The Katy Trail is a 240 miles stretch from Machens to Clinton, MO converted to trail-way upon the closure of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad in 1986. The name “Katy” comes from the abbreviated name of the old railroad nickname Missouri “KT.” It is one of the longest rails to trails in the U.S. and includes parts of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the American Discovery Trail. The trail also has been designated as a Milennium Legacy Trail.
The MKT operated their final train route from Sedalia to Machens on October 4, 1986. Following that run, floodwaters from the Missouri River severely damaged the tracks along the route. This was not the first of washouts the MKT had experienced on this route but it would end up being the last as future MKT routes were rerouted.
I took my oldest son camping for the first time when he was a little over 2 years old. It was his reward for mastering the toilet and abandoning the diaper. We headed to the lake for a “guys only” campout and by the time our tent was up and the fire was built the heavens opened and rain poured down in torrents for hours. We headed to the covered pier to wait out the rain. I had a video camera and my little man with me and a six pack of root beer. To this day, that video is among my most prized of possessions. He was ecstatic just to be there and the root beer induced sugar high overpowered all of the rain that came that night until he finally collapsed in exhaustion in his miniature camping chair next to mine.