May 16, 2004

5/16/04 Tebbets MO

56 miles (180 total)

At almost dark, Derek and Kerry rode in. They looked beat and hungry. I told them about camping at Loretta's and that sounded good to them. Since the restaurant was closed, they ended up getting something to eat at the gas station out on the highway. I think Kerry was disappointed when I told her about the Sunday Brunch at Loretta's because they had to leave early if they were going to make their train in St Louis.

Kerry & Derek

A good first night in the tent. Forgot how cramped it can get in there. Loaded up the bike and enjoyed that brunch inside. Almost ate too much before setting off. The weather looked iffy, so I had all the rain covers on plus had on my rain jacket. I shouldn't have worried.

The sun began to warm things up by the time I reached Peers. Met two other cyclists, Gary from Clayton and Tim from Merriville. Tim actually recognized me from the website. Cool, now I'm a celebrity. Tim was headed the other direction but Gary asked to join me for a bit.

Gary kept getting ahead, probably because I was pulling a lot of gear. He finally said his goodbyes at the McKittrick trailhead where I took a side trip to a grocery store just up the highway. Picked out some dinner and tomorrows breakfast.

Today, the trail was teaming with wildlife. Early, I saw a fox. Then later what I guess was a woodchuck, a very large woodchuck. But I've also seen black snakes, eagles, turtles, lizards of many colors and your various rabbits and squirrels. I keep seeing this small bright blue finch. I wonder what it's called?

Just a little too slow for me

Stopped by Steamboat Junction for a candy bar and chatted a bit with Mrs Benz. Her family owns a house that was built from the wood of a wrecked steamboat called the "Clara".

The Mighty Missouri

Then, after a long day in the saddle, I arrived in Tebbets. When I was here in 2001, Mrs Turner was still alive and tending a small store next door. It had rained that day, and she asked me to go out and dry her dog off so he didn't track any mud into the house. I was wet already, so I didn't mind.

Mrs Turner originally bought the building that would become the "Turner KATY Trail Shelter" to prevent it from being turned into a tavern. It stayed vacant for years before she decided to donate its use as a hostel for youth groups and KATY Trail riders. One local resident said Mrs Turner is probably turning over in her grave because her old store had been turned into, yes you guessed it, a tavern.

So, I sit here again, another three years later, all alone in this big hostel. I fear this is going to be the trend along the whole Lewis & Clark Trail. I can handle it but it's not what I expected. I'll just have to take each day as it comes, with or without fellow cyclists.