As I continued on the Katy Trail toward St. Charles and nearby St. Louis, I imagined what it would have been like for a child to make her first trip to St. Louis on the train that used to travel along the path I rode on. I recalled the visceral experience of the train from Silverton to Durango out in Colorado. Frequent town stops and grain elevators, new passengers boarding, Missouri River views to the right, the anticipation of arriving at the destination, looking for signs of a larger clumping of people and their enterprise and activity.
Whereas distances between towns out west were 60 to 80 miles or more, towns were now coming up every 6 – 8 miles. It makes cycling progress more noticeable and tangible; mini-destinations come frequently and break up the ride. Yesterday it was Dutzow, Augusta, Matson, Defiance, Weldon Spring, and Greens Bottom before St. Charles, in just 37 miles.
I continued to meet cycling groups on the Katy Trail, one of which included a co-67 year old female cyclist! Keep on cycling, Carol!
The sky was deeply overcast though there was no threat of serious rain. I was in deep woods and it was dreary. I bumped along the not so smooth trail. It got me where I needed to go but was not as much fun as the glorious day before.
Even though I knew I was only a few miles from St. Charles, there were no signs, until they finally came quickly. Industry. Parking lots, stores, and houses. The trail took me under two major bridges, 61/40 and 364, and I stopped riding just after I went under the bridge for Route 370. Cyclists often get to see the underbellies of highway bridges but they are often quite attractive!
I didn’t linger long on the trail, for there was a treat in store at the end – a Cardinals ball game. It was extra sweet that the home team won 7 – 0.
After the game, we went on a mission. I had just learned that William Danforth, a prominent figure in the establishment of Washington University in St. Louis, was the great-great-grandfather of Vanessa, my son’s significant other. We drove through the WU campus, checked out the campus map, asked a security guard, and, at least, found the Danforth University Center. It was dark and we were not able to find a large medallion or a statue we were looking for, but the pursuit was gripping and fun!
Today I bade farewell to Sandra. Susie has resumed the SAG role. Friend Connie will ride along for a day to experience firsthand how important the SAG person is. Thank you, Sandra, for discovering Kansas and Missouri with me, for helping me get back to health quickly, for major logistics work where the trail and available roads diverged, and once again, for stepping in on short notice when the need arose. Enjoy your 20th anniversary tomorrow with my brother, Mike! Welcome back, Susie!
Start location: Dutzow MO (near Washington MO)
End location: St. Charles MO
Distance: 37.1 miles
Cumulative distance: 2040.4 miles
Elevation gain: 252.6 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/730113047