490. Mount Ida, Montgomery County (AR42)

I wish I could tell you more about what I thought about the courthouse, but it was a little hard to focus for two reasons: 1) it was, as you can see, quite dark, and hard to get a good look at since I wasn’t traveling with my low light solution (sure, there was enough light to get a half-assed decent photo, but not a very good one, I think), and 2) I was a little frazzled because the drive from Danville to here was a little terrifying. Crazy banking switchbacks that turned into dropoffs all the way here were insane! Smelling smoke in the hills all the way here? I was literally (and I don’t mean “figuratively”) on the edge of my seat the entire drive here. Definitely the most stressful thing I dealt with the entire trip. Someone was nice enough to put a cache at the courthouse, but in my state I was in no mood to look for a nano in a bunch of iron at 11 o’clock at night.

I ended up going to a clever little trackable hotel at a nearby gas station/garage. Dropped one and grabbed one and, with appropriate log signing, that was it for the county. It wasn’t until I got back home that I realized something interesting: I had been to 20 counties in one day, matching my previous record from my trip to Indiana. This delayed realization was no doubt for the best. Had I known that this county was the 20th for the day, I would have set off for the next county to make 21 and beat my record. Luckily, I had miscounted. I thought I had only hit 19 and the next one would be number 20. I had no particular interest in tying a record, but I would have been happy to beat a record. And why was it good that I missed out on this record? I had been driving for 28 hours straight by this point on two 5-Hour Energies and thirty minutes of sleep. In hindsight, this more than likely contributed to my frazzled state on arrival to begin with. To say I was really in no shape to drive at that point was an understatement, especially once the fear and adrenaline from the drive here wore off. I went back to the courthouse parking and settled down for a few hours of sleep. I needed it. I passed out in the blink of an eye. I awoke a few hours later, a little tired and sore still, but in a far better condition to drive than I was before. And once I shook off some of the cobwebs, I put myself to the road again for the last county of this trip…

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