Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’d only been awake for a half hour this morning when the rain began. It didn’t last long, but now I had to deal with a wet tent (fortunately I’d put on the rain fly). Oh, well, not a big deal. Campers have been dealing with this forever. It’s just that I haven’t—I’m a relative newbie.

I walked to the Wingate Motel in St. Charles, 8.4 miles away, in just a few hours. The sun was shining when I arrived.

I want to go on record as saying that when I walk less than 12 or 15 miles, I actually feel like a slacker.

Thankfully, I did not have to wait very long for a room to be ready, and immediately started doing my laundry. I then hung up the rain fly, tent, and ground cover on the shower rod and closet doors to dry.

My friend Gerry Mandel, who lives in St. Louis, came by about 3:30 pm with a package Sharon had sent to him to bring to me. (Sharon and I met Gerry and his wife MaryLee during a trip to China years ago.) He’d asked what else I might need, and the only thing I could think of were oranges and bananas, which he also brought.

When I added up the miles walked through today, the total went over 1800. I still have many more miles to go, which is, frankly, daunting. While previously I’d been concerned with the cold and the wind, now I’m facing heat and rain.

Tomorrow I head into Illinois. My new friend Ron Gossen, also from St. Louis, is giving me a lift to Hwy 50, where I’ll resume highway hiking. I’ll continue to face the same issues I’ve had all along—looking for places to stay overnight (either in a motel or a place to camp), and sources of food and water.

I’m glad I had a chance to walk along the Katy Trail. It’s a marvelous place, especially when it follows the course of the Missouri River. If you like to ride a bicycle and love nature, I recommend it.

@ St. Charles, Missouri

Go top