Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012: PAP Day 13, Ft. Smith to Paris, AR

Today was a "rolling rest day" so we got up later, took advantage of the hotel's breakfast buffet, and finally started riding a few minutes after 9. The route was a straight shot east on highway 22, through a series of small towns, to our next overnight in Paris, AR. Apparently there is also a London, AR in the area.

We did as well as we could to take it easy on our legs but we still had to make headway, and we had both the hills and headwinds that have been a feature of the past five or six days. In fact, it dawned on me today that we are now riding over the rolling floor of a valley in the Ozark Mountain Range. We most definitely are no longer in Kansas, or Oklahoma, for that matter. Looking at the route for the next (and last) two days of the tour, we will be threading the needle between mountains, which surely will mean lots of climbing. I can feel twinges in my calf and knee just thinking about it.

Back to today, though. A few miles west of Paris we spotted Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyard. Fred suggested that we stop to check it out and I readily agreed. It turned out to be an award winning little winery, but also the site of a little chapel and bell (think church bells) collection. You can see and hear the bells in action in this youtube video. Our tour of the facility was certainly the high point of the day, and a very nice surprise.

Proprietor's house and wine shop.

Fred tries his hand at ringing one of the larger bells.

The interior of the lovely little chapel, almost complete and ready for use. The pews, alter, and crucifix were all hand-made.

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