Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri – September 30 to October 5, 2014
A real adventure! Trailnet’s Journey Across Missouri began on Monday, September 30 with a train ride from St. Louis to Kansas City. Spirits were high and the trip to Kansas City passed by quickly with a car of lively riders making acquaintances and sharing their excitement. Upon arriving in Kansas City, riders immediately got on their bikes for a short four-mile ride to the Kansas state line to mark the start of their Journey Across Missouri. Afterwards, riders cruised on a scenic ride along the Missouri River to the Monday night campsite.
The first day of riding was beautiful, but challenging. Riders made their way to Higginsville, a 67-mile trek with 3,000 feet in elevation change. Along the way, riders visited the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence and several Civil War sites before racking their bikes for the day. For dinner, the Higginsville Rotary Club provided a grand feast of rib-eye steak sandwiches with all the fixins’ and live entertainment. Riders set up camp in Fairground Park.
Wednesday morning started off with advancing thunderstorms. A few riders left before the rain and some waited and watched, however most everyone experienced a soggy ride. Seeking shelter from the rain, riders were treated to lunch at Arrow Rock in the historic J. Huston Tavern. Arriving in Booneville, riders looked forward to a savory dinner at Maggie’s Bar and Grill. A smoked pork barbecue buffet was served in a private upstairs dining room. The campsite that night was at Fredrick Kemper Park where the Boonslick Heartland YMCA provided hot showers. Unfortunately, the forecast predicted strong thunderstorms for Wednesday night. The YMCA graciously offered their gym for a night of unconventional camping. Many cyclists took advantage of this offer to stay dry.
Rain was an integral part of the ride on Thursday. Riders battled bouts of heavy rain on the scenic and hilly ride to Jefferson City. Campsite plans were altered due to the severe thunderstorms. Thankfully, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation extended their multi-purpose room in the Ice Arena for riders’ use to stay dry that night. Dinner was held at Bones Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Jefferson City. It was a scrumptious meal with chicken and beef options. After dinner, riders were spooked at the famous “haunted” tour of the old Missouri State Penitentiary.
By Friday morning, a cool front had moved in and the skies were clear. Riders started with a hot breakfast at the Downtown Diner then took off for a quick ride to the historic German-settled town of Hermann. With a strong tailwind, some riders made the 50-mile ride in under three hours, arriving before noon. Dinner that night was at Stone Hill Winery. Before dinner, riders enjoyed a tour of the historic winery with some of the largest underground cellars in the nation. The fun continued after dinner with riders attending the first night of the Hermann Oktoberfest, an event that lasts all month. Settling down for the night, the campsite in Hermann was in City Park.
Saturday morning began with sunny skies and very cool temperatures due to a strong northwest wind. It was another hilly ride en route to Defiance. In Defiance, riders checked out the old railroad depot town of Mokane on the Katy Trail. They also enjoyed visiting the historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center. Riders camped out at Katy Bike Rental, conveniently located on the Katy Trail. Live entertainment, great food, and good times were had at the Defiance Roadhouse Saturday night. Back at the campsite, a big bonfire created a warm and reminiscent night with riders sharing their favorite moments of the 6-day adventure.
On the final day of the ride, the wind shifted from the south bringing warmer temperatures. Many riders opted to take the Katy Trail to Page Avenue Bridge, crossing the Missouri river and avoiding the rolling hills. Arriving in St. Louis, riders rode throught quiet neighborhood side streets and admired many St. Louis sites. Trailnet hosted a rest stop at the Missouri History Museum. The ride finished at Laclede’s Landing on the Mississippi River.
An after-party at the Admiral Portico welcomed riders. To celebrate the completion of their 340-mile Journey Across Missouri, riders made their way to the river for the ceremonial dip. Friends and family joined riders for the festive after-party with music by Tim Ryan Quartet, food from Sundeckers, and beer from Morgan Street Brewery.
Thank you to our Journey Across Missouri partners: Apache Village, BikeWalkKC, Hermann, Higginsville, St. Charles Economic Development Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Hogan, Katy Bike Rental and Morgan Street Brewery.
Special thanks to photographer Mark Schwigen.