Day 2: we gave as good as we got - The Cycling Duo rides again - CycleBlaze

September 19, 2022

Day 2: we gave as good as we got

we’re in the hotel room cooling off after todays hot ride. 97 degrees (F) and the last 7-9 miles in sun. Bright sun. Late summer sun. Punch-you-in-da-face-sun. BUUUTT, it wasn’t apocalyptic sun. So we got that going for us…which is nice.

We rolled out of the country inn & suites in St Charles into a muggy morning. That would be muggy as in temperature, not mugged as in a first-degree crime. A quick block on the red-bricked streets and then our trek on the Katy. The trail ducked in and out of tree-lined thoroughfare taking us to Greens Bottom trailhead in 6 miles. As we travel along the “bottomlands” we get views of the low-lying area between us on the trail and the Mighty Mo.

I earned today history check mark when I visited the statue of Lewis and Clark
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Kath was surprised in was autumn with the temps at Greens Bottom
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Next stop was a northward detour from the Katy to the Weldon Springs center following the Busch Greenway. HISTORICAL INFORMATION COMING - Weldon Springs was a government site producing TNT and DNT for WW2. When that shut down post war, and conventional weapons became passé as the US and USSR ramped up the sold war, the site was used to produce uranium for the atomic age from 1956 through 1966. And, all the waste back then was just dumped on site. Along come the superfund in the 80’s, and over 1 billion later, all that contaminated soil has been safely buried on site. The disposal site itself is the highest point in St Charles county. Normally, one can climb to the top, but the stairs were under construction so we visited the newly-opened interpretative center instead.

Cleaning up contaminated uranium waste to make things right happened in the 90’s at this superfund site
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Back down the hill on another trail, we connected again with the Katy. This section was in lots of tree cover which was welcomed as the day’s temps climbed higher. Along the trail we could look out to our left southward and view the crops planted in the fertile soil. But what else did you see? That was pretty much the next hour or so of riding.

The crops in the background may be tough to see but instead of being frustrated, you can look at ME!
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The bridge may be unique, antique, and chic, but the best thing it got us across the creek
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After rolling downhill back to the Katy, we point3d the bikes further west. Next stop was another detour just off the trail. And by “just off the trail” I mean a short, steep climb to Klondike Park. Was it worth it? Yes. It’s an old quarry now repurposed to a park. How deep was the lake? I don’t know. When was it converted to park? I don’t know. How many gallons of water in the lake? A lot. At least I can answer one question.

Through the trees you. An see the old quarry. I should have taken a better picture and for that, I’m sorry
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Climbing off the Katy up a short steep ramp, you arrive a Klondike park where you can swim, hike, and camp
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The only shade around was this one; otherwise we were in full-on sun
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Rolling into Washington around 14:00, the temps were in the upper 90’s (again, all temps in F) and the trek from the Katy to the junction with the highway to take us over the bridge to Washington was on a gravel road. OK, no problem. But it was full-on sun and just the sun combined with the gravel with the wind and the sun made for a rough final few miles into Washington. Our first stop once we crossed the bridge was the Sonic drive-in. Two limeades and fries later and we felt good enough to roll off to our hotel.

A gravel road shortcut passed this farm; road was rough but the view had charm
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The town of Washington on the “Mighty Mo” don’t-cha-know!
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The interesting thing we found out was (almost) everything was closed on Monday. So we had to ride almost two miles out of the downtown area to get some food. But a burrito never tasted so good.

Pro tip - Washington shuts down most of the downtown on mondays. Plan accordingly. Also pro tip - the River Sirens hotel is really cool :-)
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Today's ride: 45 miles (72 km)
Total: 65 miles (105 km)

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