I complained about the mosquitoes in December, but I find that if it’s warm enough for them, it’s warm enough for me — I hate being cold. This morning it was raining, but the sun finally came out this afternoon. I saddled up Ol’ Red and rode to my buddy’s house. "Do we have time to go?" I replied that it would be dark as we got back, and when the sun went down, we’d be cold and he needed to hurry up and get on his motorcycle.
We made a fifty-mile circle through Marmaduke, Arkansas and back. A lot of the tornado damage there last spring is still lingering. Smoot Mobile Homes has partially re-stocked. Talk about a bad place for a tornado: a mobile-home sales lot. They didn’t even have a sign left after the tornado, much less any trailers.
It was hazy in the distance and I don’t know if it was moisture or dust. We never encountered either. The haze lent a soft glow to the evening sky and made the hills of Crowley’s Ridge resemble the Smoky Mountains in miniature. It was warm enough that the piles of decomposing gin trash were mighty fragrant (stinky, actually). We encountered occasional suitcase-sized piles of dried mud on the road where the cotton-pickers had turned around in the highway on leaving the fields.
By the time we neared Kennett again, the sun had dropped below the horizon, and the clouds made a beautiful sunset — it looked like a painting by Garth Williams. It wasn’t too dark, and it wasn’t too cold and it was a fine day for a ride.