Glorious Morning


Last night, the weather guys were talking about what a wonderful morning this one was to be. The temps overnight were to drop to about 63, and the warmup today would be slow and only into the 80s. Of course, my brain turned to an early ride.

After going to bed late last night, I really didn’t have quite the desire to get out of bed (as compared to the thought of getting out of bed), but I slowly turned myself around, punched the alarm clock, and pondered sleeping in. Reason got the better of me, and knowing that a rare crisp morning awaited me, I got up, got my stuff together, and hit the road in search of a trailhead.

I turned a corner along the way, and found an incredible view of the morning fog being backlit by a low sun, casting some orange and red throgh the fog. I stopped the truck, snapped a few photos, and turned around to drive this stretch of road again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Beautiful, and a great way to start the morning.

Just shy of the Page Extension Bridge, there is a bench sitting in the shade with a dedication plaque on it. Someone had left flowers this morning, presumably in remembrance of the dedication honoree. I’ve never seen this on the trail before, although I’m sure it probably happens more than I realize. It was a quiet tribute to an unknown life, played out in a shaded thicket on a cool Saturday morning.

Greens Bottom was waiting for me, and it looked like once again, I would be one of the few on the trail this morning. I mounted my trusty Raleigh, and headed north, toward St. Charles. My goal this morning was to ride to St. Charles, which is the end of the Kety Trail. Man, riding was easy this morning, and I cruised through the first few miles, arriving at the Page Extension very quickly. I wanted to see what my legs were made of this morning, so I hopped on the switchbacks, and started climibing. While it wasn’t easy, it was much, much easier than riding up Wednesday night. Dunno if it was the freshness of the morning, the cooler temperatures (at least 25 degrees cooler), or just a better frame of mind — no matter, it was a nice sprint up the hill, and I kicked back for a couple of minutes, and enjoyed the view. Back down the switchbacks, and I was on my way to St. Charles, three miles up the road.

The closer I got to St. Charles, the more folks I encountered on the trail, both cyclists and foot-bound pedestrians. In fact, it was downright crowded in places! I bet that section of the trail is always like that — with easy access and a big population base, there’s bound to be a crowd all over the trail up there.

I passed into Frontier Park, and looked around a bit. In commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition, there is a giant statue of the explorers, along with their Newfoundland hound. I’ve seen this statue before, but somehow this morning’s view was much more rewarding. Maybe it’s just the sense of accomplishment by cycling to see something, rather than driving. Dunno….

I kept riding through Frontier Park, and eventually exited it…. only to find that the trail continued on! However, the farther up the trail I went, the more scruffy it was. Around MM 37, the trail abruptly ended. No signs, no nothing, just a lack of trail and an overabundance of overgrowth. For once, I knew where to turn around! 🙂

I rode back toward Greens Bottom, passing yet even more folks walking, running and cycling on the trail as I passed through St. Charles. I did make a brief stop in St. Charles at a roadside farmer’s market. Had I wanted plants or potatoes, I would’ve been in luck. As it ends up, I was looking for an apple or orange to put in my for the ride back. Oh well!

As is frequently the case, the return ride seemed to fly by, and in short order, I was at Greens Bottom. I decided to continue my ride just a bit, and head to Caulks Hill Road. That was one little 3/4mi piece of the trail that I hadn’t travelled yet. After backtracking to ride that little piece, I hit the trailhead at Greens Bottom, loaded up and headed home.