4 Guys Biking Across America

Hey Kayak Woman, below are pictured a few things that you don’t have to fling. You might want to wash them out though. Four hot, sweaty and dusty guys for your birthday.

4 Guys Who Are Biking Across America

4 Guys Who Are Biking Across America

I met these four guys a couple of summers ago on the Katy Trail. The Katy is a rails-to-trails bike path that nearly spans the State of Missouri, east-to-west. They had started from California and were eventually headed to someplace on the East coast. Their goal on this day was Saint Louis. One of them had an uncle in town. There were two things that they wanted to see, while visiting the Lou, the Arch, naturally, but also Crown Candy Kitchen. Crown Candy is a venerable soda fountain on the near north side. I had no idea that its fame had reached so far and wide, but when we stop there, we tend to do takeout, too crowded.

Happy Birthday Cousin Anne

Happy Birthday Cousin Anne

Cousin Anne, happy birthday, and happy trails to you!

May-apple Leaf Rag

May-apple Leaf

The leaf in this post’s photo is of a May-apple. It is sometimes known as an Adams Apple, mandrake root, raccoon berry, wild lemon, Indian apple, duck’s foot or the umbrella plant. It is a perennial, native to wooded areas of eastern North America. Its stems grow with two or three lobed leaves with 5-9 deeply cut lobes on reproductive individuals, or one umbrella-like leaf on sterile individuals. The May-apple has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, originally by indigenous people and later by settlers. The plant in the above picture was sterile.

Yesterday, I added a new page to this blog. It is entitled ‘Calendar Pixs’. This page has the photographs that were used in the 2010 and 2012 calendars that I made on Lulu. The permanent link is at the top of this page, but for those who have trouble finding it, and you know who you are, I’ll give you this easy to find link to the page, here.

I got out on my bicycle after work today and rode the Katy trail. I rode 17 miles, did not flat and my bike computer worked, all better than last week’s inaugural ride. I startled a black snake on the trail. I had just rounded a corner and it was sunning itself in the middle of the trail. Fortunately, it had more presence of mind than I did, because it beat a hasty retreat, before I could even react. This is a good thing, because me and black snakes, we have a history together.

In the daily trench warfare that passes for our presidential campaign, the Democrats were the ones that got off the snappy one-liner today, and it came from a most unlikely source, Joe Biden. Biden praised Obama’s record with, “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive”. Then he added that reverse might be true if Romney had been the president.

The Romney campaign’s retort was in the form of a question, “Why is the United States under Obama abdicating its leadership for keeping stability in the world?” What the heck does that mean? Are they playing Jeopardy? Does he think that we can abdicate, because we are the king of the world? I thought that that was James Cameron.

Crossing Muddy Waters

The river was wide and deep and up when I took the Daniel Boone Bridge across the Missouri River and then 94 to the Weldon [radioactive hot] Springs Katy trailhead.  I was on my bike and riding by seven.  It was almost too cool.  It was certainly too humid.  Anytime I stopped to take a picture my glasses would fog up.  The saying goes, “If the creeks don’t rise and the good Lord is willing I will make it.”  Well the creeks were already up.  There is a certain spookiness riding through flooded woods, with only a narrow strip of trail, both fore and aft to roll on.

I rode to Marthasville and back, for 45 miles.  Marthasville has a gas station right next to the trailhead and this gas station has the cheapest soda on the Katy.  I eschewed the sports drinks in machine #1 for a dollar.  I also passed on machine #2 with its $1.25 16 ounce bottles of soda.  I elected to buy the 50¢ 12 ounce can of Orange Crush from machine #3.

So some of you are probably wondering, who are the four shirtless guys?  These four guys left San Francisco five weeks ago and plan on returning home to Baltimore in two more weeks.  It took them three days to cross Missouri.  They are planning on spending the weekend in Saint Louis.  They asked about breakfast and I told them about the deli in Dutzow and the micro-brewery in Augusta.  At this point another gentleman piped up with, “Beer for breakfast?”  To which I responded, “Beer is not just for breakfast anymore.”  I gave them suggestions on how to cross the two major river obstacles that lay before them asked them for their photo and bade them good luck.  On my return I passed their bikes parked in Dutzow, they evidently chose the deli.

So these guys were on their great adventure, just like Anne and I some 28 years ago, but they have something that we never even thought to have, sponsors.  I never got the complete rundown, but they were all well outfitted.  They did mention one sponsor though, Brooks Saddles.  These are high-end, handmade bike saddles that are made the way they use to be made.  They come with a leather seat and copper rivet fasteners.  They explained with some sanguine that it took them 1000 miles to break them in for their butts.

I saw many little birds, cardinals, goldfinches and indigo buntings; red, yellow and blue colored birds.  I saw one great white egret who was fishing in a partially flooded cornfield and I saw a great blue heron that over flew me, but I didn’t get a single picture of any of them.  The little birds are always tough to photograph, but I’ve had plenty of success photographing larger birds, but missing my ace spotter and then stopper, I just kept riding along. 

So I stopped at the Augusta Brewery on the way back, which is not open for breakfast.  I had a beer and posted this on Facebook.  This post created a bit of a Facebook sensation with Kayak Women.  Drink responsibly folks.