Location: Franklin, MO (KATY Roadhouse Campground)
Another great day on the KATY. I moved with mindless effort over 60 miles of trail. I strained myself a bit on some soft patches on the trail, hidden from sunlight by the tangled canopy of trees and therefore still damp from Hurricane Ike. For the most part, though, I sat upright on my seat, pedaled easily, and absorbed the natural world around me.
The KATY trail reminds me somewhat of the Appalachian Trail. The trail itself is dissimilar and in many ways the antithesis of the AT, but the scenery is similar. Many refer to the AT as the long green tunnel. The KATY is that indeed. Thick groves of trees line each side, and their branches are braided above the trail. Some areas of the trail are open, through a field or along a road, but much of it is shaded by the old swamp trees. I can picture, in many places and around many turns, the train of the 1880s that shook the ground as it snaked through these trees, with steam engines blowing smoke and freight in tow.
We took our time today. We visited the museum at the old depot in Sedalia. I only glanced at the exhibits and opted not to watch the video, but I enjoyed the museum. The curator there distracted me from some of the history when she informed me that the trail was still closed in some areas due to floods. I became intensely interested in the information about that and started scouring the map for alternate routes. We encountered none of the problem spots today, but tomorrow we’ll come to many.
Brian suggested that tonight we come to a private campground and pay the fee so we could get a shower. I couldn’t have agreed more with the suggestion, since we haven’t had a shower since the fire station in Great Bend.
I feel terrific after the shower, but I could not sit at the picnic table to enjoy the clear night because the mosquitoes are ferocious. The standing water along the Missouri has left ample breeding pools for the pesky bugs. Since walking through Maine in June of 2006, mosquitoes have been the source of my greatest dread and the target of my most unrelenting hated. I hate nothing in this world but mosquitoes. It’s not in me to hate people, customs, religions, or foreign things, but mosquitoes I have no tolerance for. I doubt I ever will.