Sunday, July 6, 2014

Finish it off. Katy day 5

Up and rolling for this, our last day of the tour.
One of my favorite things of being on a bike tour is the simplicity of the daily routine. Get up, pack your stuff and get about the business of riding your bike. No thoughts of how work is going to go, or what details of life are going to crop up. Just get some food and fluids on board and enjoy pedaling your bike through the country side. It is a good feeling.......maybe a bit selfish, just taking care of yourself for the days you are lucky enough to be out on a bike tour. I am sure this is why, for me, it is a wonderful vacation. Ask your body for a little performance and get a positive response which in turn has a wonderful effect to my mental state of mind.
I owe a big thank you and gratitude to my family and wife for supporting me for my bike tours every summer.

On with today's ride. Last day is our shortest ride, about 37 miles to Clinton. We are now completely away from the river and it is a nice ride through open farm country.
The morning starts with a short ride through Sedalia back to the depot where we pick up the Katy going west.
 There was a bit of a head wind again today as we worked our way through Sedalia.
Last little bit of tree cover before breaking out into the open country.
I feel really good today, legs are working great and I am really enjoying the ride and my surroundings. Peace and contentment is the mindset for me today. I know this is the last day but I am able to set aside the feelings that I know are coming up later today, saying goodbye to new and familiar friends, the end of the physical work you ask of your body. I find the rhythm of the ride and the bike....all is good.

Midwest sight with these flowers
And here we roll out into the open country. Even with the headwind and a bit of a climb that took us to the highest point on the length of the trail, it was such an enjoyable ride.
I enjoyed the open look and views of the countryside
Quite the change of terrain!! This part of the trail reminded me very much of our ride some 6 or 7 days ago on the Prairie Spirit Trail.
SAG stops on the trail were always so welcomed and the tour organizers made sure we were really taken care of during the whole ride. But, I gotta tell you, I really can take a few days off from eating bananas. They did help with keeping the leg cramps away later in the day. The second day I did not eat any bananas and I suffered a bit with cramps later in the day in camp, so I was a good soldier the rest of the ride.....but it was a chore to eat those the last few days!
A break from the farmland views
And just like that here we are coming into Clinton and the end of the ride.
A last picture of my riding, camping, and dining, trip buddies, Rob, Kelley, and Richard
I was once again impressed by the organization of the ride put on by Missouri State Parks. They could have just said goodbye, thanks for coming, but no......they arranged the use of the locker rooms at the community center for showers and provided a lunch for everybody. A great finish to a week of the finest organization a rider could get.
Time to say my goodbyes and climb into my truck for a long drive home. I originally planned to break up the drive but a commitment came up that I wanted to be back in Estes the next morning so I slogged it out for the long drive. It was all good because after my morning thing and a bit of a lazy day we got the news that David's wife Carlie was heading over to the hospital in labor. Baby Ava was born about 9 PM and I got to hold her about two hours later! What a blessing and my heart just filled with love and joy.

Father and daughter
I've been back now for a couple of weeks. The shine from the trip has not really worn off. I have gotten back into the routine of the daily thing of commute, work, lunch ride, work, commute home. I have not been out for any weekend rides because I am catching up some chores around the house. I like having a big event on the horizon to get me out for long rides. I'll have to see how things line out for next year but I sure would like to return to ride Katy again next year west to east. I had a great time and was so impressed by the organized ride. I still like heading out on a self-supported tour and the independence that it brings. Yet, my first experience with an organized ride could not have gone any better and I will not avoid those in the future.

Thank you so much for reading along and enjoying the ride with me.