Our last day of riding started off with a big buffet breakfast at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. One of the best parts of biking is justifying eating more because we’re burning so many calories:) After lunch, we rode the Greenway Trail back across the Missouri River down the scaffolded ramps to the North Jefferson Trailhead.
Everyone told us that this portion of the trail is the most scenic, and we concur. The trail was covered with a canopy of hardwoods, and we rode along the Missouri River for longer stretches than on previous days. We passed by fertile farmland and saw several farmers plowing their fields (the planting season was delayed due to the late cold weather). Our conversation along the trail was not only comprised of comments about the scenery but also our responses to Chat Pack question prompts that our friend Pat gave our Delta Kappa Gamma chapter for Christmas last year. This conversation kept us distracted from feeling our sore muscles:)One of my favorite parts of the trail was the steel railroad bridges which crossed small rivers and streams. Another highlight was the sandstone bluffs. Today, we passed a bluff that was several miles from the current Missouri River. This bluff has years etched into it to indicate the water level during previous floods. It was amazing to think the flood waters reached that far from the river.
After riding about 30 miles, we stopped for lunch at the Riverfront Bar & Grill in Portland. Across from the cafe was a boat launch area, which provided a wide open view of the Missouri. After soaking in the view and munching on some trail mix, we headed on to our final destination.As we approached Hermann, we began to see hills in the distance. This area is known for its wineries, and we quickly understood why Hermann is referred to as the “most beautiful town in Missouri.” We reached McKittrick about 3:30 and checked into Joey’s Bird House, our lodging for the night. Joey and her husband renovated the old post office and built on an addition to make two lovely rooms just across the river from Hermann. Since this weekend is the Maifest, one of the largest festivals in the state, we were unable to get accommodations in Hermann and were very appreciative to find Joey’s little cottages. As soon as we arrived, she brought us freshly baked cinnamon apple rolls:) She also had left a plate of peanut butter cookies and a well stocked refrigerator for our breakfast the next morning. Without much rest, we jumped back on our bikes and took the spur trail over to Hermann. We stopped at the Information Center to pick up a Maifest schedule and then headed over to the bike shop to confirm the plans for shipping our bikes home. We rode around the town for awhile then ate a barbecue sandwich and drank freshly brewed root bear at the Tin Mill Brewery. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we returned to the cottage…I was asleep by 8:00.
This morning we plan to ride 2 miles down the Katy Trail and back to Hermann so that we can reach 200 miles! I’m looking forward to the Volksplatz, German craft fair at the Maifest. Our Amtrak train leaves from Hermann about noon and then we’ll fly home from St. Louis. This has definitely been one of the best adventures of my retirement; I can’t wait to plan our next ride to South Dakota. Hopefully, our husbands will join us on that trip!