Well it’s been a fun couple of days in Arkansas! So much fun that I didn’t update yesterday since I had no cell service at my campsite. I also broke my phone so I had to come down to a Walmart today to replace it with something else. Anyways, boy do I have a story of fun roads and epic hiking!

DAY 5 - Memphis, TN to Shores Lake Campground, AR

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Sunday was an exciting day of driving once I got off i40 after 3 hours of monotonous highway cruising. I’ve learned that I’d rather spend 5-6 hours on backroads, even if they aren’t exciting, than spend another 3 hours on the freeway. I’ve got all the time in the world anyways so I might as well!

My fun driving route started out on Route 7 which was a good warmup of 5th gear sweepers until I got stuck behind slow and slower people out to look at the leaves. I was about to give up on Arkansas being any fun until I got to Route 123! Holy crap was this road amazing. It was not as tight as the Dragon but I was still going hard in 3rd gear and it was completely empty. This road alone made it worth the stop to this state. After that I desperately needed gas and finally found an open station in Jasper. Then I continued on 74 until I got to another great road, 103. This road was flat out at 70mph the whole way but it was twisty enough to run out 3rd and 4th gear. Again, totally deserted, endless scenic leaves, perfect sight lines, and just excellent turns to rip. I had so much fun! I didn’t stop long in Eureka Springs since it was like Disney land crowded. But afterwards I enjoyed the cruise down 23.

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Driving link: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/99-1+College+St,+Dover,+AR+72837/Sand+Gap,+AR/Mt+Judea,+AR/Ponca,+AR/Berryville,+AR/36.3206732,-93.6806878/Eureka+Springs,+AR/Shores+Lake+Campground,+Mulberry,+AR/@35.9383946,-94.0586771,9.38z/data=!4m45!4m44!1m5!1m1!1s0x87cc4cdc2e428fa1:0x431b9db606c5db44!2m2!1d-93.1148684!2d35.4004137!1m5!1m1!1s0x87cdd2b510f1099d:0x80093e1511e65d76!2m2!1d-93.0960078!2d35.7209134!1m5!1m1!1s0x87ce7e54e1cc5433:0x56b8f9f0a5fab397!2m2!1d-93.060174!2d35.9214662!1m5!1m1!1s0x87ce99c6cf38de8b:0xa9393ae8eca39048!2m2!1d-93.3646264!2d36.0242433!1m5!1m1!1s0x87cec5453dab2e3d:0x78f62bf36e2992f3!2m2!1d-93.5679667!2d36.364792!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x87ced2b619b8c8d7:0xe792bb3e4a53db56!2m2!1d-93.7379711!2d36.4011825!1m5!1m1!1s0x87cbef1084727137:0xd7f40449de39dfee!2m2!1d-93.9601989!2d35.6434159!3e0

The title photo for this article was on one of the county roads I decided to take from 23 in order to get to my campsite. It was 12 miles of dirt road that was mostly smooth for me to travel at about 30mph. I wanted to get out my inner Colin McRae dirt rally but the whole 1500 miles of driving left to go kept me from doing anything stupid. It was still enjoyable to make the limited slip diff work it’s magic up the hills and somehow not die from the vibrations going over every Pebble. But anyways, eventually I made it to my campsite and booked two nights. This was an extra night since I wanted to hike and rest from driving.

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DAY 6 - Shores Lake Campground, AR to Shores Lake Campground, AR

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Today was an adventurous 14 mile hike from the campground straight up a mountain! It was the White Rock Loop Trail which brought me much physical exercise and some views here and there, although it was raining quite a bit and super foggy at the top. So it was not very good for pictures. It was quite fun though and I stayed dry enough with my rain gear. Other than my feet, my hiking boots are in need of replacement! Thankfully the wool socks kept my feet warm though despite the wet.

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It’s been a great couple of days disconnected from the world and enjoying this state. I’m sad to move on to the next state tomorrow but excited for the next adventure. I doubt Oklahoma or Texas will be anywhere near as exciting but at least New Mexico and Arizona afterwards shall be interesting. Either way, every place has something to appreciate!