May 17, 2004

5/17/04 Columbia MO

51 miles (231 total)

Soon the light was filtering through the windows and it was time to get up. Funny how your body quickly adjusts to a "sun up - sun down" kind of schedule when you're outside all the time.

At one point, I was joined by Bill Brennecke from New Bloomfield, MO. He's retired from the FDA and was trying to get some training in before tackling the whole 225-mile KATY Trail. We must have talked for 10-miles. After being alone last night, I enjoyed the company.

Bill turned around at North Jefferson. From here, you can clearly see the Capital building in Jefferson City. Actually came across a copperhead snake sunning himself on the trail near here.

As the day wore on, the temperature kept rising. And even though the trail is cool and shaded near the bluffs, a lot of it is very exposed as it cuts across farm fields. I felt as if I was getting fried. The heat just seems to sap your strength. But onward....

Mark and Pam bought the Cycle Depot in Hartsburg, MO, back in November and you couldn't meet a nicer couple. Was having some trouble with my Brooks saddle and Mark offered to call them in England and email their comments . on Monday and email their comments. Since the pay phone down by the trail didn't work, Pam insisted I use their phone to call my cousins in Columbia. This was my first time in the shop (the previous woman had very limited hours) and they had so much energy and enthusiasm that I know they'll do well. And Mark's even a frame builder.

By now I was starting to really get hot and hungry. Because it's Sunday, I'm sure I'll have to go all the way to Columbia before I can get something to eat. Stopped a few times just to gaze on the Might Mo. Still hard to believe Lewis & Clark went "up stream."

Just past Easley, stopped to chat with Mike Cooper at Cooper's Landing, one of the few full-service marinas on the river here in Missouri. Besides fishing tackle and bait, he has fuel, camping, cabins and even a Thai Restaurant. He's hoping for a good summer with all the business being brought in by the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial.

Finally reached the spur that would take me to Columbia. The MKT Trail is an 8-mile trail that is shaded most of the way right to the downtown. Even so, I ended up stopping several times just to rest. Once I reached pavement, I had to get a quick bite to eat before heading over to my cousins.

Matt couldn't believe it had been three years since I rode through here last. We went out to eat at the Flatbranch and met his brother Brian with his girlfriend, Blaire. These guys are great family. Later, we met up with Matt's wife, Melissa, who had been tutoring Korean kids in English all evening, at Mojo's to listen to some local music. Matt and a few musician friends started their own music label Emergency Umbrella. Had some great discussions with Melissa. Ended up staying for all three bands before heading back home. All in all, a good ending to a good day.

Matt & Melissa