We traveled largely southeast today, with a final 20 mile “left hook” north into Indianola. We first passed through eastern Arkansas farms where, for the first time, I saw cotton fields. We also passed by a large, semi-circular lake, Lake Chicot, that seemed like it was once part of the Mississippi River and oddly (to me) had cypress trees growing in it! Shortly after that, at about the 62 mile mark on our ride today, we crossed the Mississippi River! This is a milestone I’ve been looking forward to since San Diego, and it means we are about 3/4 done in terms of days and mileage!
Although this was a very flat ride, we struggled with 20-25 mph constant winds from the north. For much of the day it was a crosswind and, when we were on less traveled roads, we rode in a rotating echelon formation, where one rider rides to the side of and slightly behind the next rider, to get some shielding from the wind. Just after the Mississippi, we also rode briefly on a heavily traveled highway that made us more uncomfortable than any other road so far. The last 20 miles into Indianola were straight into that tough wind, so we rotated the front position.
Arriving in Indianola could have been an exhausting letdown but we were greeted by a parade! OK it wasn’t for us, but it felt like it was. It was the high school Homecoming parade and all I can say is that these folks take their homecomings and their football very seriously. We got lots of stares and waves and questions, and everyone made us feel very welcome. We all wish we had time to visit the BB King Museum, which several locals recommended.
Today’s ride was 109 miles, and we crossed the Mississippi River!
And nearly forgot… it’s time for the penultimate map!