More Katy Trail: Portland, Marthasville & St. Charles


Once we left Fulton, we decided to just hang out for a few days. Jim had been racking his brain, troubleshooting problems and trying to figure out the generator. We made a one night stop in Portland right along the river.


Upstream at Portland




More giant hibiscus

Portland, Rhineland and Bluffton…

Once we discovered we had no phone or internet service, we spent the day riding, then moved down the trail to Marthasville, where we had stopped in the spring. We knew there was a Community Park where we could plug into 30 amps (no generator!) and have internet.

So much for downtime. Our first day there, Jim discovered a radiator hose on the engine that was leaking antifreeze. We could probably drive with it but if it blew, we would be out on the road instead of parked. He decided to fix it.


Old and new radiator hose

Fortunately since we had moved to Marthasville, we were right near an auto repair shop and when he showed them what he needed, they got one in on that day’s parts truck! Good thing we weren’t still in Portland, where there was nothing.


Had to capture the antifreeze as much as possible and add back in

It worked and the repair held. Disaster averted. The next day, however, Jim discovered that the new batteries weren’t charging properly and he began to suspect the power at the park. He spent a lot of time examining the various monitors.

On one of my rides I was amazed to find that the little store/art gallery at Peers was open! In all the years I have ridden the Katy Trail, this has never been the case. Of course I had to stop in. Two guys were out front playing some incredible bluegrass music and I stopped to listen and check out the store. Here’s a video.  I talked to them for a while. When the inevitable “Where are you from?” question came up, I told them about the bus and mentioned that we used to live in Columbia.  When the fiddle player asked me when, his eyes lit up when I gave him the dates. Turns out he was a member of the very popular Hell Band and we knew a lot of the same people from those days. Small world!

The Peers Store:

The fields were full of combines and trucks and the air was hazy with harvest.

I had met this guy in Portland when we were there. He was from California and on a group ride of the Katy. They tent camped in Marthasville. And this lady was riding her bike from Washington state to Florida!
img_2614 img_2625

Along the trail…

The Mercantile and Bank at Treloar.
Beans almost ready to harvest.
By this time Jim had made arrangements to have the generator looked at in St. Louis on the following Monday. Still a few days till then. Since the power was still wonky the only thing we could do was move somewhere where we knew the power was solid and hope the batteries charged. Goodbye Marthasville.

We made it to St. Charles and got settled in at another park right by the trail and a relatively straight shot to the generator place. And the best thing? We plugged in to 50 amp power and the batteries started charging just like they’re supposed to! Marthasville is a great spot but Jim said we are never staying there again! Ha!

Although I have ridden the entire length of the trail a couple of times and many sections more than that, I had not ridden the final eleven mile extension from St. Charles to the eastern terminus in Machens. Got that checked off the list! Fall weather kicked in as soon as we got here; you can feel the change in the air and the color of the sky.

The trail wasn’t really closed, just walk around the barrier and keep riding.

At the eastern end of the Katy Trail. I have now ridden the entire 237 miles of the trail. And back. On to the next adventure. And the generator fix…

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