Thursday, June 5, 2008

Long Day

I had my longest day so far yesterday. The goal was to finish the Katy Trail, riding from Columbia to Clinton. Gabe rode with me to the MKT trail before heading back home for his last day of work in the Columbia public schools before summer break. I headed on to the Katy. It soon became evident that the storm the night before had been more severe near the trail than in Columbia. I had to slide my bike under and carry it over several downed trees that blocked the trail.

The weather was perfect. It was mostly sunny, but the tree-covered route kept me in the shade for much of the ride. Unfortunately, swarms of gnats also liked to gather in the shade. I repeatedly rode through swarms and ended up with dozens of bugs stuck to my arms, legs, and face.

Along the route there were several historical markers highlighting Lewis and Clark's expedition. They had passed through these same locations exactly 204 years ago, as they traveled up this section of the Missouri River in late May and early June, 1804. The curvature of the trees over the trail and a few artifacts, like this light signal, reveal the trail's former life as a railroad track.

I added about forty-five minutes to my ride trying to figure out what happened to the trail near Booneville. My printed maps indicated that the trail continued over the Missouri River. I could see the train bridge going over the river but I couldn't figure out how to get there. In fact, contrary to the maps that I had, bikers have to take surface roads and a road bridge over the river to Booneville, where they can then rejoin the trail.

I stopped for a late lunch at Eddie's Drive-In in Sedalia.

I noticed too late that Eddie's serves the Guberburger, a steakburger with peanut butter, tomato, and mayo. I had already finished my double bacon cheeseburger, fries, and shake, and I wasn't up for a Guber before biking forty more miles.

The trail was very quiet especially after crossing the Missouri. The landscape changed as the trail moved into Missouri prairie. When the trail left the woods and opened into flat prairie, strong headwinds and cross winds slowed my progress. This may have provided a preview of Kansas. For the last thirty miles, it was just me, the birds, and the wind. After 115 miles, I was ready to get off my bike. Fortunately, in Clinton, the Safari Motel had a room for me.

I'm looking forward to heading back to the Transamerica. By the time I get back there I expect that I'll start to pass a steady stream of Eastbound riders.

1 comment:

JRoot said...

with the passing of the Wheel-Inn drive in after 65 years in business last Labor Day, apparently other joints in Sedalia are cashing in on Wheel-Inn's trademark product: The guberburger. Whether Eddie's or other guber purveyors can meet the high standard of excellence set by the Wheel-Inn remains to be seen. And though they can approximate the guber burgers, I'd be surprised if they could ape Wheel-Inn's all-artificial bright yellow banana shakes.

Great to have you in Columbia and Jefferson City the other day! you're welcome any time.

Glad you made it safely to Clinton, and I wish you well on your trip southward to rejoin the Transam. SHAZAM.