Monday, April 27, 2009

More from our Arkansas trip

The rain has been falling all night, and is still gently coming down. You remember my parents' saying about "if it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain for the next seven Sundays"? This makes two down and five to go. My rain gauge says 3 1/2 inches, which causes me to wonder if I forgot to empty it last time. My sister-in-law, however, said she heard on the news that some areas got four inches.

Here's a question for my Arkansas readers (that'd be Lona and Diane, for sure): What are these red flowers that bloom in abundance along the roadways down there? I jokingly called them "redbelles" because in Texas in the spring, bluebelles bloom like this.

While we're talking about flowers, have I mentioned how I love Azaleas? Just look at those colors! Next time I'm at Colonial Nursery, I'm asking if there's an azalea that can winter over in my part of Missouri.

Even with the trees all ice-damaged, the Arkansas landscape is breathtaking.

We left home Saturday morning around nine o'clock; of course we had to stop at Lamberts for lunch on the way past Ozark, Missouri.

I believe it was around six when we found a motel in Russellville, Arkansas.

Next morning we were heading for Bella Vista where my friend Lona lives. We could have taken a freeway, but Interstates aren't any fun. We like to take the older highways and look at the abandoned businesses in dying towns, left behind by progress. Before leaving the motel, I looked at the map and told Cliff, "Oh, this will be no problem: we just go west on 64 until it hits 71, then go north."

We did see lovely sights going that route, including hundreds of my beloved azaleas,

Old barns,

Many older houses made from Arkansas rocks,

A realty with an interesting name,

and various kinds of homes (Cliff said, "What are we laughing at? WE live in a mobile home behind a barn!").

Unfortunately, we missed 71. We started feeling uneasy when we spent a half-hour going from stoplight to stoplight in a bad section of Russellville, the sort of neighborhood where one expects to hear gunshots at any time; our hearts sank when we passed a sign saying "Welcome to Oklahoma".

We pulled off at the nearest exit and found ourselves in front of an abandoned livestock sale barn (also not a very comforting place to be, and Cliff didn't take his Glock). Cliff dug out the GPS, because we knew we'd never get out of this mess without it.

Since there's no safe place to attach it to the motorcycle windshield, I held it in one hand and told Cliff whatever the GPS told me. On the lower lefthand side, you see that our arrival time at our friend's home in Bella Vista, Arkansas, was to be 11:29. This was a good time to arrive, since she was making dinner for us and we were getting hungry.

All's well that ends well. I met Lona in a chat room in 1998, and we still keep in touch. If I wanted some serious, objective input on most any decision I had to make, this is the lady I'd go to. Even when she doesn't think I'm listening, I probably am.

Do not, however, ask her opinion of GPS devices; that's where she and I part ways.

Originally we had planned to spend the night at Lona's house, but because of the threat of rain, we came on home. It worked out all right, because we had a lot of outdoor work to do, and Cliff and I worked like troopers all day Sunday.

It was a nice getaway.


Hollie said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. What would we do without our GPS devices? I have the same one that you guys have.

m.v. said...

Wow, you got some gear - GPS, trailer, etc; just add a couple more wheels and a roof and it will be comfortable enough for me :-)

Donna said...

Meesha, I promise you that my seat on the Gold Wing is as comfy as my easy chair at home. With my messed-up knees, there's no way I could ride for an extended period of time if it wasn't comfortable.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm glad you had a good trip even though it was shortened. We have had the opposite - no rain since Easter on Sundays. I am happy for that as last year it rained every weekend when camping season started.

Fernan said...

Owwwww.... I like old roads. Countrier roads even. where seeing America is at it's never boreing best.
I like your pictures and comments. You make me feel just like I'm riding along.
Oww, having lost some time is your motor the same one you've had all a long. I thought the original was white, sold, then along came a blue one????????
Confused? {:?)

madcobug said...

Sounds like a fun trip. Great pictures. I believe that red bloominmg on the side of the road might be red clover. Helen

zzop357 said...

Well I'm not Diane, but I'm her sister... The answer to "what are the red flowers on the road side"? That is red clover.A lot of our roads have it. It stops the water (rain) from washing the dirt away. BUT! They should stop using it because the deer like it too, and that causes a lot of damage.....I really don't know what our government was thinking.
God bless, Donna

Paula said...

That is one snazzy motorcycle jacket you got there.

Jess said...

yep red should have told me you were coming through...we could all have met! LOL

And we could have helped with directions...LOLOLOL

Just teasing with you..

Glad you had a good trip

Love, Jess

Anonymous said...

Love your biker wear. And your spirit.
GREAT photos, Donna.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Yep, red clover. I love it, it's so pretty. And when you see it combined with purple vetch, wild asters, wild mustard and other wild flowers it makes a pretty picture.



Lori said...

It has rained here every day for the past week. Well, actually, today it didn't rain, but it was gray. And I'm getting very tired of it too!