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DAY 6 – Augusta to St. Charles BACK HOME!

DAY 6 – Augusta to St. Charles BACK HOME!

Day 6: Friday, October 10
Distance:  46 miles


Our last day on the trail! We were sad to be ending our adventure but we had another weather-perfect day. This was the first day that we used the alarm on my cellphone to wake up and get an early start. When we left the trail in St. Charles, we would be riding on the roads back to our home in Ferguson and we didn’t want to do that during rush hour. So we woke at 5:30 a.m. in the darkness and cooked up our last oatmeal breakfast for the morning. I also fried up the last of our summer sausage. We get that stuff at our local farmers market; it’s the freshest most delicious sausage I’ve ever tasted and a great treat for our final breakfast on the trail.

The morning was cool and peaceful as we packed up our bikes for the last time. There is a powerplant in Augusta and there is always a low hum in the background from the plant. The Klondike Park staffwoman had mentioned that some people don’t like the hum, but Craig and I found it to be a very soothing white noise. It actually helped up sleep more soundly.

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This was the coolest morning during our trip and we had to stop during our first mile of the day to pull on our jackets and gloves for the first time. I’m glad we got to use them… hate to be lugging around anything that doesn’t get used. Now the only thing in my bags that I haven’t used on this trip is my big klunky hiking boots. Lesson learned.

Looking through the trees from our campground. You can see the three smokestacks of the powerplant
rising up from the mist in the distance.

This is the extremely steep path from the Katy Trail leading up to Klondike Park at the top of the bluff. As usual, the picture doesn’t accurately convey just how steep this trail was but it was a killer. The final point was well above the tops of the trees in this picture.

The morning sun shining through the fog over the river.

I wish we’d been setting our alarm every morning.
We’ve been sleeping through the most beautiful time of the day.

The morning sunlight is vibrant golden orange.

We got to Defiance, MO around 9:00 a.m and the Katy Bike Rental shop was already open. We stopped for sport beans and nice clean bathrooms. I can tell I’ve been using trailhead bathrooms too long. I expect the faucet water to turn off immediately when I let go of the handle.

This is a lucky little guy. A bobcat got him and mangled his ear but he managed to get away.
I guess that used up a few of his lives.

The nice fellow who runs the Katy Bike Rental.

Looking toward the trail from the Katy Bike Rental porch.

It’s a great well-stocked bike shop and the only place I’ve found
where you can get seven different flavors of Sport Beans!

Taking a break along the trail. That’s a swamp behind Craig.

We’re getting close to St. Charles!

Trying to capture the sunlight streaming through the trees…
it’s never as pretty in the picture as it is in real life.

This is the Page Extension bridge that we’ll ride over to Creve Coeur Park
and then head home. Goodbye Katy Trail!

Our final 23.5 miles on the Katy Trail was more superb riding. I’m so glad that the difficult days happened at the beginning of the trip rather than the other way around. At mile marker 42.8, we said goodbye to Katy and climbed the ramp up to the Page Extension Bridge (alright alright so we missed the last 3.3 miles of the trail to the end in St. Charles… so technically I guess we didn’t ride the entire trail but we’ve ridden that section many times).

Our route home on the roads wasn’t too daunting and we’ve ridden it before with loaded bikes. Only a few big hills on McKelvey and one on McDonnell Boulevard right before we get home. It takes us through a kinda’ weird but interesting little area next to the airport where the neighborhood has been bought out due to airport noise and all the houses have been torn down. All the streets are still there but no houses. A bit eery.

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We had to get back into the city to finally get a bad meal. Right after we left Creve Coeur Park, Craig announced that he was hungry for pizza. So we pulled into a Pizza Hut on our route home. It was buffet day and the restaurant was filled with oversized customers greedily hovering around the buffet line like hungry buzzards. Each time a new pizza arrived, every slice was snatched away within minutes. The poor pizza staff couldn’t keep up. We soon had to join the hovering buzzards just to get a few greasy slices for ourselves.

The rest of our ride home was fabulously uneventful, not even a single car cut too close. We pulled into Craig’s front yard around 3:00 in the afternoon. Our total mileage on my cycle computer was a whopping 313 miles over the past six days. I had one thing on my mind and one thing only… HOT BATH. Aaaaaaahhhh it was luxurious!

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