top of page

Blog 183 El Dorado to Lake Village

8th April

There was one solitary cafe on the 83 in West Crossett. The girl had been there in the town all her life and said she was happy never to move. “It’s just perfect. Everyone knows each other and no one’s a stranger,” she said, “but when we do get a stranger here, like you, we treat them good.”

I'm strange or I'm a stranger, what's it to be?

I am on the path of the eclipse, bang on it, right underneath one of nature's wonders right near Texarkana, Tx. This is what I saw ...

This is what I should have seen....

I must have been in the wrong place ...

The road is long and straight and the sides are steeped in trees. Not again. It’s cooled off and the birds have gone quiet. The frogs have started to call.

At downtown Crossett I sat at a table in front of a garage opposite the areas chamber of commerce, a wooden bungalow with two large bay windows all painted matt white. It’s raining I’m beginning to feel an outsider: cold and damp, always tired. The outsider is never sure who he is or was. I know myself, I know my name but the job in hand, or riding around the world is to find a way back into myself. But that is the same for everyone if they're are interested in the truth about themselves.

Loneliness of the Long Distance Cyclist

You don't have to travel to do this but when author Colin Wilson describes how the average man, "is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain," it's not likely to happen.

I am in the process again of using my imagination as it should be used, not to escape my reality but to create a new one. The sky is lightening so perhaps the storm clouds are moving away from my line of travel but it’s taking longer to move forward and harder to want to move. There are less drops of rain unsettling the puddles, I can leave and track the storm from behind. To my left a main mall, the Crossett Mercantile Company No 3 but in reality it’s full of trinkets and cheap home furnishings. Stop or go. My will to move is evaporating like steam, it can't be stopped. I want my new reality have me curl up and hide away and never move again. I always say that. And I always move again. And I love it once I've moved. Thunder. People pass me to enter the shop and everyone hands out a greeting. I’ve had more courtesy nods in the last 10 mins than at any time all week. The secret is not to move. Stay still, the party passes you.

Hamburg, like all of the small towns that grow along the length of the road as it passes through is half empty, dead, falling down. I've not wanted to say this but the 'American Dream' isn't along the highways.

“For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.”

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator

“I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.”

Bruce Springsteen, musician

“I think the American Dream used to be achieving one’s goals in your field of choice – and from that, all other things would follow. Now, I think the Dream has morphed into the pursuit of money: Accumulate enough of it, and the rest will follow.”

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut

The American Dream is a phrase I think all Americans have to wrestle with all of their lives. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist but where do you look to find it?

When I stop, flies bite my legs so I set off then the forest backs off to a series of large openings, big metal grain bins ready to store the harvest, fields big and brown and luxurious, the kind of field in which you could grow anything. Beautifully ploughed. The rain is easing and I begin to dry off. The sky is ost ecliptic grey, flecs of dirty blue hanging at the bottom of bulging clouds. The birdsong has started again. Lots of trees, across more Bayou's, Bayou Bartholomew. 18.01 16 miles to go. The road has gone quite but will turn east back into the 82 and soon I'll be at the end of my day.

As the day begins to end and the light fades and with 12 miles to go I puncture. A broken light fitting straight into my tyre. I fix. A nail. I fix and arrive in the dark. It's ok. It's part of the ride.

Map of the Day

76 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Yes Nina is correct, blog 184 won't load up Nick....


Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Middle America is no doubt not the most inspiring place I imagine. You've cycled through more interesting places on this amazing journey. But everything is temporary in this life. You'll soon be somewhere else, and closer to home....Hopefully you'll talk to us at Mach in May Nick. Would be good if you do.

And the chances of picking up a puncture must be very small (if you consider the width of a bicycle tyre)..let alone multiples!! But part of the process I suppose. You must be good at fixing them by now...

All the best in the meantime Nick! 🍕☕🍰 keep you going....👍🏼


Blog 184 not opening...


Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

It is always a big pleasure to see, how you pull yourself up, after misery weather conditions or punctures (unbeleavable what a MONSTER you picked up in your tyre!) or lonely felt moments. This is for myself a proof, that it does maybe 40 percent of physical forces and the rest are mental ones, in order to continue and finally finish such an unbeleavable adventure trip like yours, Nick. Already now, I think that all of your followers clap our hands!!! If you followers think the same, please leave all your personal comments.😍 It needs only a tiny little bit of moment and energy...



Punctures...the bane of travel. My daughter punctured 2 tyres on the car today in one pothole. ! Had to be rescued to a tyre depot...!!

bottom of page