Redding Campground, AR – No Head Hollow “Campsite”, OK
Miles Ridden – 160
Total Miles – 1,587
Today’s Travel Time – 10 hrs
Animal Totem – Snapping Turtle
What I learned today – Life (and the TAT) is more enjoyable when you decide to stop worrying.
It’s been obvious that surprises during the day are an inevitable part of the TAT. When camping, surprises during the night also occasionally occur. Despite a clear doppler radar before heading to Redding Campground the night before, it was about 3am when another thunderstorm hit. Being that we were camping next to an already swollen river in a flash flood zone this was a slight concern.
We woke up a little soggy but no worse for the wear.
I’m not saying we went around the barrier…but I’m not saying we didn’t.
A ways down the TAT we encountered another road closed/road work sign, which we promptly ignored. I actually didn’t have a great feeling about this one, but I figured we’d ride until we were forced to turn around. And forced to turn around, we were.
So. Back tracking for a while down the TAT left us pretty well worn out. It was fun riding, but lots of rocks and gravel and by this point it was getting pretty hot out there. We paused for a rest and snack break and I came up with another motorcycle yoga pose- legs up the bike! Stefan also rigged up a plastic bag so my dash flowers would last a little longer, and dad took one of his traditional laying-on-the-ground naps.
We decided at that point to punch Lincoln into the GPS and head straight there for gas and food – we weren’t carrying extra fuel on the bikes and it was already 2:30. After coming down off the mountains we stopped at the first gas station we found and decided to eat right next door since we were pretty worn out.
There was talk of hopping into the motel across the street, but after some food and time in the AC we felt revived enough to continue down the trail. Even though we were off the TAT, we stayed mostly on backroads, and the scenery was beautiful. We stopped to top off our gas in Lincoln and set our sights on a campground about 30 miles down the road- we were gonna make it to Oklahoma tonight!
Well what we didn’t know at that point is that the plethora of campground resorts on the map were all right along the Illinois River in OK, and after the storms from the last few days they were all shut down due to flooding! After stopping at 3 places which were completely deserted, the last place had a few people staying in a cabin. The owner came out and solved the mystery of why everywhere was deserted, told us about a small open campsite down the road at a boat put-in, and let us use the hot showers.