Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Katy Trail

What a difference a day makes. I was up and out of the campground by 7 am this morning. I was only about twenty miles from the Katy Trail, and I figured early-morning church goers were the least likely drivers to mow me down. The county roads that took me into Washington, MO, were quiet. Before crossing the Missouri River over to the trailhead, I stopped for breakfast at a family restaurant, which was surprisingly busy at the early hour.

After yesterday's ride, a few days on the Katy is a welcome reprieve. The trail is a state park stretching from St. Charles, MO to Clinton, MO. I picked it up in Dutzow at mile marker 74 and plan to ride it to the end, mile marker 264, before heading South back to the Transamerica. The trail is hard-packed, well-maintained and thoroughly marked. It is also flat -- wonderfully flat. On the twenty-five miles of trail that I rode today, instead of avoiding cars, I had to avoid snakes, turtles, and lizards. Beautiful iridescent blue birds flew along the trailside.

When I stopped into a general store off the trail for one of my daily Gatorades, the clerk asked me about my ride. When I commented on my experience with the drivers, she theorized that since there is the Katy Trail, many drivers may think that all bikers belong on the trail, not the road. Perhaps.

I ended my ride in Hermann, MO. After spending the night in the historic French town, St. Genevieve, I'm now in a historic German town, where the shop names all end in "Haus." It's old downtown streets sport interesting architecture and every other house appears to be a bed and breakfast. Several wineries surround the town.

The only disappointment was the Hermann Riverfront Park.

I think the sign omitted the "ing Lot."


Mike said...

Brian, Karen Cain married the manager of the Stone Hill Winery in Hermann. His family owns the winery. Don´t be surprised if you see her there. With your blog I finally know what you´re up to.

Rachel said...

I'm glad Missouri made a better impression yesterday. We're all excited to welcome you with lots of carbs and local meat. Oh, and I think those birds might have been indigo buntings. Were they tiny?

John said...

Thanks for the kind words about our adopted hometown, Hermann, and thanks for your visit to our coffee shop, Time for Pie.

Yes, our Riverfront park is quite, uh, paved, (which works out well for some events) but we have several other large parks which are much nicer. Also, there are nice new parks in the planning stage that will open over the next year.

On the topic of Missouri drivers (from a previous post) not respecting cyclists, I think it is fear...many Missourians seem to fear "coloring outside of the lines" - including road centerlines - and they would rather crowd a cyclist or pedestrian than break that painted barrier. Not a defense, just an observation.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog since Brahma and Sweet Potato (aka Dustan and Betsy) posted a link to it on their blog. Thank you for sharing your journey! Salud.

Carrie Saum

The Rider said...


Thanks for your comments. I certainly wasn't able to see all that Hermann had to offer but I enjoyed my stay. Also, your strawberry rhubarb pie was delicious.