It would take a mental patient to characterize walking 20 miles a day with a 50-pound backpack as fun, but the walk across Missouri was as close to fun as I have experienced on this trip across the U.S.
The trail across the eastern half of Missouri follows the abandoned roadbed of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, or the MKT. Natives nicknamed the railroad the “Katy,” and the trail is now the Katy Trail. It snakes west from St. Charles along the Missouri River, framed by high limestone bluffs on the north and the river or its lush bottomland to the south. The trail is paved with crushed stone, and, thanks to railroads’ aversion to hills, is absolutely flat. A more inviting walking surface one could not imagine.
The railroad spawned the development of many communities along its route, so I walked through dozens of little towns along the way — towns with places to eat and sleep, unlike much of my journey. Read more