Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More on Slaughter Pen Trail...Crystal Bridges and Compton Gardens

You have probably gathered by now, from the title, that the trail I recently discovered leads to many places. It was quite a surprise to me! Last week I discovered that there is a tangle of mountain bike trails just off of Interstate 540 and running directly through it is a concrete paved trail that is supposed to run for 2.5 miles in and end...or so I thought.
I brought my bike with me this week since the weather promises to stay below 100..actually they were promising below 90 (BUT they lied!)
Anyway, I decided that I would do the paved trail first and get an idea of the space and layout before trying any of the actual single-track trails that they have.
I rode directly into the mess of trails with wild abandon, and noted that when I hit the 2.5 mile mark; the trail kept going. So did I.
Then it wasn't long before my trail ended but it only became another name...the brown trail, so I continued on. I rode on a very wide shoulder set aside for bikers and then on a sidewalk type trail which was not far from a paralleling single track trail (one can have their choice). I opted for the paved trail and kept on. Then the trail grew quite steep and windy, with a lot of S-curves. So much so that I had to stop and rest a bit. Then back on the bike only to discover that this trail leads to the back door of the construction site for the Crystal Bridges Art Museum. It promises to be quite a spectacular place right here in the heart of the Ozarks! I stopped and got a couple of shots so you can see just how far along they are in the construction process.

I can't wait to see the final picture; it looks like it will be spectacular.
Working my way up the trail a little further I discovered that I was just a couple of blocks from the square in downtown Bentonville (near the WalMart Museum!) the trail ended at the Compton Gardens complex.

In a nutshell what they have done is to connect the downtown Bentonville Square, Compton Gardens, Crystal Bridges and the Slaughter Pen Trail system. I was amazed!

So the return trip was pretty easy since in was downhill all the way...oops! I digress, when I got back to the tangle of single-track section, I went in and played on the mogul loops that they built for those who would rather play than seriously ride. Then I found the easiest trial and rode it: Seed Tick Shuffle.

This was not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was doable. Most of the others are marked More Difficult. So I have decided that I will wait until leaf-off time and then give those a try as well. When I finished the single track ride I had gone only 8 miles and change but since a lot of it was uphill and the temps were playing with the mid 90's I was feeling a bit spent. Time for lunch!

I went into town not far from where my volunteer activity was to take place and had lunch at Rubaies Cafe located at 3404 SE Macy Rd in Bentonville. It is most definitely not a fast food place! They have a diversified selection for lunch but I spotted an open faced gyro sandwich and decided that I would try that.

It was very good and they surprised me with a side of thinly sliced and deep-fried potatoes sprinkled with cheese and tomato bits...that was fabulous!

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