Gray morning and again took a leasurely time getting going.  Took the dog for a walk which is becoming a routine we did at home and the made breakfast.  Homemade pancakes from my own mix.  Really good.  We then started out for St. Louis.  Since we didn’t take Route 66 into Missouri we went back to St. Louis that way.  What a pleasure. Very relaxing and not as crowded. We also didn’t have the get off and on the freeway hassle when we wanted to go see the sites. Started to rain as we drove but it was ok. We were taking our time anyway. Stopped at the Jesse James Wax Museum which again reminded me of our trip to Nashville and again surprise it was closed. Guess no one wants to go to wax museums anymore! (wonder why?)  Saw and Indian trading post, cool Route 66 antique (junk) gallery and many Route 66 signs along the way. Route 66 took many turns along the years and in some places changed direction as new roads were built between 1933 and 1940.  We went along both depending on what we were going to see. Say a vegetable stand on the side of the road selling tomatoes (seems to early for them based on Wisconsin standards and onions and potatoes.  I forgot to get a picture but did get some tomatoes.  looking forward to them for dinner.

We arrived in St Louis as the rain was stopping and followed directions to the Arch Gateway. Now I could do an entire 3 paragraph post on the parking for the Arch.  I will try to keep it brief. Now where google maps took us to park was along the river, RIGHT along the river. Like on the water along the river. And the “road” sloped down to the water at about 20 degrees.  Parking was single file along a single lane? road and where you parked, along the river was cobblestone.  Keith didn’t want to park by anyone so we drove all the way to the end thinking we would turn around and at least be parked the right way to leave at the end of  the day.  NOPE!!! No place to turn around.  Keith didn’t feel comfortable turning the car around (Wuss guys? Yes or No) so we backed up and back up and backed up until Keith did a Y turn up the steps to the Arch.  Finally parked we walked up and into the park surrounding the Arch.

Now this is an amazing and beautiful site. The Arch is Impressive and the park surrounding it beautiful. We are both afraid of heights so opted out of going to the top (plus hello Joey) so I went in, Got my Passport stamps and we just walked.  Now it was about 2:30 and we hadn’t eaten in about 5 hours so we asked one of the park rangers where a good place close was to eat. Without hesitation he said Pickles. I looked it up and it was only 3 blocks away.  Off we went. Pickles is a deli with a wide variety of sandwiches on the menu. They even let Joey come in to help order. Of course Keith wanted to reuben. I couldn’t decide so I asked them what the best sandwich was. They said the reuben (no help).  Next the meatball sub.  Now I love meatball subs but wanted something a little lighter. I thought veggie sandwich but when I mentioned it both the clerks kind of cringed. So that was out.  The next they suggested was the Italian sub. I went for it.  OMG am I glad I did. It was excellent.  So much meat but not overdone with a homemade Balsamic sauce.  We took the sandwiches back to the park and had a picnic. Joey approved of our choices.

Since we weren’t going up to the top we took a few more pictures and headed back to the car. Now on the Illinois side of the river is a way to see the Chain Of Rocks Bridge. Its a bridge built as the Route 66 crossing from 1936 to 1965. What is unique is the 3/4 of the way across the bridge it has a 22 degree bend in the bridge. Not a curve but and actual turn in the bridge.  I wanted to see it to complete our Route 66 stint from Springfield to Missouri so Keith took me.  He was great. You can’t drive the bridge anymore but you can walk or bike it. So we walked the 3/4 mile to the bridge and back. It was really cool.

We headed back to camp after this and crossed the McKinley bridge going back making it so we crossed each bridge across the Mississippi into St. Louis.  But as we crossed the real fun started. It started to rain and it was rush hour. And when I say rain I mean downpour. Traffic was moving at about 20 mph but at least everyone seemed to be fairly respectful.  We finally got out of the city proper and if it could it started raining harder.  Could almost see nothing.  Then it got worse.  All the phones started beeping (there’s that beep again) and there was an announcement that there was a tornado warning in the area. Now those that know, we took a trip to Glacier National Park in 2020 and I drove through Minneapolis pulling the 24 foot trailer in a torrential downpour with road construction and 2 lanes closed.  Keith seemed to feel the need to one up me so drove back to camp with no trailer but not one but 3 tornado warnings along the way.  Ok you win Keith.  Finally it broke but now we worried about what camp would look like.  Finally a break. Everything was perfect. No damage even though there were a lot of branches down.  I was going to grill brats for dinner but just decided to cook them on the stove.  With a large glass of wine we ate brats, beans and homemade coleslaw and called it a night.

Survived Day 3.

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