My long walk across Missouri on the Katy Trail proved to be both rewarding and difficult at the same time. Rewarding because I met so many interesting and helpful people, but difficult because walking on crushed gravel roads that are really flat takes a toll on your legs and feet in ways that you can’t imagine.
The majority of the Katy Trail follows the Missouri River and at times the scenery was absolutely beautiful. On one side you have towering bluffs teaming with hawks and eagles, and on the other side you have the fast flowing Missouri River. In many places benches have been donated in loving memory of family members, and you can rest and take in all of the beauty around you. Much of the trail is covered with a canopy of trees, and a cooling breeze regularly came from the river side of the trail. Wildlife is abundant, and includes a variety of animal and bird species. While walking the trail I encountered at least four snakes as well, with one being at least five feet long.
Bicyclist can be found daily on the trail, and for the most part they proved to be both friendly and informative. I enjoyed my many conversations with them, and truly appreciated the concern they showed for my well being. To the ones who purchased my meals and gave me such great advice, thank you so much. You were truly a blessing.
Another thing that really stood out to me was how friendly and caring so many of the local folk were that lived in the small towns along the way. I met and had the privilege of spending time with so many caring and interesting people, and my life is enriched because of it. I was able to spend a couple of days with the River People, a community of people that live at Cooper’s Landing on the banks of the Missouri River. What an interesting and eclectic group of people. They were colorful and interesting, yet extremely laid back in every way. Most of its inhabitants live onsite in either tents or RV’s of varying descriptions. Hot meals and coffee are available during the day and evenings, and original Missouri music can be enjoyed live on most days. On top of all of that I was able to view absolutely stunning sunsets from my perch beside the Missouri river. Thank you to everyone there for being so nice during my brief stay.
In Rocheport, MO I was invited to a pot luck dinner the town was having on Labor Day, and enjoyed a good meal while talking to John Whiteside, who made me feel right at home. After camping there that night, Cathy & Paul Kiefer invited me to their home the next morning for a shower and a hot breakfast. I really enjoyed our conversation and the tour of their home, and am thankful for the kindness they showed me during my visit.
After leaving there I spent all day walking to Pilot Grove, MO where I then met Virgil & Dorthy Stegner. They approached me at a convienience store and arranged for me to meet Jerry Selbach, owner of the Katy Junction Bed & Breakfast. He in turn invited me to spend the night at his bed & breakfast free of charge, let me do my laundry, and even gave me a ride the next morning to Sedalia and the Missouri State Fairgrounds, a good twenty miles away because I was experiencing swelling in my left leg. Thank you so much Mr. and Mrs. Stegner, and Mr. Selbach for your generosity and kindness. It is only because of kindness like you showed me that I am able to continue on my journey.
That evening after arriiving at the Missouri State Fairgrounds to camp for the night I met a contractor named Carlos Rodriguez who also planned to spend a couple of nights camping at the fairgrounds. Over dinner that he so kindly provided for us I learned that he had at one time earlier in his life worked in Brazil with the Wycliff Bible Translation Team. We had a great time talking about our time overseas and about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Carlos for the kindness you showed me while I was there.
A day later I left the Katy Trail at Sedalia, MO and began walking Hwy 50 towards the state park at Knob Knoster. During my walk I stopped at a convenience store not to far from the park, got something to eat, and was given a solar battery charger for my phones by a gentleman that worked there. I had lost the one I had two weeks earlier, and once again God provided in my time of need. This gentleman had no way of knowing that I needed one, and after asked me how I was charging my phones he gave me one. What a blessing!
Upon arriving at Knob Knoster State Park (a beautiful park by the way) I found that the swelling and pain in my left leg had increased, and so I decided to stay there for as long as necessary to heal my leg. The camp hosts, Eddie and Shirley White, were so kind, and not only provided me with ice to help with the swelling, but also purchased a night of camping for me so I would have additional time for my leg to heal. They also gave me a ride to get groceries, and pointed out a few campgrounds I would be passing on my way towards Kansas that I could stay at upon reaching them. I really enjoyed visiting with them, and am so greatful for all of their help. Eddie and Shirley, thank you so very, very much!
Lord willing I should be in Kansas in a few days. I hope to join the American Discovery Trail there and continue with my journey through Kansas and on to New Mexico. Please pray that God will direct my paths as I continue with my journey across America. Thank you so much to all of you who are praying for me, because it does make such a very big difference. And as always, I will update my blog as often as I possibly can…
Update: After a little over a week the swelling in my left leg has finally gone down, and I am able to walk again pain free. Thank you to all of those who have been praying for a speedy recovery. Please continue to pray for me as your prayers are much needed and appreciated. May God bless you all…
Always Onward I Walk,