A very long, hot, and exhausting day. 10 hours riding, and just under 900 kms!!!
After waking up outside Chattanooga Tennessee, I rode southwest into and across Alabama. Straight across Mississippi, into Arkansas, then south into Louisiana. I chose a route across to the point where Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi meet. It wasn’t the fastest route as it was a secondary highway not an interstate.
The lesson learned today was that if you have a choice to take an interstate do so! Most 3 number “highways” such as the 164 that I chose run through small towns of 350 to 750 people. That means no campgrounds, no motels, and usually no gas stations! In fact the entire way across Mississippi I didn’t see a single campground!! Driving through small towns I was amazed at the devastation the US economy has wreaked. Houses and businesses vacant everywhere. Stripped down to the brick shell, everything from the windows, plumbing, wiring removed.
When I got low on gas I checked my GPS like usual to find the nearest one: 50kms away!!! After driving through 3 small towns with the gas stations derelict I was getting worried. I started looking for a place to stay the night at 5pm, and was 100 miles away from anything remotely looking like a hotel room! By 8pm I finally reached a good sized city just as the rain started!! After having dinner and checking on the internet situation I discovered I had gained an hour by crossing the Mississippi!! Whoo Hooo! Does that mean I only rode for 9 hours????? Wow my average speed is pretty good then!!!
So my GPS now has Carlsbad New Mexico plugged in, some 1300kms away. So hopefully in two days I should be at the next interesting stage of my trip.