Monday, March 19, 2012

National Parks Tour - AR

Part of:  NPT - Southeastern States ride
SpotWalla Map
GPS Track (Garmin Connect)

This was the last leg on the Southeastern States ride.  Just two stops along the way, in Arkansas, before heading back home to near Wimberley, TX.  Again the weather was good but with a blowing south wind.  I stopped for another cup of coffee, sausage-egg-cheese-bisket, and fuel at a Pilot Travel center just over the mighty Mississippi river in AR.  Popped the passport stop way points into a route to home and got an arrival time of around 8pm.  So, off I rode to Little Rock.

The Little Rock Central HS NHS is a historical focal point for our civil rights.  On the morning of September 23, 1957 nine African-American teenagers stood up to an angry crowd protesting integration in front of Little Rock's Central High as they entered the school for the first time.   The very nice Visitor's Center is across the street somewhat from the HS.

Riding on to the Hot Springs NP and the last stop before heading south to home.  Water. That's what attracts people to Hot Springs.  People have used these hot springs for more than two hundred years to treat illnesses and to relax. Both rich and poor came for the baths, and a town built up around the Hot Springs Reservation to accommodate them. Together nicknamed "The American Spa," Hot Springs National Park today surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The ride home was against the wind.  Gusty and from the side it made riding more uncomfortable.  At times my helmet would be caught by a gust and flung from side to side.  My neck got a real workout for the next several hours.  A line of thunderstorms was building from Del Rio TX to Iowa.  Listening to Fox News on XM gave me a heads up about possible severe weather along my route.  I subscribe to XM radio weather service so I get Nexrad WX radar on my GPS.  It paints moving weather radar on the screen of the GPS.  You can zoom in and out to see where your planned route intersects the rain and severe weather.  Judging by the movement of the line of thunderstorms I projected I would make it home before hitting them.  I stopped in Bastrop TX to gas up and put on my rain jacket and switch to Gore-Tex gloves.  My boots and pants are Gore-Tex lined.  I arrived at home about 8:20 PM.  What a fun adventure.

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