Best Trail System Yet

Hank – We left our hotel a little after 9:00 and soon got into a paved bike trail that’s part of a trail system called the Razorback Greenway. Today’s destination was the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas. The route called for 41 miles. We ended up with 43 when we reached the chapel. We went from the south end of Fayetteville to the chapel, and all but four miles of that was on dedicated paved bike/pedestrian trail. It was awesome.

Since it was Sunday, and Easter Sunday at that, there weren’t many shops open. But there were connectors to a couple of malls. There were also connectors to neighborhoods and schools. The trail is in great shape. There are public bathrooms, water fountains, and bike maintenance stations, too. The Razorback Greenway is something to be jealous of.

We met Andre and Lilly of Fayetteville this morning. They are just getting into cycling and our adventure caught their interest. We wish them the best and we told them we’d love to host them if they ever tour through Spokane.

We stopped at the Phat Tire Bike Shop, conveniently located on the Greenway, and asked about nearby restaurants. We decided on AQ Chicken, which turned out to be a good choice. The food was great–although Kathy’s meal was okay–and there’s some history there. The Clintons went there quite often in their younger days. (By the way, we missed going to the Clinton House Museum in south Fayetteville because it didn’t open until 1:00.)

We saw lots of cyclists, runners, and walkers on the trails today. I was envious of the parents riding with their children. Our kids are grown but I hope one day to take a grandchild or two out for rides.

We had a short steep climb to the chapel but it was worth it. The chapel is a work of art. You can read more about it here.

While at the chapel we met Tim. Tim hails from Norman, Oklahoma. He’s here doing some mountain biking of which there seems to be plenty of here. In 2016 Tim rode the Great Divide Route. He said it took him four months because he would hang out in places he thought were cool. And he wasn’t in a rush anyway. Tim thought our adventure sounded exciting. We shared stories of the kindness and generosity you receive from people when you travel by bicycle. We wished each other well when we left. He’s also invited to the Greer house should he ever come that way.

We had three options to choose from to end our day. We could backtrack four miles against the wind to a campground. We could ride 5-1/2 miles with the wind to a primitive campground. Or we could follow our projected route and stealth camp somewhere along the way. We chose option three. That took us up a very steep climb that pretty much said it was time to call it a day. There was a church up ahead so we went there to ask if we could pitch the tent on the lawn. Since Easter Sunday was over there was nobody at the church. We went around back and found a playground that would work for us. We set up the tent and threw our stuff inside.

Then Kathy said she found a spider inside that she couldn’t kill. It was a tick. So we started looking real close over everything. We found a few more ticks and ejected them from the premises. Plus, some are crawling on the outside of the netting, no doubt remarking at how juicy we look. We’re sleeping safe and sound in the tent tonight–maybe. Dehydrated meals for Easter dinner tonight. We’re living the dream!

Tomorrow we ride into Missouri, state #43.

Kathy – Happy Easter!!! 🐣✝️🌸

We rode a total of 44 miles today with about 1,800 feet of elevation. As Hank said the majority of it was on amazing bike trails. We had gradual hills for the most part with a few steep climbs just to get the heart rate really pumping. It was sunny and the temps quickly rose in to the high 70’s. It was a gorgeous day, a beautiful trail (with lots of people using it), and we met some great people. Absolutely loved the ride today.

Ok, I didn’t like that last super steep climb and decided 44 miles was enough for the day. 😊

The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel was just spectacular. Totally amazing! The chapel was on our list of things to see in Arkansas and I’m so happy we rode to this beautiful place. I planted my Arkansas flowers near the entrance to the chapel. We didn’t go to an Easter service today or have a yummy Easter dinner with family and/or friends, but we did get to spend a little time in this stunning chapel situated in a very peaceful natural area. It had a spiritual presence. We are thankful. 🌸 ⛪️ 🌼

At the end of our day we thought we found the perfect place to camp out. Nice quiet wooded area behind a large church. We really wanted to ask if we could camp on the church grounds but no one was at the church. Hopefully they won’t mind. We will probably be gone early in the morning before anyone arrives at the church anyway.

I say we thought we had the perfect place, until after we set the tent up and climbed in. That’s when I started noticing tiny little bugs crawling around inside the tent. Hank quickly realized they were ticks. Yes, we are camped in a tick infested wooded area. I suggested we move everything but Hank said we were all set up now so to just leave it as it is for the night. We removed about 15 ticks out of the tent so far, and we are hoping we got them all out. We also checked ourselves to ensure no ticks matched on to us. Such a great way to end our day. 🙄

The ticks are crawling up along the outside of the tent. It’s hard to tell if they are on the inside or the outside of the tent so your constantly monitoring them. It’s pretty gross looking. I don’t even want to leave the tent now, much less have to take the tent down in the morning. I’m gonna be on high tick alert 🚨 all night and tomorrow morning until we get the heck out of this place. 😳Every time my skin itches I look to see if it’s a tick crawling on me. It gonna be a long night…

The adventures never end on this trip. Happy Easter to us! 🐣✝️🌸

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