Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 74 ~ Katy Trail Volunteer Goes Above and Beyond

On a day stuck in the motel room Gregory gets creative with a box, his pocket knife and some string...

It was a tight squeeze with the shell on Doug's truck, but we made it work with a bit of Styrofoam for padding.

Yeh! We are finally here!

Dinner with Doug at the Stein House in Downtown Boonville, Missouri

Unloading at the Holiday Inn Express at around 10:00 P.M. Bless his heart, Doug still had about a 100-mile drive back to his home in Kansas City, Missouri and has to work at 7:30 A.M.

Doug got us right on the elevator!

Gregory gets a ride!

Date: Oct. 1, 2009

From: Lexington, Missouri

To: Boonville, Missouri



Miles Today: 0 miles (Approx. 75 miles by truck)


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Nice temperature but some wind

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates, 1 Kansas plate (gifted from David of Baldwin City)

We awoke at 3:00 A.M. to bright flashing white light that penetrated the thick pink curtains of our motel room. (Yes, we ended up in a motel room last night because we arrived at dusk still 5 miles from camping…and it’s lucky for us we did.) I haven’t seen a lightening storm like it since we were on our cross-country trip in 1994! The intense lightening bolts shot down to earth illuminating the entire sky like a crisp white sheet. We woke up Gregory and snuggled him down into our bed nearest the window and we looked and listened to the storm for over an hour. The rain was dumping in buckets and quickly pooling in the parking lot. We watched the weather channel and with predictions of more thunderstorms, high winds and possible hail we knew we weren’t going anywhere. We nestled back under the covers and slept in.

We spent the morning surfing the net for weather information and watching the trees outside our window getting whipped about by the winds. As much as we wanted to get up to Boonville on the Katy Trail and collect our packages from the post office we knew we should be cautious.

We walked to the Whistle stop CafĂ© for breakfast and it just happened to neighbor Jobe’s Auto Shop a U-Haul rental site. At breakfast, Mike joked that maybe they needed a U-Haul truck transported to Boonville. I took it a step further and asked next door, only to find that they did have one truck available but it would be $152.00 with tax. After returning to the room and spending several restless hours trying to decide what to do we contemplated going back for the truck or trying to hitch a ride rather than paying to rent this room another night.

We were packed up and ready to head out the door when Mike received a call from Doug. Doug volunteers on The Katy Trail and has been a wealth of information. Mike had emailed him with regard to our dilemma and Doug came up with the solution. He offered to come and pick us up in his truck and transport us the 75 miles to Boonville! We’d just have to find somewhere to hang out until 6:00 P.M.

We’d been trying to contact the owners of the motel (via a phone in the entry) since early morning and could only reach a girl who was manning the phone. She relayed that the managers left for “town” and wouldn’t be back until 4:00P.M. She said that we shouldn’t worry about staying past checkout. Well that was early in the day and I didn’t think we’d be there until 6:00P.M. I called again after Doug offered the ride and there was no answer at the desk and there was still no sign of anyone running the place when we left after 6:30P.M. It was so strange!! We left the key in the room and were on our way to Boonville thanks to Doug.

Doug drove us on the same secondary roads that we’d have ridden and it would have been a beautiful but hilly ride. After if turned dark we hit the interstate and once in Boonville, Doug (who grew up in Boonville) took the time to show us how to get on the trail from our motel on the outskirts of town. He led us around several lots and through a few back roads and when we hit gravel it became a little unclear to him whether we should go left or right to reach the trail. He opted for left and when we hit the end of a short but rather steep section we came to a dead end. We swung around to head back up the hill and the rear tires started to spin. (We found out later at the Holiday Inn that it had rained heavily this afternoon and I’m sure that didn’t help matters.) Fortunately, Mike was able to get out of the truck and guide Doug to a firmer footing. After several attempts we were out of there with three cheers from Gregory and I. Once at the top of the hill we decided we’d walk down to the trail via the right fork in the road. What a beautiful sight to finally see The Katy Trail under the moonlight of a near full moon. We’ve been talking about it since Colorado and can’t wait to get started tomorrow.

Doug then drove us into town where we enjoyed dinner together and he shared his photos of his 2007 cycling tour of the Oregon coast. This brought back many memories for us. He then led us to the point where we would jump off the trail to go to the post office. Back at the Holiday Inn Express we got our bike settled into the maintenance closet (our room is on the third floor) and we said our goodbyes. Doug really helped turn our day around and beat the bad weather blues. We will be remembering his kindness with each pedal stroke on The Katy Trail and for many years to come. We can't thank you enough Doug!!

1 comment:

  1. Doug and Mike look like brothers! Glad you made it to Boonville. You're gonna really enjoy the Katy Trail!! Talk to you soon. ~ Blue, St. Louis