Southern States Tour – Day 50

Day 50 Route
Day 50 Route

The weather varied from partly cloudy to very cloudy with just a few sprinkles while I was still in Mississippi. The temperatures were in the 70’s all day – ideal for motorcycling.

Day’s distance: 287 miles
Total trip distance: 9,135 miles

I cruised into downtown Vicksburg to the Route 61 Coffeehouse for my morning latte. I grabbed a bagel with cream cheese to go with the coffee. Both were good.

While I didn’t get a chance to visit much of downtown Vicksburg, I did take a photo near the coffee shop …

Downtown Vicksburg, MS
Downtown Vicksburg, MS

and one of the riverfront.

Vicksburg, MS
Vicksburg, MS

The American Queen Steamboat company runs river cruises and the boat in the background above, The American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built, according to the company’s website.

My destination in Arkansas was the Hot Springs area, and got a little creative with my route. Instead of staying on Hwy 61 north, I diverted to a minor roadway, Hwy 465.

Diversion off Hwy 61 to Hwy 465
Diversion off Hwy 61 to Hwy 465

This was a pretty part of the delta, with farmland and bayous.

Hwy 465 west of Hwy 61
Hwy 465 west of Hwy 61

But the road soon turned into a one lane paved path on top of a levee.

A highway on top of a levee?
A highway on top of a levee?

Then it turned to gravel. OMG 🙁

Hwy 465 - a gravel one-lane road on top of a levee
Hwy 465 – a gravel one-lane road on top of a levee?

When the “highway” was detoured off the levee and into the nearby farmland, I took the opportunity to abandon my creative and adventurous side and get back on Hwy 61.

Crossing into Arkansas over the River Bridge meant I’m heading back west and leaving the deep south behind.

IMG_3184

I used multi-laned highways to get to Hot Springs. Since it wasn’t going to rain tonight, for a change, I intended to camp. There was a first-come, first-served campground in the Hot Springs National Park called Gulpha Gorge, and I made that my destination.

The way things usually go with first-come campgrounds is they have been filled for hours or there are lots of spaces available. This time, I found several campsites available on my arrival and set up one quickly – I’m pretty practiced at it these days 🙂

Gulpha Gorge Campsite
Gulpha Gorge Campsite

I met several other motorcycle campers, all traveling two-up. The camp host, JJ, was super friendly and is a rider himself, looking to purchase his next bike soon.

The campsite had no showers and no hot water, but did have the Gulpha Creek running through it. The sound of running water was very soothing and made for a great night of sleep.

Gulpha Creek
Gulpha Creek

One thought

  1. Thanks for stopping by Gulpha Gorge for the evening. You brought plenty of biking stories to share. Bet you were surprised by the levee road. They are frequented by locals on hunting and fishing expeditions and sometimes in search of parties. Have a great trip.

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