Katy Trail Day 2 – Flat and Flats from St. Charles to Rhineland (68 miles)

Today started with a nice breakfast send off from Deacon Larry and his wife Mary.  They were amazingly wonderful hosts.  Dcn. Larry likes to come out to Kentucky to Gethsemane Abbey for retreats – so maybe we can convince him to head our way before/after so that we can return the hospitality.

The weather for today looked to be a great forecast.  Doesn’t get much nicer than a cool start and highs in the upper 70s or lower 80s.  (But note the forecast for later in the week when we are making our way back – 95 degrees.)

At the St. Charles trailhead, they have a couple of cabooses, so it seemed like a good place to get our start-of-day obligatory picture.

Today’s trip was about 68 miles.  We had originally planned a few extra miles of side-trip into Hermann, but decided later to hold off on the extra trip.

Throughout the 68 miles, the entire trail is very flat.  The Katy is a crushed limestone surface and pretty well maintained.  We rode over a few minor washout repairs, but no major trail ruts or problems.  The trail is fairly smooth, but the buzz of the gravel is a constant companion, and the surface doesn’t allow you to coast much.  So although it is very flat, you are constantly working to keep the pedals turning.

We were told to expect nearly all shaded area today.  I would say we were about 70% shaded and 30% very direct sun.  Parts of the trail are canopied with trees, but there are very long stretches where you are adjacent to, or down the middle of farm land with absolutely no cover at all.

On the east end of the Katy, most of the trail is close to the Missouri River.  Sometimes, it is only a few feet, and other times you are a few hundred yards.

We saw several places where these murals up to draw attention to the construction of the Katy through the land trust.

Throughout nearly our entire ride today we kept crossing paths with a guy named Doug.  He is in the green shirt blow.  He is from Juno Alaska and flew in with his bike to ride the Katy.  We talked a bit and he seemed pretty nice.  We didn’t get a chance to exchange contact info.

Today did bring a few challenges, too.  Yesterday, Joe had a flat on his rear tire.  Today he had a flat on the rear tire, and another on the front.  The second flat happened less than a mile from our destination.  It looks like the tires he chose just aren’t up to the challenge of the tiny and jagged rocks of the Katy.  His first flat today took a little time to repair, and by the second one, we decided that we need to find him some new tires.  So when we get to Jefferson City tomorrow, we will be heading to the bike shop to find something that is a little more suited to the trail.

After the second flat repair today, we finally arrived at our home for tonight: Church of the Risen Savior in Rhineland.  It is right across the street from a huge corn field.

We were greeted by the parish secretary who showed us around and got us situated.  One neat thing that I’ve not seen at a parish before: a quilting ministry.  As we arrived, the quilters were just wrapping up.  They meet and work on hand-crafted and pieced quilts that are then auctioned off as fundraisers for various ministries and needs.

One of the quilters, Maxine, came out and talked to us about the Katy.  She is a trail volunteer who used to like to ride the trail.

After getting cleaned up, we went to 6PM mass.  Right after mass, the assisting deacon and his wife offered to take us over to the (as in the only) restaurant in Rhineland: the Trailside.  Jerry and Elaine grew up in this area and have lived here for many years.   Over dinner, they told us a bit about themselves, their grown kids and their families.

For me, dinner consisted of fried chicken.  Yum.        It was pretty tasty!

After dinner, they offered to drive us around a bit, including taking us to Hermann – the town we elected not to ride into.  It was a wonderful tour and great dinner.

While in Hermann, they took us by St. George’s.  It is a really beautiful church with great stained glass depicting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

So now our laundry is washed and we’re about ready to call it a night.  Tomorrow will be shorter day – probably around 40-45 miles into Jefferson City.  We are hoping for a respite from the flat tires, too.

Until tomorrow, good night!


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