Day 14: Lexington, MO – Jefferson City, MO, miles -170 , climbing – 4549 feet
I left Lexington at sunrise and felt rejuvenated after sleeping for seven hours . Are you ready to be confused with directions? I was traveling south on the west side of Kansas City when my final destination is the east coast. Once in Chilhowee, MO, the route goes east and enters Katy Trail in the town of Windsor.
The first 50 miles were smooth sailing but that changed fast once on the Katy Trail. It never ends, does it? My GPS told me to turn left but the road had no turns. There was a bridge above me so it wasn’t rocket science to figure that I had to hitch hike up there. Simple tasks were becoming a problem now. It was extremely steep and I was having hard time pushing this loaded bicycle, its like pushing a tank. Few steps and then stop, make another few steps and stop again. I fell down on the ground halfway up the hill while being unable to keep my footing and push at the same time. It was nothing serious, just another fresh wound that will bother me for the next few days.
Two consecutive days with plenty of rest had me itching about going harder and further without much sleep. So far, I was lucky not to get caught in any major storm but my luck will dry out soon. There was a massive storm north of me while another one was developing to the south. Hope is a powerful thing and I was imagining the possibility of squeezing in between.
As soon as I took the detour by Boonville, MO, I found myself on some nasty gravel road. Maybe it was better to stay on the trail and swim 🙂 Out of the 35 mile detour, about 25 were gravel and it was not some pristine limestone. The gravel had some decent size rocks that required good bike handling skills. There was nothing around me but large farms.
My desire of making big push was dying extremely fast. This section was challenging, featuring some short but steep climbs peaking at 18%. Every farm here seemed to have a dog. No better way to make the experience worse than few really competitive dog chases. They were after me like their life depended on it. . .
It was late afternoon and I wasn’t planning on stopping anytime soon other than a quick powernap for the night. At this moment, the sky turned black and we all know that nothing good ever comes with that. Within 15 minutes, I was in the mercy of a viscous storm. It was hard to see so the only option was to follow the white line on the road.
I kept pedaling, there was no town or single building around me to take shelter in. The roads were practically flooded within 15 minutes with at least 2 inches of water. How is this even physically possible?
The thunderstorms and lightning were scary but spectacular at the same time. My bike and body were covered in mud but who cares at this point?
Eventually, I made it back onto the Katy Trail and slept on the hallway floor of some bathroom. This is the glory of unsupported ultracycling 🙂 There was roof on top of my head, running water and power outlet to charge my devices. I slept here for about one hour and took off into the darkness while the rain was dying off.
My intentions of making big push and reducing the gap were shattered. The trail itself was ok but a bit lumpy at times. All the tree roots and recent storms were really deforming the pavement.
The deer’s just stood in the middle of the trail at times and kept looking at me. They were making sniffs and snort noises and apparently this meant that they smelled danger.
I was excited to get closer to Alton, IL. The town was located immediately across the Mississippi River. Judy Rush was going to wait for me there just like she was for all the racers.
My day ended in Jefferson City, MO along the Missouri river and the mosquitoes there were starting to really get on my nervs.
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