Day 109 • June 18, 2012 • Tebbets to Hermann, MO • 35 miles
After the big storm in Hartsburg two nights ago, the trail has been softer and slower than ever and the humidity has been off the charts. When we reached Tebbets yesterday after only about 30 miles we were easily sucked in by the promise of an air conditioned night in an actual bed. The Turner Katy Trail Shelter is an honor-system, donations-only house with bunk beds, bathrooms/showers, kitchen, even a ping-pong table. These weren’t fine accommodations but they got the job done.
After arriving mid-day and clattering through the shelter to check it out, we discovered there were two cyclists already there, asleep no doubt until our arrival. Maddy and Nick were traveling cross-country in the opposite direction and, despite the rude awakening, turned out to be fabulous housemates. They were packing Uno so we knew we were in good company. We swapped adventure stories and played into the wee hours the longest hand of Uno I’ve ever witnessed. Their blog is http://trippinghardcore.tumblr.com/. We also shared the shelter with the self-described “world’s greatest bicycling survivalist.” He was pulling a train of trailers with cargo that might have been the entire inventory of a small army surplus store, including a gas-powered electric generator.
Before leaving the shelter today we dealt with our biggest medical emergency yet. After packing everything up we were doing OK on time so Zoe and I went upstairs to play some ping-pong. We had fun, I’m pretty sure I crushed Zoe, but the stocking feet was a bad idea. At some point Zoe picked up a splinter deep in her foot. We spent the next couple of hours trying to dig it out, escalating from using fingers to tweezers to a needle, with her level of angst escalating proportionally. We stopped short of the hack saw because I just couldn’t handle the screaming. It took the calming influence and extra set of hands of a passing cyclist to finally get it out.
We’d been hearing for days about a big organized ride travelling the length of the Katy Trail in the opposite direction and today we finally met them. They were off route a bit in the town of Hermann for the night but Zoe really wanted to hang with them so we rode over. We pitched our tent amidst a sea of the most quiet, least energetic cyclists I’d ever seen. Must have been a big day. I don’t think we interacted with anyone before they were all gone the next day. It was kind of strange.