Date: Oct. 2, 2009
From: Boonville, Missouri
To: Hartsburg, Missouri
Miles Today: 44 miles (approx. 75 miles by truck)
TOTAL MILES: 2,210 MILES
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Cool but comfortable temp with a tailwind most of the day!
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)
Do you eat chocolate for breakfast? Well, you have to at least have a sample when Russell Stover’s has a store right next to your motel! We made a quick stop for a sample before we hopped onto the Katy Trail for a glorious day of riding. The trail surface of crushed limestone proved to be in great shape and the rain didn’t cause any soft spots that we experienced. We had a fine tailwind and were enjoying the beauty of the tree canopy surrounding us.
Just 10 minutes into our ride we crossed paths with Francesca. We’ve made arrangements in St. Louis with a warmshowers host who told us about Francesca and we’d hoped to cross paths. If we’d indulged in any more chocolate we’d have missed her! Francesca was still drying out from the storm we avoided but was in good spirits and enjoying her tour. She told Gregory about a caboose where she stayed in Hartsburg and he was looking forward to that. (Unfortunately the caretaker of the caboose was out of town so we camped next to it under the gazebo.)
While visiting with Francesca we discovered one of the hazards on The Katy. We were almost pelted by large walnuts!! I told Gregory we’d have to keep our helmets on all day today! Mike dodged these and numerous sticks blown on the trail by the wind. The sticks kept getting caught in my chain ring and even dislodged the rear timing chain at one point. Mike and I had greasy fingers today and we’re crossing those fingers that we don’t break a chain before we are finished on the trail. The leaves have begun to fall and we crunched through many sections scattered with a blanket of colors. The crisp temperature kept us in tights all day and the tailwind was a treat.
At the Boonsville post office we collected delicious homemade candies and peanut brittle, dried peaches, cinnamon apples, veggies and Halloween candy from Grammy and Papa as well as 2 issues of Adventure Cycling and Gregory’s Sports Illustrated Kids. This was our first postal stop of the day and we had to really hightail it to Hartsburg on the last half of our day to make their closing time of 4:00P.M. We needed to collect our replacement EXPED Synmat 7 air mattresses before the weekend. This push to the post office made the last couple of hours of the day a bit less enjoyable and we were exhausted when we got here, but we were able to sleep in comfort and now we won’t have to hang out over the weekend to get them on Monday. We’ll slow down and enjoy the rest of the trail on a slow cruise towards St. Louis.
We crossed over the Missouri River on the Boonslick Bridge amidst and stiff crosswind while pedaling the pedestrian crosswalk. I talked Mike into stopping for a picture and fortunately for us we once again met up with Jeffrey whom we’d met at the post office. He took our picture and Gregory saved his phone card as it almost got blown off the bridge. Today he would complete his 1, 100 mile ride from Santa Fe New Mexico to New Franklin, Missouri on The Santa Fe Trail. It was a 20-day sagged trip.
In addition to dodging walnuts and sticks we passed a couple of turtles and Mike ran over a couple of small snakes (black with greenish stripes). I didn’t believe him at first but Gregory provided confirmation. Mike said they just looked like sticks until he was on top of them. I also had a creature encounter today. This morning in the chill I had a bit of a drippy nose so I had my mouth open for more oxygen intake and I sucked up a bug! I started coughing and sputtering. “I swallowed a bug,” I choked out. Mike asks, “Was it a big one?” “Big enough!” was my reply. It is not the first time I’ve swallowed a bug on this trip but it is the most memorable.