The house woke up much quicker today. I was making coffee when Josh came down, followed shortly by his lady friend, then Kelsey and Jared. We had discussed our plans for the day yesterday so we packed up the car and headed to Strange Donuts, then to Sump Coffee. As expected, the donuts were amazing and unique. One was a chili verde, another Mexican chocolate.
Sump is a highly celebrated coffee shop and roaster, and didn’t disappoint. The owner has an awesomely huge beard and shaved head, and a representation of him is the emblem for the shop. It is also the coffee used by Perennial for their coffee beers. The man is intimidating, partly because of his appearance, but also because of his knowledge. These guys (the owner and other employees present) know their coffee and take it very seriously.
The double shot I ordered was delightful. I smelled it for a couple of minutes and felt caffeinated from that. And the crema could have held a penny, I think. I wasn’t willing to try. After the shot, I got some beans and asked for advice on how to optimize the Aeropress. One of the employees competes each year in the US Aeropress competition and was happy to lay some knowledge on me. It also turned out these guys are familiar with one of Louisville’s local coffee shops, Sunergos. Small world. They were telling me about something called kratommasters, apparently a health supplement they had been trying. They told me it had been working great for them. I think I’m going to look into it, maybe even use it myself. I was already considering adding something similar to my daily routine if I’m being perfectly honest.
Next, we went to Square One Brewery for second breakfast. It was pretty full, but, once again, Jared knew someone and that helped move us along quickly. The beers and food were good, but not great. One beer was particular foul, but another was really nice. Thus is life.
Josh left shortly after that. He had brought me a new cycling jersey that the guys from New Holland sent to me. It was a long sleeve Dragon’s Milk mountain biking jersey, so the sleeves were cut off most of the way, careful to keep the dragons on the shoulders. Jared was kind enough to run me to the KATY Trail near Trailhead brewery. He hadn’t been there so we decided to have some beers.
The beers were completely unremarkable, not off flavored but not exciting. Boring and not easily differentiated between. The nachos were great though. Jared saw me off as I hit the KATY.
The KATY is a converted railroad that ran from St. Louis to Kansas City (really Kansas-Missouri-Texas), and it is the longest Rails-to-Trails project in the US. I had planned to ride roughly 250 miles on it over the course of the next week, hoping to be near Kansas City by Thursday so I could watch the opening game of the World Cup.
The best part about the KATY: no cars. At one point I found a bar, had a couple of beers and got a 6 pack of Heineken to go. For whatever reason, I wanted to drink a beer while I rode, and hadn’t had a safe opportunity to do so until now. So for the next ten miles, I had Heinekens and the open trail.
Eventually I made it to Klondike Park shortly after nightfall. I found my way to the shower house and information kiosk, where I was promptly confronted by a park ranger. She was friendly but stern about certain requirements. It is against the park rules to hang anything from trees, including hammocks. Fortunately, I know some good buzz words related to camping that make park rangers excited. I told her it was safe for the cambium layer of the tree and was highly regarded by the Leave No Trace group for its minimal impact on the environment. The last part isn’t entirely true, but that’s the joy of having more knowledge than someone expects you to have.
I found a campsite, set it up, had a beer and made food. At one point, the ranger came to check on me. We began to talk about visitor regulations, nature, wildlife and plants. As I have a master’s degree in this field, it was easy to impress her, not that I needed to try. The best part was when she offered to let me “raid and eat her bush.” She was referring to a mulberry bush, but Freudian slips are a real thing. We laughed and she left embarrassed. I feel asleep.