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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Planning Marc's Trip

Marc from Collinsville asked, " I'm seeing more B&Bs than campgrounds. I might mix it up a bit and stay at B&Bs, but what might one expect to be the average price? If I mosey and take 5 - 6 days one way, and the average cost around $100/night (past experience elsewhere), that's an expensive trip. Add a 4 day trip home and ka-ching!Before I start calling B&B's for prices, what is your personal experience? I figured $10 for a tent site then ride into town for breakfast would be the cheaper route."

Marc, I only know what is in the area around Jeff City, say from Bluffton west to Easeley. So let's start with Bluffton: Doug Rendleman used to have camping options at the Rendleman B & B at Bluffton, but I am not sure if he is still open. There is another campground maybe a mile or so east of his place. Going west from Bluffton, there is camping at Portland, as well as a bar and grill where you can get a fantastic hamburger. I don't know if there's camping in Mokane. In Tebbetts the Turner Shelter is a self-serve hostel that is only $5/night. It is on the honor system, so no reservations. There should be a key on the post on the front porch. They will soon have a new restaurant in Tebbetts where you should be able to eat. Jeff City has a limited number of camping spots. You might check on the city's Park and Rec site to get info. Again it is self-serve and first come first serve. There's only about 5 spots I believe. To find the camping, when you get to the N. Jefferson Trailhead, follow the signs to the bike/pedestrian bridge over the Missouri River. About 1/4 mile or less before you get to the bike entrance to the bridge you will see a sign to the Carl Noren river access. Follow that and the camping is in that area. There is camping in Hartsburg, there used to be camping at Wilton, and may still be. There is camping at Cooper's Landing just west of Easley.

I think you are right that B & B's usually run $100/night. But there may be a few that are che
posted Aug 27 2015 8:21AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

Here's the rest of my toughts (I got cut off):

some B & Bs may be cheaper than $100/night. For example in McKittrick, Joey's Birdhouse may be less, and you might be able to get supper and breakfast. Another option is to check for less expensive motels, like Motel 6. Jeff City has several but they are in places far from the trail and I would not recommend biking on some of the streets they are on (2 lane, very busy, and people don't understand sharing the road). I did talk to someone who stayed at the Baymount in Jeff City and he said it was priced reasonably. They are just a couple of miles from the bike/pedestrian bridge and not too hard to get to.

And I am serious about you doing a tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP). Check on Jeff City's CVB website for tours. You have to have a reservation. The 2 hour tours are interesting and you see a lot. But the 3 hour history tour is much more fascinating and full of information. That is the prison that James Earl Ray escaped from, he then went on to assassinate Martin Luther King. Spend a day in Jeff City. Do an MSP tour, go to the Capitol and walk around, be sure to see the Thomas Hart Benton murals (ask at the visitor's desk where it is). You can also go on a tour at the Capitol, but if you don't want to do that, be sure and see the mural - it is in the House of Representative's Lounge. And of course go to Central Dairy. They close at 5 or 6, so go in the afternoon.
posted Aug 27 2015 8:32AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

Thanks for the new thread. RIP old post. ;)

I'll check out the suggestions. A day in Jeff City might not be a bad idea. A little civilization-break from the trail and about midway. I spent over a month in Jeff City a long time ago doing some contractor work so I might need to check the "paternity wanted list" for anything outstanding in case I get picked up (Just kidding), but I do remember liking Jeff City.

Lots of good info. Thank you, Cathy!
posted Aug 27 2015 9:30AM - Marc MkKoy, Collinsville, IL

I like camping when I am hiking through Colorado. But biking the Katy, I prefer to stay with a roof over my head and a nice hot shower. Yeah, it averages about $80 a night at the B&B's, but I consider that my contribution to the trail and the people along it. I've wasted much more money on less worthwhile purchases over the years. Marc, think about it this way: you are buying a week's worth of memories and experiences.
posted Aug 27 2015 10:20AM - Don, Ellisville, MO

I don't disagree. I'll probably divide my sleeping accommodations between camping and B&B. I want to sample all the trail has to offer. As I'll be putting my new rig and gear through the paces for a trip to either Calif. or Mexico (people say I'll be killed in Mexico), I need to experience all options.
posted Aug 27 2015 11:29AM - Marc MkKoy, Collinsville, IL

Marc I used to work for child support enforcement. I don't think you have to worry, even if there is a "paternity most wanted list" here and you're on it. The county prosecutor in Cole County has never considered child support a high priority. So you're good to go!
posted Aug 27 2015 11:32AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

Did the trail one way last year but it was very miserable for October. Rained almost every day.
Second day it only got up to about 50F and I was in flip flops and shorts. Bit cool.
I am going to do a trip about like yours over 8 days and hopefully it will be much better. I know where to camp now and how far I can ride in a day.

Starting at Sedalia this year though and going to Augusta. Going to stay at Klondike park in a cabin for a few days so I can explore the local area. Camping for four days and going to probably stay and the Rendelman BB for 2 separate days so I can take a break and not cook. Doug is a great guy. If you can stay at his place.

I am leaving early October will be on my Roam 2 with my bob ibex.
posted Aug 28 2015 12:59PM - Scott, SW MO


I've heard others recommend Rendelman BB. May have to check that out. I don't mind rain if it's not too cold. Rather like riding in it. Not too keen on camping in rain tho. Hate to have to roll up a soggy tent.

That said, some say to use a small 1-2 person tent for weight, and others say to use 3-4 person so I have room to stow gear inside. Ultralight tents are expensive and I've got a 4 man that weighs in at about 8lbs. I may have to consider leaving my laptop at home since that is over 12lbs with power brick. Not sure how much laptop time I'll have unless I find a town to hang out in for a day and do some research on the trip.

I'm riding a Specialized Awol Comp and pulling a Burley Travoy. My tent is so big I have to put it in a trailer because it won't fit on the back rack with the sleeping bag. Laptop rides there too. Could wear a backpack, but that's a lot of miles to have a lot of weight hanging off my back.

Weight and gear is becoming an issue especially since I may only get a few days use while camping and the rest being in B&Bs.

Here's to no rain, if not, warm rain.
posted Aug 28 2015 1:12PM - Marc MkKoy, Collinsville, IL

I brought my backpacking tent last year. Worked really good but I did get wet a few times. Rolling up a went tent sucks but I have done it many times in the middle of nowhere...

This year since I know where I am going to be camping I am taking my hammock. There is nothing like hanging in a hammock. You sleep so good. I know I can hang a hammock at the 2 places I am going to camp so I look forward to that.

Last year with a full load on including 8 vitamin waters I was running about 70lbs on my rack. Did not take a trailer last year. Ran 2 panniers with my tent sleeping pad and small duffel on top of the rack.

Had a spill once and with that weight my bike weighed about 100lbs with all the gear. That was rather fun.

Last year I did it over 5 days.

This year:

1st day: Sedalia to New Franklin. Camp at Roundhouse.
2nd: New Franklin to Hartsburg. Camping at the conservation area before town. Great place to camp! Also great corn dogs and pumpkin rolls during the festival. Gong to catch the festival on the way back.
3rd: Rendelman B and B
4th Bluffton to Augusta. Staying at Klondike park for 2 days. Going to do some exploring.
and back again.

I really wanted to spend more time on the river. I like to just sit and listen to it but the rain was horrid last year.

This year will be better.
posted Aug 28 2015 1:51PM - Scott, SW MO

Have you talked to Doug lately? Last I heard the Rendleman Home B&B was not open.
posted Aug 28 2015 4:42PM - MidSouth, Rogersville, MO

No sent an yesterday. That sucks if he's not open anymore. I'll call later.
posted Aug 29 2015 7:06AM - Scott, SW MO

Called his phone I didn't get a hold of him but there's the standard message that was the same there last year when I had to call sofa last year . Website is still Up.
posted Aug 29 2015 7:17AM - Scott, SW MO

I heard many months ago that a car damaged Doug's house (the B & B). I drove by a couple of weeks ago and I could not tell if he is open. Doug has posted on this forum in the last month or so on another topic. I hope he is still operating as he is such an important asset to the Katy Trail. I do still tell people about his place, especially if they want to camp, as they could contact him to make a reservation, and find out if he is still operating.
posted Aug 29 2015 7:32AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

OK, I have not wanted to post as I have a lawsuit against the man that ran his pickup into my home. It is apparent that I will have to. I had hopes of being able to make repairs and reopen but that is not to be. I am out of business. There is no way I will be able to repair the home and open this year and most likely not next year either. He did not have enough insurance to cover even part of the damage much less my loss of business (which they are not acknowledging). This was my planned for retirement income that was looking like a success and now poof! I have one group that had reserved and I have made arrangements for them to be at Spirit in The Sky and I will shuttle them to and from. Thanks to all for your kind comments and support over the years. I am making my barn into an apartment I can live in. Feel free to stop in and say hello. Doug
posted Aug 29 2015 12:21PM - Doug, Bluffton

Wow, I'm sorry to hear about The Rendelman House. I am planning a trip and read some good reviews. It sounded like a great place to stay and I was planning on making a reservation there. Good luck Doug and I hope you reopen at some point!
posted Aug 29 2015 7:14PM - Megatron, St. Louis

Doug - are you still open for tent camping? You have such a great property. Sorry to hear of the troubles.
posted Aug 29 2015 7:19PM - Sharonbikes, Kansas City

Doug I hate to hear this. I hope you are able to get compensation for what you lost.

My daughter and I biked the trail from Rocheport to St. Charles in 2009, and my husband was our support. We stayed at your place. You told her about the "hilly 100" and she did bike that a couple of times.

You represent what the Katy Trail is all about. Next time I'm in your neighborhood I will drop by.
posted Aug 29 2015 8:07PM - Cathy, Jefferson City

That is so sad, Doug. I never stayed at your place, but I can tell by the uniformly positive comments that it is one of the best on the trail. You have been a great supporter of the Katy Trail, Buffton, cycling, and this forum -- I hope you will continue to chime in here. If your lawsuit doesn't work out, you might consider using a crowd-funding website such as gofundme.com -- I pledge to contribute if you do!
posted Aug 30 2015 7:23AM - Brian L., Wichita

Perhaps your homeowners insurance will cover the costs.
posted Aug 30 2015 8:57AM - Anonymous

Tags: Jefferson City, Bluffton, Portland, Mokane, Tebbetts, N. Jefferson, Hartsburg, Wilton, Easley, Rendleman Home B&B, Turner Katy Trail Shelter Hostel, Restaurants, Lodging, Camping, BikeKatyTrail.com, Running Modify Tags

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