Dick took us on a grand tour of St Louis today. First we went to the Missouri History Museum where there was a really interesting, large display about St Louis’ favourite son, Charles Lindburgh. We then went on to find this really neat, old Irish pub, where we had lunch, then on to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Wonderful displays there, particularly (for me) in the huge tropical house, which is under a massive glass dome. You stop thinking you’re indoors though with all the foliage, and waterfalls and birds.
Left Dick’s after spending a very pleasant few days with him and hit the highway (around 9:30am) with the intention of really putting on some miles now. We’re doing a straight shot home with no more sightseeing (other than what we can see from the highway) and we’re not doing smaller roads – we are on the major freeways now. Bruce is concerned about deteriorating weather conditions as we cross the high points and, we'd heard (on the radio) that we’d have a couple of good days of weather so we decided to boot it and get as much covered as possible before the snow that is promised. So, on the 3rd (because we started late-ish) we did 370 miles (about 600 kms) before dark then hauled into a Walmart parking lot in Nebraska City having come across Missouri, skirted Kansas City , touched a corner of Iowa and now in Nebraska. This has been our worst (noisiest) overnight of the trip. A huge truck pulled in right beside us (after we had gone to bed) and ran the noisiest generator I’ve ever heard until he departed at 0235am, after starting up the truck and idling beside us for 20 minutes.
We have seen a lot of snow spots, where there must have been pretty deep snow recently, and have been told by locals that summer has been virtually non-existent in this region, with tons of rain up until recently.
Today we are traversing much of the old pioneer Overland Trail and the Oregon Trail. More and more snow spots and passing by lots of historical sites: Chimney Rock to name but one. Hard to imagine the rigours the pioneers had to cope with as we whistle through here in the comfort of the truck and camper. Hard to imagine, in particular, what kept them going when one spot looks (to me) as good as another in the area. Why didn't they just say "This looks good" and stop right there instead of plodding onwards and onwards for months on end? There are numerous large feed lots around here and also massive tractor parts lots all over the place. We found a campgrouind at Scotts Bluffs with a site in full view of the Bluffs so we were able to enjoy the sunset on the cliffs and the sunrise. Magical!