The first time I rode along it was in 1990, not long after the first stretch of it opened near Columbia, Missouri, where I was at college. At the time I had to ride my bike along winding roads beyond the stretch of trail created on a spur of the MKT. Once I finally made it to the trail, I got a flat and ended up walking the rest of the way to Rocheport. Nowadays, the trail along the MKT spur connects to the Katy Trail near McBaine, and it’s a pretty easy, flat 18.5-mile ride between Columbia and Rocheport, where we stayed last weekend.
Normally, we take this trip in October with a lot of friends, but after skipping it last year and nearly freezing our tails off the year prior, we all thought it was a good idea to try going sometime warmer, maybe in the summer.
In hindsight, that may not have been the best idea.
Missouri’s officially been in a drought since, I believe, April, and it was evident on the trail. Even the invasive honeysuckle looked limp and dried out. The chalky trail dust clung to any exposed area of skin. Whenever we got out of the shade, it felt like Shake ‘n’ Bake.
It’s a bit cooler this weekend, but Monday it’s supposed to be back up to 101 here. That’s 38 in Centigrade but no matter what scale you use, it’s “Dang it’s hot.” Be smart out there, kids.