A biking adventure on the Katy Trail

We’ve just returned from a six-day biking adventure on the Katy Trail in central Missouri. The Katy Trail State Park was opened in 1990 and is the longest continuous rail trail in the United States at 240 miles. It was built along the rail route of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad, and was commonly called the Katy. The trail itself is crushed limestone, and after riding six days with no rain we found we were covered in a light coating of dust! Many miles of the trail follow the route of the Missouri River with large limestone bluffs towering above the river. We learned much about the history of the area via trail markers telling us of Lewis & Clark’s travels along this route, and information about Daniel Boone and his family who once lived in the region.

We took spur trails into Jefferson City and Hermann, giving us easy access to food and lodging. In other places, like Sedalia and St. Charles, the trail passed right through the commercial areas. We found old train depots and a multitude of bridges of various types. We rode along cornfields and under canopies of trees. We saw cardinals flying across the trail and turtles slowly working their way from one side to the other. With a light wind we could smell the honeysuckle blooming nearby. It’s a popular trail that is shared by cyclists, walkers, and even horses.

Like other cross-state rides we’ve done, it was the perfect way to see the countryside and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the area.

The calm of a spring dawn

It was an early morning in Kimberling City, Missouri. We’d escaped our northern winter temperatures and snow and met up with family and friends to enjoy early spring in southern Missouri. Here the lakes were not frozen and the grass was green.

The colors of a pink and orange dawn gave way to the cool blues of the sky. The tree branches seemed to grasp at the white clouds as they drifted by. Off in the distance I could hear the loons calling as they’re migrating north. The cardinals were high in the budding trees singing their morning songs, and the redbud and dogwood trees were opening their blossoms to the warmer days.

Gradually the world awakened. Other people in the campground started to stir and I could hear boats beginning to head out onto the big lake. The calm and quiet was broken. Now it was time to join others and relish the warm sunshine and fresh air – a perfect spring day!