May 26, 2004

5/26/04 Big Lake State Park MO

64 miles (611 total)

More rain last night. Getting kind of used to it, but I hate packing up a wet tent. On the bright side, the sun was shinning and the temps were cool.

Riding into Atchison Kansas

Said my goodbyes to Jerry as I rode off towards Atchison, KS, for a little breakfast even though my stomach was a little queezy with a hangover. Talked to the ladies at the visitor depot, before heading over to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum. Earhart was born in her grandparents home. What a great house, up on a bluff looking over both the city and the river. She could almost touch the sky. Maybe that was the reason she became a pilot.

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Was a little spoiled yesterday because no shoulder to ride today but traffic was pretty light. But the road was a roller coaster for sure. In Troy, they have one of Peter Wolf Toth's huge wood sculptures called “Tall Oak.” Toth set out to carve at least one monument to a Native American Tribe in every state. This was #29 (out of 60) representing Iowa, Kickapoo, Pottawatomie, Sac and Fox Indians.

Peter Wolf Toth's “Tall Oak”

Dropped in Carolyn's Restaurant for some lunch where I talked with Eric, a young mechanic on his lunch hour. Good food, good conversation and hardly cost a thing.

Stepped outside and ran into the first Lewis & Clark cyclists I've met since I began in Hartford. Steve and Bob are from Arizona. We got to talking and discovered we met before. I ran into them in Ordway, CO, during my 2001 cross country bike trip. Small world.

Even though the sun was shinning, the winds kept it cool. After a few short hills outside of Troy, the road dropped back down towards the flat river bottom. Oh, what a joy, a flat road and a tail wind. I literally flew down the road.

At the Nebraska border, I was stopped by Wolf River Bob, a Lewis & Clark Guide from White Cloud, KS. He'd been involved with the trail since it's official recognition in the late 60s. You could tell he had a passion about it. I signed his guestbook and told him about Nomad walking the trail. I think the two of them would have great conversations.

At Rulo, I crossed the river to get back into Missouri. The maps said Big Lake State Park was only four miles away, but I think that was only to the turn off. Then you still had another two miles to get to the park. Big Lake is the Missouri River's largest remaining oxbow lake.

Crossin' back into Missouri

Ended up camping right next to the shore. While cooking dinner, a couple camping across from me, Dave and Shawna, came over to chat. Later I joined them around the campfire along with another family, Bill and his two boys. Another good ending to the day.