Date: Oct. 3, 2009
From: Hartsburg, Missouri
To: Jefferson City, Missouri (The State Capital)
Route: The Katy Trail
Miles Today: 17 miles
TOTAL MILES: 2,227 MILES
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Brisk, Low 50s and breezy
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)
Our night under the gazebo was not a restful one since the tavern was but a block away and it was a Friday night. We got a couple of hours of sound sleep, since we were early to bed, but after 10:00 P.M until about 2:30 A.M. it got progressively noisier. Several folks who run Dotty’s Café (across from the park) live within this block and I’m surprised they get any sleep at all on the weekends!
It was nice to roll out of “bed” and walk across the street at 7 A.M. for a cup of coffee and some blueberry pancakes. We read our “new” Adventure Cycling and Sports Illustrated Kids magazines sent by Grammy and then I typed the blog while Mike and Gregory broke camp.
As we were about to leave Mike noticed a slow leak in our rear tire and opted to just pump it up and watch it throughout the morning. Well, it didn’t take long before the low tire pressure caused a pinched tube and we had a rear flat. Mike handled it all in stride and had us changed out in no time. We did find that not only was the tube pinched but we have a hole in the tire. Mike decided to cover the back of the hole with electrical tape before replacing the tube and then we pumped it up and were on our way.
We were definitely on the slow cruise today and really enjoying the trail. We made it to Jefferson City junction at about 12:30 P.M. and while I was using the facilities Mike began talking to 2 couples out on a 6-mile day ride towards Tebbetts. We talked for quite sometime and before we knew it Sharon was inviting us home for the evening. We exchanged numbers and said we’d be in touch after we toured the capital building and saw how our day was progressing. She was also kind enough to check the hours of the local bike shop so we could top off the pressure in our tires. J & D Bike Shop was open and just happened to be around the corner from Central Ice Cream, the best ice cream in the state according to the locals.
On our way over to Jefferson City we had to cross a major bridge on the pedestrian path riding towards oncoming traffic. That was bad enough but to top it off poor Gregory got an injury on the way over. He was giving us his all on the overpass climb and his foot slipped off the pedal and he gouged his Achilles on the pedal. I scooped him off the bike and sat in the shoulder with him while Mike moved the bike to the guardrail and tracked down a Band-Aid and Tylenol. He had a good cry but I think the Band-Aid helped and he was quite the trooper getting back on the bike within 10 minutes and giving his all to cross the bridge into the capital city. It is a hilly city and I did hear a bit of whining from Gregory but once we got to the bike shop he forgot all about his heel and was testing out all the cool bikes. We left our bike at J & D and walked to Central Ice Cream where we indulged in hot dogs and some tasty treats. On the walk back we met a couple of guys who’d also needed the bike shop. They were riding the Katy and the one fellow had 5 flats that day! I hope that is not an indication of what we have in store for the rest of the trail. Mike bought a couple extra tubes just in case.
We were thrilled that we took the free tour of the Capitol Building. It is a beautiful example of Roman renaissance style architecture. The building is primarily Missouri’s Carthage limestone marble. 4 million dollars was raised to build the structure and when they came up 1 million under budget they used the remaining money for the artwork. The frescos were inspiring and were painted over in England by a Welsh artist and then shipped to the states where they were installed. The artist never actually saw his works in place. There were other paintings in the three-point perspective that seemed to follow you as you passed by the work. This was of particular interest to Gregory. He kept saying, “That is freaky.” Our tour included a look at the legislative gallery and we had a peak through the windows at the senate gallery as well. We learned that Jefferson City is the capitol, vs. other larger Missouri cities, because of its central location in the state as well as the location on the Missouri River.
After exploring some of the hands on exhibits with civil war memorabilia and learning a little about slavery, Daniel Boone and the U.S.S. Missouri we decided we should give Sharon and her husband John a call regarding their invitation to stay over. Gregory made up his mind early on and I think Mike and I were definitely leaning that way too. We gave them a call and graciously accepted their invitation.
John gave us directions to his place of business where we locked up the bike for the night and loaded our bags in the truck for the drive to their lovely home. They set us up with a basement all to ourselves complete with ping pong table and a John Wayne movie for Gregory. Sharon even went as far as to take Gregory up into the attic to find her grown son’s Legos. He has been in heaven building structures with all of the “rare” pieces.
John cooked us a fabulous dinner of chicken marsala served with a delicious Pinot and we had the pleasure of dining and visiting with John, Sharon and their daughter Beth and granddaughter Victoria who just turned one. We brought out the computer and shared some of our adventures and let Beth have a look at the bike. It was a terrific evening shared with some pretty terrific people.