I slept great and woke up early. I packed in the first gray light and began to follow the bicycle trail that runs along the river. There were many deer and hundreds of ducks and greese, even wild turkeys.

I passed a lock and dam I had “locked through” when I paddled the Mississippi. It’s a big, powerful river.

At Alton I stopped for breakfast. There was a table of old retired guys, curious what I was up to, having trouble relating to the “whys and hows” but friendly and cheerful. The Alton bridge across the Mississippi is a work of engineering art. There was a wide bicycle lane making for a safe, stress-free crossing into Missouri.

A few months ago there was a big flood. I picked up another bicycle trail and in places there were windrows of corn stalks washed from-who-knows where, some fields were sprinkled with flood debris: drums, plastic bottles, lumber.

For the next few miles I linked together a combo of backcountry roads, rail lines, levees and cross-country travel. At last I arrived at the Katy Trail which I will follow for the next 200 miles or so. It is a “rails to trails” route. I followed it for eight more miles or so, through farmland and often lined by trees with their leaves just starting to appear.

 It’s important in the first few days of a long walk to not over-do it, to avoid blisters and other injuries which are much more common until you get your trail legs. I took the time to adjust laces, and to put on sunscreen. I’d planned to do about fifteen miles, but with my feet feeling good I decided to do a few more miles so I could camp next to the Missouri River. It’s good to be underway.

Clark, May 15, 1804 rained all last night and this morning untill 7 oClock, all our fire extinguished, Some Provisions on the top of the Perogus wet, I sent two men to the Countrey to hunt…

Lewis: the barge run foul three several times—on logs, and in one instance it was with much difficulty they could get her off; happily no injury was sustained, tho the barge was several minutes in eminent danger; this was cased by her being too heavily laden in the stern. Persons accustomed to the navigation of the Missouri and the Mississippi also below the mouth of this river, uniformly take the precaution to load their vessels heavyest in the bow when they ascend the stream in order to avoid the danger incedent to runing foul of the concealed timber which lyes in great quantities in the beds of these rivers.

Check out my latest location. Click on the placemark for more info.