Since we are in one spot for a couple days, today was a day to run some errands and do a little site seeing. Last night we were watching the RNC and heard a noise that we couldn’t figure out what it was. Before going to bed Sue went into the wardrobe and saw that the pole hanger had collapsed so one of the errands for today was to get what we needed to repair it. So far it’s been the AC, steps, sink, and now the closet pole. I hope this is the last thing, but I know better.
Since we were in the Saint Louis area I wanted to go to the National Personnel Records Center to see if I could pick up my father’s military records. I first made an application on-line last year about this time, but as I was to find out his were among those that were destroyed in a fire in the 70’s and would require more information to be submitted on a paper application. I finally sent the papers to the Center in late May and it was supposed to take 4-6 weeks for a response. Just before we left on the trip I requested and update, but got no answer so since we were here why not stop. We did and I found out they had been mailed on August 2. We should be getting a mail package this week and hopefully the records will be in the mail. The other reason for stopping was to renew my National Archives and Records Administration Research card. Since the Center is part of NARA, I figured I could kill two birds on one trip. Not so fast, this is the Federal Government we’re dealing with. The story is that they could issue me a temporary paper pass for research in the Center, but not renew my NARA Research Card even though the card would get me into the Center. You would think there would be some coordination between records centers within NARA. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until I can go to College Park.
After the Records Center, we headed over to the Mississippi River to see the Chain of Rocks Bridge which was the crossing point for Route 66. The bridge's name comes from a large shoal, or rocky rapids, called the Chain of Rocks, which made that stretch of the Mississippi extremely dangerous to navigate. Because the Corps of Engineers built a low head dam downstream of the rock ledge it’s usually not visible except when water levels are extremely low. As you can see from my picture the water level is dangerously low in the Mississippi River from the drought this summer. The bridge is a 2 lane, 28 ft wide bridge that is a mile long and bent in the middle. It was privately built in 1929 and operated through about 1967. It was supposed to be demolished in 1975, but was saved when it was leased to Trailnet to become part of a regional system of bike paths. The City of St. Louis built two water intakes just downstream of the bridge. The only one that I saw reminds me of ones we saw in the Rhine River in Germany.
On the way back to Winnie, we passed the home of the original Big Foot Monster Truck. We had to stop and get pictures. The first Big Foot sits in a fenced area visible from I270 with an American flag flying proudly from the roof. I never realized how big the tires on these trucks really are until we stood next to them.