Monday, October 10, 2011

La Grange MO to St. Louis MO

La GrangeMO to St. Louis MO
October 10, 2011

Ran out of coffee!  Should have bought some last night when we were in Quincy but we did not think of it…NO where to buy any out here in the country! So we were on the road for breakfast in Hannibal about 30 miles down the road. We were not going to visit any chain restaurants on the trip but – there was a Hardees’s right beside the Wal-Mart, our next stop.  So Hardees’s breakfast it was and then on to Wal-Mart for the things that have been collecting on my list. A Wal-Mart is a Wal-Mart what more can I say!
We did see one interesting site on our way this morning – a barge being loaded with grain from a large grain silo or elevator. The river is certainly an integral part of the business life in this part of the country.
 Barge being loaded
 Hannibal was an interesting town. We walked around the historic district for a while. There was a Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Clemmons this that and the other….after a while it was not so interesting. We did enjoy looking around in the arts stores, antique shops etc. We bought some really great pie in a restaurant recommended by our GRR travel book…the pie was really great (we just now ate it) German Chocolate Pie and Coconut Almond Pie. No shortage on calories for us today.

Back in the Sprinter we headed down the GRR to Louisiana MO – there was another about 30 mile detour on the GRR – this one through pretty farmland BUT it was what I call a roller coaster road – up and down and around. At one point I could see 4 dips in the road at one time!  Savannah was a beautiful river town. It had great well maintained old homes, a nice downtown area and a small riverfront park where we ate lunch.  A tow went by and the railroad bridge opened for it to pass down river. About the same time a train came through blowing its whistles. Over the next couple hours we saw 5 freight trains going either north or south along this route. Lots of coal going south? 

The GRR is sometimes right beside the river - only room for the rail road, the road and at other times it is high up on the bluffs with wonderful views. 

Suddenly about 3:30 we were in the northern environs of St. Louis. Lots of traffic on 70 and 270 north of St. Louis but we managed to pass by north of the main maze of interstate highways around the arch. We could see the arch in the distance and Ben was thrilled not to be in the midst of that madness. We bought some diesel at a station along 270 at what Ben tells me was the cheapest we have paid on this trip - $3.47.  We had selected a campground on the northeast fringe of St. Louis as we plan to visit Cahokia Mounds tomorrow morning.  We crossed the Missouri River and the Mississippi Rivers within 5 minutes of each other and they join here. Since we have been in St. Louis many times – together on trips west and alone on business – neither of us really have any desire to spend time here. We have two more big cities to go – Memphis and New Orleans so that should be enough city life for us!

We were surprised to see the GRR crossing historic Route 66 about a block from our KOA Kampground. It is an older KOA with the traditional A Frame building. They did however have a really up to date playground which grandson Daniel would love! 
 Jumping Pillow
 Our Campsite and Gourmet Camping Meal!

Jane was inspired when she saw Gnocchi at the Wal-Mart this morning and we had gourmet cooking for camping tonight…Chicken Tenders and Gnocchi in Garlic Alfredo Sauce.  Add some green beans and Italian Bread and it was a really good dinner.  Tonight we have to study the maps as our plans are a bit more fluid – there was just too much to read and keep in our minds before we left home.

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