Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meet Me in St. Louis

Day 18 Granite City, Illinois to Festus, Missouri 53.8 miles

Our legs have been working pretty hard for the last few days so we decided to take a little time off the bike and explore downtown St. Louis.  We crossed the Chain of Rocks bridge on Route 66 as we left Granite City and had our first glimpse of the famous St. Louis arch.  Opa said we would make to St. Louis and with a little luck....he was going to be right!  We were thrilled to be on another designated bike path, the Riverfront Trail, all the way in to the heart of the city.  We passed a long stretch of industrial area - not the prettiest ride, but really interesting to see the barges being loaded.

Route 66 - Chain of Rocks Bridge
We were cut off yet again, by another floodgate that was closed, and as we were criss-crossing our way to the arch we met Michael, who took the time to pull his car over, hop out and chat.  He offered us great route advice and wished us well.

Busch Stadium - St. Louis

Base of the Arch - St. Louis
We arrived at the arch - the Gateway to the West.  It is massive, looming over the city and the river attracting thousands and thousands of visitors.  We had fun taking millions of pictures from all angles....and then we met Biksh,  a mountain bike enthusiast from Nepal who invited us to cycle with him in the Himalayans....maybe, next year?

The Gateway Arch - St. Louis

The grounds around the Arch are gorgeous....parks staff clearly work hours and hours to keep them in immaculate condition.  We decided to have a picnic under the arch, watched the visitors and the riverboats.  I stayed with the bikes, and Rob ventured into the City for food and drink.  He returned with a Starbucks bag full of goodies....of course he paid city prices for a banana and muffin!  Our day's food budget spent on a coffee break!

Coffee break in St. Louis - Mississippi River Trail

We followed Broadway Street out of town, a beautiful tree lined street with old red brick bungalows on the sides.  People were sitting out on their front porches watching the spring afternoon go by and we were treated to shouts of, "stay safe", "good luck", "God bless" and "I'm goin' get me a bike!"

We have been struggling the last few days to find campsites, maybe because we are close to a big city.  On the bright side, we have taken refuge at the Drury Inn in Festus, Missouri. shower, soft bed, pillows, swimming pool, dinner and breaky included and 3 free happy hour drinks.  To think we were disappointed to not see a campsite!

Giggle of the day:

How does that coffee pot fit on the bike?

The farther south we travel, the more it seems people are stopping us to ask for directions!

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway

View Larger Map