Beautiful weather today. Mid 60’s, plenty of sunshine and a light tail wind to help things along. After packing my tent and stuff away, decided to forego the oatmeal breakfast which I had packed for the trip. I headed down the trail through Sedalia to find some serious calories to begin today’s ride,
After a mile or two I came to what is likely the main business highway for town. At this point the trail utilizes the old train bridge and passes over the highway giving me a good vantage point of what is offered, food wise, about half a mile in each direction. From the middle of the bridge I can see McDonalds which offers it’s “Big Breakfast” mega calorie infusion. It was about half a mile away. The other direction approximately a quarter of a mile away sat a Subway. At this point my decision was based purely on how busy each one would be. Decided on the Subway. Those of you that have read all the way through The Great Divide adventure probably noticed I developed a bit of a trend on that trip of visiting Subway. What can I say?
After having breakfast I took the time to write-up and post the previous day’s blog entry. Didn’t quite have it in me to take the time to write it the day before. By time I got my tent and everything set up I was shivering cold. Waited just a bit too long to get into some warmer clothes after the sun went down. All I wanted to do was climb in my bag a warm up.
Finally hit the trail around 9:00 this morning and it took a bit of riding this morning before my legs didn’t feel like jello any more and my keister warmed up to being in the saddle again, but once all that was in order I kept a fairly good pace. Not quite the kind of pace I’m accustom to when I’m in full biking mode, but decent for the amount of riding or there the lack of that I had done leading up to this ride.
A few miles from Boonville, MO I passed a few riders going the other way. One couple I passed had me wondering if they too were doing the entire Katy or did they just like to bring a few things along for a day trip. Shortly there after I came across a guy that appeared to be walking the Katy. However I couldn’t ask because he was sleeping… On the side of the trail. Not off the side, I’m talking right on the left side of the trail. Looked quite comfortable lying on his side, head propped on a rolled sleeping bag. Surprised I did not wake him when I rode past as my tires make quite a bit of noise rolling over the trail surface as well as the crunching of the Fall leaves covering much of the trail.
As the trail heads towards Boonville it dose have some elevation changes to it, but still railroad grade so barely a blip on upping the challenge scale. Just outside Booneville it becomes a little more urban and to guess by the patrons using the Katy, it’s apparently the main escape route from the local nursing home as well. I came up on an older couple holding hands walking the same direction I was riding. As I approached I rode off into the deeper leaves to make a lot more noise so they would hear me coming. That didn’t work so as I got closer I threw out a polite “excuse me”. My presence startled them a bit and they proceeded to bounce around the trail like a couple of pinballs trying to get out of my way. She went left, he went right. About the time each realized their partner was going the opposite direction they both altered their path. Realizing their Keystone Cop routine was getting them nowhere, they stopped and stood in the middle of the trail just looking at me. Taking control of the situation I said “how about I go left”. That put them in a synchronized move to the right.
Within a mile of dodging the old couple I came upon two women walking the opposite direction (i.e. facing me). As I got closer they were not changing their path, still walking side by side. Slowing down to get around them the one said “Oh I didn’t hear you” WHAT?! I thought seeing me come up the trail would preclude the need to HEAR me.
Crossed over the Missouri River in Boonville and what I though was a flat trail before was amazingly flat now. And at times was ‘holy crap’ straight too. My destination for the night a place called Katfish Kate’s that according to the guide book was a must stop for all bikers and had camping available as well. The mileage to Kate’s should put there about an hour before it gets dark.
When I arrived at Katfish Kate’s it was closed. Was able to ask some locals walking the trail about a place that I might be able to set up my tent for the night. Next best option was Cooper’s Landing about 10 miles up the trail. Averaging about 10 miles an hour, including rest and water breaks, I had some peddling to do to get there before dark.
Roughly five miles out I start to really run out of energy. My average peddle speed for this time of day dropped from 11mph to 8. This where I need to explain when I’m riding, a 300 lb linebacker lives in side of me and does that big boy know how to eat. Realizing I need some nutrition in order to continue on, I stopped and got out a protein bar. Thought I would also look at the map while eating my snack. While looking at the map I suddenly realize I’m holding an empty wrapper. Now I specifically remember taking the first bite of that protein bar, but the rest of it… No clue! looked down on the ground to see if maybe I dropped the other half. Well it wasn’t on the ground. For all I know I swallowed it whole without chewing.
Earlier in the day when I stopped for lunch my inner linebacker took over at lunch too. Lunch was a freeze-dried meal that only requires adding hot water and presto. At the time I was in this little town and after having my meal I needed to fill my water before peddling on. This town had a little convince store so I rode there to fill the water. On the front of the building was a sign that said donuts, now the only thing on my mind is getting a fricking donut! Uggh!! When I stepped inside the door the little buggers were right there with plenty of choices too. However just to make sure my best interest were being served here, I peeked around the corner to the prepackaged sugary confections, and right then my inner linebacker said “No punk! I said I wanted a donut!” So it was back to the donuts to make the most fulfilling selection possible, and size does matter. To continue satisfying my hungry friend, I had to get him a chocolate milk to go with it.
Back to the story to finish out the day… Made it to my stop for the night of Cooper’s landing. Also there was something I wasn’t expecting at all on the banks of the Missouri River, a food trailer selling Thai food. Guess what my linebacker friend wanted for diner?