We slept exceptionally well in our nice hotel. The complimentary breakfast was very good. It was a beautiful Friday morning to be back on the trail, with perfect weather.  We had only one light pannier and our snack “trunk.” We were riding by about 9 AM.

We rode almost 13 miles east, first through quaint old downtown St Charles, and then through more rural areas again. The trail conditions were great, and there were quite a few other riders, but it wasn’t at all crowded. When we reached the terminus at Machens (no real town nearby, just the little trailhead shelter and a pit toilet) we rang the bell hanging there and ate some snacks. The terminus is very near the Mississippi River, but there’s not a good way to ride to the river. The terminus is also one of the least scenic places on the trail, but it represents a solid accomplishment. Eventually another local couple rode up and we visited with them a bit before heading back west. We saw Tony one last time, as we were heading toward St Charles and he was nearing the terminus, the end of his adventure where his wife would pick him up. What a great trail friend. We’ll look for his YouTube channel, Blue Collar Backcountry, and watch a few of his adventures.

Overall trail note: we have seen a LOT of black snakes, turtles, squirrels, birds, and one tick. Knock on wood – not too many bugs. Mosquitos at times are a bit annoying, but not too bad overall.

As we finished our total of 27 miles for the day, arriving back in St Charles, we decided to celebrate accomplishing the eastern portion of our journey by eating at PF Chang’s. We had a huge long slow lunch, and drank lots of Diet Coke. Then we rode back to the hotel. We were cleaned up and relaxing by 4. 

Continuing west tomorrow! 

One thing we didn’t write about was meeting a gentleman named John on our ride yesterday. He is probably close to the age of some of our children. He moved to Missouri about a year ago from Pennsylvania and leased an old trailside building in which he runs a diner called the KT Caboose. He was delightful to talk to as we rode together for about 30 minutes to an hour. He was riding into the nearest town to buy food, which he would carry back to his restaurant on the trailer behind his bike. It doesn’t appear he has a car. He is just living simply. One of the things we’ve enjoyed about our rides is the people we meet. Most of them are just exploring the world like we are. But everyone has a unique story and sometimes we get a glimpse into those stories. Sometimes we refer to these people as our trail angels, because they make the ride so much better.

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Pete and Natalie




We use slowcomotion to view the world from the perspective of our unique tandem recumbent. We love exploring countries using the path less traveled. This blog captures many of our memories.

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