Day 4: Portland, MO to St. Charles, MO – 80 miles

Had a very comfortable night stay as the only camper in a tiny campground in a tiny town on the banks of the Missouri river. Once again breakfast consisted of instant oatmeal, but today I’m supplementing with chocolate donuts purchased in the previous town.  

Quite morning on the banks of the Missouri.

Quiet morning on the banks of the Missouri.

View of the Missouri from my camp spot in Portland, MO

View of the Missouri from my camp spot in Portland, MO

I had a decision to make this morning. 80 miles lies between and my ultimate destination of St. Charles, MO. The question was do attempt making it one day affair or split it up and make the final miles a two-day trip? Doing the miles in one shot is not the problem, however the shorter days are. If I go for a one big push, can I make to my destination before dark?

Setting off this morning is almost like the previous morning. Although not quite as foggy and not as chilly, but still cool enough to make me wish for warmer gloves. Soon enough the sun warmed things up allowing me to ride once again in shorts and T-shirt. Today temps would eventually rise to the low 70’s. Can not believe my good fortune regarding the weather on this adventure. Even for Missouri, who would have guessed 70° and sunshine the middle of November.

With this being my fourth day of riding, feel like I’ve hit my cycling groove. The pace today is more what I’m accustom to. Some aspects about being on an extended ride are coming back to me now. Forgot that getting up to speed again after a rest break can be a bit of a challenge. There is a brief period of leg discomfort and a need to re-acclimate them to peddling again. It’s a bit of a mind over matter, pushing through the pain until it disappears.

The halfway point between Portland and St. Charles is the town of Marthasville. Before departing this morning I determined Marthasville to be the point where I would decide if these final miles will be a one day or two-day affair. Rolling into my Marthasville before lunch and with a quick count of the number of daylight hours remaining, calculated against the pace I’m on, I should be in St. Charles about an hour before sunset. So an 80 mile day it will be.

The last miles to St. Charles were uneventful and was able to maintain the pace established earlier in the day. Getting close to St. Charles I began to recognize some of the local landmarks. When I figured there was about half a mile to go, I began to push as hard as I could. Wanted to finish with a strong kick just like my last big adventure.

Hello St. Charles! Matthew please come a pick me up.

Barge on the Missouri River.

Barge on the Missouri River.

My end of the Katy trail , St Charles, MO

End of the Katy trail (for me) , St Charles, MO

 

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