Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Katy Trail and Grape Nehi

Each time I take a long distance ride I find out

America's Still Out there

I have a notion to build a bicycle rack for the motorcycle

I miss running the Choo Choo and I hate to see history pass us by.
I'm involved with Rail to Trails. The plan is to ride at least a bit of as many of the Rails to Trails as I come across.  As an example the Hiawatha Trail... \

I'd like to go back to a more gentle time.  A time of
Soda Fountains and Grape Nehi and Girls in Dresses for cryin' out loud
But that is a different blog post (see earlier posts here on the blog) but the same recurring idea.

For this reason I avoid the Interstate, the Freeway, the Superslab, the wary people and all the rush.

Some ways into this journey I made a wrong turn and stumbled into and onto the Katy Trail Rails to Trail Bicycle path. At Clifton City, Missouri on an afternoon so hot the air shimmered. I unloaded the bike and stripped off the Aerostich. There was a park and a wee bit o' shade and and restrooms.  But it is so hot there is no one around.  Only the smell of fresh cut grass and the drone of Cicadas and off in the distance a lawnmower.  A big one from the sound of it.

I walk up the hill toward town and to the sound of the lawnmower.  I have not seen a car nor another soul.  About halfway up the incline I see signs for Renting bicycles.  But the properties are overgrown and there are no rideable bicycles.   I locate the mower and she stops.  I ask where I can rent a bicycle.  She says, "Oh, that was ages ago"  But she has one I can borrow if I don't mind riding a girls bike.  I gave up being cool ages ago.   Back down the road to he place on the south side of the Katy Trail.  We rummage through her shed and dig out the bike.  A Huffy, new tires or at least never ridden much.  And flat.  She has a compressor.  Turns out the valve stem is tore out.  That's OK, I say, I'll just walk down a ways down the trail.  At this point she reveals she is with the Volunteer Fire Dept. and is a EMT.  I don't want to put her out but she insists and away we go down the middle of the trail in her Chevy Blazer.  Some great old signals still  standing.

And then there is this old boy... usually the hounds lie in the middle of the road in rural Missouri.  Not today, this old boy is in the shade.  He reluctantly comes out to say hi.

 Wave goodbybe
 Back on the mower... The only person I saw for hours.  And to think the RR provided passenger service here, back in the day.  All I gotta do is find a Soda Fountain or a Grape Nehi... a craving not fulfilled until Tennessee or Kentucky, I forget where it was.  I was on a quest.
America's Still Out There

Days later
A wooden floored General Store on some backroad in Tennesse
doesn't have Grape Nehi... that's just wrong.

And finally a Grape Nehi... I'll make it now.

All the photos from the Trip are here on Smugmug