Archive for the ‘KT09’ Category

KT09 day 8 (others were off by one, woops)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Saturday night in the Super 8 in Washington, MO.  A wild time.  We ordered a pizza, and I was really starving, and then there was a phone call from the delivery guy, who thought we were at the Super 8 in Union; they don’t deliver to Washington.  So, back to the iphone map to find another pizza place.  Finally I settled on Cecil Whitaker’s.  I asked if they had bleu cheese.  “Yes.”  Okay, I want bleu cheese, tomatoes, … “You want bleu cheese on the pizza?” No, moron, just throw some in the box.   Okay, you can’t put bleu cheese on a pizza.  I can understand that; it’s complicated.  So I ordered pizza.  Half an hour later it came and I was really starving, and when the delivery guy handed me the box I was thinking “Is there a pizza in there?”  Well, yes, but St. Louis style — you know, where the crust is basically a saltine.  We gobbled it up and I was still hungry, so I walked across the road and got a veggie burger at Burger King.

Anyway,  Cabell and I got up very early (for Cabell) again in Washington, as we wanted to avoid the bridge traffic.  There wasn’t much happening on Sunday morning in Washington, it’s true, but the one car that did come while we were on the bridge proceeded to pass illegally.  Then as we got off the bridge two more cars passed illegally on a blind curve.  I don’t plan to bike to Washington MO again anytime soon.

We took Augusta Bottom Road to get back to the Katy Trail, thus saving a few miles we’d otherwise have had to backtrack.  Half of it (the part close to Washington) is very bad gravel, full of potholes; the other half is nice smooth pavement.

On the way back to St. Charles we saw a copperhead crossing the trail, validating Cabell’s claim that the snake she ran over earlier had a diamond pattern.   I guess she’s allowed to be traumatized.

We got in to St. Charles about 10:15 AM, just in time for the people setting up a big organized ride across Missouri on the trail to mistake us for participants.  I had to explain that we were finishing, not starting.

We headed out and thought we’d stop at the Denny’s in St. Charles for brunch.  Their parking lot was stuffed, and there was a huge crowd waiting inside.  We were puzzled until someone called out “Happy Father’s Day, everyone!”  Then we left and drove to Granite City, Illinois, where apparently there aren’t so many fathers.

Got back to Madison about 6 PM, stopped at WalMart to get a DVD to watch, and headed for home.  Don came over and we ordered some real pizza, with bleu cheese on it, and watched “Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon”.  A triumph of the cinematic art, this stars Shannen Doherty and the guy who was the other spy who died at the end of last season in Burn Notice.  They’re 19th century archaeologists who find the remnants of a lost Aztec group living in the Grand Canyon.  It gets less believable after that, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it*.

Today it rained in the morning, and I stayed in and read, then Cabell and I did a bunch of shopping.  Pier One for a wine rack, Target for odds and ends, Woodman’s for groceries and wine, PetSmart for cat food and toys, and Trader Joe’s for bread, cheese, chocolate and more wine.  Good thing we got that wine rack.

Karaoke tonight.

*If that were possible.

KT09 day 6

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

We left Hermann about 10, and had an easy ride to Treloar. There Cabell ran into a friend from college and her two- year-old daughter. The latter was of course deeply impressed with Cabell’s hair.

In Marthasville we stopped at a bar for lunch. A little boy there was silently enthralled with Cabell.

About 2 we got to Dutzow; Washington is just across the bridge. The only problem is that said bridge is two lanes and very busy. No shoulder, of course. We had little choice but to set out across. I made Cabell go first, figuring that when a car crushed me it would then slow down to see what that was.

We made it almost halfway before a car came. It slowed down, and I figured we were in good shape. Then the guy pulled out across the double yellow line and passed us. Then a whole parade of cars proceeded to pass us, right in the face of oncoming traffic. Cabell, in front, was in more danger from shrapnel from a headon collision than from being run down from behind.

Still, we made it across, and celebrated with a glass of wine at La Dolce Vita down by the river. Now we’re hanging out in our hotel, and we plan to leave early and miss the traffic on the bridge tomorrow.

Last day coming up.

KT09 day 5 continued

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

We wandered around town a bit. Had pie at Time for Pie and sampled beers at the Tin Mill brewery.

Crystal, Sam, and Shaunna showed up about 5:30, and we drove out to Stone Hill winery. It was still beastly hot, so it was quite a relief to go into the huge limestone cellars, where the temp is 55 year round. Our tour guide was a high-school age guy who delivered the spiel as if memorized, without ever looking at anyone directly. Still, it was interesting. Stone Hill used to be one of the largest wineries in the world before “the Prohibition hit”, and the government destroyed vines, equipment, and all. Crazy shit our country has done.

Anyway, we had a nice meal, came back to the hotel, and went to bed. Well, not before Cabell tried out the jacuzzi. Tomorrow night we stay in a Super 8. Quite a come – down.

KT09 Day 5

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Cabell got up at 5:15 this morning. 5:15! We wanted to miss the heat of the afternoon, so we left Hartsburg at 6 am. It was very pleasant riding early in the morning. Of course, all the little woodland creatures also found it pleasant, so we spent the first hour or so dodging bunnies. As Cabell said, it was like a video game. Perhaps it could be called “Rabbit, Run.”

As it got warmer, the bunnies took a rest and the lizards and snakes came out. Cabell was traumatized by running over a snake. Of course the snake was probably more traumatized .

We stopped at Portland at the Riverside Bar and Grill. It was so unprepossessing that we were pretty sure it was out of business. But ok and behold, it was open, and although they didn’t serve breakfast, they did have a half a catfish on a bun. And more fries than you can eat.

It did get hot by noon, but we had a strong tailwind, so we made very good time. Now we’re in Hermann and Sam, Crystal, and Shauna are driving down to meet us for dinner.

KT09 Day 4

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

We purposely slept late at Sam & Crystal’s, as we had a short ride plaaned to Boonville (35 miles), and we wanted to get to Rocheport at lunchtime.

I put the new tires on Cabell’s bike, and we got to Rocheport without incident. The iPhone was showing the winery right in town, but when we looked, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I went in an antique shop to ask, and the lady told me in a very foreboding tone that it was three miles up the road, and it was ALL UPHILL. We chose to ignore her warning and went anyway. It’s about a mile and a quarter, and only the first quarter is at all steep.

Well worth it, though. We had an appetizer of warm gorgonzola cheesecake with pesto and tomato coulis. I told Cabell I wanted to be alone with it. It was unbelievable, and I have to learn how to make it.

Maybe I can, as it turns out one of the chefs used to live a couple of blocks from us in Cape. He recognized Cabell after 15 years just by her hair – I think they’re facebook friends. I need to friend him and beg for the recipe.

Somewhat tipsy and extremely full, we rode the rest of the way to Boonville in very hot weather, made worse by the lack of shade on that stretch of trail. Got to Boonville about 4, and called Tim and Jane. Tim came to meet us at the bridge, and it was only two blocks to their house.

They have a gorgeous old Victorian house that is stuffed full of books, artwork, and maps. I had a really great evening looking at antique maps with Tim.

This morning we got on the road by 7:30, knowing it would be hot today, and had a nice first couple of hours. Then it did get hot, but we made it to Hartsburg by 12:30, so it wasn’t that bad. For some reason there were zillions of frogs on the trail today, and lots of near misses. I also almost ran over a snake, and when I braked suddenly, Cabell almost ran into me.

Our room at the b&b here is actually most of the ground floor, with two twin beds, a queen in another room, and a trundle bed suited for a kid. Plus a couch, table and chairs, easy chair, fridge, microwave, and full bath, for $70 a night.

Cabell called Frippy from the trail, and she’s coming down from Columbia to have dinner with us at Summit Lake winery. Should be fun.

Meanwhile Cabell’s in the hammock in the back yard reading.

KT09 day 3

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

We got up Tuesday morning and it was raining. After Monday, we’d had enough of that, so we just hung out for a while. By 10 the rain was past us and we were on the road. Back across the scary bridge and on the trail.

This worked out well, as we got to Summit Lake winery in Hartsburg just in time for lunch. At Cabell’s suggestion we went to the local b&bs and found one that had a room for us for Thursday on our way back.

Cabell had a flat right after we left. Like the one the day before, it was from a sharp bit of gravel. Didn’t take long to fix, but I was very conscious that we had no more spare tubes. I’m not fond of patching tubes on the road.

When we got to the trailhead at Columbia, there was a couple there who had just ridden out the spur trail from town and gotten soaked going through a flooded area. Fortunately a local guy was also there, and he told us how to get around the bad area on a side trail. We made it in to town and were right at the spot where you leave the trail to go to Sam and Crystal’s house, when Cabell had another flat. We called Crystal and she arrived in a giant Lincoln. You could have rented out the trunk as an apartment.

After we got to their house, Sam kindly ran me to Cyclextreme, where I got a pair of Armadillo Infinity tires for Cabell’s bike. Wish I’d known in advance; I would have bought them from Cape Bike.

Anyway, we had a nice meal and played Scattergories with Sam, Crystal, and Cabell’s friend Shanna and her daughter Megan. Lots of fun. Today we go to Booneville, with another winery at lunchtime.

KT09 day 2

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

So we rolled out of bed Monday morning; well, I was up at 6 as usual, but per Cabell’s instructions I let her sleep. “No thumping.” She got up at 7:30, and we proceeded to pack up. It wasn’t until we were just about to leave that I looked out the window to discover it was pouring. So we put on the rain gear and headed out.

The trail is slower going than road at best; the rougher surface makes for rolling resistance. When softened by rain, it’s a lot slower. We rode four hours in the rain and made it from Hermann to Mokane, about 25 miles. There we stopped at the bar and grill for breakfast.

Somewhere along the way, as we crossed yet another side road leading to highway 94, which was paralleling the trail, we agreed to ride on the road a while. It was definitely faster, although a headwind came up just about then. Next it started really pouring again, and Cabell said ” I don’t want to do 80 miles today”.

At the next shelter we agreed to split the trip to Columbia, stopping in Jefferson City. A good choice, as we felt a lot cheerier from then on. The rain let up after lunch–I was able to use the iPhone to check the radar and see that it was gone for the day. We arrived at North Jefferson a little after 3.

The information board at the trailhead showed the spur trail heading toward the bridge across the Missouri to Jefferson City, as well as a lot of stuff about attractions in the capital. We set out on the spur trail. It started out wide and well maintained, and became progressively worse until it petered out in a park next to the onramp for highways 54 and 63, right where they cross the river.

We climbed the ramp, although Cabell was doubtful. There we could seebthe bridge. Three lanes southbound, with abfair amount of traffic and a shoulder maybe a foot or two wide. I felt like there was room enough for traffic to get around us, though I didn’t like it much. Our hotel was over there, and it didn’t seem like we had much choice. Cabell refused.

So we went back down, pulled off the road, and used the iphone to google ” how the hell do you cross the bridge at Jeff City on a bike?”. Thanks to modern technology, we learned that the northbound lane has a bike lane. So we rode up the offramp the wrong way, and crossed the bridge facing the traffic. I think I’ll write to my congressman about the need for some signage.

Or maybe I’ll just walk over and see him. We are in the capital.

Anyway, we got to the hotel and found a good pizza place nearby. We got takeout and bought a sixpack and watched TV.

This morning it’s stormy again, but we only have about 35 miles to go today, so we’ll wait it out. We’re going to shorten our planned trip significantly, having found that we just can’t make the kind of mileage that we would on the road.

Besides, we’re vacationing, not working.

A long day ahead

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I got up this morning in our b&b room, and while waiting for Cabell to get up, spent some time with the maps. Turns out we have to go further than we’d thought, because the way into Columbia is all backtracking. So we’re looking at about 78 miles today. On the plus side, we’re staying with Cabell’s friends Crystal and Sam, who are very nice, and I imagine they’ll take us in no matter how late we are.

Still, we can’t take another death march. So I’d like to get started as early as possible. Yesterday we made about 10.5 mph including stops, and we were working way too hard a lot of that time. Today maybe we should shoot for 8 mph. The gravel path is pretty good, but it’s still slower than pavement. And besides, we’re on vacation.

Made it!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Well, it really wasn’t such a bright idea to start riding at 2:30 in the afternoon and do 65 miles. For that matter, the side trip to see the Daniel Boone Monument was not particularly well thought out either. So after the last couple of hours in which we reenacted the Bataan death march, we finally got to our b&b in Hermann. We got sandwiches at Subway, which is the only place open here after 9 on a Sunday. We also got a complimentary bottle of much too sweet wine. Now we are comatose. Cabell says tomorrow we’re allowing ourselves 10 hours to go 70 miles. I’m not arguing.


Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Still 30 miles to go, and it’s almost 6. Planning could have been better.