May went by like a whirlwind. The semester wound down and I kept taking my class out for birding. We saw a lot of nice species, like Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Scarlet Tanager. It was one of the best years ever for Vertebrate Field Biology. Finals week was hairy, with numbers of students taking exams early or late for various reasons. Graduation day came and the year was finally over.
Racin and I took time between exams for salvage operations. We scavenged materials from campus dumpsters thrown out by students in a hurry to move out. He got a lot of stuff to outfit his new dorm room.
It seems like I should have endless days with nothing scheduled, but things just keep taking up my time. Stacey had to go to Columbia one day for a training, so I went along for the ride. I spent the time in Bass Pro Shop. I had crazy number of points on my credit card, which allowed me a small shopping spree. I got a nice reel and a fishfinder for my kayak.
Stacey, Savannah and I went back to Columbia for the Pedaler's Jamboree on Memorial Day weekend. We parked the RV at a campground in Boonville and spent Friday night there. Saturday morning Savannah and I took the Egg with our bikes to Columbia and parked in a parking garage. We reassembled our bikes and began the Pedaler's Jamboree. There were a lot of people at the start. We're not used to riding in crowds! The MKT trail was beautiful, following a small stream through town and covered by a tunnel of overarching trees. At the turn onto the Katy Trail was the first band, an acoustic trio. We listened for a while, then went on our way.
We were already seeing some interesting people. I hardly know where to start. There was team NumbNutz, with their green jersey's featuring a drunken Mr. Peanut and their fright wigs. There were people in party hats, one pulling a trailer that was blasting music from an amp. Actually, lots of people were playing music, but one guy, apparently an engineer, had a microphone set up so he could sing karaoke while biking. Team turtle had matching jerseys and a turtle plush toy attached to the top of each helmet. Silly hats and costumes abounded.One guy was in full hipster mode, with a tweed jacket, pants and matching fedora.
I had worn a biking jersey that I've had for years, made by Primal Ware. It features an insect with a moustache and wings coming out of its head. I got a lot of compliments on it. Then I hear a guy coming up behind me and he starts saying, "Bzzzzz." I thought he was just commenting on my shirt, then I looked over and he was riding a bee bicycle. It was an old near-junker and they had made a big bee head to mount on the handlebars and an abdomen on the rear. It was pretty cool. His partner had a similar affair in the form of a tiger.
Katfish Katy's was the first place we could actually buy beer. We got our first taste of Bur Oak,a local craft brew. Savannah had the wheat and I had the IPA. Delicious. We watched a one-man-band namned AJ Gaither, and he was really good. He had a home-made, 4-string electric cigar box guitar. A little farther down the trail I overheard some people talking about a "big tree." We could see it a short way down a side road so we went down and took some photos. Later we learned that not only is it the State Champion Bur Oak, but it is the one featured on the beer can!
We made other stops at Rocheport and New Franklin. Some of the bands were really good, like Tyrannosaurus Chicken. The only dull part was the second-to-last leg of the trip, a long, flat straight path through the corn fields that never seemed to end. The whole trail was rather flat, except for a few levees we had to cross. That is, until the end, when we crossed the Missouri River at Boonville over a big bridge. We came to the end of the ride and there were food vendors and more strange people. We at burgers and hung around until the first band started. They weren't that great and we did not bring seats so it was rather uncomfortable on the grass. We decided to head out after the band finished. Sadly, it was almost all uphill to the campground and it was killing us. We both had really sore butts by the end. I think 32 miles might have been a personal best for Savannah. When we got back to the RV we just crashed.
The next day we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some more Augie's Barbecue Sauce, which features a lovely German Shepherd on the label. It's made in Boonville and probably available nowhere else. Sadly, we could not find Bur Oak Beer.
I found out that they're having another Pedaler's Jamboree in Iowa. It's a similar type of event, but the mileage is longer. We have begun training.
Link to Pedaler's Jamboree photos and videos:
May wildlife photos: