Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 77 ~ LEGOS, Braunschweiger & Honey

Gregory found many Legos amongst John's Christmas inventory but this was his favorite. John graciously offered to ship it ahead to Grandma and Grandpa's house in North Carolina.

Sharon was the one who wanted to get into the educational toy business back when their son Mark was a little tike. He is now a Notre Dame grad and working for HSBC in Chicago.

John and Sharon check out where we go from here.

Carrie was on her way to Long Beach and Andy was just out for a couple of days riding from his home in Defiance. He was headed up to Columbia to visit his daughter at the University of Missouri. Andy invited us to stay at his house after his return.

Our feast compliments of Sharon and John

Later I found out this is a snapping turtle. It's a good thing I picked him up carefully by the shell! Gregory refused to touch him since the last turtle peed on him...

Mike and Gregory pose on one of many through truss bridges on the Katy.

Standing by Standing Rock - "Major Missouri River floods—marked here on Standing Rock—forced Katy railroad workers to repair tracks over and over." (From trail signage)

Mike goofing around by the Missouri...Gregory says Daddy looks like Grandpa Williams here.

Gregory looks out over the Missouri River at the boat ramp in Portland. For a second we thought we made a wrong turn and were back in Oregon...Portland, Oregon that is!

Date: Oct. 4, 2009

From: Jefferson City, Missouri (The State Capital)

To: Bluffton, Missouri (Rendleman Home)

Route: The Katy Trail


Miles Today: 37 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cool and clear

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 had a scrumptious breakfast with our hosts Sharon and John. John got up at around 5:00 A.M. to make quiche including a sausage and swiss, and a cheddar and bacon. Delicious! After breakfast we spent some time visiting before heading back to John’s warehouse to pick up the bike.

Gregory found out that John and Sharon own 7 toy stores and John said, “You didn’t see all of the shelves of toys when we were in the warehouse yesterday Gregory?” John invited Gregory to have a look at the Christmas inventory while he and Mike loaded the bike in the truck. (John offered to drive us over the nasty bridge we came in on and take us right to the Katy Trail.) Gregory asked me to come into the warehouse with him and once he spied the Lego aisle that was it. He quickly spotted the largest box on the shelves; a Lego Star Wars Kit called The Battle of Endor. He brought it out front to show his dad and I guess the tone in Gregory’s voice saying, “Dad, Dad…” prompted John to say, “Oh, I know that tone…” Anyhow, John did this amazingly gracious thing and said if Gregory would give him his grandma and grandpa’s address he would send the kit to him. You can imagine Gregory’s joy. He was on cloud nine!

The generosity doesn’t stop there. Sharon went to the store and met us at the warehouse with a huge bag of food. She and John couldn’t say enough about Central Dairy’s Chip & Dip (a local product) and bought some of that and Wavy Lays for dipping. They also insisted we try Braunschweiger (pork liver pate). Mike and I tried it on cocktail sourdough rye bread and I’m sorry to say guys that it was just not our cup of tea. We tried but couldn’t get Gregory to even take a “No Thank You Bite.” Other goodies included Burgers’ Smokehouse products (Beef Sausage and Hot Beef Snack Sticks) made in California, Missouri. I didn’t even know there was a California in Missouri!

We ate this feast out in front of the Turner Katy Trail Shelter in Tebbetts where we had originally planned to stay the evening prior. We had heard what a great “hostel” it was and had a peek inside. It does indeed have a great set up for cyclists but the musty smell was enough to drive us out of there in a hurry. We were sure glad we let our chance encounter with Sharon and John lead us to an amazingly wonderful evening and a new friendship. On our lunch stop we met a cheeky little beagle that Gregory fell in love with but who, the second our back was turned, stole Mike’s long sleeve jersey (with phone in the back pocket) right off the picnic table. I noticed him about 10 feet from the table with something black and looking up at me like…I didn’t do anything.... We also encountered a pack of about 8 to 10 dogs in a variety of breeds and sizes that were terrorizing the dog in the fenced yard next to the shelter. Later when we met the trail ranger, Reed Johnson, he said they have had a problem with people abandoning dogs there.

We’ve had beautiful views along the Missouri River throughout our travels on the Katy and today ventured down a boat ramp to dip our fingers in the water. It is muddy and cool with a quick current so not at all inviting for swimming. Even so I am still in awe at the beauty of this river and inspired by the men of the Corps of Discovery who, along with Lewis and Clark, used poles to push their boats upstream along this mighty river. I read somewhere that every man that took on this assignment made it to the destination of the Pacific Ocean (with the exception of one death). That to me is reason to pause and think about the power of setting a goal and having the determination to achieve that goal. Each day we pass by sites where these men camped or stopped to measure the degrees of longitude and latitude or to collect specimens to send back to President Jefferson.

Each day brings delights of nature such as the snapping turtle Mike nearly ran over because he was so muddy he was camouflaged on the crushed limestone trail. Different insects grab onto our jerseys and hitchhike along with us until they are discovered. Caterpillars and snakes constantly risk their lives crawling across our path. Gregory even found a grasshopper on his sleeping bag the other night and our entire tent flew into chaos looking for the little critter. (He had a hard time getting to sleep after that and wanted to change places with Dad to be closer to Mom.) Birds sing to us and hawks soar overhead much to our delight. The world is full of wonders and our pace is perfect for discovering them.

This evening we camped in Bluffton at Doug’s B & B “The Rendleman Home”. He offers bed and breakfast or the option to camp and use the shower house and laundry facilities. We opted for the latter and still got the royal treatment. He gave us leftover pork roast with fresh green beans from his garden and butternut squash drizzled with molasses. He even managed to find some strawberry marshmallows for Gregory to roast over the fire that Gregory started stoking the moment we set foot on the property. Doug really made us feel at home and his “Honey” was also very sweet. (His Corgi “Honey” that is.)

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