The downtown area of Idabel, Oklahoma.

Idabel, Oklahoma

I biked slow. I told myself that when I finally made it to Idabel (20 miles), I'd have a prolonged break. I had to get inside.

Eventually I found a Dairy Queen and ate way too much food. I sat there not feeling good - my allergies were hurting and I was mentally frazzled from the headwind. Somehow I lugged my body out of there and resumed my ride, and thankfully, the winds dissipated in the afternoon.

Little River, Oklahoma The bridge over the Little River.
Bicycle With Motor

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

In Broken Bow, I sat on a bench at a convenience store on this nice and sunny afternoon. I told myself, "You will sit here for at least 30 minutes no matter what." I still needed to recover more from the effects of that crazy morning headwind.

Right there I met Kenny, a friendly long-haired guy from Texarkana, TX who frequently visits Broken Bow on weekends to be with his son. Do you see what I see? He was pumping gas into his bicycle! We had a great talk about various cycling topics.

We left the gas station at the same time and waited at the traffic light. It was fun. But once the light turned green, his motorized bike was no match for me. He doesn't have to pedal that much and sped way ahead.

Broken Bow, Oklahoma On the eastern side of Broken Bow, a sign read De Queen was 32 miles away. That sign is wrong! My paper map and Google maps measured 22 miles, the correct distance.

Still, that sign "messed with my head" as I rode east: Was there a hidden and extra ten miles to reach De Queen? Ahhhh! :o)

The one highway store in Eagletown, Oklahoma.

Arrival In Beautiful Arkansas! 5 States Completed, 5 To Go!
Arkansas State Line

For much of the tour, I daydreamed about the moment when I'd cross into Arkansas. The final ten miles from Eagletown to the state line seemed to take forever. Like a child in school who keeps checking the clock until recess begins, I kept checking at my cyclometer. The more I looked, the longer took. But lo' and behold! Eventually I crossed the Arkansas state line, and I won't lie, my eyes became tearful behind those sunglasses.

Y'all listen ta me clearly nawh: I ain't got nothin' uhgainst Texas 'n Oklahoma. In fact, I gowt a lotta fren's there, but your states ah GARBAGE compared to good ol' Arkansas!

That's right, I'm talking about ...

... 75,000+ people in cardinal red calling the hogs at a Razorbacks football game.

... A pack of armadillos running wild through an onion farm in the night.

... A beautiful spread of fried chicken, greasy burritos, corn dogs and other fatty foods at your local convenience store.

... Hills and mountains as far as the eye can see in those wonderful Ozark and Ouachita Ranges.

... A big BBQ cookout with laughter among Arkansas friends and family on a hot and hazy summer evening*.

* - BBQ is not a verb or grill! It's a specially prepared meat. Watch Rhett and Link's BBQ Song to learn more.

My theme as I biked across Arkansas was:

Y'all gon' havuh hee haw uvah time 'n Arkansas now, ya heah? :)

Below are some of my favorite pages from the Natural State:

  • Arkansas Razorbacks crush Ole Miss 38-24
  • Arkansas Razorbacks defeat South Carolina 33-16
  • Arkansas Ass Whoopin' (Video)
  • Razorbacks Fashion Show (Video)
  • Pinnacle Mountain, AR
  • Goat Trail at Buffalo National River
  • Magazine Mountain - Arkansas High Point
  • Cedar Falls
  • Rice Farmer Shoots at Birds (Video)

  • Arkansas Scenery Beautiful wooded scenery.
    De Queen, Arkansas

    De Queen, Arkansas

    De Queen, Arkansas

    Sure, I was only in the southwest corner of Arkansas, but I had arrived.

    The second shot was from a late night ice cream run, the junction of Highways 70 & 71.

    Arkansas Razorbacks Gifts Inside a store was a rack of Arkansas Razorbacks gifts. Glorious and beautiful! For so many days, I saw merchandise with stupid Texas teams, but finally I was home. Arkansas, Arkansas, *ARKANSAS BABY!* Go get 'em Hogs! :D

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