The Katy Trail Ride began in Frontier Park in St. Charles, home of First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Parks Foundation sponsored the ride this year. Katy Trail State Park has many scenic views along the trail, and received many compliments from the riders. They also love the shopping opportunities for souvenirs along the trail. Missouri state parks welcomed more than 300 riders from over 25 states and all were excited to start the ride.
Breakfast began at 6:30 a.m. with bagels, muffins, juice, milk, coffee and pastries. After the first riders’ meeting, the riders were on the trail to Hermann. The day was hot with temperatures of 94 degrees. SAG stops were in Weldon Spring, Augusta, Treloar, Gore and McKittrick, and their final destination was Hermann City Park. The shower truck was there set up ready for the riders. When they arrived, they pitched their tents and took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.
In Hermann, the riders experienced a traditional German meal of brats, sauerkraut, fruit, potato salad, lemonade, tea, and bread pudding at the Hermanoff Festival Hall. And what is Hermann without the wineries? The riders also had the pleasure of enjoying a glass of wine of their choice. Showstopper Revue was a very entertaining show for the crowd, and they all had a wonderful time full of laughs.
After dinner, there was a short riders’ meeting with updates on the trail, introductions of staff and volunteers, and a prize give-away for the passport program gift basket to Jack Olsen #92. A roll call of the states was presented and the farthest rider came from Alaska. In addition to Missouri, the other states represented were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The oldest rider on the trail this year is Harry Hutson, 78, from Georgia and the youngest rider is Jennifer Newton, age five, from Tennessee. Jennifer rides tandem with her dad and she always carries her baby doll with her. The day was a scorcher, but she was prepared with a hat and sunscreen. Even her doll had a bandana. In addition to her family (Jim, Janinine, Jennifer and Ben), a friend (Will Beasley, age 16) is traveling with them on the ride. He rode 21 miles per hour today and finished the 64-mile ride by 1:30 p.m.
Each day, there are "passport questions" in each of the rider's map booklet for answering questions along the trail. Answering all the questions gives them a chance to win a prize at the end of the day.
Monday's passport questions were:
1. Imagine it is May 1804. You are a member of Lewis and Clark's exedition on your way west. Will you be traveling upstream against the Missouri River current, or going downstream with the current? Lewis and Clark expedition traveled upstream on the Missouri River
2. With the offer of a Spanish land grant, 64-year old Daniel Boone moved from Kentucky to Missouri in 1799. He died in 1820 and was buried near Marthasville, but his remains were taken back to Kentucky in 1945-- through Missourians and Kentuckians still debate this fact. How many standing gravestones are at the Daniel Boone grave monument? (you'll have to leave the trail to answer this question.) 14 standing gravestones (16 acceptable)
3. Name one of the two towns on today's segment of the trail that were named after the wives of their founders. Augusta or Marthasville
Day 2, Hermann to Hartsburg -- June 25, 2002
At the beginning of the second day, the Hermann City Police blocked two lanes of the Missouri River bridge for the bicyclists; once at 6 a.m. and once at 6:30 a.m. It was a pleasant and exciting way to start off the 57-mile ride to Hartsburg. Cyclists rode to Rhineland where they stopped at the St. Joseph Catholic Church for breakfast, which consisted of biscuits, gravy, sausage, milk, juice, coffee, cereal, and tropical fruit.
The SAG stops for the cyclists were located at Portland, Tebbetts, and the North Jefferson trail head. Along the Katy, cyclists were treated to spectacular views of the Missouri River, and breathtaking bluffs between Bluffton and Portland. Some of the bluffs along the Katy towered as high as 250 feet. The views were unforgettable: the bluffs... the river.... and the bicyclists.
At the North Jefferson trail head SAG stop, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Task Force of Jefferson City shuttled people across the river for sightseeing and lunch in downtown Jefferson City.
Tuesday's ride featured the "Poker Run" in which cyclists stopped at five stops located at Portland, Mokane, Tebbetts, t the North Jefferson trail head and finally Hartsburg. At the stops, cyclists chose a card, hoping for the best hand. A straight flush was the winning hand -- a 6,7,8,9,10 of diamonds by Tom Kus.
Tuesday's passport questions were:
- Early Hermann settlers first arrived in the 1830s as part of a large wave of immigration to this region of Missouri. In the 1840s, some planted vineyards to make wine. From which country did most Hermann settlers emigrate? Germany
- Katy Trail State Park used to go through the middle of the town of Rhineland until about 1993. Where is the town located today? Why did it move? Moved to higher ground after Flood of 1993
- At mile marker 120.4, there is a large, isolated piece of the bluff standing at the right edge of the trail. List three dates that appear on the rock. What is the significance of the dates? 1903, 1912, 1923, 1935, 1943, 1944, 1947, 1993; dates indicate water levels during these flood years.
- The fertile soil of the Missouri River bottomland is good for farming. Name one of the two major crops growing between Katy Trail State Park and the river. corn and soybeans (wheat acceptable)
Tuesday's passport winner was Rider # 40.
More than 300 cyclists gathered in Hartsburg for dinner at the American Legion Hall. Cyclists enjoyed a spaghetti dinner with salad, tropical fruit, Italian bread, tea and lemonade. The Katy Trail Ride nearly tripled Hartsburg's population of 108. Cyclists camped in eight different locations around town, including the city park, the church yard, and yards of the Hartsburg's residents. John and Carl Thomas, both Hartsburg residents and volunteers, provided a traditional tractor and wagon shuttle for the cyclists baggage and transportation to their campsite. Several Hartsburg businesses welcomed the cyclists with a lemonade stand and a live band. Popular spots in Hartsburg were the Hartsburg Cycle Depot and the Thornhill Winery.
The riders meeting featured one of the Katy Trail Ride's sponsor, Bryan Douglas from Westminster College and Nancy Grant, the mayor of Hartsburg. A surprise thunderstorm threatened the riders meeting, but the rain waited for the riders to return to the Legion Hall. There, they were treated to an ice cream social, followed by a slide presentation on "Lewis and Clark in Missouri" by Jim Denny.
Day 3, Hartsburg to New Franklin -- June 26, 2002
Breakfast with the Pancake Man started day three of the Katy Trail Ride. Flipping his pancakes around 6 a.m. started a morning full of excitement and laughter. He flipped pancakes over the griddles to land on the cyclists' plates. Breakfast consisted of his delicious recipe of buttermilk pancakes, grapes, melon, strawberries and fruit dip, cereal, sausage, coffee, juice and milk. The cyclists left Hartsburg with a healthy meal to prepare them for the 35-mile ride to New Franklin.
SAG stops Wednesday included Easley, Hindman Junction and Davisdale. There was an optional ride into Columbia on the MKT Trail. Approximately 20 riders chose to ride into downtown to eat lunch.
Popular highlights of the day were the Pancake Man, Pierced Rock, Hindman Junction and the Perche Creek Bridge. Some riders took a quick side trip to see the Champion Bur Oak. Seven cyclists joined hands around the tree that is about 300 years old and almost 30 feet in circumference. In Huntsdale, there is a new Katy Trail business that is being built and cyclists rode by it on another part of the scenic view of the Katy. Cyclists stopping at Rocheport enjoyed a rest and snack at the Trailside Café. New Franklin was their final destination where they camped at the Katy Roundhouse campground.
Wednesday's feature riders were Joel and Peggy Schroeder from Boliver. This was Peggy’s first ride ever and Joel’s 19th long ride tour. Joel has been on all of the MS 150s and this year they trained for 800 miles on a tandem bicycle for the Katy Trail Ride. “This year’s ride has been wonderful. It is well organized and that is why I’ll be back,” says Peggy.
John James from the Katy Round house welcomed over 300 cyclists onto his campground and some stayed for dinner and beverages at the Roundhouse. The Boonville Chamber of Commerce provided vouchers worth $7 to use at the Roundhouse and participating restaurants around Boonville. Some sample entrees at the Roundhouse was fillet mignon, ribeye steak, smoked center-cut pork chop and marinated grilled chicken breast. Cyclists had the opportunity to shuttle to Boonville to Riverside Café, Main Street Café, or the Stein House for dinner and shopping in downtown Boonville.
Wednesday's passport questions were:
1. What kind of festival is held every October in Hartsburg? Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival
2. On which date did the Lewis and Clark expedition camp in the vicinity of mile marker 173, about a mile past what is now Huntsdale? June 6, 1804
3a. When you reach Lewis and Clark Cave (shortly after mile marker 174), stand in front of the entrance. An endangered animal uses the cave in summer as a “bachelor colony.” Which animal? Endangered gray bats live in Lewis and Clark cave
3b. Look up and to the left of the cave entrance. On the bluff face, look for a pictograph (rock drawing) several hundred years old. Draw the shape of the pictograph. Refer to pictograph
4. Early Missouri River travelers described pictographs drawn on the bluff near Rocheport that included the representation of a spirit. What is the name of that spirit, the line of bluffs along the Missouri River between Huntsdale and Rocheport and (with a slight variation) the name of the creek leading up to Rocheport? Manitou or Moniteau or Monetou (Clark's Spelling)
Day 4, New Franklin to Sedalia -- June 27, 2002
On the fourth day, cyclists rode from the Katy Roundhouse campground over the Missouri River bridge to Boonville for breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. Participating restaurants downtown were the Riverside Diner, Main Street Café, and Café au Lait where they could use their $5 certificate. Breakfast varied from pancakes, eggs, and bacon at Riverside and Main Street, to cinnamon rolls and coffee at Café au Lait. Cyclists had a great chance to relax and visit with other cyclists at breakfast. Before leaving Boonville, riders had the opportunity to tour the Katy Caboose Museum, which is located next to the Katy depot.
SAG stops on Thursday were at Pilot Grove, Clifton City and Griessen Road in Sedalia. Today cyclists experienced a very strenuous section of the trail from Boonville to Pilot Grove. On this section of the trail, cyclists had the opportunity to see a 1875 Methodist Church and cemetery, a century-old hexagonal barn and an 1820 plantation home. Between Pilot Grove to Sedalia, cyclists saw the Mount Moriah vehicle bridge just before Clifton City. A SAG stop was provided at Griesson Road outside of Sedalia and then through Sedalia to the West Campground of the Missouri State Fair Grounds.
The passport questions for Thursday included:
1. A Katy caboose, in service from 1968 to 1998, can be found in front of the Boonville depot along the trail. Cabooses were home to the conductor and rear breakman, but new technology has made those duties obsolete. What is the number of Boonville’s Katy caboose? Katy Caboose #134
2. Before you dash past mile marker 206 and 207, look for especially good evidence along the trail of an early long-distance communications system. You may have observed this evidence on other days of the ride… Using Samuel Morse’s invention—and built in the 1870s—what system was built along the Katy railroad line? Telegraph
3. Katy depots survive in St. Charles, Marthasville, Franklin, Boonville and Sedalia. As the division headquarters of the M-K-T Railway Co., the Sedalia depot was the grandest. Repair shops and the company hospital were also located here. In what year did the Sedalia depot open? Sedalia depot built in 1896
The winners of the passport questions were Bradley Evanoff of University City and Alan Wilson of St. James. They received gift baskets from the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.
Thursday's featured riders: D.J. Dillon of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and Kati Jennings of Ashland are sisters on their first time riding the entire Katy Trail. Their favorite part of the ride has been the Pancake Man and “finding out that you have the endurance to ride the whole ride and meeting wonderful people from all over the U.S.” Their favorite town has been Rocheport because of the shops and very quaint community there. D.J. and Kati have really enjoyed the views from the Katy Trail and enjoy the shaded areas. They both say they would do it all over again.
The rider's meeting began with Clarence Blume singing the Star Spangled Banner. This was followed by special thanks to Triathletics for assisting the cyclists all week with bike repairs. Volunteers were recognized for their behind-the-scenes help. Also recognized were the farthest traveled: Paulette Sill from Alaska; youngest rider: Jennifer Newton, age five from Tennessee; youngest rider peddling the entire route: Lydia Auner, age nine, of Madison, Wisc.; and finally the oldest rider, Harry Hutson age 78, from Georgia. Dinner in Sedalia consisted of beef brisket, smoked turkey, hot rolls, baked potatoes, vegetables, pasta salad, baked beans, and apple crisp for dessert all provided by Nadler’s Catering.
Entertainment began with the Top 10 list to ride the Katy:
10. To be called “Sponge Bob, Tight Pants!”
9. To experience a shower in a semi and a sauna in a john!
8. To meet friends
7. To see the Pancake Man
6. To experience trail rash
5. To experience five flats in one day
4. The worst day on the Katy is better than the best day at the office
3. To see our picture on the Web instead of the post office in Hartsburg
2. To see how many recumbents are broken at the side of the trail
1. And the number one reason to ride the Katy Trail? You will have to ask a rider!
More entertainment was provided by Jim Howard, Jim Smith, and Clarence Blume as they serenaded the riders with a song entitled Trail Ride 2002. Our final entertainment for the evening was Barnswallow P. Professor Farquar with an original perspective on old country tunes and a magic show.
Day 5, Sedalia to Clinton -- June 28, 2002
Breakfast began with another visit from the Pancake Man. Pancakes, sausage, cereal, fresh tropical fruit, milk, juice, and coffee helped to start the last day of the Katy Trail Ride from Sedalia to Clinton. Everyone had a great time watching him flip pancakes over rafters and behind his back to then land on a plate. Friday was the last day to spend with friends until they would meet again. Packing up their luggage after breakfast to begin the ride to Clinton was the excitement of the morning. Joining the riders today was Jamie Mullen and Amanda Haley, both staff members with the Department of Natural Resources, on their first chance to ride this week.
The SAG stops today were in Green Ridge, Calhoun and Windsor. Green Ridge was built as a railroad town between the Osage River and Lamine River watersheds. At the trail head, the riders were greeted with Gatorade and fresh tropical fruit. The stretch on either side of the Katy Trail between Green Ridge and Bryson is undergoing prairie restoration. The highest point of the Katy Trail is near Bryson, which is 950 feet above sea level. In Windsor, there was more fresh fruit awaiting riders. There was a caboose painted in patriotic colors that is a unique site to see. After leaving Windsor, riders saw many wooded areas entering the Ozark hills. They rode on to Calhoun, where the riders enjoyed the last SAG stop of the day. Refreshing Gatorade and bananas awaited everyone here also. Past Calhoun, the riders have a chance to see a herd of bison. However, bison are very smart and did not want to bask in the 90 degree weather. Finally, the Clinton trail head was in view and it was on to the Benson Center where riders enjoyed a sack lunch with chips, ham and cheese sandwich, coleslaw, fruit, soda and a cookie.
The 35-mile ride for Jamie and Amanda was great after a long week of working. It was a time to really enjoy the Katy Trail and all the scenery that one could see only on the trail. As first timers on the trail, the ride was a great experience and not the last time it will be enjoyed by the staff.
The passport questions for Friday were:
1. What famous ragtime musician lived in Sedalia on and off the 1890s, attended the George R. Smith College for Negroes, and played in clubs such as the Maple Leaf and Black 400, before moving to St. Louis in 1901? Scott Joplin
2. The 11-day-long Missouri State Fair, one of the nation’s largest, celebrates which anniversary this year? 100th anniversary of the Missouri State Fair
3. Most of the streets in Windsor run neither north-south or east-west, but at a 45-degree angle. Why? Windsor, it's believed, was laid out along the northeast-to-southwest-slanting Osage Trace (an Indian Trail), now Main St./ Highway 52
4. At mile marker 257.8, you may have a chance to see the largest land animal in North America. Standing up to 6 feet tall and weighing more than 1,000 pounds, it thrived on the grasslands of the plains and prairie. Various body parts were used by Indian tribes as food, tools, shelter, weapons and clothing, and the chips made reliable and portable fuel. What is the animal? bison
DID YOU KNOW??
Tallgrass prairie covered western Missouri until about the 1830s, with narrow woodlands running along streams and rivers. On the Katy Trail, native prairie is being restored near Green Ridge and Bryson, and just past Calhoun. Since the rail corridor was never plowed, seeds remained viable for a century, waiting for fire and a more open canopy. Big bluestem and Indian grass are beginning to re-establish themselves, and you may also see prairie-indicator species such as ashy sunflower, sumac, compass plant and rattlesnake master. Bicycling birders can watch for prairie birds like northern harriers and scissor-tailed flycatchers.