It was a very tiring night at Horseshoe Lake Campground. Apparently the Illinois side of the river has become the rail center St Louis always hoped that it would be, and the trains on the nearby freight rail line wanted you to know it. I have always lived in close proximity to trains and am accustomed to train horns, but the engineers hereabouts really like to sound that horn, to the tune of six or eight seconds, which may not sound like too long. Try making your own horn noise for eight seconds repeatedly and you’ll have a hint of what we didn’t sleep through.
The morning was beautiful, and since the site was level there wasn’t much departure preparation to do. We stopped at the necessary station, took care of business and were off. We didn’t notice the St Louise Gateway Arch poking over the trees until we were leaving, It looks good from all angles.
As we left St Louis we could see the remnants of a beautiful turn of the century city. There were hundreds of beautiful, elegant brick buildings with outstanding architectural details carved in what appeared to be Indiana Limestone. Cornices, carved arches over windows, fancy entrances and large elegant windows graced the buildings. Unfortunately, most of them were abandoned, with windows missing, roofs decayed in. It was beautiful and sad at the same time, especially since that it appeared that the original fabric of most of the buildings was still there. I can only hope that before those great houses are gone forever, St Louis makes an economic upswing that makes the restoration of those buildings economically viable.
We crossed the Missouri River several times, and in one of the first crossings we were presented with tall bluffs on the east side of the river, and in the bluffs it appeared that there were caves in the bluffs. It was something that looked improbable for us to explore, but there was satisfaction in just knowing that they were there.
Later in the day we both entered Iowa for the first time. We were travelling up the Missouri Valley, the east of which is in Iowa and the west of which is in Nebraska. There are fewer trees, and the majority of what I think are cottonwoods are dead. Louise opined that they must have been planted at the same time, so it was reasonable to think that they all died about the same time. Sounds good to me,
When we reached the intersection of Route 29 and Route 30, there were large signs that, when flashing, would indicate that Route 29 North was closed. Additionally, there were large RR like crossing gates that today were raised, but had road closed printed on them. Things do change as you get further west. Somehow I can’t imagine that they would close Rt 80 in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and send people elsewhere. It was a long drive with much of the same scenery for large portions of the ride, but it sure isn’t back east.
Our arrival at our family’s house is the start of several days of good times and catching up, and soon it will be off to South Dakota.