Doing St. Louie

            Friday, 20 July.  Today was an off day.  I slept in, which was good, and then did a little bit of touring with my host, Joan, & her daughter, the awesome costumer, Melissa.  We first stopped at Eat-Rite for a snack.  Then on to the Arch.  While the 2+ hour wait deterred us, the museum there deserves nearly a day in itself.  I also learned, I can get the ride free as I’m an Olde Pharte & have a Golden Age Pass to National Parks.  The Arch is a NP.    We headed out in search of dessert.  Ted Drews was the answer.  The “Concrete” was delicious.  We got there at the right time and I have a photo proving one can park in their parking lot.    Joan then took us for a short tour of St. Louis including driving by the spot where Coral Courts had been.
            Saturday, 21 July.  Today I drove a big circular route over a couple of 66 alignments.  First down Lindbergh Blvd/Rt. 66.  This is for the most part a 4 – lane road.  Then thru a small town & 2-lane segment in Kirkwood.  I hung a left onto 366 & headed back towards SL.  There was not too much of note along here.  Of course, what do I know.  It was a pleasant drive, & I enjoyed the drive thru the city.  The residential areas went from good to bad, very bad, and back to good again.  I was driving thru a variety of neighborhoods: Watson Rd, Chippawa [Drews was much busier], Gravois, then north on Tucker & Florissant [stopping is not recommended], Calvary, Broadway & finally Riverview.    When I got to the west end of the Chain of Rocks Bridge I stopped and got out to stretch and walk the bridge.  It is a little bit over 2 miles there and back again.  I took may time, many photos & chatted with lots of folk also walking the bridge.  It was a beautiful day.    Took my hosts out for Chinese.
            Sunday, 22 July.  Blew off the day.  I stayed in and worked on some email, posted a blog & generally goofed off.  It felt good.    That evening my hosts & I went to Blueberry Hill for dinner.  Yes, their burgers are good!  We met up with a good friend of mine and his family.  He teaches over at a local college.  Good food, good company & great conversation.  A very good evening.
            Monday, 23 July.  Up and out for some various alignments of 66.    I headed east on Rt. 66/100, Manchester Rd.  I hadn’t gone very far when I spied WOMBATS, a store for selling used clothing.  I had to go in & chat with the owner.  I also mentioned the e-group & Rt. 66 Pulse.    On the road again I got a call from Seattle about the Upfield novel I’m trying to republish.  Cool!    Onward down Manchester, McClausland, seeing the Amoco sign, getting confused trying to stay on Clayton, thru the Forest Park area towards downtown.    I loved the older style houses I saw along the way.  They reminded me of the homes in the area in which I grew up.    I took the interstate to where 66 heads into SL & got back on the road heading for Collinsville.  A little bit further on I stopped for a while at the Cahokia Mounds visitor’s center.  It was quite interesting.  The mounds are very impressive.    Then on to E. SL.  As my host noted, it does look like a war zone.  I tried to find the east side of the MacArthur Bridge, but couldn’t.  Well, I didn’t wish to get out & start hiking around there.    I called it a day & headed back.
            Tuesday, 24 July.  I headed back to IL and took 203 north all the way to Mitchell.  The area is mostly commercial with some older residential homes and the road is mostly 4-lane.    Heading back to take 3 south, I had a spot of very good luck.  I stopped in the parking lot of Mr. Twist.  This is a soft ice cream shop which has been run by 2 delightful ladies for 32 years.  The building dates back to 1942.  The shop is on he 1926-1929 alignment.  While I was taking photos of what the road looks like Felicia came over to ask what I was doing.  I told her, and said, as long as I was here, I had to try their ice cream.  She decided to treat me to a milkshake.  How good is that.  It was delicious & a lung collapser!  So very thick.  She asked me to wait a few minutes so I could try her orange sherbet.  It was worth the wait!    Driving thru Granite City on the old route, then do stop here:  Mr. Twist, 2649 Madison Ave.  Say hello to Felicia & her mother, Rose, for me.  It is worth the trip.    Onward to Venice, another rough city.  I found the approaches to the McKinley Bridge & was able to get some photos.    Now off on I – 64 to & 270 to Rt. 100.  I’m now heading west on Rt. 66.    Once past SR 340 and on Manchester Rd.  I drove along lovely 2-lane roads thru small villages, many more or less unchanged from when 66 was there.    I tried, the Donavan Steakhouse/ig Chief Steakhouse for lunch.  The food was good, but service was quite slow & casual.  I found the next item on the Scavenger Hunt, the 1923 bridge on a quiet Rt. 66.    I carried on to where 100 joins Old 66 at Gray Summit.    Heading back I couldn’t resist dropping by the Visitors Center at Rt. 66 State Park where Times Beach once stood.    Basta per oggi!

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