Day 2 – St. Charles to Hermann
Another hot day. Traveled 65.8 miles today for a total of 115.8 miles
We ate breakfast at the B&B and got started at about 9:30. Beautiful Sunday morning and there were a lot of bikers out on the Katy Trail. It was fun to watch the faces of other bikers as they looked at our bikes. Some were admiration, but most were wide eyed disbelief. We traveled the Katy Trail from St. Charles to Herman today. The Katy Trail is one of the longest, but narrowest state parks. It is an old railroad that has been converted to a biking and hiking trail. The surface is crushed limestone. It is touted for its beauty and history. I’m not sure I like the trail. The crushed limestone takes more energy to ride and the uneven surface makes handling a loaded bike more of a challenge. You always have to have a good grip on the handlebars. Also, the bicycle tires make the dust from the crushed limestone fly in the air, coating everything from our knees down with a fine white dust. We went a number of miles on roads the paralleled the Katy. It was a good diversion.
We met some nice people. Some asked us about where we were going. We met one gentleman in a way we would rather not. He had just hit an unexpected surface anomaly at a high rate of speed and ended up off his bike in a less than graceful fashion. He scraped up his elbow pretty good, but otherwise he and his bike were in good shape. We helped him wash his woods and made good use of the baby wipes we have in our first aid kit. His elbow will hurt for a few days, but other then that he should be OK.
At different times, we would ride separately, in a paceline or side by side as traffic on the trail allowed. After we had gone over 50 miles we were both feeling pretty tired. Keith was riding beside me and we were talking when something momentarily distracted him and he briefly lost his balance and had to swerve to regain it. The only problem was that he had to swerve in my direction. I tried to hold the course but soon was off the edge of the crown of the gravel surface and couldn’t correct back. We both bit the dust (literally). After picking ourselves up and evaluating the damage, we discovered that, except for Keith having one minor scratch and one minor abrasion, we and our bikes were just fine.
A few miles further we discovered a large oak tree with a 2.5 foot truck and about a day earlier decided it was tired of standing on the hill by the trail and decided to lay down – across the trail. We stopped, took all the panniers and gear off our bikes, passed them over the tree and it’s branches, and then put then reassembled everything on the other side. Ah, the unexpected adventures of Bicycle touring!
The weather forecast is saying that most of the remnants of hurricane Dennis will miss us. We may get some rain but we shouldn’t get the full deluge.
Tonight we are staying in a city park that has campsites, in the town of Hermann, Missouri. The town is about 3 miles off the Katy Trail. The cricket and chirping and a light, cool breeze is blowing.