7/2/20 – Arkansas
We left our campsite in Grove, Oklahoma and traveled due east to Missouri. Trees, lots of trees were emerging as we moved away from the Great Plains. The wind lessened, and the flat terrain gave way to hills, glorious, green hills. It was great fun driving up and down over the hills, like a roller coaster ride we’d crest atop a tall hill and sometimes go “we-e-e-e” as we picked up speed going down the next even steeper hill. In a lot of places road builders cut through the hills so the road is fairly level, but here the road was built right on top of the ground following exactly the earth’s contour. It was great fun after traveling over 1,000 miles on flat ground. We felt like kids jumping on the bed with the grownups’ permission, because, well, after all, we were the grownups getting to act like kids. That is until the road merged into the freeway and leveled out from there.
So far most of the driving and all of the Sunrides had been done off the freeway. You see so much more this way, especially on the bike. I heard chickens now. I hadn’t heard them before. The houses were closer to the road. I would hear doors closing and sometimes people talking. None of that in the Great Plains.The road had no shoulder, so it was not a good place to set the bike off and Sunride.
I had an idea: lets just drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas, take the bike off there, and drive around town. Fayetteville is the home of the University of Arkansas. I’d always heard it was a beautiful campus and college town. The minute we crossed that state line it was everything Razorback. This seems a most unusual mascot in a country where most sports teams have tigers, lions, bears, seahawks and the like for their ferocious symbols.
As expected the campus was quite nice, set on hills with a welcoming flow. Razorback stadium right in the middle of campus was big and impressive, so was the baseball field and other sports facilities. They take sports seriously around here. I rode Sunride all over campus. We practically had the place to ourselves as only summer school was in session and like every place else the lack of people was noticeable. Fraternity and sorority row had huge mansions with not a soul about. We toured the off-campus area and biked to the old historic square of the city set on another hilltop. We met up for lunch at a gyro place close to campus then resumed the drive to Memphis.