Day 3

Around Lake Village, AR : Dermott, Monticello, Hamburg

This was supposed to be a 'Take it easy' kinda day.  But at the end of the day the odometer did read 724 miles.  Hidalgo has been feeling a bit rough and I realize that is has been a while since I changed the spark plugs.  There is no way I am getting them in Lake Village so I work the thought out of my mind after deciding I will take care of this in Memphis on Friday.  From here I have seen the top of the Greenville bridge over the Mississippi, the crossing of which has been a guiding vision for this trip.  Yet, I decide that even though I am a stone through away from the bridge, I will restrain myself and wait until tomorrow, when the actual crossing is on my schedule.

  • Day 3

So I start the day with breakfast at 8:30 in the morning.  The innkeeper has prepared some great stuffed French toast, and after getting some advice to him regarding the best roads to explore today, I am off to Monticello, AR.  I take off heading North on  on Highway 65 and turn West at 35. The first stop is at Dermott, a town of about 3,300 inhabitants, and seemingly well known for its crawfish festival.  It seems to have known better days though, as a ride around town reveals a number of abandoned structures, including a theater, of which only the tiles of its entry way remain.

  • Red Boards
  • Allied Theatre
  • I.S.
  • Grass
    • DANGER
    • Municipal
    • Windows
    • PERLA A

    From there I continue on 35, only to stop a few miles later at the sight of isotes.  Yucca is the name given to this plant in the United States, but in my home country of Guatemala we call it 'flor de isote'.  While in the US it is used for decorative purposes, the flowers are prepared as salad in Guatemala.   For me this is one of those memories I sometimes wanted to forget, since in my parents house there was never such as thing as 'I don't like it' to save one from eating something.  My dad's answer was usually 'Get him a second helping so he learns to like it', and in this case it was particularly bad since isotes have to belong to the 'most bitter' food groups in the nutritional pyramid.  Still, even such bitter experiences make for sweet memories later in our lives.

    • Skipper Bridge
    • Stop
    • The Chair
    • Flor de Isote

    On to Monticello, with another brief stop for an old chair under a tree, wondering what kind of stories this ragged piece of living room furniture would tell in this part of the world.  As I enter Monticello, I stop to nab pictures of some classic American cars.  A young man quickly comes over to check on my intentions.  Turns out this is his grampa's shop, where he sometimes works too, and he was just wanting to make sure everything was in order.

    • Protected
    • Yellow Spokes
    • Have a Seat
    • Pirate Country
      • Detail and Wrecker
      • Go Drew Central

      At the central square I go into a shop that has a drugstore sign outside, looking of a coke, but it turns out to be a consignment store for antiques.  A young girl, with a look of "I have never seen a Vato on a motorcycle before" points me to the real drugstore down the street.  There I have something that came close to a good old fashioned ice cream soda, while sitting by a counter.  Just like the old days.  I take my time to look around the store, as I continue to look for a road-dawg.  No luck.

      Once outside I take the time to admire the biggest of my motorcycle's brothers, a Vulcan Classic 2000, and then I am off with the intention of hitting Eudora via 425.  

      • Bars
      • Classic 2000 LT
      • Pepsi

      However, as I ride past Hamburg I feel the air temperature change, and the smell of rain hits me in the face.  My plans change quickly and I decide to cut through and make it back to Lake Village.  The GPS takes me through some real back roads now.  As I make it into Milo Rd, I see the lead courtain to my left and think I will just side skirt this one.  But soon the road turns and now I am heading right into it.  I can feel the storm on my skin and I see it coming.  I move to the side of the road and prepare for it.  Bags come out and cover my tail bag and tank bag.  I cover the exposed air filter with a very fine, water repellent synthetic mesh, and put my rain suit on.  It takes time to get ready and suited up for the storm, but then I ride into it  What a difference it makes.  While there are new risks in this situation, such as decreased visibility for me and for cars on the same road, it is actually exhilarating to ride in the storm.  I know I would have been drenched in no time.  Cameras and phones would be rendered useless, and would have been ruined.  Ink in journals would run.  But being prepared for the storm makes it a new enjoyable aspect of riding.

      I also reflect on my desire to face the real storms in life with the same confidence.  Just like in this case, where foresight and preparedness allowed me to get through, and even enjoy the process, so I wish to face the storms of life.  And while I can prepare with prudence, at the end of the day, making sure that I have entrusted myself to God, that I walk with Him in my heart, and that He is the plane above all plains, is the best form of preparation I can engage in.

      • Storm Coming
      • After the storm
      • The Sun Shines Again

      I arrive back at the bed and breakfast in the early afternoon, and after resting briefly I go outside.  I watch the in-keeper's grandson riding his dirt bike, jumping over mounds and pulling wheelies, perfecting his technique with deep joy and dedication.  I spend time with this God-loving family who has been made stronger, and has changed life plans, being united in tragedy and working to make sure the future is bright for the youngest one.

      • Young Gun
      • High

      Today I have continued to ride the back roads.  I get this crazy idea of a deep thought, "There are no shoulders off the roads when you ride the back country".  Yes; deep; very much true and a point of safety every time I stop to take a photo; but does it really mean anything?  Ha, only when you silk-screen it on a t-shirt :)

      In a more serious fashion, I continue to ponder the message in Matthew 11.  I am particularly intrigued by verses 28-30: "28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."