Last night we decided to make it from our camp site to St. Louis, about 350 miles so we could spend some time in the afternoon touring the Gateway Arch. Before the night was out, however, Alex found and befriended a stray cat. She feed it water and food from about 7pm to 10pm and then was amazed that the cat was standing outside our door at 7am. NO! she was told when she asked if she could take it home with her.
Before we left the camp site the girls noticed that there was a Winnebago View exactly like ours parked only a few doors down from ours. It was the same year and same model and even had a bike rack cover that looked just like ours. Coincidence, I think not. As I was returning from the showers I saw the owner step out of the View and started to walk his dog. I engaged him in conversation about his vehicle and we walked down to our to compare. Greg was from Sarasota Springs, NY, and thought that he had heard about “ibike4them” on his local news. We talked about how much we liked our RV’s and how well they were set up. Then of course I got his picture.
By the way, as I was leaving the camp showers I noticed this bench. I can’t believe that no one in my family told me about this. Shame.
About 1pm we reached St. Louis and saw the Arch for the first time as we approached the main part of the city.
It was time for my incredible support team to leap into action. But alas they were in conference and could not be disturbed.
Eventually they awoke once we parked and made the long trek to the Gateway Park where the Arch was located. Georgie had Quincy but we weren’t certain if he would be able to take the ride to the top of the Arch. We’d just have to wait and see. Here she is with Quincy walking to the Arch.
The girls finally caught up with her and they walked the short distance to the Arch.
I remember seeing the Arch some years ago but we didn’t have time to go to the top. We thought this would be a good opportunity to take the girls to this amazing site. We first attended a movie that documented the actual building of the Arch in the mid-60. It was an amazing feat of construction and one of the things that Jenny and I noticed was that not a single worker had on a safety harness. And even more amazing they had estimated that they might lose as many as 13 workers. As it turned out they didn’t lose a single life.
The materials and construction techniques were ahead of their time. It was a very interesting movie to watch and then even more interesting to ride up to the top. But before we did the tour we went for some lunch at a bistro down the street. The girls liked the fish swiming in the acquarium. I liked the food.
On the way back I got a shot of the Arch showing its size in perspective to the building around it.
Well we got in line and asked if Quincy was allowed to go up to the top of the Arch and they said “of course”. We first watched the movie about the building of the structure. This alone was a fascinating story. It’s probably been on TV but if it hasn’t it should. Fitting that last piece in at the top was a real triumph for everyone involved in the project.
Then we got in line to take the ride up. The little cars we rode in had five seats but were very small inside. Here is Alex and Sidney testing one out in the main lobby.
Once in line we were assigned to a car. Could all of us fit in this little thing? We could.
Quincy had plenty of “leg” room. The ride to the top was in these little “cabs” set up similar to a carousel. There were about 9 cars and they moved inside the Arch structure. On the way up you could see all the workings of the inside. What an effort it took just to design this much less build it.
And then we were at the top after a 4 minute ride. 630 feet above the ground and the views were spectacular. Here are Alex, Georgie and Quincy and Sidney getting their first views.
And here is what they saw.
Just amazing. Better than an “E” ticket at Disneyland. But then it was time to go but the girls wanted to linger at the top a little longer so we left to get the RV. Quincy said he wanted one last look.
Outside you could really get a feel for how large this structure is. Here are G and Q standing next to one of the legs of the Arch.
You could stand and take a 1000 pictures but it would hardly do it justice. You have to come and see it. Put it on your list.
We all soon piled into the RV and headed out of town to our camp site about 50 miles away. As we were manuvering through the streets of St. Louis to get to the freeway, Sidney realized that she had left her phone behind on the steps of the Arch. Jenny called the number and a nice lady answered and said she had the phone. We did a U-turn and went back and picked it up. Lucky Sidney.
Then we drove into Illinois again and made it to our camp site which was in a State Park. Not very crowded and the Superintendent of the Park came over and helped us find a good spot. Pete was a good guy and as he made out our receipt we talked about his job and the park and our ride. And then we had the photo op.
And as the sun was setting one of the camp residence came by with a baby stroller loaded with 4 chihuahuas and 1 chiweenie. OMG. Sharon got one of the puppies and then realizing that the pup needed a companion she ended up with 4 others. One of the dogs was named Beethoven. He must have shown some musical talent.
It’s virtually impossible to take a picture of 5 dogs in a baby carriage and have them all standing still. Couldn’t even get Jenny to stand still.
Later that evening Alex (still on the theme of adopting a cat) showed me some of her choices on the Humane Society of Asheville site. I pointed out the ones I liked and didn’t like. We laughed a lot at the comments.
Then we had family game night and played a few hands of “spoons”, poker and gin rummy. Talk about a full day. But it didn’t stop there. When I took Quincy out for his evening “dump” a million little bugs came flying into the RV obviously attracted by the light. There were a lot of noises from the girls and concerns about being eaten during the night. Sidney covered herself up like a mummy and announced that if anyone woke up during the night and thought she was cold that she really wasn’t. She was just trying to stay covered up so the bugs wouldn’t get her. Turned out everyone was alive and uneaten in the morning.
Finally, the town where our camp site was located was Nashville, Ill. Tomorrow we are visiting our friend Amanda in Nashville, Tennessee. So I called her at 8:30pm and told her we were in Nashville. She said “Boy you made good time. Come on over”. I said we would but we are 250 miles from you. Silence at the end of the phone. Then I explained which Nashville we were in. Just priming the pump for tomorrow’s visit.
So you see, the adventure continues even when I’m not riding the bike. The girls are a stitch–good and bad. We are still having a great trip. Stay tuned.