Up with the sun, broke camp and set the sights on Mountain Home, Arkansas for today. But not before taking at least one photo of the view from my camp site.
Easy ride across Mississippi, being a Sunday morning, had the highway to myself for miles and miles. Crossed the Mississippi River at Helena, Arkansas. The new road leading to the bridge was ten miles of bronco buck riding time. At a gas station before crossing the river, commented to a Mississippi driver about the road. His reply was, "Oh, it's worse on the Arkansas side. He was wrong. It wasn't. Had three long UDF's at that stop. For the non-Ural reader, a UDF is a Ural Delay Factor. When out riding people approach you and want to talk about your rig. May slow down your travels but I can't say I had not been warned. If you don't like talking to strangers, don't buy a Ural was the advice.
Another interesting observation: Most motorcyclists when passing will give the left hand wave to another rider. Except Harley riders are notorious for not waving at non-Harley riders. The standing joke in BMW circles is: Why won't a Harley rider wave at a BMW rider? Answer: They are too embarrassed! Now with the Ural, every Harley rider has waved back at me. At a gas stop in Florida, a Harley "biker" type in full leathers, jacket patches and tattoos came over to inspect Da'mit. After we talked awhile about bikes and riding, Diego handed me his club card and said if I need a place to stay, "they" have houses. I would be welcome. Walking away I saw the club name "Demons" in large letters across his back. That would never have happen to me when I was on a BMW. Ural's are so old school cool, they bridge the gap between all motorcycle lifestyles.
After getting lost again in Arkansas, but that's okay as I stop and talk with people and meet some really nice folks, I finally made it to Batesville. Called Jim, a Soviet Steeds member who had offered me a place to stay and wrench on Da'mit if need be. Yes, they were going to be home all weekend. With directions in hand, or in the GPS, off we went. The twisting winding mountain roads of northern Arkansas can be thrilling and challenging both at the same time.
Arrived in Mountain Home, Arkansas just in time for supper with Jim and his wife Cathy. Ribs, scalloped potatoes, salad and chocolate chip cookies, Hmmmmmmm. Heaven.
Jim has a 2010 green Patrol that he and Cathy love to ride. His Ural doesn't get lonely as there is also a BMW 1200GS, a KLR 650 and a DRZ 400 to keep it company.
Tomorrow we service Da'mit, oil change, tire rotation and check all nuts and bolts for tightness. When I commented about the front tire cupping badly, Jim offered up a new tire and tube for Da'mit.
The tire we are taking off that has one oz of Dynabeads in it. The three tires in the rear all have Ride-on balancer and sealant in them. They are wearing, but evenly.
So day five will be bike maintenance, laundry and resting. Da'mit is on schedule so no pressure. Will check the weather radar to see if a change in routing or timing will be necessary.
Everyone have a relaxing Memorial Day tomorrow. Because of those who served, we can enjoy the lives we choose. Thank you one and all.