Our bike trip was awesome! We picked the two best days in the whole year to go, it seemed. It was sunny, 70s, and 0% chance of rain! The only thing about the weather the first day was that it was a little windy. Sometimes it seemed like you weren't making any headway at all, but just fighting against the wind!
Starting out at Hartsburg.
We got to Hartsburg, Missouri about 10:30am, loaded up, had a little photo shoot, and then we were off. About two seconds after getting on the trail, one of the pannier bags on Stephen's bike fell off in a huge crash! It was funny to me. They were too close to his feet at first, so once we got them readjusted, they stayed on just fine. Since we were among the few on the trail, there was a lot of wildlife that we saw on the first day. One time I thought it was a frog that had rattled the weeds beside me and I looked down, I thought I saw a snake. I wasn't sure so I had to go back. Sure enough, it was about a 5 foot black snake! It was scary! I survived though, and the rest of them we saw were smaller than that. We saw 8 snakes, 3 deer (two does, and one buck), a turtle, lots of butterflies, and lots of frogs and toads. The frogs and toads were so bad at first I had three of them jump on my legs! I screamed with the first two, and by the third one I was more annoyed. Stephen kept on calling me "frog girl", but I would call him "butterfly guy" because he always seemed to have butterflies on him. One butterfly stayed on the sleeping bag on his bike for a few miles! Also with the crazy stories, I had a bug fly into my front tooth. It hurt!
We stopped in McBaine and ate our lunch there. We took along a trail mix, beef jerky, some bread, and jif to go cups to make our own peanut butter sandwiches. It was nice to take a rest. We were less than halfway there at the time. We had about 18 more miles to go.
In Rocheport we took a break as well. We had planned to get a dessert at one of my favorite restaraunts, Abigail's, but we got there after 2 pm and they were closed for the afternoon. So we headed to the General Store and I had some homemade lemonade and chocolate oreo cake. The cake looked better than what it tasted like. It was a little dry.
After going through the tunnel at Rocheport
The last 10 miles from Rocheport to New Franklin was pretty boring. The only tunnel on the trail is right after you get out of Rocheport, so that is exciting, but soon after it just turns into farmland. The farmland is pretty too, but you have to understand that we were getting spoiled with the wooded bluffs on one side and the Missouri River on the other. We took a lot of time walking along this spot as my thighs were freaking out. Walking feels really good after biking this long, better than sitting down or standing.
Finally we made it to New Franklin at about 5:30. We camped at the Katy Roundhouse right off of the trail. Set up our tent, and got our things arranged and then went into town to find the Casey's General Store for supper. Yes, we got two Mountain Dews, a large pepperoni and sausage pizza, and marshmallows. We strapped it on the back of my bike and rode back to the campsite just as the sun was setting. After supper, Stephen was trying and trying to start a campfire, but all of the wood was damp from the rain that they had gotten days before. I gave up on him ever getting a fire started and took a nice hot shower. It felt so good! Not that I felt very dirty since the whole day was nice and cool, but the warm water felt nice on my sore muscles! After I got out of the shower, I saw that Stephen was very successful in getting a fire started! He roasted some marshmallows. Soon after that, we went to sleep in the nice cool night.
After a night of tossing and turning in a slippery sleeping bag, I heard a woodpecker outside, so I went out to watch him and just enjoy the cool morning. I wanted coffee so bad right then, but there was none to be had. After awhile, Stephen woke up and we had our breakfast of cold Casey's pizza. It was good. After the sun had dried up the dew on most of our stuff, we packed everything up and were "on the road again" around 10:45. We actually sang some of the song as we were riding down the trail. It was funny.
Some of the pretty bluffs along the trail.
The next day was much less eventful. There was a lot more people on the trail, a lot less animals, and we did not make as many stops. I really thought that I was not going to make it back to Hartsburg the night before and that we might actually have to call our friends who live in Columbia to come and pick us up and drive us to our car, but I felt better than the day before! Going through the boring part of the trail first really helped, I think.
We passed up Rocheport this time. We decided to just save some money and eat our sack lunches instead of eating at Abigail's (which was good, because we ate at Abigail's on Sunday with Katelyn and Tyler. It was SO GOOD!) We ate our sack lunches in Huntsdale on Katfish Katy's picnic tables. It was nice to have a break then because it was just about halfway. We also bought ice cream sandwiches there.
Another turtle we saw the second day
The last few miles of the trip were kind of sad for me. We had been looking forward to this trip for a while, and just imagining what it would be like. I was happy that we were actually finishing what we had planned on doing, but I had such a nice time, I didn't want it to end.
We arrived at Hartsburg, around 4 pm, tired, but happy. Stephen and I were so glad that we did this trip, and we would recommend it to anyone who has a nice bike.
Has anyone else taken a trip like this? Where did you go?
We are planning on doing this again closer to the end of this month with our teammates Jammie and Jessie. We are so excited!