Ride Across America, Day 18

Dear Readers,

A pleasant day of riding with warmer temperatures and a nice tail wind. With 3 brief sag stops and 123 miles of riding, I was still able to get to the Holiday Inn Express in Conway by 2:30 p.m. – the earliest time to complete a ride, but much effort expended to do it. ( I’ll see tomorrow how well I recover from today’s riding.)

Our time on the road was spent mainly on Highway 22 and Highway 64E. We past through the small town of Paris, Arkansas. Many of the homes along our route were well maintained, even the trailers. Nice homes nestled 100 to 300 feet off the highway surrounded by long needle pine trees – very picturesque. Field stone, mainly brown sandstone, was used to build many homes, and the extra stones were used to build gate posts and hold wood fence rails. Bridges carried us over many small tributary creeks: Shoal, Short Mountain, Stinnett, and Delaware, to name a few.

Day 14 - Trail of Tears SignAlong Highway 22, posted signs identified the route as part of the Trail of Tears. Briefly, following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, Southeastern Indian Nations were forcibly moved west – mainly to Oklahoma. The military-enforced relocation, especially during 1838 – 1839, lead to great suffering, illness and a high rate of death. Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctow peoples were forced to give up their ancestral lands – President Andrew Jackson helped to solve the “Indian removal problem” with this forced march.

Our route brought us to the southern shore of Lake Dardanelle, and we saw the nuclear power plant, Arkansas Nuclear One, on the northern shore. It was completed in 1974. Unfortunately, in 2015, it had the worst performance record of any U.S. nuclear power plant, and the inspections have been increased to improve the plant.

Day 14 - lumber yardWe rode through Russellville and then onto a bridge over the Arkansas River, a major tributary to the Mississippi River. Over the next 30 miles, several plants of the lumbar company Green Bay could be seen. Easily 25 semi trucks carrying  pine tree trunks passed us going to one of the plants. The first plant appeared to be making board lumbar and the second, a paper mill. Good employment for local citizens – and that would explain some of the nicer homes.

Firestone tire company had a very large facility- it appeared to be at least 3 blocks long.

Day 14 - MorriltonThe Subiaco Abbey and Academy was located on a hill in Logan county.  The Roman Catholic Benedictine Monastery started in 1928 (per Wikipedia) and later they added an Academy, a pre-college prep school.  Angus cows are a major source of income for the Abbey.

Now, for a change of topic:  please check out the Festival of Nations in St. Paul, going on this weekend (May 5-8, 2016).  It is an engaging celebration honoring the rich cultural background of immigrants in our state.

Be well,

Jeff

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