We woke up pretty early on day two, took showers in the Roundhouses excellent facilities, packed up camp and got ready to hit the trail. Before we did, though, a man from a party of riders that wed met the previous day came over and, unasked and completely out of the good of his heart, fixed one of our bikes. It was one of our first tastes of the camaraderie and friendliness of the people along the trail. Our paths crossed with this parties many times during the days ahead.
We set out on day two feeling strong and happy. The weather was slightly overcast and cool perfect for biking.
Before we reached the beautiful town of Rocheport we traveled through a long and cavernous tunnel. Wed heard a lot about this tunnel, seen it in a number of brochure photographs, and we couldnt resist taking a gaggle of photographs ourselves. It was fairly impressive.
We had lunch in Rocheport and relaxed a little before continuing down the trail.
A friend and former local had informed us that the trail between Rocheport and McBaine was the most scenic, and he wasnt kidding. The trail there follows the river closely and big imposing bluffs create a striking backdrop.
We were told to keep an eye on the bluffs once we were a couple miles outside of Rocheport in order to see a rare surviving native American pictograph; it was smaller than we'd expected, but we were able to see a hand print and a few other shapes and symbols.
There were a number of caves along this stretch of trail, including the Lewis and Clark Cave, and we dismounted to explore a number of them.
Wed planned on spending the night in Jefferson City, which was a ways off the trail and across the Missouri. Wed chosen "Jeff City" because it was an even 50 miles away from our starting point; the only other campgrounds were 30 miles away (not far enough) or 70 miles (too far).
The Jeff City idea proved to be a rotten one. The bridge that crossed the Missouri, which looked so short and friendly on our map, was actually a highway with no lane or shoulder for bicycles; crossing it was completely out of the question. After wasting more than an hour discovering this, we found ourselves stranded, starving and facing a 20-mile ride to the nearest town with a campground and food.
We set out on this unanticipated 20-mile journey feeling tattered and dispirited. Maintaining 10mph was our goal, and it was a struggle. After 11 miles one of our riders began to show signs of exhaustion and dehydration. As we sat around wondering what to do, the Dehydrated One spotted some people outside of a house near the trail. Desperate, the he rode over to the house and threw himself at the peoples mercy. Like so many people wed met on the Katy Trail, the folks were more friendly and hospitable than we could have imagined, and they gladly loaded our bikes, bodies and gear into their giant pickup truck and shuttled us the remaining 10 miles to Steedman. It was pretty incredible.
They dropped us off at the S.O.B., Steedmans only bar, which was right off the trail. Inside we chatted with the friendly ladies behind the bar and at ½ pound hamburgers. We then set up camp out in front of the bar (which they allowed us to do at no charge) and promptly collapsed.
Thumbnails of Day Two pictures: