The longer day into El Dorado meant a shorter day into Crossett, so we were not in a rush to wake up or get moving. We did stop at a Dollar General store so I could get some work gloves that I converted into makeshift cycling gloves by cutting off the fingers.
The route along 82 to Crossett was generally downhill, but still there were plenty of hills, and I was really feeling it hard…perhaps an after effect of the previous days long ride and of taking two Benadryl the night before because all they had were feather pillows. We had lunch in Strong at an unknown-to-Apple-and-Google restaurant, and talked with folks about our ride. As we crossed through the Feldensthal NWF, a guy in a truck pulled over to video us. It was only when I heard him say mine name that I realized it was Anne’s uncle Richard! He shouted words of encouragement to us and told us we didn’t have far to go.
Coming around a corner right before town, we almost got run over by a bunch of kids in a pair of four-wheelers going the wrong way. Luckily, there was almost no traffic and we avoided a collision.
We got to Sheila and Richard’s house, where we could not have had a warmer welcome. We got cleaned up and visited for a while, then Sheila served us an incredible meal. When John found out she was responsible for the eclair cake recipe of which he is so found, he became even more effusive in his praise. She said if she had known, she’d had made him one, but the fig cake we had was every bit as delicious.
After dinner Richard drove us all up to see Old Milo Farms, which is the operation their daughter, Lonni, has with her husband, Brad. They are at the vanguard of the blossoming of agritourism in Arkansas: they have a great Christmas tree lot and a burgeoning pumpkin patch – Richard said they had upwards of 7,000 in the patch last year.
We then drove over to the rodeo arena in Hamburg and got to watch Lonni barrel race. We just missed seeing her youngest, Mabry, who actually beat her mom by a second! We visited with them for a while, with Brad offering to come get us if we ran into any kind of trouble between there and Memphis.
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