We usually head down to Florida for Spring Break to visit my parents, sister Jackie and brother John down in South Florida or my Grandmother and brother Joey in North Florida. With the price of Airline tickets running around $800.00 a piece put an end to that. Heck for $2400.00 I could buy a Black Sheep Highroller.
The decision was made to spend the first part of the week riding the Katy Trail and camping out at Katfish Katy's . Upon arriving at the campsite we had our pick of spots as we were the only fools to try camping at this time of year. Later that night we found out why one should avoid camping along the Missouri river during the end of winter....
After setting up camp we headed out for a ride. We decide to go toward Booneville and try to get in about 50 miles. Trail conditions were a little "boggy", which I was actually happy to see because I was riding my single speed with a 34 x 18 gear. At least I would not have a problem keeping up with Carolynn and Christopher. Or should I say they would have no problems keeping up with me :-)
This part of the Katy is the most scenic. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. The Bluffs to the North are always a site to see.
As we entered Rocheport the weather really started to turn. We decided to stop at Diana Bend Conservation Area . Two new segments have been added including a disabled accessible wood boardwalk. There is also a cool little wildlife viewing blind that has been built.
After a quick, but laborious, hike up to the top of the bluff, we decided we'd better head back as the skies were getting rather dark. Not soon after we got going again it started to rain on us. I decided to pickup the pace and get back to the camp site so I could try to get a fire going. Besides that, I was way under dressed to be riding in 39 degree rainy weather and needed to get my body heat up. Poor Carolynn and Christopher are not used to such conditions and were not enjoying themselves at all. By the time we all got back the rain had stopped and the fire was a blazing.
After a nice pasta dinner we enjoyed an evening along the Missouri river always keeping close to the fire to keep warm. That memory of that warm fire was the only thing that kept us alive during what was one of the coldest nights I have ever experienced camping out. All I could think of during the night was what Christopher said before we went to bed - "you know, people have been known to freeze to death when they go to bed during weather like this...."
The morning came not soon enough as I was glad the night was over. We should have packed up and called it quits as soon has we awoke, but for some reason we decided to stay and eat breakfast before packing up. Well, about 30 min later it started to rain. Great, just what we needed, freezing rain again! We got in the tents to stay dry and tried to stay warm. After about an hour the rain was not letting up so we put on our rain coats and started packing up. If you have ever packed up tents and gear during a freezing rain, then you know the misery that we went through.
Soon we were back home and drying out. Since the weather down in Springfield (our next destination) was also very wet, we decided to head west over to Manhattan. The weather over in Milford Lake had been dry so Carolynn luckily found us a nice little cabin to rent for two more days of camping out. I for one had met my quota of freezing nights.
We spent a day at School Camp ORV and a day at Tuttle Lake ORV riding our dirk bikes and Dave's Polaris ATV. It was a blast to ride these new trails, especially Tuttle Lake. We will have to visit that place again real soon. The views and trails were awesome. All it all it was a fun spring break and I got in a fair amount of riding especially Saturday and Sunday as the local trails were now ridable after a few days of sunshine.