Riding out of Arkadelphia as Sherry filmed us and D held their big white truck steady seemed like the last time we would see them but Tuesday was full of surprises!
We had not even been on the bike 5 miles before a man named Charles pulled his car over on the left side of the road to hand us some gatorades. He shared his story about how he rode his hand-crafted bike across the country with great enthusiasm. We shared our appreciation for his Gatorade and the fact that he stopped to talk with us. A police woman also stopped to talk with us but she was mainly checking to make sure we were okay and not being harassed. Things couldn’t have been more right in that moment but I’m glad that she had our back just in case. We have not felt threatened at all by strangers yet but we are going to have to crank up our stranger danger radars once we pass Dallas and into the long, empty desert roads.
We rode about 50 miles to Hope, AR where Bill Clinton is from and had some delicious burgers at Tailgater’s. The owner came to hear our story and said she would shared our photo on their Facebook. page. Melinda was a super nice lady and the food was great. Go check it out of you are ever on a tour of Bill Clinton’s birthplace.
In true Bike Cruisade fashion our final destination for the day was still up in the air. Should we stop in Texaekana or keep pushing further into TX? My sisters had been putting the word out on Facebook that we needed a place
to stay and my picture on Instagram received a comment from a close friend offering to help find us a place to stay with her parents. The 30 mile ride to Texarkana was done without a single break but was full of surprises.
On the road I got a text from our Arkadelphia hosts Sherry and D saying that they were headed to Texarkana and wanted to meet up. My good friend Amanda and Geoffrey Campbell said that her mom and dad would gladly put us up. My sister’s friend from the 5th grade in Little Rock said he would show us the best BBQ in town and get us a hotel!
As we charged up our phone at the E-Z Mart in Texarkana, a mini van pulls up and Sherry and D jump out with bug smiles and open arms. Their brother had to do some work in town and they gladly jumped in the car to keep him and his wife company. We took a photo with everyone and Sherry handed me a roll of cash from her best friend Gayle who felt the need to help us out after Sherry shared our story with her. This will go to the emergency fund next time Sherry and D aren’t around to help us out.
We rode up the street to the court house and state line for some photos and met one of the best dudes around Jonathan Ross. I knew him through my sister over 20 years ago and he is now married with 4 kids in Texarkana being a great example of a man to his kids. He kept insisting that we let him put us up in a hotel because he truly believes that the best part of our lives are those we give away and invest in others.
Jonathan gave us some more words of wisdom at Naaman’s Championship BBQ while his 3 yr old son ran around the parking and Geoff and Amanda’s parent joined the fun too. I had not seen The Fawcett’s since the wedding but they welcomed me in like their own. I would do anything for Geoff and his family and their miracle of a child Grayson, who is just the cutest thing and a survivor of heart disease. It made me proud to call Geoff my best friend as his parents-in-law talked about what a great father and husband he has been even in the tough times. It’s no surprise to me because had some pretty good examples in Greg and Cheryl! The Fawcett’s gave us a donation and we all parted ways after eating some great BBQ. Not sure exactly where it landed on Dave’s Top 40 list but it’s up there!
Yesterday we were spoiled with gifts and kindness so we are going to be even more on the lookout for ways to give back. If you know anyone between here and Dallas that could use some help let us know. There is a great non-profit organization called Lionsraw that I hope we can connect with. Play Soccer 2 Give is also in Dallas. My high school club soccer coach is now head coach UT at Tyler and they play against Dallas on Saturday. Hopefully we can share our journey with them.
We have been on the road 1 month covering NYC to Texas in 1784 miles and been showed so much love and support along the way. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and our detour towards Dallas is already full of great connections and memories. October is going to be amazing and we’re looking forward to seeing what the road to San Francisco will bring! Adios Arkansas!