We left the trailhead about 9 AM, carrying our loaded panniers for the first time. Thankfully, the first 10-15 miles of the trail was slightly downhill so we quickly adjusted to hauling the extra weight. Then, we hit some rolling hills which slowed us down to about 7-8 mph from 10-12 mph. The canopy of trees over the trail was a nice protection from the sun. Otherwise, the uphill portions would have been grueling. We stopped for lunch at Becky’s Burgers & Cones in Pilot Grove. Joyce and I split a southwestern chicken salad and topped it off with an ice cream cone. Becky, the owner, grows all of the vegetables that they serve in the restaurant.
After a nice lunch break, we headed toward Boonville where we passed a gambling casino and crossed over the Missouri River. The bike bridge was very protected from traffic, and the view of the river was one of the highlights of the day.
After Boonville, the next 10 miles of the trail were flat but almost completely exposed to the sun. A lady at the Katy Information Center in Boonville told us the temperature was 90 degrees…definitely a change from the record lows and snow they had a week ago.
The last seven miles of the ride were uncomfortable for me because I got a cramp in my back from wearing a fairly heavy fanny pack after lunch. I won’t do that tomorrow!
We passed through the only tunnel on the Katy about 4:30 as we entered Rocheport, our destination for the night. We were delighted to find our accommodations, the School House Dormitory, to be even nicer than anticipated. The Dorm is adjacent to an exclusive B&B, and the owners have thought of everything that bikers might want. The fridge was stocked with soft drinks, snacks, and breakfast items. The room has bunk beds, a fold-out sofa, and a bathroom. In the hallway, they have a washer & dryer, which I took advantage of to wash my dirty clothes. They even had a storage shed to safely store our bikes.
We ate dinner at Abigail’s, an eclectic delight just a few blocks from our dorm.Then, we hiked 1 1/2 miles up the main highway to the Les Bourgeois winery which is located on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. We purchased a drink and sat on one of the verandas by the river. What a gorgeous view! We left just before sunset and took a shortcut down to the Katy Trail. The trail paralleled the river all the way back to town. I missed American Idol, but this was a perfect day!