With the pecans behind me it was time to set off. But wait it was 21F without the wind chill. Having decided to leave the cosy hotel with the clerks best wishes - "you all watch out for deer and ice" I spent every fiber looking for ice and deer. Every suspicious bush was a deer and with a well worn route 82 it was easy to imagine that shiny blacktop was ice. But fear is inversely proportional to the square of the time that elapses when nothing bad happens, so in no time I was speeding along. Yes it was cold, very cold, but looking like a butterball with every item of clothing I have on it was bearable. The scene was a mixture of grey steel skies and brown-yellow earth that looks like life will never spring from it, joined together on the flat horizon that stretches in every direction. Lots of interesting small towns like Gainsville and Sherman - the heart of Texas for sure. Frustrating loop road outside of Paris, TX - extra frustrating for a) not remembering what the movie Paris, Texas was about and b) made me think of the good times in the real Paris. Not sure of the route I stopped to consult the oracle - Google maps on the iPhone 4. Then, eek the bike would not start and seemed the battery was flat. A call to AAA revealed I did not have coverage in TX (must learn to read the small print) and told them to send someone anyway. About this time a nice fellow stopped to chat and see if I needed help. Not having jumper leads (can you attach a car battery to a bike battery?) he did not help much, or so it seemed. But he had, as he left I decided to give it another go and voila started first time with a sense that there was significant juice in the battery. No idea why that would be, but I do know the battery has been fine since. Found my way back to route 82 and I was off and running. One thing I love about travel is you can go from utter despair to elation in the matter of a few minutes. Now I was elated and yes I did call the AAA back to cancel the request.
Finally left TX and entered AR. The interesting route 82 became the boring Interstate 30. Stopped in Hope the birthplace of Bill Clinton (seems appropriate) - I can see why he left for DC too. The best thing seemed to be the hot chocolate in the gas station. The English in me has meant too much hot chocolate on this trip. Its not that the English like it particularly I just feel guilty going into a gas station and using the restroom without buying anything. Wandered around Little Rock looking for a hotel, nothing of interest in the area and so headed out of town and stopped on the outskirts. All in all a satisfying day given the miles covered and the conditions endured.