This is one of those moments when I am grateful for my preparations. I can't eat anything there anyway, so I've brought with me hardboiled eggs, gf bread and a banana from the hotel. Though it is a modest breakfast, it will sustain me. My colleagues however, are looking forward to a breakfast at Yummy's. I feel for them. The muffin sandwiches contain a variety of mystery meats, the eggs resemble plastic platters. And the coffee? Watery, undrinkable. Even the addition of Starbuck's Via instant doesn't help. You would really have to work to make coffee this bad. Odd in an era when every Dunkin Donuts now serves fresh brewed. But that's how it is in Missouri. The Just are in church. Non-believers and tourists can suck it up. You have to wonder if maybe there isn't something else at work here...
That said, the people are always kind and helpful. Unbeknownst to us, there is a detour to get back to the Katy - and we can't find it. A wise local recognizes our confusion.
Yes, the Katy Trail is repetitive. But strangely, I'm having a great time. I don't hang with people my age much. I'm not quite sure why that is, but my friends are either older or younger. For the first time since my last High School reunion, I'm with people almost exactly my age. With smarts, and a great sense of humor. We share the music, the times, the sensibility. And they love to bike - how great is that? If the Katy Trail is repetitious, it is also an excellent opportunity to get to know people without distraction or the danger of cars. We can ride two by two, which you can't really do on the open road.
If only our rental bikes weren't such clunkers. KD mentions that her chain is slipping about every 10 pedal strokes or so - that can't be fun. Mine is beginning to rattle, and I fear I'm headed in the same direction. To drive home our misery, we run into this guy.
Twenty-four miles later, we arrive at Pilot Grove hoping for lunch. But Like Sedalia, the only place that's open doesn't really offer anything edible: Casey's, a gas station (the Just are still in church).
Twelve miles later, we find ourselves in Boonville consulting on the path to take before making a right into town. Oops, face plant!
Meanwhile in Boonville, the search for the elusive lunch goes on. We look around cycling first to a casino, then deciding against what turns out to be a cocktail joint (we have that covered). Suddenly, out of the blue a beacon from home:
That's 13 miles too many for two of our number, who are beginning to liken the Katy Trail, with its gravelly surface, to "Waterboarding for cyclists." There's an option to ride with the luggage to Rocheport and they take it (perhaps the luggage makes better conversation). I understand the feeling. But they miss out on one of the great moments of the ride: a spectacular trip over the Missouri.
We all know that these will be the best accommodations of our trip, and they couldn't come at a better time. Furthermore, we have a 6pm dinner reservation at Abigail's, a local eatery of some repute.** We have just enough time to shower, watch a few minutes of women's tennis at the French Open over what has fast become a tradition (Tequila), before heading over to Abigail's.
Sated at last, we turn in.
*Yates B&B http://www.yateshouse.com