Day 26 and 27: Sept. 21-22, 2011
For lack of time and for the fact that yesterday, we drove all day without stopping, I am going to combine two days in one blog. Yesterday we woke up with a lovely lakeside view. Joey walked Roxy and saw a fish jump in the lake!
We decided we were not in the mood to sight-see, however, and would rather get back on the highway. This would give us more time today, and we decided we wanted to get as close to St. Louis as possible yesterday so we could go to the St. Louis Zoo today. Plus, I think we were both starting to get a little antsy as the end of our trip draws nearer.
So that’s what we did. We drove about 500 miles yesterday. I was rather upset when we entered Missouri, however. Kansas had a wonderful Welcome Center; Missouri had nothing. Nada. No welcome whatsoever. Since I didn’t have a map of the state, other than in my atlas, this was disappointing; and since we had no AAA book for the state, it was worse. We had no idea what attractions we might want to see--which was one reason we settled on the zoo. We are lucky that the AAA Tourbooks are loaded into our GPS, and that helped a lot in finding a campground in the St. Louis area. I think Missouri is making a big mistake not having tourist info readily available... is there nothing about Mark Twain here? What about Lewis and Clark? And any number of things we don't know about already? I know I'd like to come back through Kansas with some more time someday, but Missouri is kind of a big gap in my knowledge as of now.
We managed to find a state park just outside of the city of St. Louis, using the one map I did have, and the GPS. It was a nice park, but not on a par with many of the others we’ve stayed in. We did cross the Missouri River for the 2nd time just as we were approaching the park, near sunset.
This morning we woke up and it was drizzly. We went to thezoo; when we got there it was still drizzly. The zoo, btw, is free--but I should let you know, if you ever come in an RV, the cost to park an RV is $24. Hah! Anyway, we spent a few wet hours at the St. Louis Zoo today. A number of exhibits were closed; most disappointing I suppose was the elephants--as usual, our timing was bad. TOMORROW is the debut of the new baby elephant; today, the whole exhibit was closed off. So we didn’t get to meet the new baby girl. We did love some of the other exhibits, however. My favorite today was the giant anteaters. They are so exotic and I think their markings are beautiful.
And here are a few other animals we met today.
Around 1:30 or so we went back to Mo, put on dry clothes, and had soup and sandwiches for lunch. At that point I realized, I needed to lie down and take a nap. So Joe read a book and I took a nap for an hour. At 3pm, we finally packed ourselves up and started driving. Wouldn’t you know, at that point the rain had stopped? As we left St. Louis and Missouri, I managed to snap some quick photos of the St. Louis Arch and the Mississippi River. It was cloudy and dark-ish, and we caught up with the rain on the Illinois side of the river. So it was kind of a tiring drive today.
We drove until we were just past Indianapolis, and stopped at a KOA here. I wanted the wifi, and I want a hot shower tomorrow (I could have had one at the state park this morning but I overslept after not sleeping well during the night.) It is pouring rain, and I just would like it to be done by tomorrow, but the rain forecast is for more showers. Not that we can complain--we had NO rain at all except for an occasional nighttime sprinkle, until we got to Kansas.
Tomorrow we hope to meet some friends for lunch in the Columbus area, and then drive into Pennsylvania for the night. And we hope to be home on Saturday night. So this will most likely be my last blog from "on the road." It's been another amazing trip, and it almost seems like a dream already. That's why I write these blogs--so I can remind myself of everything we've done and seen. I know all too soon I'll be back in the usual "stuff", and dreaming of our next vacation.