Monday, September 19, 2011

September 15, 2011. McKittrick to St. Charles, MO. 65 miles.

We started this day by lubing our chains--Bill, Fred and Tom had rinsed off all of our bikes last night after the muddy ride. It was a real pleasure starting out with a clean bike--thanks guys!We started riding where we stopped yesterday, at the McKittrick trail head. It was quite cool--46 degrees--when we started out, but the sun was shining, and the trail was in very good shape considering all the rain yesterday. After a short ride we were alongside the Missouri River again, following the Lewis and Clark historical plaques and river navigational markers. Again today there was no traffic on the river.

At Treloar we met Joe, who is riding home to New Jersey self supported. I did not think to ask him what he did during the pouring rain yesterday, but he was in very good spirits, happy to be on his bike, just like us.
Treloar looks pretty deserted, like many of the small towns along this former railroad.

Above is Bob, riding into our lunch stop at Augusta, where we ate at the local brewery. We appreciate Doris, Ruth and Bill for being there with our lunches out of the cooler the last three days, but today's lunch was a great way to celebrate the last day of our ride.

We drank iced tea with our lunch but several of us bought local wine to take with us.

I stopped to take a photo of the train bridge at Femme Osage Creek, looked up and there was Otis! As I was taking the photo, our trucks and trailer went by on the parallel road and beeped. It is a comfort knowing they're watching out for us.

By the time I was done taking the photo, Fred and Tom were there, so I backed up and Otis took our photo too.

We had a detour near the Weldon Springs nuclear waste site. We had such a long day that we did not go off trail to visit the site. Apparently you can walk out on an observation deck over the contained waste.

And then before we knew it we were at St. Charles and at the end of our trip! Bill, Ruth and Doris were waiting for us with cameras ready.

I went beyond the trail head looking for a rest room, and got a flat tire! What a way to end the trip! I did not change it, just walked back for the final group photo and loaded the bike in the trailer as it was. It was a bit of a culture shock for our drivers being in a big city after driving isolated roads all week. We got to our hotel and chose a restaurant for dinner based on what was in walking distance, not wanting to unhook the trailer and drive in rush hour traffic.

We had an uneventful drive back to Michigan on Friday, back to real life. Most of us will meet up again in 2 weeks to ride in Tennessee. What a great life!

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