This summer, Mandy switched around her visit to Tulsa so that she could go to her Audubon camp. That shifted the time we could set aside for a family vacation from super-hot early August to hopefully-nicer early June.
As a teenager, I rode parts of the Katy Trail in Missouri. It's about 250 miles of mostly-flat packed limestone gravel, running from St. Charles (just west of St. Louis) all the way across the state to Clinton, Missouri. We've been wanting to ride the whole length of the trail as a family. An early-June vacation seemed like a good time to give it a try.
Here's a link to a map of the trail.
We bought a guidebook to the trail way back last year, and had been daydreaming over it ever since. The Katy is the longest rail-trail in the US! A landmark state park system! With friendly little towns and ice cream shops and cyclist-centered campgrounds all along the way! And historical thingamajigs! All just one state north of us.
To make the trip a little more challenging (and fun), we decided to leave the car in Little Rock and do the whole eight-day vacation using alternative transportation. We pieced together a route using mostly Amtrak, but also the public transit buses and light rail in St. Louis. And, of course, the touring bikes. It'll be the longest trip any of us have ever taken by bike, and we'll be doing it together. With stops for ice cream.