KATY Trail – Boonville to Jeff City
After a delightful evening (think “date night”) and a very filling and relaxing breakfast at the Rivercene B & B, Mike and I made our departure around 11:00 Sunday morning for the return trip to Jeff City. This was actually the second time Pam and I have stayed at Rivercene, but this time was made especially fun by the new(ish) owner’s zeal for the place and it’s history. We recommend the place!
We knew the wind was blowing, but once we hit the trail, we discovered it was going to be a head wind the entire way. Yep…pedaling on a gravel trail that feels like it’s uphill both ways into the wind. It had the makings of a long day!
Because this trip was an out-and-back from Jeff City, our Sunday ride would be nothing but Saturday’s ride backwards. Even so, we noticed several things on the way back that we somehow managed to miss on Saturday.
The most immediate difference was the amount of water standing in the backwaters of the slough just west of Rocheport. It was pretty full the day before, but had expanded overnight and through the morning. We noticed one spot later on that the river itself was half-way over the road near the fish camps whereas it was just lapping at the road when we passed by the first time.
As we approached the tunnel at Rocheport, we were lucky to spot Pam and Kathy walking our way. We really hadn’t planned to meet up with them, and if we had been just a few minutes earlier we would have missed them altogether.
We stopped for pictures, then the girls decided they would walk up to the winery to check out the view so being the loving husbands we are, we went with them.
By the time we got back down, I was beginning to regret that decision, however, in that it involved about a mile and a half of walking in my cycling shoes. My calves were starting to complain by the time we got back down to our bikes. By this time, it was nearly 1:00, so we kissed our respective wives good by and headed up the trail.
We didn’t get very far, though. By the time we got to McBaine, which is basically half-way back to the truck, we were ready for a quick break. I remember thinking to myself that it might be a long afternoon! At some point, however, the endorphins kicked in and we were able to just put our heads down and pedal into the wind. I think the first half of the day we had so many starts and stops that I couldn’t get much of a rhythm going, but I do know I felt better from that point forward.
I think what kept Mike going during that same time was the thought of lunch at Dottie’s Cafe again. He sure was looking forward to Hartsburg, and I had to call him back when I spotted a big patch of spider-wort growing up against the bluff. I’ve got some in my garden, so I always try to stop and grab a picture of any I see out in the wild.
This tractor was parked on the edge of the trail when we passed on Saturday, and it looks like it might be there a while. If you can’t tell, there is floodwater behind it. It’s run up the bank to the trail as far as possible because of the tree, but it’s rear wheels are just out of the water. We presumed some farmer left it in the fields too long and his way out got flooded so he did the only thing possible to keep it safe.
We somehow managed to completely miss this wall of flox on the trip out. I initially thought it might have been planted behind the bench, but when I looked up the bluff, there was a bunch more a lot higher up and behind a wall of cedar trees so I guess it’s nature’s own. It sure made a pretty spot to sit and rest, and was just about far enough from town to make a great turn-around point for a walk.
At Hartsburg, we were disappointed to find that Dottie’s was closed, so we went around the corner to the bar/restaurant. When we arrived, there was a band playing on the patio, but they shut down shortly after we got there. As we ate, we noticed them loading their instruments on bikes and preparing to head out on the trail. Kinda neat, although lunch at the bar wasn’t the most thrilling experience of the weekend.
Having overfilled our stomachs once again, we mounted back up for our final leg of the weekend. It was mostly uneventful except for the re-crossing of the rough spots. As usual, Mike was “heading for the barn”, so we passed several groups of riders out for the afternoon. We arrived back at my truck just before 5:00 PM, with 49 more miles of gravel behind us.
You can click the map above for the full GPS track.
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