#acaNoTier Rockport to Diablo, 39 miles | A “No Flat” Day

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Accommodations

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Good news is… it was a no flat day. All tires held air! It was also a day when we started to see some serious rollers. #ouch

Although the National Parks guy said there were no tent spaces at Colonial Creek Campground at Diablo we decided to press on and chance it. So glad we did because it’s another stellar campsite with ginormous pines, a roaring stream nearby and plenty big campsites. Flushers too!

No shower? #noproblem

We both jumped in Diablo Lake with clothes on to do laundry and bathe simultaneously. Soap and shampoo are overrated. Just gotta rinse off really well. #ecofriendly However, deodorant and dental floss are non-negotiable.

I missed the chance to capture Tom in a standing-in-the-water dive (which he did TWICE). But he did it! And he went in first. The water was frigid cold but nothing makes you feel cleaner than cold water.

How was the cycling? Compared to tomorrow’s climbs, nothing too serious. But compared to our flat training rides in Indiana? Let’s just say the second half of the day was a “no flat” day. But again, we were awed by the steep rock faces, mountain views and our comrade that ran swiftly along side us all day, the Skagit River.

We missed Vic and Becky today. Vic wanted to ride the pass today and we ended up leaving an hour earlier so we somehow missed them. And there’s no cell service up here.

However when we rolled into the campground we found this note on the message board. He found a replacement tube for my tire and, with the tiniest safety pin I think I have ever seen, was able to pin the tube box and this note to the board. Faith and trust indeed, Vic. #trailangel

Not sure if we will see you two again in Washington but don’t forget we are Warm Shower hosts in Indy the next time you roll through town. And we always have a bed and meal for you two!

Another karma moment was when we saw the exact place at Gorge Creek where we saw the Northern Tier cyclists a couple years ago and decided then and there to bucket list this bike trip.

Not gonna lie. I’m a little freaked out with the two mountain passes tomorrow: Rainy and Washington. But ya know ya just gotta keep calm… and pedal on. One mile at a time.

Plus there is always second breakfast to look forward to. But that won’t be until after lunch because there isn’t any cell service or food for the next 50+ miles.

Gonna be an adventure no doubt.

#acaNoTier Anacortes to Rockport, 61 miles | Diving In

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Welp. The day could not have been any more special, any better, any anything!

The video below pretty much tells it all. Our friend Vic (coast to coast completer in 2016) joined us today while his bride Becky went hiking.

We took off at 7:45 am at the Anacortes ferry dock and started our “sea to shining sea” journey with a little uphill. Nothing like getting your heart and legs warmed up right away.

Scenery was spectacular, weather cooperative and the second breakfast unforgettable – especially the cinnamon rolls as big as your head.

I even had a flat tire five miles out of camp but that didn’t matter – just a little surprised since it’s been a while.

After snagging a riverside tent site we feasted on beef stew and loaded mashed taters.

We said goodbye to our friends until tomorrow where we’ll cycle another short day before the big climb on Sunday. #stairwaytoheaven

Many thanks to Vic and Becky today for taking pics and all of their support!

And thanks to friends, family and blog followers for all the love and encouragement. It means a lot.

Today could NOT have been any better. #grateful

The Katy Trail: Day Five

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First of all, happiest of anniversaries to my husband, Tom! Ten years and going strong!


We can cross off the Katy Trail from our bucket list. But this accomplishment only leads to additions to the list. #neverendinglist #goodproblemtohave

Another great day of cycling! Here’s our finish pic in St. Charles. Cool that we finished our little adventure in the very place Captains Clark and Lewis chose to lead the Corps of Discovery to begin their epic journey to the Pacific. “Ocean in view. O the joy!”


We are staying in a 1928 Sears Roebuck home kit delivered on the train. It’s old. It’s beautiful. If only walls could talk.


We began our day at Klondike Campground which is a 5 Star campground with a capital 5! Clean, spacious and with hot showers! Plus they have a stellar camp kitchen to make coffee. (Our Bic lighter malfunctioned.) Tom boiled water in our pint sized cook pan on these jumbo burners. Treated ourselves to two cups each this morning. #itsthelittlethings


We cycled close to our old friend the Missouri River most of the day. River on one side; bluffs on the other.


Final critter count:

Turtles: 8 (7 box, 1 oversized painted), Snakes: 2, Toads: 2, Goats: 1, Lizards (Komodo dragons): 2, Beaver: 1, Peacock: 1. And I forgot we saw a herd of alpacas three days ago. No armadillos spotted. Evidently they are a “thing” here.

Found this guy who needed a driver.


Once in St. Charles we still had 20 more miles to ride to the train station in Kirkwood. Doable but probs the most challenging ride of the week.

Once at the Kirkwood station I wanted to get these fascinating (to me) shots of the station exterior. These are all the layers of paint the station has worn over the years. To run your fingers across it is like touching many eras at the same time.


Tom loaded up our bikes lickety split and we went straight to Burger King where we split a Whopper and sucked down two large Icees.


There was plenty of time for thinking on the Katy. The southwestern end was especially scant of peeps. A song I always include on my playlist (along with a heavy helping of classic rock) is:


Besides the gitty-up-and-go factor it speaks to me of God’s mercy, love and magnitude.  It just makes me smile so big!
Praise God!

The Katy Trail: Day Four

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Pure joy!


That’s all I can say! Stellar day of cycling. Felt super in the morning with a bit of gitty-up-and-go.

Have been meeting so many great peeps. Carrie and Tim from Kansas schooled us on gravel grinding. Tim you’re amazing and Carrie I want to be one of your 6th grade ELA students. #teachershaveclass


Is the sky blue or what? Absolutely the best cycling weather.

We met 77yo Betsy who has cycled around the world. Her four fave destinations? South Africa, Iceland, Vietnam and Cuba. Count us in for all those. Self supported.

Betsy first cycled across the US in 1988 with two other women using a AAA Trip Tick. #respect

I’ve been thinking about our two little loves, Charlie and Archie and can’t wait to give our grands lots of hugs!


Critter count is now:

Turtles: 6, Snakes: 2, Toads: 2,Goats: 1, Lizards (Komodo dragons): 2 and wait for it…  1 Beaver (and I’m not kidding)

There’s plenty of time for solitude on the trail and to give thanks. Grateful hearts are happy hearts and ours are overflowing.


If only I could just relax a little…

The Katy Trail: Day Three

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Day Three brought another stellar day for cycling.


And it was short on cycling but long on animals spots! I thought we hit the jackpot before breakfast with this little guy who camped out on Tom’s bike bag.


But no, there were two Komodo dragon sitings before 10am. Ok so maybe they weren’t Kimodos. More like lizards.

But Tom earns the animal spot of the day with a dang mountain goat on a bluff. And a black one at that.


This morning we said goodbye to Sherry who has been camping near us all week. Back to Chattanooga she goes!


This evening we camp by the mighty Missouri with little to do but enjoy each other, the outdoors and look forward to another day on the Katy tomorrow.


Happy trails!

The Katy Trail: Day Two

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You don’t have to travel all the way to Missouri to hug an old tree but if you want to hug a 350 year old tree you’ll need to park your bike next to the tree just outside of Huntsdale.


Today brought short, steep hikes to spectacular overlooks and even a visit to a local little league game for pork nachos and a hot dog. In a town of 106 residents a night out is a night out. #ballparkdogsarebest


We encountered our first proper tunnel.


And we listened carefully while William Clark’s great, great, great, great grandson explained how he is creating an authentic dug out canoe. Yep he does this while living in his Marmot tent by the Missouri River. The vessel weighs 400 pounds and he claims it’s unsinkable.



But the biggest news? We’ve gotten reacquainted with the mighty Missouri! We will follow along her banks all the way to St. Charles.

And in case anyone is keeping score… it’s turtles 4, snakes 2.

More you ask? I’m chillaxing comfortably with my jelly beans after our visit to the great American ball park and my beloved pulls out his own stash. There is no man cave in our tent, my love. Finish before you enter.


Best part of the day was the cycling. Small towns, hands down the best weather, light winds and easy terrain.




And I love this!


The Katy goes right through Boonvillle. #nodetours

We started the day out like this.


And ended it like this.

The Katy Trail: Day One

Routes and Stats
The trail could not have been more accommodating today and either could the weather. Up early and out of the gate before eight we started when it was cool.

Below see the proverbial start pic.


Off we went heading toward St. Charles finding one of the first “high” points below.


Since I left my iPhone at wimp junction today pics of the actual ride are sparse.  Tom, aka, “Rocket” is able to motor forward at a fairly good clip while I limp up the inclines and pedal as fast as I can down hill.

It was clear blue sky all day with bright sun shining on prairies that peeked through the tree line along the Katy. Just a beautiful day!


And oh yea if you happen to be a data person we saw four box turtles and one black snake.
Pilot Grove, where we are legally camping, has a Casey’s we visited three times. Because. Ice cream is a necessity. And it packs poorly in panniers.

Busch cans however were made for Tom’s Co-Op! #wheninMO #drinklocal


Tom was on dinner duty tonight. He also hung the clothes line and set up the tent. What can I say? Wimp junction for me today.



Tomorrow I will do better. Because. I found the Jelly Belly jelly beans in the ” kitchen” and they’re goin’ in the day bag on the back of my bike tomorrow!


#jellybeanssavelives

Pretty sure my sleeping bag beckons. #firststariseetonight

The Katy Trail: Getting There

Route and Stats


We made it! We hopped on the train at the Kirkwood Station, rode it to Sedalia where we saddled up on the bikes and rode about 40 miles to Clinton which is the start of the Katy Trail.

Nothing says “get out of my way” like a train.


Unfortunately the recommended place to camp at the Community Center is closed. Everything is closed in Clinton.

So.

It’s stealth camping tonight. As we are rule followers, we are a little out of our element but there is a sling shot, solo female camper in the same situation so she has her tent pitched near ours.

Here’s our camp spot. Right in that grassy area in front of the railroad car. I won’t sleep a wink worried we will get a camping ticket. Or worse. Eric, Clayton, do you know any good bail bondmen in Missouri?

So how was the ride? Remarkable? No. Epic? No. Fun. Yep! And the people are always the best! BTW I saw one box turtle.

After the ride we cooked up a little dinner and took a sink bath and chillaxed.


These trail angels Tim and Kat that we met near Windsor circled back this evening for a neighborly visit and brought provisions. #midwesternerssrock

And guess what else happened!? Tom and I grew telephone poles out of our heads!


God Bless and good night!