Friday morning we got up and got busy with last minute preparations. We had big breakfasts, double checked the air in all 7 tires and the water in all our water bottles. We made a quick errand to the thrift store for sweet $6 Peanut boots and to the auto parts store for WD40. Then we hit the road.
It was a 2 hr drive to New Franklin but seemed a lot longer and many times Peanut asked if we were almost there yet.
I had dissembled the trailer to fit in the truck so right away I got back to packing.
Peanut got his bike warmed up and checked out the place. We got the trailer all packed and the truck all locked up then we hit the trail. After a picture of course.
Right away I found it was harder work pulling the trailer then I expected. The trail was a little soft and the wheels seemed to dig right in. Peanut discovered it was hotter then he expected so after about a mile he shed the camel-pack and jacket.
It started out pretty slow going and Peanut wanted to stop at each mile marker. Eventually we found the perfect place for lunch.
This first day was mostly through fields with no shade but there was a giant old barn/silo right off the trail in the perfect spot to block the sun.
We ate burritos loaded with chicken, refried beans and cheese I had made the night before. We also had some nutty bars and lots of water. We rode on and figured out we were going 3 miles per hour. We talked a bit about this and how much of our time we would need to spend biking if we kept it up. We decided to try for less breaks and a bit more speed. However we didn’t want to miss out on anything cool so we tried to time our breaks at fun spots.
We started making better time and we started talking about random things to pass the time. I ended up explaining everything I could remember of playing Oregon Trail and Peanut was really interested in video games we used to play. Somehow I ended up describing the entire plot of Overboard at one point as well.
We peddled on and took a little break at the campsite for our last night.
We were excited because we wanted to fish and it was just over this stream. Also this spot is 6 miles in and the spot we planned to stay was 8 miles in so we were not far.
We rode on.
After the 2 miles we didn’t find the spot. We did some checking on the GPS and figured out the mile marker on our instructions was to the other end of the Conservation area and the actual campsite was actually 2 miles back, closer to where we had stopped. So our options were to turn back to go 8 miles more to the next site. We knew there was a lot of cool things ahead and we didn’t want to rush them so we turned back.
Once we got back to the campsite we went looking for the other spot. The trail to it went across a highway and then along a dirt road around some fields.
So beside the backtrack 2 miles we probably went another mile to find this spot. The spot was in a flood plain and just a disaster, no trees or anything interesting. The ground was soft mud. We decided to park the bikes and walk to some trees we could see. It was starting to get late and we were a bit beat but we thought we may find a good spot.
Once we got to the trees we found the Missouri river was right there.
We were on a nice flat bluff right above it. At this point I decided we should stay here and just push our bikes over. Peanut didn’t like it at all though and didn’t want to be this far from the trail starting out our next day. He convinced me and we headed back.
After going over the bridge we followed the trail just a little ways to a nice big clearing.
It was a sweet campsite with a nice fire ring and little benches and flat spots for the tent. We unpacked a bit then headed to the creek.
We took our fishing gear and the last leftover burrito. I got strings and hooks ready and Peanut pulled all the chicken out of the burrito and then ate the rest.
The creek was full of turtles and we hoped fish. We set 3 lines then headed back to camp.
There was quite a bit of firewood around so we gathered it and Peanut helped build and light the fire.
Once the fire was going well we put up the tent then checked our lines.
No luck yet but we added some worms to the hooks. It was starting to get dark.
So we started cooking dinner. We cut up a potato and got it boiling in a pot of creek water. Then we added noodles.
Once they were soft we added curry, black beans and chicken.
We should have let the beans cook a bit as I had dehydrated them and they needed to cook and absorb some water but we were hungry and just dug in.
It was just okay, the beans were a bit hard and there was not enough curry flavor. We still killed the whole pan before hanging the rest of our food in a tree and getting ready for bed. My butt was pretty sore from the ride so I ate laying on my stomach. Just before bed we turned off all the lights and looked at the stars a bit. Peanut is studying constellations in school and was excited to see them.
Peanut played DS for a while before bed and around 10 we heard some other bike campers pass by and go find another spot. It started out a bit hot in our bags but by the morning it was pretty cold. The wind really picked up and started pushing on the tent.
It was grey and windy in the morning. I made coffee and charged my cell phone while packing up everything I could.
Eventually Peanut got up and helped pack the sleeping bags and tent then we hit the road. 2 miles later we entered the tunnel to Rocheport.
We had rode hard to warm up and it was time for our first break.
We stopped beside the Moniteau Creek and made oatmeal and ate some snacky things.
Once our bellies were full of warm oats we hit the trail again. We started to pass some familiar sights from Heath and my trip.
We filled up our bottles and used the real toilets then hit the road. We set a good pace and just stoped to look in caves and stuff.
It was cold and grey but now we had bluffs on one side and the river on the other.
There was plenty to see and do.
We even stopped at the cave where Heath and I slept when we could not find a campsite.
A few miles later we got the campground and stopped for lunch.
I had expected Peanut and I to find more places open where we could buy ice cream or something but even this place was still closed for winter. We ate jerky, cheese, peanuts and other snacks then peddled on.
Most of the day we killed time ridding by me telling Peanut about the book series I am reading called Wheel of Time. It’s 14 big books plus a prequel so a long story. He was really interested in it and we were both surprised how fast the miles went by with the story.
We got pretty close and decided to slow down and took a side trip walking on a little trail.
It started with stairs going strait up a big hill. Then it leveled off some but still went up.
At the top was Eagle Bluff.
It was a great view and well worth the time and effort.We didn’t see any eagles but there were a lot of vultures flying around.
We went back down the the bikes and peddled on passing more interesting spots.
Then we arrived at Coopers Landing. This is where we planned to meet up with Heath and Pumpkin. We rested a bit and called them to find they had just left the house and were two and half hours away. Then all the people around the campground left on a boat ride.
Peanut and I were kind of cold but we bundled up and headed down to the river.
We decided to catch a fish or two for dinner.
While fishing it got colder and colder and then started to rain. Luckily once the rain was really falling the girls showed up. We decided to leave the campsite and head into town for some dinner instead of try to cook in the rain. They got out to see the river real quick before going.
We headed into Columbia and got some Mexican food and margaritas. It continued to sprinkle so we decided to rent a hotel room instead of hiding in the tent all night. The kids were just as excited.
We took hot showers and changed clothes as much as we could and watched TV. In the morning we had continental breakfast and watched it snow. Peanut and I decided we had biked enough. It was pretty windy and the forecast did not seem like enjoyable bike weather. Plus my butt was killing me from sitting on the bike seat.
We tried to find something fun to do in Columbia but could not. So we picked up the truck and headed home.
We went just over 30 miles in 2 days and overall it was great. Peanut said it was a lot of fun many times and once this never-ending winter ends we want to go back.