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I left Siloam Springs at 8:30 am and it was already 82 degrees. I only had to ride to West Siloam Springs to find the border with Oklahoma and stopped for a picture. The shoulder on Hwy 412 was under construction for a few miles but then it opened up and I moved over to my lane. I passed a big Cherokee casino that had a flaming volcano with a waterfall out front. It was really busy. 412 becomes a toll turnpike that bikes are not allowed on. I took the quieter alternative old 412 Hwy. The shoulder disappeared but there really wasn't much traffic. This road has very long, very gradual ups and downs. I got up to 41 mph on an early downhill. There were also very small towns all along the way. The road was very straight and sometimes I could see ahead a few miles. I went through Kansas, Oklahoma which I don't think had a stop sign.
It was very hot again today. I slathered on the sun screen and drank a gallon of water. The road was often lined with beautiful blooming orange lilies. I found a Baptist church in Leach to have lunch. There were outlets conveniently located so I didn't have to take the batteries off the trike. I went around back and relaxed at a picnic table that was under some beautiful shade trees. Churches have regularly become a wonderful, quiet place to have lunch. My entertainment was watching a hundred goats in a field next door.
I got back out into the sweltering heat thinking I might call it quits earlier than planned. The temperature was well into the 90's and at some point heat will be too dangerous for cycling. I wasn't there yet and continued along lots of farms. Most of the fields were busy with machinery baling hay. I enjoyed watching the activity. The hills were rich, lush green grazing land with cows of all stripes crowding the watering holes trying to cool off. I also saw llama and miniature horse farms. I stopped in Locust Grove to talk to a couple on a trike motorcycle. They seemed to get a kick out of it but the heat was too much for a long chat. I could have stopped here but felt ok to make it the final 11 miles. The last hill left the farms and went through a thickly wooded area where the cicadas were singing loudly. The singing seemed to come in waves of sound. The road had sweeping curves that were a nice change of pace. The alternate 412 merged with the turnpike at the Grand River a few miles before Chouteau where I got my shoulder back. It wasn't much longer and I was checking into the Economy Inn for $38. I can never get the pronunciation right in these towns. Chouteau may look like it would have a French pronunciation but, in fact, rhymes with Toto.
Siloam Springs, AR to Chouteau, OK
A small town on Hwy 412.
Welcome to Oklahoma.
Lilies growing on the side of the road.
Long and hot road today.
Vacuums on fence posts.