If you build it…

…she will come?  Except she never did.  Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, that is.  Tonight we sit in her lodge… well… not her lodge, but another lodge built on the site of the original lodge that was built for her.  Originally a train stop for the railroad, the lodge was named after the soon-to-be-crowned Queen Wilhelmina in hopes that she might visit…. we’re talking 1898….and we are in western Arkansas….

While it is lovely here, I cannot imagine it was on the hip-and-trendy path in 1898.  Then, you came by train and took a mule cart from the base of the mountain.  Today, the Talamina Parkway lets you drive up to the top of the hill or in our case, ride a bicycle.

Over time the human and I have done the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez Trace.  The Trace is flat…. really flat and goes from Tennessee to the Mississippi.  The Blue Ridge going north from Cherokee, North Carolina has grades of 5-8%.  Steep for a highway, but, then, it isn’t meant to be a highway.

On the other hand, the Talamina Parkway makes the Blue Ridge look flat, really flat.  Whew.  7-13% grades were common.  My wheels were complaining louder than the human was breathing.  Oh, but the road itself was quiet without many cars and the views!  Egads, the views!

Is it possible to both dread and look forward to continuing the Parkway tomorrow?

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