Five Days on the Katy Trail – Day Two – Defiance to Hermann, MO

29 Jul

I sprang out of bed this morning right before dawn as quick as I could move.  Not because I couldn’t wait to get back on the bike, but because I had a leg cramp like I’ve never had before!  I guess I startled Jimmy with my quick jump out of bed because he rolled over and mumbled in a very sleepy voice, “What are you doing?”  I said “Leg cramp!” through my gritted teeth.  He said, “OK” and rolled back over.  My muscles were in protest, and I couldn’t really blame them.  But today was a new day and we had more mileage to cover.  Our hosts at the Inn at Defiance prepared an amazing breakfast for us. It was freshly prepared with locally sourced eggs and produce and it was delicious.  They prepared a fruit yogurt smoothie for “dessert” and we felt well fortified for the ride ahead.  They hugged us goodbye like we’d known them for ages and made us promise to come back.

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The day started off warm and only got hotter.  We took frequent water breaks and rested more than we had the previous day, but still, it was incredibly hot.  We noticed we didn’t see many other riders out today, possibly because most of the population has more sense than us?  The humidity was high with temps in the mid to upper 90s.  The heat index was up around 110 or so, and we felt every degree. The route today took us through beautiful farmland and tiny little towns.  We are seeing more of the tall limestone bluffs that border one side of the trail with the Missouri River on the other.  The trail meanders to and from the river.  The limestone bluffs are beautiful, and I finally got a good picture today of a small bluff that was clear of the canopy.  Most of the bluffs are in deep forest and it’s been hard to get a good photo.   Below are the pictures from the first half of our ride.

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We stopped for lunch at a little village named Dutzow and found a surprisingly good lunch at the Dutzow Deli.  Jeff and Chris (from the previous night’s B & B) had recommended it to us.  We have really enjoyed eating at the small mom and pop businesses so far.  I decided I’d give the Waldorf Spinach salad a try, and asked our waitress if it was good.  She replied, I have no idea, it’s not meat and potatoes.  I told her I’d let her know.  Jimmy ordered the triple meat deli sandwich and she bragged on him for ordering something so good.  She said she knew that one was good and she guaranteed he would like it.  We both really enjoyed our food and she even filled up our camelbacks with ice and water before we left.

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A funny thing happened right before we took off.  I decided I’d better stop in the restroom before we got back on the trail, and noticed there was a key to the restroom hanging at the end of the lunch counter.  It was on a piece of metal pipe about 8 inches long and hung on a magnet so anyone that needed to use it could easily find it (and I guess not steal it since it had the pipe attached).  Anyway, I grabbed the key, let myself into the restroom and slid the latch to lock the door. It was probably 100 degrees in there since they had diverted all of the AC to the restaurant in order to keep the customers cool, or it was not air-conditioned at all.  When I was done, I reached up to slide the latch back the other way and it would not budge no matter how hard I tried.   I leaned on the door putting as much force as I could with my shoulder, then I pulled on the door and tried sliding it with the tension off.  I worked and worked and put all of my strength into it but it would not move.  I figured Jimmy would come check on me eventually, but that might take awhile.  I thought about calling his cell phone, but I’d left mine on the table.  As I was standing there deciding how to get out, I looked down and noticed the 8-inch pipe hanging from the key in my hand.  It worked just perfectly to hammer the sliding latch out of its position so that I could open the door.  I wondered if anyone could hear it (Jimmy said he did but thought a construction crew was hammering) but I can tell you I was glad to get out of that hot bathroom! I made a quick exit and though it was hot outside, it still felt better than that bathroom!

We continued on in the heat and tried to cover the miles as quickly as possible to be able to get out of the heat.  Toward the end of the ride, there was less shade and things were really heating up.  All along the trail are benches, and we really needed a rest stop toward the end.  We rode and rode, but no bench.  Finally, we just had to stop in the last bit of shade before riding in the hot sunshine again.  There was no where to lean our bikes, so we just laid them down in the trail.  I stretched out for a little rest, and would have startled anyone that came upon me I’m sure.  But I didn’t care!

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The last 15 miles were brutal and when I saw the sign to the spur that would take us to Hermann, I seriously considered getting off the bike and kissing it!  But that would have taken way too much effort, so I kept peddling.

When we got into town, we knew the general vicinity of the bed and breakfast and knew it was right off the bridge where we crossed the Missouri River.  We’d been communicating back and forth with the owner and knew they ran an antique shop and had a detached building behind them that served as the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast.  We turned left at the base of the bridge and came to the antique shop right away!  Jimmy asked if I was sure this was the right place, and I said, “Of course it is, I recognize all of this from the website!”  (How dare he!)  The antique shop was housed in an older home and had a beautiful garden full of shade right beside it with a path that led back to a detached building.  The shop was closed, but I figured the inn owner lived in that house and ran the B and B from there.  There were some other homes close by, and obviously a very nice area of town.  We got off our bikes, removed our helmets and propped the bikes against the huge oak trees in the shady back yard. We’d been instructed to call the owner’s cell phone when we arrived and she’d send her daughter right over to let us in.  We sat down in the deep shade of the back porch in the two chairs that were there and I placed the call.  As the phone rang, I looked around and noticed a garden hose laying there beside me near a fountain.  I thought about turning it on and hosing myself off, (I was just so darn hot!) which I would do if it were going to take her long to get to us.  It was such a relief to finally be there…and I quickly reached the daughter by phone.  She asked me where we were, and I told her we were sitting in the shade on the back porch of her shop.  She replied just as sweetly as possibly could, “Ummm, Ma’am, I’m here now and I’m looking out the window to the back porch and you’re not there.” Oh my goodness!!  We were sitting in someone’s back yard enjoying their deck chairs and shade and thinking of turning on their water hose!  Jimmy was all relaxed beside me until he saw the look on my face as reality hit me.  As  I continued to listen to Gretchen on the other end of the line, I mouthed to Jimmy, We’re in the wrong place!  His eyebrows shot up and his eyes began to dart back and forth and he started saying, “What?  Are we in the wrong place?”  I nodded my head yes and we quickly retrieved our bikes and high-tailed it out of there! The innkeeper’s daughter, Gretchen stayed with us on the phone until we made it to her location.  It helped to have someone on the end of the line talking us through that crisis!  We were about a block and a half off in our calculations, but finally we saw Gretchen standing at the top of hill in the alleyway that lead to the Carriage House.  The hill was very steep, and I decided I wasn’t going to try to ride up that thing with my legs of jelly.  As I tried to get off of my bike, obviously my legs had had enough with the 45 mile ride in the searing heat.  My leg caught and the saddlebag tipped the bike to the point where I could not recover.  I fell down right there on the spot, with my bike and saddlebag right on top of me.  I was ok though, and the only result of that spectacle, was that my biker credibility rating went down quite a few notches.

I cannot begin to describe the Carriage House.  It is absolutely gorgeous and Mrs. Cady and Gretchen are some of the sweetest people we’ve ever met.  This place is an absolute jewel.  Pictures cannot do it justice.  If you are ever in Hermann, MO, you must stay there.  Mrs. Cady had texted first thing this morning, wishing us safe travels and telling us she’d have a special dessert in our fridge on our arrival.  We had the choice of a peanut butter parfait pie or a New York cheesecake with a chocolate ganache.  Both homemade.  I asked if we could have one of each?  She said of course you can my dear!  (I can’t tell you how often I thought of that pie as I pedaled toward Hermann!)

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We got cleaned up and out of our sweaty clothes and walked to find a place to eat.  No way was I getting back on that bike!  The only thing we could find within walking distance, and open on a Tuesday night, was a restuarant in a neat old building that used to be a Concert Hall.  Hermann is full of old buildings and steeped in German heritage.  It is a really charming town with an old world feel.

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We were seated right away, and as we waited for our server, I made a suggestion.  I said how about we hop on an Amtrak with our bikes in the morning, travel toward Jefferson City a ways, then get off and ride in the rest of the way?  I thought it was a brilliant idea after the grueling day I’d just spent on a bike.  He just threw his head back and laughed like I was the funniest person alive.  He thought I was kidding!  I was not, but let it drop.  Jimmy had the steak again and I had a grilled cheese.  I was just too hot to eat much, but he managed to eat just fine. The food was good and once again, the people were so gracious and friendly.

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When we got back to the Carriage House, we’d been instructed to contact Mrs. Cady and go over our breakfast options.  She had left us a 2 page menu of choices!  She wanted us to choose whatever we wanted.  She helped us navigate through all the choices, made note of what we wanted and how we wanted it cooked, and bid us a goodnight.  And of course we still had our homemade pies waiting for us courtesy of Mrs. Cady.  They were delicious!

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We didn’t have a bit of trouble sleeping, and it was lights out by 9:00 pm for us!

Tomorrow, Hermann to Jefferson City – 45 miles

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4 Responses to “Five Days on the Katy Trail – Day Two – Defiance to Hermann, MO”

  1. Sarah July 29, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Getting locked in bathrooms must run in the family.. :/
    Also, I’ll have to teach you how to recover when you fall off/trip over a bike. ;)
    The food and views look amazing! Stay hydrated!

    • Deb July 30, 2015 at 6:34 am #

      So true! You are indeed the master at recovering from a near bike fall! I’ve witnessed it first hand which was very impressive!

  2. Robin July 30, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    If you put all of this in a book I would buy it in a heartbeat! I have to stop laughing out loud at work!!!!

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