Five Days on the Katy Trail – Day Three – Hermann to Jefferson City, MO

29 Jul

We slept very soundly in the peaceful Carriage House last night.  Mrs. Cady had graciously allowed us to pick the time we wanted breakfast served, so we chose 6:30 am.  I did not want to fight the heat we’d ridden in yesterday, so the plan was to get on the bikes early!  She had instructed us to walk over to the dining room at the appointed time, and to let ourselves in.  The Carriage House (www.cadyfolkart.com) has only the one guest room, so we were the only guests.  We stepped into a scene out of an English Pub.  You can certainly tell Mrs. Cady’s business is antiques.  She had a beautiful table set for the two of us, and we just stood there in wonder!  Plus as it turns out, she’s a top-notch cook!

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The food was exceptional and so much more than I could eat, though Jimmy managed just fine.  We enjoyed chatting with her and as we left, she told us she loved us!  Such a gracious and caring little lady!

After we said our goodbyes we loaded our bikes.  With one last look at the hill I fell up, we were on our way.

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It was a beautiful morning and the early start was a blessing.  We crossed the river on the bike bridge that I was too hot to photograph yesterday, and paused at the top of the bridge to look at the water and the surrounding scenery.

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Lots of little birds and animals were out early.  So many indigo buntings and goldfinch!  We saw several box turtles on the trail and a very indecisive squirrel that darted in front of my tire at the last minute and actually went between Jimmy’s two tires as he rode alongside me.  We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and marveled at God’s beautiful creation.

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Most of the route today ran right along the Missouri River.  We stopped for a water break and a restroom break at one of the old rail stops.  Most of these little trailheads have a restroom, kind of a permanent porta-potty.  The key is to hold your breath and don’t look down.  Some are worse than others, but the one today wasn’t bad at all.  Also, each trail head has a large map showing points of interest in each direction, and contain details about the Lewis and Clark expedition that travelled this same route.  We stopped to read all the Lewis and Clark markers along the trail, learning where their campsites were located and reading excerpts from the pages of their journals.  It is really interesting.

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After that water break, we had a few more miles until we stopped for lunch.  There are not many choices for food along the trail, and sometimes you just have to take what you can get.  Our hosts from the first night had told us of stopping in Mokane for a burger, and told us that Mokane was really all there was along that section of the trail.  So we pulled off the trail and headed through the little bitty town of Mokane.  I’ll have to be honest, the place looked a little sketchy at best.  It’s not the type of place we typically eat, but we really had no other options and with the calories we were burning, we were hungry!  It was still fairly early, so when we went in, we were the only ones there.  We found a table right beside a large industrial fan that quickly cooled us off, and the man working there brought us menus.  I’d say the place could get pretty lively after 5:00 pm, but it was very calm today.  Eventually two other guys came in and sat at the bar in front of the TV, but they were both drinking soda and waiting for a burger just as we were.

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We told our server Rick that we’d heard they had good burgers.  Jimmy said he wanted the biggest burger they had and I asked for the smallest.  Rick said there was no such thing as a small burger at their joint.  He said they buy their meat in 20 pound rolls and get 18 burgers per roll.  Jimmy was absolutely delighted to hear this, and asked Rick what he would recommend.  There were about 15 different burgers on the menu, but Rick said that Jimmy really needed the Mokane special; a burger pattie, topped with bacon, topped with pulled pork, topped with onion rings on a bun with a side of home fries.  I asked for a cheeseburger with a side of home fries.

Rick turned in our order, kept the iced tea and water flowing, and was soon back with the biggest burger I’ve ever seen.

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Oh my goodness it was good!  And the home fries were amazing!  He seemed absolutely delighted when I started taking pictures of our burgers.  I don’t think he’d ever seen anyone do that before.   He was so nice to us and made sure we had everything we needed, extra napkins, an extra plate, more refills.  He even saw our camelbacks sitting on the table, picked them up and said he’d take them back to the kitchen and pack them with ice and fill them with water.

It was the best experience I’ve had in a bar.  (Actually it’s the only experience I’ve ever had in a bar!)  It really is true, you meet nice people wherever you go.

We thanked him for the great burgers and hopped back on the bikes to continue on our way toward Jefferson City.   The weather was just gorgeous, and though it was probably near 90, the humidity was much lower and we had a good breeze all day.  We stopped on one of the many bridges that are on the trail, and talked for a few minutes to one of the trail maintenance guys.  We had come across a downed tree blocking the trail a few miles back, and we wanted him to know.  He thanked us and said he’d have someone out there right away.  Since the Katy Trail is one long skinny state park, it is patrolled by rangers and a maintenance crew.  He told us he is responsible for the section between Jefferson City and where we were then.  He was replacing slats on a bridge that had been knocked out by bow fishermen.  They had remove the slats in order to shoot fish from the bridge.  He was very nice and he and Jimmy talked about fishing for a bit, then we were on our way again.

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Here are few more photos from the ride after lunch.

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At the trailhead in the little village of Tebbets, we spotted the Turner Katy Trail Shelter.  I had read about this place, so we decided to take a water break at the picnic table in front.

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The shelter building was constructed in the late 1800’s and served as a general store, then a church.  In its  later years, it was owned by Mrs. Turner, who wanted to donate it to the Katy Trail for the use of anyone using the trail.  The sign on the door invites you in if you are needing a place of shelter.  It tells you that the key to the shelter is hanging on the utility pole right beside the building.  I found the key, and we let ourselves in to take a look around.  The bottom floor contains several bunks and a kitchen area stocked with the basics.  The top floor has a few more bunks and a ping pong table, etc.  If you spend the night, the cost is $5 (per Mrs. Turner’s wishes, she didn’t want people to have to pay more than they would at a campground) and it’s on the honor system.  You leave the $5 in an envelope.

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Mrs. Turner is gone now, but they had her picture hanging inside, and a group of volunteers works to keep the shelter up.  The sign on the back of the door as we were leaving, gave these instructions for departure; “turn off the lights, turn off the AC, and clean up after yourself because that’s what Mrs. Turner would have wanted.”

What a sweet gift to all the people that use the Katy Trail.

We travelled on and were soon within sight of Jefferson City, the capitol city of Missouri.  Jefferson City has outdone itself with the beautiful pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses the river to the city.  You navigate through a series of climbing, zig-zagging concrete paths to get up to the level of the bridge.  Once you are on the bridge, you are totally separated from the vehicle traffic and have a beautiful view of the river and the state capitol building perched high on the hill overlooking the river.

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We navigated the bridge with no trouble, and again we knew our Bed and Breakfast was just to the left of the bridge.  However, before I knew what was happening, Jimmy had whipped out his phone and pulled up Google maps.  Apparently he was afraid I was going to take him to the wrong place again, and he did not want to sit on another stranger’s deck.  We found it with no problem.  We are staying at Cliff Manor Inn (www.cliffmanorinn.com) The house was built in the 1860’s by a Federal judge named Krekel.  He was one of the last judges appointed by Abraham Lincoln and he was an abolitionist.  The places we’ve stayed each night have been very different from each other, but each charming.  This place is like staying in the home of your great grandmother.  It is so homey and old.  Our room has a handmade quilt on the bed and is nice and cozy.  We have a deck with a view of the capitol building and they provided the use of a shed where they locked our bikes up for the night.  Behind the inn we were able to view the bridge we’d just crossed on bike.

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We almost didn’t stay here because the bathroom for the room we are in is on another level, and it is a shared bathroom.   There is a half bath we can use at the end of our hallway on the first landing, but to get to the full bath, you have to go downstairs to the first floor. They do have suites with private baths, but those were already taken.  Apparently this is the only bed and breakfast in town, and within close proximity to the trail.  We figured we could manage for one night.  As it turns out, the room we were to share the bath with is unoccupied tonight, so no awkward bath sharing with strangers.

Once we got settled and got cleaned up, we walked the few blocks into the historic district for dinner.  Jefferson City is a beautiful city, and as neat as a pin.  We strolled along the park overlooking the river and enjoyed the beautiful views of the capitol building and the other old buildings and churches in the historic district.

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We ate dinner at the Grand Cafe and we both had steak.  It was very good and we were seated right by the window.  We shared a flourless chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert, then strolled back up to the inn.  We rode 48 miles total today (counting the spur over from the trail) and tomorrow, we head to Booneville.

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Tomorrow, Jefferson City to Booneville…

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4 Responses to “Five Days on the Katy Trail – Day Three – Hermann to Jefferson City, MO”

  1. Cathy Ingram Troyer July 30, 2015 at 12:09 am #

    Ahhhh….I’m always so sad when I finish a post and then have to wait a whole day before I can read your next post. Such a fun trip (and so entertaining to read)! Love you both!

    • Deb July 30, 2015 at 6:32 am #

      We are glad you are reading along. Makes it even more fun for us!

      On Thursday, July 30, 2015, Family Favorites wrote:

      >

      • Elaine De Jager July 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

        Hi Debbie, Oh my you are a story teller and I love reading it plus all the beautiful pictures. I’m sure you’ll be in good shape when school starts next week! Glad you had this wonderful opportunity to see God’s handiwork. Elaine and John

  2. Robin July 30, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    I agree with Cathy…I hate to have to stop reading!!!

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