We left our cosy little spot by the Panera Bakery (after buying a delicious,s crusty tomato and basil bread and using their washrooms) at 07:30am and immediately got on the highway to St Louis – Missouri, that is! :)
This has been another corner of the U.S. where you pass through 4, 5 or 6 States in very quick succession. We have just passed through bits of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and now we’re in Missouri.
We’ve passed through a lot of very high end places in the last few weeks – very expensive looking areas – and, on our way to St Louis, we found ourselves in what is one of the most impoverished neighbourhoods we have seen. We pulled off the I 64 near a place called Mount Vernon, looking for a propane place to refill one of our tanks. We went through a neighbourhood (quite by mistake) of derelict looking old mobile homes, but they were obviously all still in use. When we eventually found the propane place the very friendly man there insisted on jumping in his truck and escorting us back to the Freeway to make sure we didn’t get lost again – tells you something about his opinion of the area we told him we had come through, I think!
There’s lots of flooding in the area around St Louis. They have had rain, rain and more rain around here and have broken records going back to the 1800s. We are now at our friend’s home in St Louis and he told us that the previous high record rainfall was something over 8-inches at this time of year and they have had over 12. I can believe it, judging by some of the stuff we saw on the way here and the fact that Bruce gave up on driving the day before because the rain was so intense. We have seen flooded fields and lots of trees whose bases are under water.
We know Dick from a couple of the rides we have done. He was with us from Paris to Istanbul and again all around Poland. He is over 80 and is an amazing rider! In the late afternoon he took us to the most amazing outfitter's, Cabela's, becuase he wanted to get some shells for his handgun target hobby. What a place! Clare and Reid would have been spellbound there. Another over-the-top, Disney-esque place with everything for the hunter or fisherman(woman). They would have loved it here - probably never would have got them out of the store, but it had some beautiful displays: huge aquarium and a museum quality outdoors display with stuffed wild game.
Dick’s daughter, grandson and great grandson came over on the afternoon of the 1st and we had a great BBQ – ribs, St. Louis style, and baked beans (yum – from me, Bruce doesn’t like baked beans – yes, who who “likes everything”!) It was a very pleasant BBQ, though, and a pleasure to meet Dick's daughter - finally - after hearing about her for thousands of kilometres around Europe.