After nearly a week in the state of Missouri, Josh Miller and I jumped on our bicycles near Jefferson City and cycled for approximately 12 miles east toward the tiny town of Tebbetts.
Once there, we parked our bikes inside the Turner Katy Trailer Shelter, a two-story, unmanned hostel located just a few feet off the cycling path.
Outside the Shelter was a large bike rack, picnic table and a soda machine. Because there is no one that actually works at the shelter, the key to the front door was found hanging on a hook on the telephone pole on the outside of the building.
Inside there were rows of wooden bunk beds on which sat cheap dorm room style mattresses covered in plastic. The main entrance room had enough beds to sleep at least twenty people.
At the back side of the room was an elevated platform where the kitchen was located. In the kitchen area there was a picnic table, refrigerator, toaster over and a microwave. There was, however, no sink or stove.
On the left side of the building were the bathrooms, showers and a much larger room that was meant to be used as a repair house for bicycles. Inside this room was a bunch of old parts from bicycles of various types. Spare pedals, saddles, chains, and tubes were scattered about… and a few old clunkers were hanging from the walls.
Upstairs on the second story of the shelter was another long row of bunk beds and a lonely, broken down ping pong table.
After each taking a shower and getting settled, Josh and I sat outside and cooked ourselves some dinner on my camp stove.
Around this time, a couple in a car pulled up and introduced themselves. They were staying at the hostel as well. We spoke with the couple for a brief moment before they went inside and made a camp for themselves on the second story of the Shelter.
Josh and I positioned ourselves downstairs and we spent the rest of the night talking, writing in our journals and calling friends and family back home.
When it was finally time for us to go to sleep, we began to hear strange noises coming from the room above us. We knew that the couple we had met moments prior were up there, and we quickly realized what was going on. The sounds we were hearing were absolutely undeniable. The couple was having sex on the second story of the shelter, directly over our heads… and it was getting loud! For several minutes Josh and I just laid in our sleeping bags laughing. There wasn’t really anything else we could do. Needless to say, seeing the couple again the next morning was a bit odd.
That morning, after showering again, Josh and I packed up our things and hit the trail – this time riding back in the direction we had come the day before.
After a short while, cyclists from a tour being led by the Adventure Cycling Association began to pass us. While none of the riders actually stopped to talk to us, I knew they were on an Adventure Cycling tour because of the neon triangles that Adventure Cycling riders are forced to wear when on one of the organizations paid tours.
None of the passing cyclists said a thing to Josh or I, but a young cyclist named Bo actually recognized me as he rode past and he circled back around to get my attention.
Bo and Celeste were the youngest riders on the Adventure Cycling tour by at least 30 years. We chatted for a while and took a few photos together, but eventually continued on our way. Running into Bo and Celeste was one of my favorite moments on the entire Katy Trail. I had a lot of fun speaking with them and was shocked that Bo had been able to recognize me.
The whole time I was on the Katy Trail I had failed to see any young people. Bo and Celeste were the youngest people Josh and I had seen the entire time, but when we neared closer to Jefferson City we spotted these two cyclists (below) going out for a bicycle trip of their own. Josh and I both loved the fact that they were using backpacks as panniers. We both admired the way they had set up their bicycles and the pure spirit of their adventure.
Back at the place where we parked our car the night before, the Adventure Cycling tour group was stopped for their lunch. Bo and Celeste were there already and I stopped to take a few photos of the group.
Check out these guys – not paying me or anyone else the least bit of attention as they check their phones for missed called, emails or whatever.
This was our last day on the Katy Trail. While I would remain in Missouri for a few days longer, the hostel in Tebbetts was as far east as Josh and I would venture. I guess I’ll have to return to Missouri at some point in the future so I can ride the rest of the trail and follow it east all the way to Saint Louis.