May 20, 2001

5/20/01 Tebbetts, MO

55.5 miles

Stopped by the kitchen back door to thank Loretta as she was preparing Sunday brunch. "You have a safe trip," she smiles.

Didn't get out of camp till after 7 A.M. Guess that means I slept in (grin). Almost cool enough for a jacket and the skies were a little overcast. Guess the threat of rain scared people away from the trail this Sunday.

Just because I didn't see many "two footed" animals doesn't mean I was alone on the trail. NO! I had tons of butterflies, snails, tiny frogs, crickets, dragonflies, all more numerous than I can count. Then we had a few turtles, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, and geese. A beautiful deer crossed my path, and I startled a heron as he was searching for dinner.

Treloar was still asleep when I rode through, but I was able to get a few danish at the Lantre Market in McKittrick. I stopped off at Steamboat Junction to talk with Dan and Sandra Berry. They run the campground, while Greg and Rozanna Berry operate the B&B. They only get a few cross-country cyclists through here, but they remember one in particular. "He was riding one of those old high wheelers and he dressed the part, complete with knickers and handlebar moustache," Dan said.

"Dan says it's going to rain," Sandra says, "and he's usually right." I took that as a cue and kept going. Stopped for a quick bite to eat at the Riverfront Bar & Grill in Portland, MO. I still had 15 miles to go and you could feel the rain in the air.

Jail House Rock!

So I kicked it into high gear and pushed hard. Stopped a minute in Mokane to take a picture of the jail, then back on the trail. And just as I see the sign for Tebbetts, the rain I've been expecting all day starts coming down hard.

I ducked under the first building I saw with an awning and it turns out to be Turner's Store. When I look inside, I see Mrs. Turner coming near the door using a roller walker. As I tried to come in, so did one of the strangest dogs I've ever seen. It was a very short-legged husky. The poor guy was pretty muddy, so I offered to wipe him down before I came in. After a few minutes, you could tell it was a losing proposition. She asked me to take him around back on the porch. Her son would give him a bath later.

Usually, Mrs. Turner, age 98, lets someone else run the store, but this Sunday everyone was gone. We talked a bit about the store, which is in an old bank building. She donated the building next door so it could be used as a biker hostel. The place has bunks, showers, and a fridge.

After getting cleaned up, a couple of day hikers showed up to wait for their ride. Tom and Mary Moberg were from St. Louis, out to do the Katy Trail in sections. When I mentioned what I was doing, they knew all about the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route because they had sponsored a mile of it with Adventure Cycling.

Welcome home out of the rain

Later after dinner, after the rain sort of stopped, in bikes Martha Morland (from Oklahoma) and Randy Anderson (from Maryville, Kansas). They were a little damp, but glad to have found the hostel. They're out for a week and this was their first day, having started in Hermann. We talked for a while, sampling wine and cheese they had brought in Hermann.

Unfortunately for me, there is no pay phone in Tebbetts, so I couldn't contact Jim who is riding out from Kansas City to meet me. And I couldn't call my cousins in Columbia to see if I could stay there. Guess we'll see how it works out!