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DAY 4 – Easley to Bluffton Rendleman B&B

DAY 4 – Easley to Bluffton Rendleman B&B

Day 4: Wednesday, October 8
Distance:  51 miles

We woke up to a beautiful dry sunny morning. Thick mist rising up from the river made a haunting surreal landscape. We cooked up our oatmeal and treated ourselves by frying up some summer sausage in my new titanium camping frying pan. YUM! What a great breakfast. I’m fantasizing about that summer sausage even now.

Mike’s tarp village, our home for the night.

Coopers Landing in the morning.

49-reasons Mike, our generous tarpmate.

Mike, the owner of Coopers Landing, with his cute little doggie, Lilly. Mike’s a great guy and we really enjoyed our stay at Coopers Landing. We’ll definitely be back. Thanks, Mike!

We bid a fond adieu to Mike & Mike and the Coopers Landing crew and hit the Katy Trail once more. What a gorgeous day! Not a cloud in the sky. Our plan this day was to ride 51 miles down the trail to Bluffton where we would be staying with our friend Doug who owns Rendleman B&B. We have stayed with Doug many times and just love him to death so we were really excited to be getting to see him again and also to be sleeping in a nice soft bed for one night.

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I love the colored stripes created by the different crops.

Craig flashes a peace sign at the Hartsburg Trail Head.

Helping a nice chap fix his flat tire. He was just out for a day ride and hadn’t brought any tools. It was nice to return a good deed after we had been so generously helped the night before at Coopers Landing.

Here is the spot where my cell phone started to ring. I was so amazed that I could get reception in this remote spot. I stopped and answered it. Uh oh, a customer needed help setting up an email address. So I stood there in the hot sun for about 15 minutes giving her tech support from the middle of nowhere. Customers, please don’t ever say I’m not there for you! xoxo!!

We cooked up a yummy lunch at the Trail Head in North Jefferson.

Taking a little music break. I finally got to play my guitar! I had to make sure to get in some guitar time after having our custom guitar rack made for Craig’s bike just for this trip.

What a glorious perfect day this was!!! After all the troubles of the past three days, today made it all worth it. THIS was what we came here for! The skies were sunny, the temperature was in the mid 70s and we had the trail almost completely to ourselves the entire day. Heavenly!

We cooked up our own lunch at the Trail Head at North Jefferson. I got out my guitar and played a little bit in the shade of a tree. It doesn’t get any better than this.

This strange little bar was in Tebbets, MO, in a neat old bank building. We stopped here for sodas and candybars. I don’t usually allow myself to eat candybars. But hey, when you bicycle the entire Katy Trail, you deserve at least one.

The bar was in a newer section built onto the back of the old bank building. The original building contained all kinds of weird things just scattered around everywhere… and I’m serious when I say WEIRD things… like this old electric chair.

… and the king…

Note the ornate door to the old bank vault to the right.

Many sections of the Katy Trail were flooded this past summer and we passed multiple areas that had been recently repaired or were under construction. Some of the construction zones were inconvenient where the new surface hadn’t yet been packed hard enough to keep our tires from sinking. But at least they were working on the trail. On the entire 225 miles of trail we found only this one small section that had not yet been touched by repair crews. This bridge had been completely covered by flood water. About six inches of the trail surface on either side of the trail had been washed away leaving only mud and jagged rocks. Imagine how unrideable the Katy would be if the crews weren’t so quick to get repairs underway. My hat’s off to them; that’s a lot of miles to maintain.

This weird rock formation outside of Steedman, MO, looks like a huge rock fell from the sky and lodged into the earth… but there are no cliffs nearby. The sign explains that this is actually a remnant of the original bluffs that had somehow avoided erosion as decades of river water wore down all of the rock around it. Look at the sign to the right of the rock to get an idea of the size. I’d estimate it’s about 20 feet high; past floodwater levels have been carved into it on the other side all the way back to 1844. You can see a good picture of those carvings HERE.

Here’s our favorite B&B owner, Doug, with his new roommate, Honey. Doug runs the Rendleman Home B&B in Bluffton, MO and we just love this guy. He is a fantastic host, an amazing cook and all around terrific guy.

I admit that the last six or seven miles on this day were tough for me. After the previous three difficult days of riding, my body was just worn out. I was really looking forward to that warm bed at Rendleman B&B. During the last few miles, I lagged way behind Craig; I didn’t have the strength to push anymore. But I just kept cranking on those pedals and was ecstatically happy when we finally pulled into Doug’s front yard. Doug came out and gave both huge hugs. It was so good to see him again! He introduced us to his new canine roommate, Honey. What a sweetie she is!

We visited with Doug while he cooked up an awesome feast of pork chops, venison sausage, green beans, potatoes, and persimmon bread. The vegetables and persimmons were fresh from his garden. He had invited friends Dennis, and Dennis’ wife for dinner. I had met Dennis at Doug’s place several times before and bought my current mandolin (see pics of it at www.morningvisionblue.com) from him last year. He brought some guitars and mandolins with him again this time and we sat around the bonfire outside playing music and talking for a couple of hours. What a great time. Thanks Doug!!

After everyone retired I finished off the perfect day with a nice hot bath and then drifted into blissful sleep in a warm dry bed… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…..

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