cycling, photography

Clinton MO bike photo blogging adventure

It’s been six years since we moved to Clinton. It’s been two years since I started taking photography seriously. It’s been two months since I bought a new bicycle. It’s been two weeks since I started blogging. There’s no relevance to any of this except that I decided to combine all of these things into one bike photo blogging adventure.

I spent two hours Sunday morning cycling across Clinton, stopping frequently to take photos with my Sony A7iii with a 35mm lens that I had strapped to my back. My journey covered 22 miles of trails, gravel, grass, dirt, and roads.

I present this black and white photographic tribute to Clinton, Missouri, on National Camera Day.

I usually start my bike rides by going to the Katy Trail State Park. At 240 miles, it is the longest developed rail-trail in the country, and it is less than two miles from my doorstep. Clinton is the western terminus of the trail. Sometimes I stay on the trail and sometimes I meander back to the streets for more of a road ride.

A new road was recently completed that links the Katy Trail to Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare. This happens to be Aften’s workplace. I’m excited that I can now get there easily on a bike while avoiding the highway.

GVMH, of course, is what brought us to this city of 9,000 in west central Missouri. Before that, I had never even heard of Clinton. Since we moved here, we have gotten married. We have two beautiful daughters. And we’ve made some amazing friends that I’m sure will be a part of our lives forever.

The first couple of years we lived in Clinton, I worked with the chamber of commerce. They brought me in to redesign the web site, but they also had me take over the tourism budget. One of the things that we always touted was that Clinton has the biggest historic downtown square in the country. The big event on the square every year is the Olde Glory Days festival in July. It won’t happen this year because of Covid-19.

On one corner of the square are statues of a Union and a Confederate soldier. Apparently Henry County was the site of a few “skirmishes” during the Civil War. At some point, someone deemed it necessary to honor both the winners and the losers. As far as I know, the call to tear down monuments hasn’t reached this rebel.

After the square, I usually like to ride to one of three places: Artesian Park, Meadow Lake Country Club, or just straight down Second Street to Truman Lake. On this excursion, I chose the lake. It was created in the 60s, and there are some old roads leading up to it that have been abandoned. They are full of holes and covered with limbs. What’s bad for cars can be pretty fun on a bike. There are also a few trails near the lake. I’m not sure if bikes are even allowed on them, but I’ll seek forgiveness rather than permission.

By the time I finished my ride, the temperature was creeping close to 90 and I was sweaty, tired, hungry, and thirsty. My girls were playing with their friend in the yard, and served as my welcoming committee back home.