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Friday, June 24, 2011

Katy Trail, day 3, 4, 5–plus a bonus on day 6.

No internet access earlier, and no pictures, so I’m linking these together.

Day 3, Boonville to Hartsburg, about 35 miles

Roxanne and Jan left. Glenn and Kayla drove the car to Rocheport, and then were going to bike to Easley, or if there was nothing there go back a mile to Cooper’s landing.  I biked with Mark, Shar and Barry to Rocheport and enjoyed a glass of wine, and then drove to Easley.  They’d stopped along the way, got Mark, Shar and Barry to stop with them, and figured I’d come back the other way.  But I’d meant that I’d come back the other way once I had found Glenn. who should have been waiting for me. 

Glenn wasn’t there; I drove back and forth from Easley to Cooper’s Landing, but it was a one-lane road right next to the river (and only about 1 foot above the rising Missouri River), so I started riding back and forth. Finally, I figured an accident along the way must have happened and perhaps Dr. Shar was attending to it, so I rode back towards them.

About 3 miles out, I got cell phone service again and was able to hear Glenn’s message, so I’d calmed down a bit by the time I met them coming the other way.

On the bright side, all the shuffling and riding back meant I got full miles for the day, despite sagging.

Day 4, Hartsburg to Marthasville, 75 miles

Only Mark and I headed out at 7 a.m. while the others were going to drive to Herman and look for a German bakery.   It was a hot day; in the first 53 miles (finished just after noon) I went through 3 quarts and a half-pint of water or Gatorade.  We were riding through 93 degrees before noon; high reading while on the trail was 96, but it was mostly in the low 90’s.

At one point, riders in the other direction scared a deer, and it headed down the path straight for me.  I figured I could win this game of “chicken” with the deer. Eventually the deer veered off.

There was another storm during the night, and once again we had to detour around downed trees.

We met the group at McKittrick, north of Herman, and had a picnic lunch, then rode on together while Shar continued as sag.

At one point, I was going to yell out “stick” for a stick on the path, but saw what it was and yelled out “snake”. Kayla was discombobulated by this and ran over the snake, which slithered off.  We reminded Kayla of the rules against harming wildlife in the state parks and threatened to turn her in.

We stayed in a small B&B (3 rooms in one house) right on the main street of Marthasville, which has turned over many businesses since I was last there. The bike shop is gone, for one.  The B&B has a book on the 1993 flood in Warren County on the table, which was interesting to look at given the flood waters coming up behind us on this trip.  I hope they don’t get similar damage this time.

Day 5, Marthasville to St. Charles, 36 miles

We got an intentionally late start, both to sleep in and to avoid a storm (a storm that would head up to Glenview and knock out power for 3 days at my house).

While Glenn and Kayla sagged, the rest of us headed out.  We stopped in an Augusta winery for a bottle of wine.  We met Glenn and Kayla in Greens Bottom and headed to St. Charles where the old end of the trail was.  I then noticed that the trail had finally been opened to Machens, another 13 miles further, in April 2011.  But the general notion was to pretend I hadn’t said that and stop for a night of comfort at the Country Inn and Suites.  I met my sisters Carol and Margaret for supper at the Magpie Café, where the potato soup really is as good as they say.

Day 6, St. Charles to Machens to St. Charles and then home, 26 miles

Mark and Glenn decided to leave at 5 and go up to Machens and back.  We’d then get back without having to delay the process of driving back to Chicago.  Mark was the only one who’d ridden every mile of the trail, and he didn’t want to stop now, even if the trail was longer.  I decided to join them.   Cycling in the early morning in the summer is just great, and we had a nice ride through the bottomland.  By this time, we were no longer stopping for turtles, although we saw a large, fast one scurry out of the way.

Mark had alternator problems, so our start was delayed while he got the alternator fixed quickly at Riverside Auto Repair, and returned home without incident.