Friday, November 03, 2006

I'll Take Stupid Roadgeek Stunts for $200

I spent much of Thursday afternoon toodling around the highways & byways of West Central Arkansas & East Central Oklahoma. Being in a new town gives me new roadgeeking opportunities.

I headed out of Ft Smith on US 271, which turned into AR 253 and eventually becomes AR 45. Once upon a time, it was ALL Hwy 45, but that's a tale for another day. There is some major construction on AR 45 just south of the Bonanza community: a new alignment is being constructed through the adjoining hillside to eliminate a couple sharp curves and steep grades. Looks like at least one new bridge will be constructed as well.

At AR 252, I turned east and headed for Huntington. At Huntington, there is a new bridge being constructed over a creek on 252 just west of US 71. The new bridge is about 1/4 south of the old bridge which has a 5 ton Weight Limit.

From Huntington, I drove through Mansfield on AR 96 to AR 378. 378 ended at back at 71 near Elm Park, so I drove 71 to Waldron then west on AR 80. 80 ended at AR 28 near Hon so I went west on 28 into Oklahoma where the road becomes OK 128. There is about a 4 mile stretch of construction on 128 just east of Heavener. Several old bridges are being replaced and a couple curves are being smoothed out. I stopped for a pic of one of the old bridges, but there was too much construction traffic for me to get a good shot.

At Heavener, I pointed myself north on US 59 towards Poteau. Between Poteau & Howe, is an old truss bridge over the Poteau River on "Old Hwy 59". I missed the turn-off so I turned around and went back. I got a couple decent pics of the bridge approaches from road level, then climbed down the embankment to get some side views. Mind you, I've been doing this for several years and had even done it at Huntington a couple hours previous. Unfortunately, I lost my footing this time and got my right ankle caught in a tree root... *crack*. I now have a fractured ankle and torn ligament. Total ER bill: $200. I did manage to crawl up the embankment then hobble back to the van and drive to the hospital back in Ft Smith (a distance of approx 40 miles). . I didn't really feel a lot of pain until after I took my shoe off and the swelling took over. Now I have some nice pain pills to keep me company. :(

I suppose I'm fortunate in that I was able to make it back to civilization under my own power without having to call 911. Still, even with the pain pills, my ankle still hurts though not as much.

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