Day 21 – Queen Wilhelmina Lodge to Arkadelphia

Day 21 – The final ten miles of the Talimena Parkway and then on to Arkadelphia, a distance of approx 101 miles with around 3400ft of climbing.

The first part of the day consisted of the last ten miles of the Parkway, basically a descent virtually all the way into Mena. Mena, a typical American small town was full of churches, many of which had “advertising” signs outside.

This is good to know - or is it??

This is good to know - or is it??

The first SAG came after 33.5 miles and was a welcome sight for me as I managed (stupidly) to leave after breakfast without filling my water bottles. By this time the lack of fluid was making itself felt and so a good drink to re-hydrate and as well as a filling of the bottles was required.

The first SAG stop of the day.

The first SAG stop of the day.

After the SAG we carried on through the Caddo Valley towards Arkadelphia. The tally of roadkill (which has been high throughout the trip) continued to increase all day. All that has changed as the trip has progressed are the species involved. In the north it was mainly deer and snakes. Down here it appears that the most stupid creatures on the planet are Armadillos. The sheer numbers of these that we have seen splattered (or rather exploded) in the last few days are amazing. Armadillos, just like in the advert are “crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside’ – when they are hit they curl up into a ball and on impact they explode – spewing entrails all over the road. Add in a couple of days of intense heat and humidity and the resulting mess – whilst appetising for the  Turkey Vultures is not very pleasant to ride through as the smell is disgusting. The only smell worse is that of the many skunks that have also met their fate under the wheels of cars and trucks.

As the day wore on the heat increased and by the time we finished it was into the low nineties. As we entered Arkadelphia, most people stopped either at Wendy’s (for a Frosty shake – vanilla is nice) or at McDonalds for a milkshake. Today I chose to stop and quench my thirst at Ronnies place. Gees, I even got to sit next to the guy….

Me sitting with Ronnie. (who is who??)

Me sitting with Ronnie. (who is who??)

Day 21 Map.

Day 21 Map.

Stats for the day:-

Distance: 101 miles

Climbing: 3400ft

Temp; topped out low nineties but very humid

Wildlife / roadkill: Loads of armadillos, skunk, squirrels,a couple of snakes.

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