Monday, May 24, 2010

CIW 2010 - Day 9

This morning we awoke before the alarm clock and were ready to leave by 7:15. We rode downtown for breakfast at the Branson Cafe with John and Lydia. I think this is the first cafe across the US to actually get my fried eggs cooked like I like them. Awesome!

By 8:30 we had said our good byes and were on the bikes heading out of town. The GPS said we'd be home by 7pm but that wasn't the destination. We planned to stop in Marshall, TX for the evening although I didn't make any reservations just in case we needed to stop sooner. So we headed down US 65 south and were surprised with some great twisites along the way, although traffic made it a little difficult to always enjoy.

At our first stop I mounted Reagan's hydration pack on top of her tank bag so she could keep herself hydrated. This seemed to help things by the next stop. The challenge however was that 50 miles later she needed a bio break.

Eventually we made it to Little Rock, picked up I-430 around to I-30 and continued toward Texarkanna. We stopped at a truck stop for gas and a bio break, but decided to look elsewhere for food as the place was a little on the lower end of sanitation standards. About 50 miles later we found a Travel America truck stop with a nice cafe. We spent about 50 minutes there eating and cooling off. We didn't fuel up since we had just fueled up 50 miles before.

When we got to Texarkana, we followed the detour to 59 south and kept going. Finally in Jefferson we made our last gas stop for the day. With full tanks and a bio break completed, we finished the ride through Marshall until we found the Super 8 on the south side of town.

Today's ride seem to run better with the hydration pak in easy reach for Reagan. Mileage for the day was 385 miles in 7 hours 50 minutes. That's a 49mph average, but I think we lost time today while figuring out the mount of the hydration pack and when we had to disassemble it to reload the bladder. At the end of the day, Reagan was certainly hot and tired but she wasn't nearly as dehydrated so we're making progress.

Tomorrow we'll be home after a short 233 mile trip. The plan is to get a very early start so we can hopefully get home before it gets so hot.

UPDATE: For dinner tonight we walked next door to a little building with the generic diner sign out side. We decided it must be open because the sign was lit. What a pleasant surprise this meal turned out to be. We met the new owner, he had just completed the sale today at 2pm. He was still trying to figure out where everything was and how to get things out together. But his enthusiasm was great. Next week he'll actually order his own food (as opposed to cooking the previous owner's inventory) and he'll be able to change the menu to make it his own. He told us he paid cash for the place and still has a little left over to remodel although he doesn't have enough to completely gut the place and start over. So at least in the beginning this place is going to feel like an old waffle house but I think he's going to make the place pretty special. So if you are heading to Marshall, check out the non-descript diner on the east side of 59 South between the Econo-lodge and the Super 8. Be sure to tell him you heard about his place from the internet. You'll likely be rewarded with a huge grin from ear to ear. And if he hasn't changed the menu too much, order the Fiesta Cheese sticks. They are very unique.

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