Sunday, October 22, 2006

Talimena Thrill Ride

I would have said "Roller Coaster" but that title has already been taken.

Finding our way back to home base, we've been taking little side-routes -- trying to stay scenic rather than fast. On the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma, there's the Talimena Scenic Byway. We've taken it before, so we thought it would be a pleasant alternative to an Interstate. Starting as highway 88 in Arkansas and ending as Oklahoma 1, it rides the a long mountain ridge. Fall colors were at their peak, at least on the Arkansas side as we hit the ramp in Mena.

And it was a steep ramp. The RV's engine whined and labored the whole of the Byway. Getting up those slopes required it to rev high in low gear, and then once we hit a downslope, I had to gear down or risk burning the brakes.

There were lots of other cars too, and hundreds of motorcycles. It was a clear sunny Saturday in the hight of the Autumn display, so everyone with two or three wheels from hundreds of miles around came out to enjoy the air.

We were the only RV on the road. And I know why.

But after a lovely picnic overlooking the lakes and fields below, watching hawks and vultures soar beneath us, we headed on down into Oklahoma.

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