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Tag: Lewis. and Clark Trail (page 4 of 5)

Wind, Rain and Sun

It started out a calm, bluebird day. For a long while yesterday there was no shoulder to the road. Today there were very wide gravel shoulders. The morning sun was behind me, casting my ling shadow ahead. I like to walk facing traffic, not being a believer in unnecessary blind trust. But this morning the folks in my lane were driving into the blinding sun, so I walked on the other side, at the far edge of the shoulder. 

I got to a hill and could see five miles ahead, up and down gentle hills. 

“I’ll do it in one push” I told myself, and did. 

When I stood up from my break later and looked behind me, my bluebird day was being erased by dark rushing clouds with curtains of blue rain beneath them.  The wind hit and with startling rapidity here was the rain. I  geared up, rain clothes flapping, deja vu.  

Yet soon blue sky appeared and the rain ceased. The wind stayed fierce for the rest of the day. The sun and rain battled it out, the sun the ultimate victor. 

At one point dust became a serious issue. Passing cars nearly disappeared as they slowed, trying to see. My eyes were getting gummy and grit crunched in my teeth. Luckily it only lasted a few minutes. 

Today was the day when farmers appeared, working their fields. I’m guessing this is when corn traditionally gets planted in this part of Missouri. There were giant tractors, disks, planters. 

I was getting low on water. Ahead was an old gas station. Out of business apparently. I walked over just in case and by golly they were open. Not only that but  I got pizza and ice cream. Major score.  

My feet were feeling it and I was weary of getting buffeted by wind. I watched for a camp spot and lucked out with a dandy: a grassy bench in a ravine, mostly protected from the still roaring winds. 

sheltered camp

sheltered camp


11th June 1804 Monday The N W. wind blew hard & Cold as this wind was imediately a head, we Could not proceed we took the advantage of this Delay and Dried our wet articles examin’d Provisions &c. &c. the river begining to fall the hunters killed two Deer G. Drewyer Killed two Bear in the Prarie, they were not fat. we had the meat Jurked and also the Venison, which is a Constant Practice to have all the fresh meat not used, Dried in this way.


 June 12, 1804 …2 Caussease Came Down from the Soux nation, we found in the party an old man who had been with the Soux 20 years & had great influence with them, we provld. on this old man Mr. Duriaur to return with us, with a view to get Some of the Soux Chiefs to go to the U. S. purchased 300 lb. of Voyagers Grece @ 5 $ Hd. made Some exchanges & purchuses of Mockersons…

June 13…the antient Missourie Indians had a Village, at this place 300 of them were killed by the Saukees…this nation once the Most Noumerous is now almost extinct, about 30 of them, liveing with Otteaus on the R. Platt, the remainder all distroyed…

June 17

Clark, June 17, 1804 June 17 Sunday 1804 Cloudy Wind, S. E. Set out early S. 65 ° W 1 Me. Came too to Make ores, and a Cord for a Toe Rope all this day imployed in getting out Ores, & makeing for the use of the Boat out of a large Cable rope which we have, G Drewyer Came up a Bear & 2 Deer, also a fine horse which he found in the woods, Supposed to have been left by Some war party from the osages, The Ticks are numerous and large and have been trousom all the way and the Musquetors are beginning to be verry troublesome, my Cold Continues verry bad the French higherlins Complain for the want of Provisions, Saying they are accustomed to eat 5 & 6 times a day, they are roughly rebuked for their presumption, the Country about abounds in Bear Deer & Elk and the S. S. the lands are well timbered and rich for 2 ms. to a butifull Prarie which risies into hills…

Trip overview and route map with position updates: 


Santa Fe Trail

My hotel had a epic complimentary breakfast. I had a big waffle with butter and syrup, yogurt, orange juice and coffee. 

I walked a mile to the store. I bought some cold medicine and a second pair of insoles. A second set of insoles is a trick I’ve used before. They’ll fit a little differently. I’ll swap them out with my current set during the day. It should help with achy feet. 

I called the recommended taxi number.  He estimated $15 to get two miles back to the trail. I called a second #. $5 he said, and that’s what it was. 

I stood at the point where my route diverged from where the Katy Trail led quietly away through the trees. Instead I followed the route of the Santa Fe Trail out of Boonville.  

Yards were green, trees blossoming. There were many old houses, up high, along the old trail, homes with a view. 

It was a real road walk now, but through beautiful, rolling, prosperous farm country. Traffic was light. Although the shoulder was narrow, people were very considerate. People in my lane typically veered to the other lane and waved as the went by. The only unpleasant part of the day was when the route paralleled Interstate 70 for a mile or so. 


Missouri Farm  Country and Flowers

Missouri Farm Country and Flowers

I noticed the first meadowlarks. Tree leaves are about 1/4 out. 

My new knucklehead bank called. This guy was explaining how they’d ironed things out. He was tallying the figures for me. I realized before he did that he didn’t know what he was talking about. He had to call back with corrected figures. It finally is all resolved now however. 

Late in the day there was some public land with a big chunk of woods.  I camped near a little brook. It was a good, 20 mile day. 

Clark, June 8, 1804

I went out…and found the Countrey for one mile back good Land and well watered the hills not high with a gentle assent from the river, well timbered with oake, walnit Hickory ash, &c. the land Still further back becoms thin and open, with Black & rasp Berries, and Still further back the Plains Commence…our hunter Killed, 2 Deer, after Staying one hour at the mouth of this River, Cap Lewis went out & proceeded on one Mile & came in, he fount the land in the point high and fine

Wind and Caves and History

I start walking just about the time it was light enough to see. I mixed up some cold coffee in a bottle. It’s a Korean coffee mix, “Maxim” which came highly recommended. It’s good stuff, when I remember to make it. 

The trail ran near the river for miles, which is something I enjoy. 


Katy Trail along Missouri River

Katy Trail along Missouri River

A sign marked the June 6, 1804 L&C campsite. 


Wednesday the 6th of June 1804…Some wind in the after part of to day from the S E, (the Banks are falling in greatly in this part of the river) as also is one Side or the other in all the Course, we assended on the North Side of the Isd. and finding that the perogues Could not Keep up Camped 2 hs. by Sun. on the Sd Sd the land below this is good…Some buffalow Sign to day I am Still verry unwell with a Sore throat & head ake

Right next to the trail was a cave with a brook running out of it, a cave seen by the Corps.  


Lewis and Clark cave

Lewis and Clark cave

Sgt. Charles Floyd, June 7, 1804

came 2 miles past Som springs Comes out of the clifte

The purplish blooms of the redbud tree decorated the cliff bases often again today. 

The Rocheport General Store appeared to be out of business. I couldn’t find any eateries open either. Instead I munched on some leftover hot dog buns. 

The trail passed through a a scenic tunnel. I ran into a couple of super friendly middle aged bicyclists. 


Rocheport  Katy  Trail Tunnel

Rocheport Katy Trail Tunnel

“Are you on a long journey,  or preparing for one?” the lady said, excited for the answer. Commonly people can’t relate, or don’t care, perfectly acceptable attitudes.  They could relate, and they were enthusiastic. It was fun. 

It was shortly after they left, however, that the day went from a scenic spring walk to a windy slog. There were numerous other bicyclists out on this Sunday. Before though, it seemed the majority of bikers (mostly appearing on weekends) wore all the “official” gear, many part of small groups. Today there seemed to be mostly couples or friends, wearing their everyday clothes. And a significant percentage seemed to be grimly pedaling to get the ride over with. 

I had grown so accustomed to happily following the Katy Trail that I failed to follow my own alternate route near Boonville, one that would have saved me about two miles of buffeting and at least some sand in the teeth. 

I was however, now on the route of the Santa Fe Trail, which I followed on my first crossing of the Missouri River. It was so freaking windy on the bridge I was afraid my iPhone/camera would be torn out of my hands and I had to hold onto my hat, and grasp loose straps to keep from getting painfully whipped in the face. 


Missouri River Boonville

Missouri River Boonville

The enthusiastic couple recommended the Hotel Frederick. I was going to throw frugality to the wind and stay there, handily on the trail,  but it turned out they were booked. My second choice for lodging said the Casino would give me a ride to their place. When I asked the (on trail) Casino at 4:59 when the next hourly shuttle was, they said 5:00. I ran outside but it had left early. The valet lady was awesome. I was smitten by her sense of duty and hustle. She was a whirlwind of motion and problem solving, and tried to get the shuttle to give me an early shuttle. Me, I wanted to get out of the wind and my shoes. 

Finally I was at my room. I got a hot bath and two cheeseburgers and a salad. I also made the decision to take my first “zero” day. As in zero miles. Monday would be a day to rest my feet from the hard-packed trail. 


Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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