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Those lights that were supposed to go off last night at eleven do go off…this morning at six. It wasn’t a great night of sleep, but we took what we could get. We packed up and rode to Casey’s General Store to answer questions from other customers while sitting on the curb eating our breakfasts - pastries, pickles, jerky, breakfast pizza. We bought food for the whole day in case we didn’t see another store, and we hit the trail.
The Katy after Boonville is different - we’re moving away from the river, now, so there are long, low hills and lots of shade. The weather’s more pleasant today, too, in the low nineties, with a breeze and low humidity. We have plenty to eat, and we stop every five miles or so for a short break. We carry ice water in the dromedary from the Pilot Grove trailhead but don’t really need it.
I like the information signs along the Katy. They're truly helpful, with historical information about the area, explanations of place names, and mileages to nearby stuff. I like the way each little 'station' has the name of the town on a big black and white sign on each end, just like the old train stations did. There's a place on each sign for local businesses to post their hours and other information that might be helpful to cyclists passing through.
We knew to expect lots of interesting old bridges along our route, and we really liked the stone train tunnel near Rocheport. We weren't expecting all these enormous wrinkle-tin culverts out in rural areas of the trail, though.
We pull into Sedalia around four and ride through town to the Katy Depot for tshirts and the little tac pin I always buy for my wall at work. The woman at the counter is full of information: The 40% off shirts are from the anniversary celebration last year, there’s a tornado watch in effect, her freezer at home has broken and all her meat's thawed, the bathroom’s down the hallway, we should eat supper at Kahde’s BBQ. She makes a phone call to find out where we should go if the tornado sirens blow while we're at camp. We’ve found lots of really helpful, sweet people on this trip.
We ride to the state fairgrounds and decide where to camp, then through the empty fairground property, past the swine building and the halls and hot dog stands (Mexican food: burritos, tamales, pizza, ravioli, funnel cakes) to find Kahde’s just across the street.
At Kahde’s, we ate supper inside a real MKT dining car, on the old seats and everything. It was really neat, and we had a Boulevard beer and fried cauliflower. Mandy ordered a baked potato and mashed potatoes, and both are excellent.
We ride together to the Laundromat nearby, and leave me there to wash our clothes. Bryan and Mandy ge back to the fairgrounds to find that we’d been in entirely the wrong place, so they work together to move to a new and improved, legal camping spot. It’s been a great last day of riding - the weather’s been better than we’ve had all trip, we’ve had good food to eat, and we’re having a great time together again.