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Day: April 14, 2016


It was a fine campsite last night, without a dew. It was mild and calm when I stepped back out on the road and headed north.

I was soon walking in shirt sleeves (and pants) cranking out miles.

Turkey vultures were sunning themselves on this barn roof.  The road turned west. Ahead loomed bluffs on the other side of the river. Kansas!

Turkey vultures sunning on barn

Turkey vultures sunning on barn

It takes me an hour to do three miles, and I reached the bridge in an hour and a half.

The bridge signs said:




There were wide shoulders and light traffic so the crossing was enjoyable.

Missouri at Atchison

Railroad bridge, Kansas border, Missouri River

I immediately liked the town. My enthusiasm zoomed when I saw a buffet at a pizza place, opening in… 5 minutes!

It was a fine salad bar and good pizza. The pizza ladies asked what I was up to and were excited about the trip.

With over 50 miles of no resupply ahead of me I headed over to the grocery store then started walking through town. There were dozens of cool old houses, porches, columns, turrets.

A guy mowing the roadside ditches with a tractor hopped off to talk to me. He’d seen me way over in Missouri and said he’d just texted his friend, saying I must have done 20 miles today already. Not yet, but a trip like this is his dream.

I was getting lots of waves and was offered a couple of rides. The friendliest stretch of the trail so far!

At about 21 miles I was feeling perky but I’d looked at the aerial photo and there was nothing for camping for nearly 10 more miles except for this nice patch of woods. And here I camp.


30th June Satturday 1804 Set out verry early this morning, a verry large wolf Came to the bank and looked at us this morning,

July 1st 1804, last night one of the Sentinals Chang’d either a man or Beast, which run off, all prepared for action…we delayed three hours, the day being excessively hot, Turkeys are plenty on the Shore, G. Drewyer inform that he Saw PueCanns Trees on S. S. yesterday great quantities of raspburies an Grapes

July 3

…we halted at an old Tradeing house, here we found a verry fat horse, which appears to have been lost a long time a butifull Small run passes back of the Tradeing house near the high land, we came to at a round bend on the L. S. and Camped

July 4th Wednesday 1804…a Snake bit Jo. Fields on the Side of his foot which Swelled much, apply Barks to the wound…as this Creek has no name, and this day is the 4th of July, we name this Independance us. Creek…The Plains of this countrey are covered with a Leek Green Grass, well calculated for the sweetest and most norushing hay-interspersed with Cops of trees, Spreding ther lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs covered with the most delicious froot is to be seen in every direction, and nature appears to have exerted herself to butify the Senery by the variety of flours Delicately and highly flavered raised above the Grass, which Strikes & profumes the Sensation, and amuses the mind throws it into Conjecterng the cause of So magnificent a Senerey in a Country thus Situated far removed from the Sivilised world to be enjoyed by nothing but the Buffalo Elk Deer & Bear in which it abounds & Savage Indians

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Miles, and Miles, and Miles

Sean Phillips dropped me off where he picked me up in Platte City. We shook hands and I thanked him again for his hospitality. 

It might have been the prettiest day of the whole hike, a light breeze, sunny, warm but not hot. 

Sean texted me. Noting I was hiking through Weston, he directed me to O’Malley’s Pub. It was perfect. I sat in the shade and ate a giant burger. 

Weston was a really cool little town. It had a bit of a groovy vibe, unusually nice old houses, big trees, early flowers. 


Weston, MO

Weston, MO

I tallied up the mileage for the trip so far:

Missouri River miles, about 400

Lewis and Clark Bike Trail, 381

My miles, based on the bike route, about 340. 

I passed a ski area (!). There was a train track paralleling the road, with giant lines of coal cars. I found a campsite in the leaves on a hillside flat spot. There was a low ridge between the tracks and my camp. Animals were rummaging around the leaves when it got dark. Possums and coons likely. An owl glided silently against the night sky. Meteors streaked overhead. 


28 June Thursday…This River [Kansas] recves its name from a nation which dwells at this time on its banks & 2 villages one about 20 Leagues & the other 40 Leagues up, those Indians are not verry noumerous at this time, reduced by war with their neighbours, &c. they formerly liveid on the South banks of the Missouries 24 Leagues above this river in a open & butifull plain and were verry noumerous at the time the french first Settled the Illinois, I am told they are a fierce & warlike people, being badly Supplied with fire arms, become easily conquered by the Aiauway & Saukees who are better furnished with those materials of war, This nation is now out in the plains hunting the Buffalow our hunters Killed Several Deer and Saw Buffalow, [first of the trip] men impd Dressing Skins & makeing themselves Comfortable

29th of June 1804…

Passed a verry bad place of water, the Sturn of the Boat Struck a moveing Sand & turned within 6 Inches of a large Sawyer, if the Boat had Struck the Sawyer, her Bow must have been Knocked off & in Course She must hav Sunk in the Deep water below…The Court Convened agreeable to order and proceeded to the trial of the Prisoners Viz John Collins Charged “with getting drunk on his post this morning out of whiskey put under his Charge as a Sentinal and for Suffering Hugh Hall to draw whiskey out of the Said Barrel intended for the party”…The Court after mature deliveration on the evidence abduced &c. are of oppinion that the prisoner is Guilty of the Charge exibited against him, and do therefore Sentence him to recive one hundred Lashes on his bear Back.

Trip overview and route map with position updates:


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