We drove from trees with fresh green leafs and blossoms to trees that look like they aren't even thinking about spring. The drive was much more challenging than it needed to be. Brisk NW winds pushed us around the road and had a deleterious effect on the gas mileage. It rained; the sun came out; it rained; the sun came out. Spring in the Midwest.
St. Louis is always a challenging city to pass through. Many expressways come together here and join up to cross the Mississippi River. The first city on the Illinois side is East St. Louis. If a reporter wants to write a sad story about failed economic stimulus programs, urban crime, failing schools, etc. East St. Louis is the place to go. We missed the exit to the campground and ended up in an area that looked like it had never heard of urban renewal - broken windows, sagging roofs, vacant buildings. Sad, sad, sad.
Once we figured out where the campground was we were taken aback by the price. After free and nearly free casino campground experiences, the Casino Queen charged far more than their website indicated. It's always a challenge to find places to camp around here. There aren't many campgrounds and many of them are only open in the summer. We had thought about stopping here on our way south in December, but it was already closed. But for our last night on the road we need a spot where we can empty the black sewer tank one last time and so here we are with a nice view of the Arch and the capital dome.
No buffets at the casino tonight. They already got enough $$$ from us.