Day 1 - June 20, 2005 - Clinton to Pilot Grove
On the eve of the Katy Trail Ride, more than 300 riders met at the Benson Center in Clinton for the starter rider’s meeting, led by Melanie Robinson and David Kelly. During the meeting, the riders were briefed on what to expect for the following days ride. After the meeting, riders settled into camp to rest up for the first stretch of the ride.
The first day of the Katy Trail Ride started off with a clear morning at the Benson Convention Center in Clinton. The participants enjoyed breakfast of biscuits and gravy, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee. Following breakfast, the group posed for a group photo before heading out on the trail to Pilot Grove.
The first day of the ride was approximately 61.3 miles, making it the longest portion of the ride. The first rider rolled into Pilot Grove right before noon, followed by the rest of the riders throughout the day. Riders enjoyed clear skies and sunny weather for the first day of the ride.
Dinner, which consisted of brisket, chicken, cole slaw, baked beans, dessert, tea and lemonade was served at 6 p.m. at the community center in Pilot Grove. As everyone finished dinner, the crowd stayed for the nightly rider’s meeting lead by Melanie Robinson, which discussed how the day went and what to expect on tomorrow’s ride to Hartsburg. Also, two gift baskets where given away from the towns of Sedalia and Pilot Grove. After dinner, the cyclists could enjoy a dip in the Pilot Grove pool until 10 p.m. or practice their moves with a line dance instructor before settling in for the night.
Riding Missouri’s Weinstrasse is the title for the 2005 Katy Trail Ride. This year’s ride gives participants a chance to experience Missouri’s wine road that is throughout the state. Missouri has a history of growing grapes and making wine for almost 150 years. Missouri had a thriving wine production that came to a stop during prohibition until about 30 years ago. Now, Missouri’s wine producers are showing a marked increase in market share, sales, and national and international awards. The more than 50 wineries in Missouri attract more than 2.5 million visitors a year.
Day 2 - June 21, 2005 - Pilot Grove to Hartsburg
After camping overnight in Pilot Grove, the riders woke to a beautiful Missouri morning. The Pan Cake Man made his first appearance of the ride to flip pancakes to the riders for breakfast.
The riders took off afterward on the trail headed for Hartsburg. The weather cooperated all day by providing hot temperatures and sunny skies. When the riders arrived in Hartsburg, they were greeted by helpful volunteers that showed them to the campsites located throughout the town. The Hartsburg Lions Club served dinner. After dinner, the participants gathered on the main street of Hartsburg for the riders’ meeting, lead by Melanie Robinson, to talk about what to expect for the next day’s ride. Jim Denny, Missouri Department of Natural Resources historian, gave a program on the history of Katy Trail State Park. Also, the cyclists had a chance to view the stars with the Columbia Astronomy Club. The weather stayed clear for the evening as the riders rested for the third day of the trip.
Traveling from Pilot Grove to Hartsburg gives cyclists a chance to experience two of Missouri’s premier wineries located right off the trail in Rocheport and Hartsburg. Les Bourgeois has its own trail leading directly from the Katy Trail, about a mile south of Rocheport. While there, visitors have a chance to taste award-winning wine at Les Bourgeois’ blufftop wine garden and bistro.
Day 3 - June 22, 2005 - Hartsburg to Hermann
On Wednesday morning, the riders woke to a hot and humid morning in Hartsburg. The Pan Cake Man made his second appearance of the week, but stepped out of his usual realm of flipping cakes to flipping French toast. The riders enjoyed a tasty meal of French toast, eggs, sausage, milk, juice and coffee before setting out to hit the trail to Hermann.
During the ride, the cyclists had a chance to participate in what is known as Poker Run Day. At four of the SAG stops and the registration booth, the riders were instructed to pick a card out of the deck and write down whatever they drew on their game sheet. The riders with the best and worst hands at the end of the day won a prize.
When the riders arrived in Hermann, they set up camp at the city park or stayed at one of the motels or bed and breakfast throughout the town. During the afternoon, the riders could swim at the Hermann Pool, take a tour of Deutschheim State Historic Site, tour Stone Hill Winery or just meander through the town and park. Dinner was served at the Stone Hill Pavilion that overlooks town of Hermann and the winery vineyards.
The evening meal consisted of mostaccioli, tossed salad, fruit salad, rolls, dessert, tea and lemonade. Also during dinner, the riders had a chance to taste and purchase wine from the winery. After dinner, it was time for the riders to hear about the logistics of the next day’s ride to Augusta at the riders’ meeting. Following the meeting, it was time for the cyclists to relax and rest for the next day’s ride to Augusta.
Hermann is the overnight stop for the third day of the ride. Rich in German culture and history, Hermann has many wineries located through out the town.
Stone Hill Winery was established in 1847 and grew to be the second largest winery in the United States. By the turn of the century, the winery was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year. However, prohibition in 1920 destroyed the wine industry in Missouri. These days, visitors can tour the winery’s underground cellars, taste award winning wine in one of three tasting rooms and experience the hilltop view of Hermann from the winery.
Hermannhof Winery is located just inside of Hermann and offers a full selection of wine from sweet to dry. The winery building is a National Historic Site that was originally opened as a brewery in 1852. The century-old brick building and wine cellars serve as the foundation for their winemaking. Visitors to the winery can visit the tasting room, picnic areas, terrace and purchase locally made sausage.
OakGlenn Vineyards & Winery is situated on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. The winery was originally established in 1859 by the famous horticulturist George Husmann, who many consider the primary influence in establishing the winemaking industry in America from Missouri to California. The original stonewalls of the house and the wine cellars are preserved as well as five rows of the original Norton vines planted by Husmann. The winery offers banquet/ballroom facilities, complete catering services with reservations for private events and a wine tasting room with snacks and wine-related items.
Adam Puchta established Adam Puchta Winery along the Frene Creek in 1855 2 miles southwest of Hermann. After Adam Puchta’s death in 1905, Henry John Puchta, son of Adam, continued the family operation of winemaking along with his son Everett until 1919 when Prohibition closed the winery doors.
Almost 70 years later, one of Everest’s sons, Randolph, and Randolph’s son Timothy, re-opened the winery in 1990. The winery is the oldest family owned winery within the state, and the original Puchta homestead houses the gift shop and tasting room.
Day 4 - June 23, 2005 - Hermann to Augusta
The riders enjoyed a shorter trip today traveling 37.7 miles to Augusta. Once in Augusta, the participants could enjoy wine at one of the many wineries, the brewery, a free massage by Halcyon of Augusta or meander through the town. The Church of Christ provided the evening’s meal. They served a homemade meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, dessert, lemonade and tea. After the dinner, the riders went to Centennial Farms and Orchard for the riders’ meeting lead by Melanie Robinson. After the meeting, there was wine tasting and live music for everyone to enjoy. After the evening’s events, the riders made there way back to the camp to rest up for the 27-mile trip to St. Charles.
The town of Augusta is the overnight stop for the fourth day of the Katy Trail Ride. In 1980, Augusta was recognized as the first U.S. Wine District, or Viticulture Area #1, because of its unique soil, climate, historical significance and quality of wines produced from grapes in vineyards that date to the 1800s. Augusta vints its wines in small qualities so special care may be given to each lot. There are four family-owned wineries located throughout Augusta for visitors to enjoy.
Louis P. Balducci Vineyards is Missouri’s newest winery and is owned by Rick and Carol Balducci. The winery name comes from the late Louis P. Balducci who was a wine pioneer in the wholesale wine business in Missouri from 1946-1979. Visitors of the winery can taste Vidal, Vignoles and Chambourcin wine that is currently being produced while looking at beautiful scenic vistas.
In 1988, Tony Kooyumjian established the Augusta Winery centrally located in the historic district town of Augusta. The Augusta Winery features high quality wines, ranging from dry dinner wines to sweet dessert wines. While there, visitors can enjoy wine tasting and a gift shop area with wine-related items and locally produced cheese, sausages and bread.
Montelle Winery is located on the Osage Ridge 1.5 miles east of Augusta.. There is wonderful view of the Missouri River, the town of Augusta and the surrounding farms and vineyards. Montelle Winery is a combination of Montelle Vineyard, founded in 1970, and the Osage Ridge Winery, founded in 1984. In 1998, Tony Kooyumjian acquired the winery. There is a tasting room, gift shop, cheese, and sausages and an outside terrace available for visitors to enjoy.
George Munch, who came to the area with his brother, Fredrick, from Germany, founded the Mount Pleasant Winery in 1859. Built from the wood and abundant limestone of the area, the winery and cellars were completed in 1881. When prohibition came in 1920, the winery was forced to close and the vines were removed. In 1966, the winery reopened and the vineyards were replanted with self-rooted vines and grafted European varieties. The original cellars are still used today to age award winning wine. Mount Pleasant is the largest grower of grapes in Augusta Appellation with more than 60,000 vines. Wine tastings are available to the public and in the winter months visitors can enjoy the murder mystery theater.
Day 5 - June 24, 2005 - Augusta to St. Charles
Friday morning, the riders woke in Augusta and prepared for the final stretch of the 2005 Katy Trail Bike Ride. After a breakfast of cereal, fruit, pastries, milk, coffee and juice, the riders packed up their gear and headed out for St. Charles. The weather for the final day was hot and humid with sunny skies. The last day of the ride was the shortest and many of the riders arrived in St. Charles by 11 a.m. The riders were welcomed at The Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center, where they were served box lunches provided by the St. Charles convention and visitors bureau. Also, the cyclists could tour the historic town before the buses rolled out at 2 p.m. headed back to Columbia and Clinton. The 2005 Katy Trail Bike Ride concluded after an exciting and fun week of bicycling across Missouri.
Participants in the 2005 Katy Ride finished their tour of Missouri’s Weinstrasse in historic St. Charles. The Winery of the Little Hills is located on the cobblestone Main Street of St. Charles. The property where the winery sits dates back to 1805, one year after Lewis and Clark left for their expedition. Over the years, the building has been many businesses and has been rumored to have served as a base for whiskey bootleggers during the time of prohibition. Winery of the Little Hills produces some 15 premium Missouri wines all bottled in St. Charles and Augusta. The winery is open year-round for lunch and dinner and offers a gift shop with wine and wine-related gifts.