Sunday, June 22, 2014

Prairie Spirit Days

Have I got spirit???
Day two begins with a planned trip of the Prairie Spirit rail trail heading south out of Ottawa. The plan is to meet my cycling buddy Richard on the trail after he starts out in Iola, our destination for tonight.

It is a nicer day than yesterday started without the rain.
First bridge
A nice morning for setting my own pace and just poking along. Felt really great to just be on vacation, no time issues, just a ride in the countryside. I had the trail almost to myself except for a couple of older retired gentlemen that I passed going the other way. They kind of gave me funny looks when we said good morning. I noticed that they just had their floppy sun hats on and maybe they thought I was weird looking with my helmet on. Then.....I realized I was weird looking with my helmet on. C'mon.....I am a firm believer in helmet usage but I am riding down a flat, groomed dirt trail going about 8 to 9 miles an hour with nobody else on the trail. Pretty low comes the helmet and on goes a hat and a cooler head and comfort was really enjoyed by....ME!!
Rolled up into the first little town and stopped to pay my trail fee for two days, $3.50 per day. I know some that object to a trail fee, but really, $3.50 for a day of fun??? Have you bought a ski lift ticket or played 18 holes of golf lately???

This trail has a bit more of a finished feel to it than yesterday's ride. Firmer surface and the little towns along the way spaced out about every ten miles or so. A bit more open views of the surrounding farmland. I just love the golden contrast of the wheat fields after the tree canopy's and the green corn fields.
I was a little surprised about the very few flowers that were out in bloom. I am sure that spring has already happened in this part of the world and the flowers are over. I'll just try and get some snaps of anything blooming, not really knowing what anything is.
And these that just might be a weed!!
Rolled into Richard before the town of Garnett and after a quick howdy, we were both hungry to get some lunch. We goofed about a bit in Garnett with lunch and riding through the city park before heading on south.
Garnett is safe from invasion!!
Just some sights as we rolled along south.
A pretty fishing hole.
I like the old barns that I ride by. Everybody has a different vision of what their barn looks like and sized.
We took a break in Colony and had a icy cold soda on the porch of the store/diner there. They told us that they served breakfast so we made plans to be back in the morning. It was a hot ride the last ten miles into Iola but I sure enjoyed a soak in the motel pool and we had beers and a nice dinner right there next to the motel.
Early start the next morning for our ride back to breakfast in Colony. First time in a while that I have watched the sunrise from a bike seat. Even Richard was corrupted by my no helmet craziness!!
Checking out the view of the drop off over the bridge rail.
Breakfast was grand in Colony. Highly recommended!! Get the biscuit that Richard got instead of toast that I got. I could not distract him enough to steal a bite of that homemade beauty.
Riding up out of Colony
Oh yeah!!! Turtle number two!! Still no snakes.
It was about 48 miles between Ottawa and Iola. It took me about 6 hours and 10 minutes of riding time to get down there but we had a great tailwind on Saturday going back so only 5 hours and 3 minutes. Now a little road trip time to get over to Clinton, Missouri and the start of the Katy adventure.
More to come!!


  1. Great ride report, Jim! I too like a break from tree canopy once in a while, I enjoy seeing the surrounding countryside. So glad you suggested this ride together, as I completely enjoyed the Prairie Spirit all over again, this time I wasn't lonely.

  2. Great photos Jim - love the shot of the "tunnel of trees" I really like riding on rail trails like that and don't do it enough. You may just inspire me to get out on my local rail trail -The Iron Horse Trail (a.k.a. the John Wayne Pioneer Trail) its been on my list for a while and this summer may be the time - Glad you are enjoying the trip you helmet-less crazy man. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

  3. Coach, my advice-to-self has always been to avoid recreation that requires a helmet. With some twenty thousand miles of motorcycle touring and a goodly ten thousand miles on a bicycle with no helmet, here I am. But you only need the helmet when you crash, right? I ain't got the answer. But I don't wear a helmet.

    I'm not against them, I just don't wear one. But let's face it, I'm a wild and crazy guy.

    yer pal, steve martin

    1. Good point on needing it when you crash!! There are of course different kinds of crashes....I figured putzing along at 9 MPH on dirt was a crash that I could have walked away from with minimal damage to my head!!
      People look at me strange now when I ski because I don't wear a helmet. I however have the same philosophy when I ski as when I bike.....don't fall. Works out!!
      If you can pick a banjo.....I'll give you the Steve Martin
      Thanks for the read

  4. Another nice write-up. Again it's nice to see others on trails that we've ridden especially in our home state. I'm sure you were aware that the trail continues South for another 6 miles to the town of Humboldt. That segment is named the Southwind Rail Trail and is managed by volunteers and not the state. A really nice old bridge on the trail right at the South end of Iola. Don't know whether you got to see that or not. The grocery store next to the cafe in Colony burned and was rebuilt since we were there last year.

    1. It was a nice new building. The guy told me that they combined the store and diner. Richard has been down the Southwind trail. Might be the reason to come back.....only so much time and so many trails!!!
      Thanks for reading!!