After 33 days on our cycling tour we had yet to get significantly wet. In fact we only had rain on 4 days. And for all of those we were able to wait it out or take cover. That was all about to change for our final day on the bikes.
Given a decent weather forecast, we were willing to hang in our B&B for another day. It wouldn’t have taken much arm twisting. But the rain looked to continue for days, with some potential storms. So after our leisurely gourmet breakfast and pleasant conversation with the other guests, we returned to the Katy Trail to complete our trip.
We weren’t even out of the front garden before the first light drops began to fall. Ignoring the obvious, we forged on in oddly good humor. Knowing we had only 28 miles to cover was helpful. We were also glad to see that the trail was in good shape. Being closer to St. Louis and getting higher usage, it was more firmly packed and resisted the rain longer.
Even when the precipitation increased to a legitimate rainfall, we resisted putting on our rain jackets. It was still warm, and as long as we could avoid sporting rain gear we were able to deny the reality of our situation. The trees formed a nice canopy over our heads, providing some measure of protection. It really wasn’t all that bad. And we continually repeated our mantra, “Thank heavens for our new fenders.”
With 20 miles behind us, Rich called a time out. There was a garden center across the way and he proposed that we put on dry shirts and our rain jackets before crossing the high bridge over the Missouri River. By then, it seemed a reasonable idea.
Once off the bikes, we were able to survey the morning’s handiwork. Our bikes and legs sported a good deal of Katy Trail mud, but we would have been far wetter and dirtier without the protection of those fenders.
It wasn’t until I donned my alternate jersey that I realized that I was in fact chilled, and it felt oh so good to be dry. To add to our comfort, we found that there was a little café inside which served a delicious hot quiche. It was a very welcome snack break.
Fortified with food, warmth and rain protection we resumed cycling. We had planned to cycle to St. Charles and spend time in that attractive town, but discarded that idea because of the rain. Instead we proceeded directly across the bridge that would take us to Creve Coeur Park, our final destination. Winding our way through the park, we just happened to find the Lakeside Café. No sooner had we ducked under the front porch when the rain came down in buckets. But that no longer mattered, we were finished!
We were happy to wait under the front porch for my cousin to pick us up, but the staff wouldn’t hear of it. Even though they were closed and setting up for a wedding, they invited us inside and opened up the bar for us. Rich had a celebratory glass of Chardonnay while we happily chatted with the workers.