Katy Trail Day 3 – Rhineland into Jefferson City (45 miles)

We both slept pretty well last night, and it was an early rise to try to get out before it got too warm.  We stopped but the Trailside Cafe (again) for breakfast.  Good food and reasonably priced.

There are constant reminders of the flooding that happens along this corridor of the Missouri River. Flood markings, signs, and the frequent notes about the “1993 flood” are on most of the informational signs at the various trailheads.

The town we stayed in last night, Rhineland, was one of the biggest flooded areas in 1993.  Inside the Trailside there were pictures of the flooding.  This town doesn’t seem that close to the river, but the volume of water that flowed over the banks must have been enormous.  Rhineland had been subjected to several floods in the past, and the 1993 flood kicked off a major change.

Shortly after the ’93 flood, the entire town, except for one single family, picked up their houses and moved to the hilltop above the existing town.  A lottery was held to choose the new plots of land for each family.  Then their houses were moved or new ones built.  In their new location, they are no longer subject to the massive power of the Missouri River’s floods.

After finishing our breakfast, our next stop was to make our way steadily westbound, heading for Jefferson City.  We passed through several tiny towns and just a few trailheads.  This part of the trail continues to be pretty sparse.  The scenery is pretty, but not much else to see along here.  Even the small towns are mostly closed up without services.

One neat tidbit was this single rock that was right next to the trail.  Geologists say that it was left from erosion over time.

After many miles of forest and farmland, we finally arrived at North Jefferson – a trailhead on the northern side of the Missouri River.  Jefferson City, the state Capitol, is 3 miles south, across a bridge over the river.

We departed the Katy and took the trail up to the huge bridge over the river. To get on to the bridge, you have to ride up a climbing set of ramps that brings you from the ground to the bridge deck-level that is several stories above the ground. Once up at the top, you are on a dedicated bike/pedestrian bridge lane separated from the very busy traffic. The view from up there was pretty nice.

Exiting the bridge, you end up on the east side of Jefferson City.  This town clearly embraces the bicycle culture and bike tourism.  Good bike lanes and courteous drivers were everywhere we looked.

We had arrived around lunch time, but we also wanted to find Joe some new tires.  We found 3 bicycle shops on the map and chose one near the Capitol Building.

We were very successful.  The guys at Red Wheel Bikes took good care of Joe.  We got him some new and thicker tires to carry us the rest of the way.  Joe says that when he felt the difference between the older and newer tires with his fingers, he could tell that these would be much more robust.

Our next stop was some lunch.  Deacon Joe had recommended a little restaurant near the Cathedral.  To get there, we headed back about 2 miles east of the Capitol, climbing nearly all the way.   With lunch taken care of, we continued a little farther up the hill until we arrived at the Cathedral.

Msgr. Kurwicki met us and showed us to our rooms in the rectory.  The rectory used to be a Carmelite women’s monastery.  The parish purchased it a few years ago and did a very nice but modest restoration.  It is a very comfortable place to stay.

After getting cleaned up, we took an Uber down into town – we did not want to ride any further today.  We found a sports bar for dinner.

Today happens to be Joe’s birthday, so we had a nice celebration with a steak and beer.

We took a good long time to eat dinner and talk before heading out.  There was a outdoor concert going on when we left, so we wandered about for a while before Ubering back to the Cathedral.

This is the first time either of us had used Uber. It was pretty easy and efficient.  I’d use them again, for sure.

Upon return to the rectory, we started researching some alternate plans for what to do once we reach the western end of the trail.  As we looked at the weather forecast, they are now predicting 95+ degree temperatures for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  One really hot day isn’t too bad, but three in a row, combined with long days, seems a bit daunting.

So we are considering taking a train back part of the way to cut off about 1 1/2 days of riding on the return.  With the added bonus that neither of us has ridden Amtrak before, we get a little bit of an adventure added.  We’re going to sleep on that plan and decide tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is a long day, so it is time for bed.


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