thoughts on cycling the katy ( old Missouri-Kansas-Texas line ) cycling

the katy trail is like a collage –
It’s Indigo buntings, and more cardinals than you’ve ever seen
It’s great owls that take off ahead of you like eagles
and eagles soaring overhead

The mighty Missouri river,  flooding and expected to rise  four feet higher that day

The mighty Missouri river, flooding and expected to rise four feet higher that day

It’s the river – powerful and fast
overflowing the boundaries after rain
It’s dolomite cliffs always on the right
and the river meandering near and away on the left

The cliffs that always are on your right as you follow Lewis and Clark by the river

The cliffs that always are on your right as you follow Lewis and Clark by the river

Towns that vanished leaving just traces when the
railroad failed…. bridges made 100 years ago

An old bridge crosses one of the many tributary streams that feed the river's thirst

An old bridge crosses one of the many tributary streams that feed the river’s thirst

It’s mosquitoes – turtles and frogs that serenade you…
and jump 15 times their length to get out of the way
it’s humming birds, and dragonflys that dart
like birds and pebbles that fly to life – butterflies
or salamanders or lizards as you approach

I always stop for turtles...

I always stop for turtles…

The Katy trail is smiles from most everyone you meet
for I suspect I was smiling too,
even in the Missouri heat.

49 Comments on “thoughts on cycling the katy ( old Missouri-Kansas-Texas line ) cycling”

  1. Resa says:

    Fabulous, Bill!

  2. Shawna says:

    I know this has nothing to do with your intentions, but I used to work with a child named Katy, many, many years ago. She had been through horrifying sexual abuse and was just completely shattered. This poem makes me think of her and the possibilities that she might one day find hope and healing … as well as wings and wisdom that will help her rise above all the destruction. I hope, for her, that she will become untouchable.

    Every woman is a collage, but even more so those who have been segmented and then reconstructed.

  3. Bryan Ens says:

    sounds like an absolutely enchanting bike ride. I’d be smiling too, I expect!

  4. Oh.. the route 66 of life.. a trail of
    metaphor too..
    what connects
    us truly

  5. Mary says:

    That was quite an adventure!

  6. Bill, what a great adventure you are on. I would love to go on a bird-watching vacation–maybe that trail would be a good place to go.

  7. What a wonderful trip down the trail you’ve taken us on! I love the owls and eagles, the dragon flies and humming birds, even the frogs leaping out of the way. And that last line is priceless. I suspect many miss all that is seen when biking because they fly past in air conditioned cars, missing even the heat. Peace, Linda

  8. Sumana Roy says:

    that was an enriching trip…umm…except that mosquito part 🙂

    • billgncs says:

      the good news is mosquitoes are poor flyers, if one keeps moving the risk is low, but always try to stop in the sun. But then the flies get you 😦

  9. C.C. says:

    This sounds like Nature’s symphony…full of so many different sounds and such variety for you to enjoy as you move along, serenaded by it all. Lovely 🙂

  10. wolfsrosebud says:

    i love biking the Mississippi… nature all around…biking can beat the misquotes… happy trails

  11. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Cycling seems to be a world unto itself; gosh, what a terrific sharing on your part. Mosquitos are not my friends, ruining some deep forest romps at twilight, & spoiling our Alaskan road trip a few years ago.

    • billgncs says:

      my BIL and I once rode horseback upto the wilderness area and then hiked above the tree line – only to be forced to hike all the way back due to mosquitoes.

  12. kanzensakura says:

    A most enjoyable trip with you! I have a weakness for turtles and always stop for them, often moving them out of traffic to the other side (in the direction in which they are moving) or helping them across a ditch. Seeing how high the river rose (during the time of the Dust Bowl, no less) is beyond cool and reading of all the beauty and wonders of this bike trail…wonderful!

    • billgncs says:

      anybody who stops for turtles is OK in my book 🙂

      • kanzensakura says:

        Here is a funny for you – several years ago, my husband and mother were in the car with me and I was roaring down the road to our house, took a deep curve and….ran over (not smashed but it between the axles) a very large box turtle, headed toward a high embankment beside us. I stopped and my husband, knowing the drill, hopped out to grab the turtle and set it on top of the embankment for that is where it was headed. When It saw my husband, instead of going in its shell, it took off! My husband caught it of course but I’ve never seen a turtle move so fast. We have joked since then about the turtle thinking the Mother Ship flew over it and Brad was coming to abduct it and take it on board for probes. I’ve seen the turtle since, bigger and with the same markings so it Is living well and prospering.

  13. Grace says:

    I love the bike journals, each picture withe their own story Bill, yet put together a beautiful collage ~ The cliffs and old bridges particularly strikes me ~

  14. X says:

    I would hope I did not get serenaded too much by the mosquitos. Ha. SOunds like the best of worlds though with the water and all the life. I would love to see more owls. We get them very rarely

  15. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is so wonderful.. thank you for sharing this experience with us 😀

    • billgncs says:

      thanks – the Rails to trails take old rail-road trails and make them in to hiking/biking paths – they are a very fine way to preserve nature and a bit of our heritage.

  16. reocochran says:

    The Katy Trail looks like a wonderful and richly historic place to bicycle, Bill. I am so glad you shared the bridge, the cliff of rocky layers and the turtle you are ever so careful of, while biking. This was a marvelous post and most enjoyable.Thanks for taking us along. . . 🙂

    • billgncs says:

      We don’t have history like in Europe or Asia, but maybe ours is closer to us. Ohio is a good turtle place too 🙂

      • reocochran says:

        Ohio is definitely a great place for turtles, Bill. My grandies like to find snakes, which are usually only garden snakes, along with praying mantises. I liked how your turtle was all tucked in to keep himself safe. Take care and Enjoy the rides! 🙂

  17. Bumba says:

    Thanks for taking us on your trip.

  18. Awesome photos (especially the turtle!).

  19. lupitatucker says:

    I am glad you shared this with us, I never knew about these train trails. I like the way nature just jumps out in your poem, it gives me the impression as if once the last train went by, the animals and plants slowly creeped out of the shadows and got comfortable again. I am trying to imagine what it would have been like to ride along those abandoned lines, almost otherworldly, or discovering a planet that is no longer inhabited.

  20. Sounds like a spiritual/magical trail Bill. Thanks for painting a picture of it with your poem. ❤
    Diana so

  21. I enjoyed these words Bill so poetic.

  22. I’m beginning to think my life’s been deprived. I don’t think I ever saw an owl… but there are small consolations, there’s a hummingbird that found out it can rest on my clothes line when visiting the tree top next to it. When I heard it and tiptoed over, I caught a glimpse of it through the shutters. Keep hoping it’ll come again 🙂

  23. Sabiscuit says:

    I love turtles. I’m glad you’re having a great time. x

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