Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Katy Trail Day 1 - Marthasville, MO


By the time I woke up, confused to be indoors and in a bed, it was nearly 8am and my host had left for work. When I eventually find a wifi connection and post this, I'll have to send an email thanking him, I think. He'd told me to help myself to breakfast, so I found some muesli and heated it up, then scrambled an egg, and ate a banana. My clothes where still damp in the dryer, so I was delayed a while longer. No problem there, I enjoyed watching the squirrels, jays, and doves at the bird feeders while waiting. When I went to move my trailer outside, I found a flat tire. With all the glass on the road the other day, no surprise there. I never did find the leak, and the tire held air when re-inflated. I took one last look around to make sure I forget nothing, took a moment to admire the thick, dark green english ivy covering half the front yard and carpeting a tree trunk(four years of telling customers that it won't overwinter in Minnesota... no wonder everyone wants it as a groundcover, very pretty), and left.

It was easier than I could have hoped for to get to the Katy trail, but of course mucked that up by promptly going a few miles in the wrong direction when I reached the trail proper. Oh well! Almost immidiately the trail plunged into one of the 'tunnels of green'. The trees looked so much more lush than I am used to. Honey locusts and others I don't know, dropping down heavy with ivy and trumpet creepers. It felt wetter, too, then it should on a warm day. Before long I reached Klondike Park, which I pulled off to take a look at, having no idea what a unique stop it would be. The park is the site of an old St. Peters Sandstone quarry. The quarry is now a bright-blue lake, surrounded by sparkling white sand, junipers, and prickly pear cacti. The white bluffs and alpine-esque look of it seem entirely out of place here.

Klondike park has some lovely, juniper-scented and wooded campsites for $7, but I passed them up on the grounds of it being too early in the day, and I'm too used to camping for free. I spent the night in Marthasville, instead. There are a few comments on the trail website mentioning how the park is often busy and camping there is like "camping in someones backyard while they're having a party". It was empty tonight, and fortunately the showers in the athletic complex where unlocked. I had a big bowl of rice, and slept in my hammock strung up halfways under a shelter.

Into the tube of green...

Missouri Cacti

Klondike Park.

Bluffs alongside the trail.

Home for the night at Marthasville.

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