After I surprisingly good nights sleep I packed up my bags and got ready for the day. All night people were setting off fireworks and partying. I guess it just hit me that the 4th of July is soon and this is the closest weekend. It’s pretty likely I’ll be somewhere slightly west of Kansas City on the night of the 4th. I won’t have fireworks but I have my rave gloves so maybe I’ll do a little show.
Breakfast was at a little diner called Dotty’s near where I camped. With Hank Williams on the radio and an old country feel it was a pleasant place to eat. I’ve found I feel much better when I get a solid breakfast in my system before riding. I’ve also taken myself down to just one cup of coffee a day to help prevent dehydration. Slowly cyclists started to show up at the diner, I’m not sure where they came from but it gives me hope more people are riding on this lovely Sunday.
Starting today I’m going to be more proactive at finding a bike shop for a tune-up and repairs. I’m making good time and can lose half a day or do if needed but I can’t risk a cross Kansas and Colorado ride without Ashley being looked at. She’s running pretty well but better safe than sorry.
At a trailhead I started talking with some other riders (there are a lot today, mostly day riders). One gentleman mentioned that he knew a good bike shop in KC and told me to mention his name. This is a huge relief and I’m glad I have a place in mind now for repairs. I just need to call them to make sure they will be open, can fit me in, etc. It was a pretty awesome little break with lots of conversations with a variety of people, including a young man who wants to ride to Oregon this fall.
I found a Walmart near the trail and was able to do a much needed resupply and replacement of some of my equipment. After that the trail got pretty bad for about 11 miles. There was lots of hills and rough gravel, it’s pretty obvious that the western leg of the Katy isn’t as popular. In fact, I haven’t seen another rider for about two hours.
I stopped in a town called Pilot Grove to rest up but everything in town was closed because it is Sunday. No gas station, grocery store, or restaurant was open. The people here apparently just sit on their porches watching people like me and not returning my waves. There is camping available but you have to call the chief of police to get permission… No thanks, I’ll just move on. I know from talking to some riders earlier that this is the last water stop for about 27 miles, I can handle that but its gonna suck. Luckily tomorrow night I should be at an old army buddies’ in-laws where a shower, food, and a soft surface waits.
I made it safely to Sedalia, Missouri where I’m camping at the fairgrounds. The only other tent campers are three people near me, they seem cool and I think they live here full time. I guess at $10 a day per tent it is a good deal, there are showers, internet, water, and fire pits available. I’ve had a great time on the trail and have met some cool people. Between this trail and the canal trail through Maryland and Pennsylvania I have noticed some things about trail towns.
Trail towns remind me a lot of military towns like Fayetteville. They seem to be made up of two types of people, those who love the trail and those who hate it. Some people build businesses around the trail and are friendly with the services they provide. Others seem to find the trail to be a huge nuisance and will accept your money but won be happy about it.
Oh well, off to bed. Tomorrow I’m back on the roads towards Kansas City.
PS I’ve had a chance to talk to my neighbors, I can’t quite remember but I’m pretty sure their names are Morgan, Tim, and Scott. They have been here for about ten days and are hoping to move into an apartment together when they get the money. They all have jobs, even Morgan who appears quite pregnant. Even though they are working to get a place they offered to share their food and such with me. They are good kids and I hope things work out for all of them, their generosity and optimism surpasses that of most people who are “better off”. They spent the night giggling, laughing, talking, and loving each other. They live in a tent on a fairground and are happier than a lot of people I know.