Nick on the bike 2005: Oregon to Virginia
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Day 39: Marshall to Katy's Katfish / Huntsdale
August 22, 2005, 8:27 PM
Where am I now: Huntsdale, Missouri (38.91056N by 92.4720W at 604 ft.)
Today's distance: 60 miles

When storm clouds were brewing over the Missouri River in 1804, L&C couldn't anticipate rounding a bend and happening upon Katy's Katfish resort. Neither could a KATY Trail newbee like myself. But there it was, in the middle of nothing about 15 miles downtrail from Boonville. I could not pass it by.

I spent a little time in Marshall this morning before getting back onto Missouri's byways. Started with breakfast just off the town's impressive central square. Photo documentation attempted.

Then I went to a hardware store & bought the wherewithall to fix BOB's fender, which had lost a bolt (hello North and south Dakota roads) and had developed an annoying rattle.

It's a new day, I'm beyond the negativity of yesterday's events. The people of Missouri have "shown me" today in conversation that they're as friendly & engaging as people everywhere else. Get on with it.

The ride over to Boonville from Marshall took me across more rolley polley farmland, with modest cut-and-fill highway construction.

But I'm headed for the famous KATY Trail, where the grades are nil and the cars are someplace else! Outside of Booneville I round a corner and there's 4-lane US40 running right next to me.

Complete with billboards and all the other amenities. I've ridden US40/I70 across the state on my motorcycle, now I remember the billboard thing. Lady Bird Johnson's campaign didn't get much traction here. I shoot some photos, it's so strange to have all of this visual input after the country roads I've been riding.

Boonville is a neat river town, Main Street dumps you onto the bridge. The cafe is right before you get on the bridge. As I wait for my food, German cyclist Heike happens by, I invite her to join me for lunch. It seems she's been on the road for years, no longer has pretenses of normalcy in her life plans. Heike has a vast network of connections through an organization that advocates for peace through cross-cultural understanding. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Mid afternoon I finally make it to the hallowed path of KATY. This is a railroad bed converted to hike-bike trail that's operated as a State Park by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. I'm only about 15 miles into it as of this writing, and the thing runs about another 150 miles or so east.

KATY bridge now abandoned

So far so good. I've seen great blue heron, massive limestone cliffs, the river. I've run into some interesting people on the trail, and there's no highway stuff to deal with. The riding surface is good. This is the only game for the next few days, it's nice, peaceful, sort of like going on a vacation.

Katy's Katfish is a start-up campground catering to trail users. Brand new shower, porch, view from the porch, easy chairs, I'm liking it.

As the rain started, a road cyclist from nearby Columbia joined me, we had good visit. A Columbia city parks planner, he was one of the architects of the earliest rail-trail conversion, on the spur MKT line that ran between Columbia and the main KATY line along the river. Good conversation. Time to cook dinner. No fried catfish at Katy's yet.