Date: Oct. 6, 2009
From: Peers, Missouri (Concord Hill B & B)
To: St. Charles, Missouri
Route: The Katy Trail
Miles Today: 46 miles
TOTAL MILES: 2,342 MILES
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Drizzle in the A.M. but PERFECT riding weather in the afternoon!
License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (gifted from David of Baldwin City). 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn)
Broken Spokes: 2
What a storm! It absolutely poured rain all night last night with some intense thunder and lightening that practically blinded us through our tent. Amazingly Gregory slept through the first hour or so and finally woke up to exclaim, “Look at that lightening!” After watching the blinding flashes and listening to the rumble of thunder and the rain beating down on the tent for some time he told us that, “Osage is scared.” (Osage is his koala bear.) We snuggled up tighter and soon he said, “I’m getting wet.” The top of this tent (loaned to us by the B & B) had just a square mesh of mosquito netting up top with the rain fly over it and the rain was coming down so hard that it was actually penetrating the rain fly and letting a fine mist get through to us. When we awoke in the morning the ends of our sleeping bags were actually wet from touching the walls of the tent. They were drenched and we had to take great care to not touch the tent while getting out.
Our hostess, Maggie, graciously let us throw our bags in her dryer on delicate until they were fluffy and dry. Meanwhile, George and Maggie served a feast including a veggie scramble, ham, bacon, toast, biscuits and lots of really robust coffee with real half & half. We left pleasantly full and though it was drizzling as we pedaled out the driveway we looked forward to our day. We’d weathered the storm, made some new friends and had a full stomach. It was just one of those mornings where you feel good all over.
The guys let us know that they would ride the first 7 miles off the trail and on the highway so we followed suit since this is Andy’s 9th time riding the Katy and he seemed to know what he was talking about. (We had no idea what the rain had done to the trail.) We had a hard time keeping up with their pace but managed to draft pretty closely the first 5 miles or so. After that we fell back a bit but still met up with them when we rejoined the trail at Dutzow and later Andy called us to let us know they were having lunch in Defiance at Terry and Kathy’s. We pulled in as they were finishing up but Andy had a basket of Fried Ravioli (invented in St. Louis according to him) waiting for us. We thanked him once again and were sorry to see them go for we knew their trip would end shortly thereafter and they’d all go back to their lives after one final celebration. Back at Dutzow the guys had come up with 2 Katy pins for Gregory’s collection. They went immediately on Greg’s under-the-seat bag. They will always serve as a reminder of this great group of guys who regularly enjoy this special rails-to-trails here in Missouri. I know Andy and Tom will add a 9th star to their vests and rookie Shawn will be initiated into the “fraternity” of riders with John and Kevin both having several rides to their credit. What a great tradition these friends have begun and will continue to share through the years.
For the most part the trail remained solid and the rest of our day from Defiance to St. Charles was phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. At one point I just took my hands off the handle bars, put them out from my sides, tilted my head back and took in the sky, leaves and fresh air on this fine Missouri day. I’m living the good life.