WTF? - Hartsburg - 8/5/2006

More KATY Trail today.  We found a nice spot where we could sit and enjoy the Missouri River.  While chillin', we actually saw some kayakers and canoers paddling the length of Missouri River.  Lots of ambitious people out there.  Each to his/her own sport.

At one point on the trail today, I saw a turtle move (at first, I thought it was just a leaf) and I shrieked.  Dave called it a blood curdling cry.  It's not that I'm afraid of a turtle.  It's the fact that something moved that I wasn't expecting.  And when I realized it was a turtle, I didn't want to hurt it.  At the same time, I didn't want to hit it like a rock and knock me off my bike.  I think killiing it would gross me out more than falling off my bike.  After I got over my initial fear, we went back to try to take a picture of it.  How fast could a turtle go, right?  Wrong.  We could not find it at all.  Anyhow, here's a good shot of what the KATY Trail looks like.

Here's one of Dave riding from the back.  I like how the trees form a nice tunnel effect.

For lunch, we went off the trail into Jefferson City (capital of Missouri).  We had to take Highway 54 for less than one mile to get into the city.  It was scary because the shoulder was so narrow.  Luckily, no one tried to run us off the road.  Jefferson City is crazy hilly.  Each street is one roller coaster after another.  After lunch and grocery shopping, we had to climb a hill that was 13%.  It was so steep that some other novice cyclists were walking their bike down the hill.  Leaving the city, we had to once again go on Highway 54 to get back to the trail.  So weird.  On the return side of the highway, the shoulder was as big as a lane of traffic.  The thing that strikes me as very odd is that we had a shoulder that big, and for some reason, they put up two (not one, but two) Share the Road signs.  Take one or both of those damn Share the Road signs and put it on the other side where the shoulder was practically non-existent.  So odd.

Back on the KATY trail...  After a while, I wanted to our final destination a little faster.  I could see from the trail that Highway 94 looked pretty empty.  We took our chances and went out on the pavement to speed things up.  Wouldn't you know it?  Although the road was completely empty and it was easy for any car to pass us, we still had a few jerks honk at us to get out of the road.  So obnoxious.  For the most part, I was flying on the road (18-19 mph every time I looked down at my computer).  But, it was very stressful being out on the road since I was always looking in my rear view mirror to see if a car was coming so I could hug the edge of the road even more to avoid a conflict.  Eventually, we went back to the KATY trail because it was just too stressful for me to deal with the cars and also I wanted to slow down the pace (getting tired) and get some shade.

Earlier in the day, we were told that when we arrived in Hartsburg, we would have a shower provided and that we could camp in the city park.  The shower would be at the cafe.  Strange, but okay.  We get to the cafe and talk to the waitress and she said the cafe has never had a shower, ever.  Great.  I only agreed to camping in this particular town because of the promised shower.  I asked if the cafe had a hose out back that I could use.  The waitress was very sympathetic and assured me that she'd find a shower for me.  She even went to talk to the mayor who was eating in the cafe to ask if the mayor knew where we could shower.  We called back the chamber of commerce number and oddly (and luckily) enough, someone picked up (it was about 7:30pm at this time).  I laughed and assumed that the number was just someone cell phone number.  Would have been funny when we dialed and the phone rang in the cafe and the mayor picked up!  A minute later, a woman walked into the cafe, talked to the waitress and headed towards us.  You guessed it - it's the chamber of commerce woman, Pam.  She came in and apologized saying she thought she heard they put in a shower when they remodeled.  Strange, why would a cafe put in a shower.  And if they did, why would they let people off the street shower there?  Regardless, Pam said we could shower at her place.  Good deal!

Back at camp, this family (husband, wife, 2 kids) were picking ticks off their clothes.  Gross.  They said there were ticks where we parked our bikes (and where the kids were just playing for a bit).  Nasty.  Eew.  So disgusting.  I'm not in the mood for ticks.  So gross.  So, we moved our bikes away from where we were originally going to camp and moved it away from the wood and trees and opted to be in the grass.  You remember how much I like wet grass.  Gross.  All I could think of all night is how these ticks are latching themselves onto to me and I'd have to burn them off of me the following day.  So gross.  Ugh - I hate camping.

As we're stood around setting up the tent (again, by "setting up the tent", I mean I was fishing around for my clothes to take a shower and Dave was setting up the tent, this van drove by with really loud music and goes into a little "corner" of the park area.  I remarked, "WTF?" (I literally said the letters) to Dave.  Unaware of basic computer lingo, I had to explain to Dave that WTF means "what the f".  Five or ten minutes later, the van drove by really fast and stopped right next to our tent.  Saying nothing, the driver got out of the car, opened the side of the van, took out some fresh veggies and offered it to us.  Fresh from his garden.  Very nice, but just so weird how it all went down.

In true Iron Chef style, I decided to make a nice tomato sauce with all the tomatoes (only 2 of the 4 tomatoes are shown in the above picture).  You can only eat so many tomatoes with a salad.  I diced and smashed the tomatoes into our .8 liter camping stove and 30 minutes later, we had a nice sauce to go on top of our pasta.

Here's the end result with the other veggies.

All night, we had Lab (unaware of his name, we called him Lab) and Beagle (not pictured) protecting our camp.