Sad to Leave the KATY Trail - Clinton - 8/8/2006
 

All day today, Dave and I knew this was our last day of the KATY Trail.  We both had sentimental feelings towards the trail.  It has been our haven from agressive Missouri drivers for the past 4-5 days.  Memories...

Most noticeably today, there are lots of grasshoppers and butterflies on the trail.  I was a human car windshield, as many butterflies would smack my as I rode by.  At one point, I even had butterfly juices on my arm because he smacked me so hard.

Coming off the trail for a cold beverage break, I spotted a live mirage.  This is the type of swimming pools I've been mentioning where I just want to ask the owner if I can jump in to cool off.

This is my first elevation picture (all tourist cyclist take these pictures - I'm sure I'll be taking plenty in Colorado).  This is the highest point on the KATY Trail - 955 feet.  We're higher than the St. Louis Arch at this point.

This is one of the last standing original telephone poles along the railroad tracks.

Here I am at the end of the trail.  So sad.  It's good to know that I am always welcome in Missouri state parks.

This is a trailhead at each "rest stop" on the trail.  It gives you the overall picture of the whole KATY Trail and shows you where you are.  It also gives you facts about the city you are in.

This is how dirty my bike got after riding on the trail.  They need to have a water hose at the tail ends (St. Charles in the East and Clinton in the West) of the trail.

This gives you an overview of the KATY Trail.

Here I am having an old fashioned soda fountain drink.  It was so good!

When we got off the trail, we went into the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.  Originally, I was just planning on asking them if they knew of a indoor place where we could sit and eat our lunch with air conditioning.  I also asked about the cities west of Clinton and they advised me to stay the night in Clinton because the next town out was at least another 40 miles.  I did not have another 40 miles in me.  Given this new fact, it occurred to me that I should seek their help to find housing in Clinton.  Sandi, the Chamber of Commerce lady, suggested the rec center where we could shower and camp.  Camp?  I continued probing for alternative housing.  I asked her if she knew of any churches that would have a shower.  As this was going on, Dave quietly asked me what's wrong with the first option - it provided the shower that I required.  True, it had a shower, but the camping part I could do without.  Back to the church option, everyone in the chamber was brainstorming on this church and that church.  They finally called Pastor Maggi at the United Methodist Church because attached to the church is a rec center/school type of place, equipped with a shower.  Excellent.  A shower and indoor sleeping.  It's not that I require a bed (although that is a bonus); it's sleeping indoors away from the bugs and wet grass that I desire.  Here I am with the ever so helpful Sandi.  After we took this picture, Sandi took a picture of Dave and me and sent it to the local newspaper.  She said usually whatever she sends to them, they usually publish (remember, this is a small town).  I hope a copy of the local paper is waiting for me in New York City.

Back at the church, they had a huge kitchen.  I seized this opportunity to make a delicious meal of pan fried chicken, pasta, corn, spinach salad with tomatoes and cantaloup.  Yum.

After dinner, I lubed my chain then went to sleep on a gymnastics mat on the floor of an air conditioned room.