Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept. 11, 2011. Clinton to Pilot Grove, MO. 67 miles.

We all met at our house dark and early Saturday morning Sept. 10. Fortunately our neighbors were up and about and came over to take our photo. Here we are in our Katy Trail t-shirts (thanks Fred). From left: Bob, Ruth, Bill, me, Otis, Tom, Doris and Fred. We are on our way to Missouri to ride the Katy Trail! We had a very long drive, about 15 hours. Ate, slept, and got up bright and early, went to Mass and started our adventure. The riders on this trip are Otis, Tom, Fred, me, and Bob, seen below at the western terminus of the Katy Trail at Clinton, MO.

The Katy Trail got its name from the old Missouri Kansas Texas Railway, abbreviated to MKT and nicknamed Katy back in the railroad days. All along the trail are reminders of the trains, including this caboose at Clinton.

Many of the old train bridges are in use for the trail, and it's always fun to ride across them.

Abandoned grain elevators line the route, reminding us of the days when trains ruled the transportation industry in this country.

Horses are only allowed on this trail between Calhoun and Sedalia, and we met a couple on the trail on Sunday morning. I stopped to take their photo and they thanked me for the courtesy. Equestrians have the right of way over cyclists on the trail, but most bikers don't stop, and sometimes it spooks the horses.

Our support staff on this ride consists of Bill, Ruth and Doris, seen below at one of our stops. It is
a real comfort to us knowing they are out there. And they bring us lunch when there is nothing suitalble along the trail.

Bill took our photos as we rolled in--here are Tom, me and Fred coming in for a break.

In Sedalia the trail stopped and we had to go on the city streets for a mile or so. I wondered why until we got to the place that the trail picked up again. Here is Otis coming back on the trail from the street, and you can see behind him that the rails are still in place! Oops... the Rail Trail option ran out before the trail was completed in this area.

The terrain changed from open prairie to rocks partway through the day. We met Andrew at Clifton City. He is cycling solo self supported from his home in Ohio to the west coast. We all offered him advice (get pedals and shoes with cleats! Wear your helmet!) and Tom gave him an energy bar. We had some discussion about how to ride in the desert and what to eat on a long ride.

This was a very long day for the first day on the trail, and we were glad to arrive at Pilot Grove. Bill was waiting to tell us when to get off the trail and where the Bed and Breakfast was located. There is not much left in Pilot Grove; we had to drive to Boonville to get dinner, where our waitress was a cage fighter! No kidding! No one gave her a hard time, although Otis had to be dragged away; he was very interested in her stories.

This is the lovely B & B that we occupied for the night. There was some confusion when we got back from dinner and could not get in the house, but Bill remembered a third door when the first two were found locked with the keys inside. It helps to have someone whose brain still works at the end of the day.

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