Today we had some miles to cover so we decided that the morning would be a ‘no faffing’ affair and we would get up early, eat the complimentary continental breakfast and hit the road. We got up and CJ went to the gym then Facetimed his folks.
Eventually we set off heading to St Louis which is situated on the banks of the Mississippi which also denotes the state line between Illinois and Missouri. This was our first state crossing and there was no fanfare to say we had crossed but the bridges were cool old looking bridges so the drive into St Louis was enjoyable. We parked up near the river and walked for a short time to visit the St Louis Gateway Arch which is a free standing arch 630feet high. It was built to celebrate the expansion of the city which was once the final stop for supplies for river travelers heading west. There are tours where you depart from 50feet underground in a tram inside the arch which is designed like ferris wheel to take you to the top. After a short ride we arrived at the top where there are several observation windows giving amazing views of the city from one side and and the river and Illinois from the other.
I began the drive from St Louis through some beautiful scenic green country side roads. The roads were sweeping curves and fairly hilly which was a change from the previous days driving.
We began to get hungry at early afternoon so we stopped at Denny’s for some food, we both had tasty meals which included some items known as vegetables. We left fairly stuffed and CJ took over the driving. As is the norm now when CJ drives, we drove into a thunderstorm again. It seems like here, when it rains, it really rains. The rain lasted for quite a long time and we were glad to be on empty backroads rather than the freeway as visibility was low and road markings almost impossible to see. Eventually we drove out of the storm and steam began to rise from the roads. As it was getting late in the day we jumped on the highway for a stretch to catch up. We stopped for gas in a place called Lebanon and swapped over again.
We got back on the old route and came along a long stretch of road with lots of hills which you could see in the distance. We decided it was a good photo op so we pulled over at the side of the road and CJ got out with his SLR to take some pictures. To our left was a farm type home which is common for this area and I noticed a man, that we have named ‘Cletus’, come out of the house and stood watching us. CJ got back in the car and we set off, soon after CJ shouted and I looked to the left of the car and saw two dogs chasing us and according to CJ, Cletus was shooing us away. He had set his dogs on us! OK so not everyone is so friendly.
We drove some more lovely scenic roads and searched for some cell signal so we could find a hotel. We got some coverage eventually and booked our room for the night. We took the highways again to get to the hotel which was called Arbor Suites on the medical mile and is located in Springfield, Missouri. Its a bit of a weird place, situated in a cluster of medical buildings such as dentists and the like, the room seems decent enough.
Tomorrow we head across Missouri, through Tulsa to Oklahoma City.
Mileage Total: 616 miles