Our first stop today was the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. The bridge opened in 1929 with $0.05 toll, and closed in 1969. The bridge is one mile long and 24 feet wide, with a 22 degrees bend mid-span. This is the first time that either of us had walked over the Mississippi river, the name of which is based on native american words Big (misi) and Water (sipi). Also shown in the pictures are water intake towers from 1894 and 1915. It was amazing that while traversing the bridge, we must have disturbed a couple of Osprey, they were dive bombing us. All in all, a very unique experience.
By the time we were done with our two mile hike, we headed into St. Louis over the McKinley bridge, a recently restored road bridge. No pictures of the bridge since there are no safe places to pull over. We then followed the directions to Ted Drewes, a frozen custard maker extradoirdanaire, making custard since 1929 and since 1941 from this location. I had a Heath Bar Concrete, and they demonstrated their signature move to hold it upside down to show how thick it is (no small feat on such a war day :o)
Next stop was in Eureka Mo, site of Times Beach. The land orginally went on sale in 1925 at $67.50, with $10 down and $2.50 per month. The Route 66 State Park welcome center is just outside of Times Beach (across the Meramec River), it had previously been several restaruants, but was closed down in 1982. Why 1982? Well this is the infamous Times Beach of the dioxin contamination. You see, in 1972, Time Beach hired Russel Bliss to "oil" the roads to keep the dust down since they were not yet paved. Unfortunately, the oil was waste oil and was contaminated with dioxin. In 1982, this had just recently been discovered and there was a huge flood. All homes were condemned, and in 1996 the soil was incernerated and the land was turned over to the Park Service. They did an awesome job on the museum/welcome center.
Some other interesting stops:
Red Cedar Inn Restaruant, Pacific MO, for sale.
3rd Rail Bar and Grill, it is vacation after all.
Next stop was Meramec Caverns. We had seen the signs many times going down to visit my folks, but this trip we said we would stop, and we were not disappointed. It is a must see attraction, very well done and amazing. The picture shown here took 75 million years to develop...
Biggest Rocking Chair in the world :o)
John's Modern Cabins (our third time here). It is sad to see how decrepit they have become. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to save an icon...
We ended up in Lebanon, MO; but we did not quite make the progress we had hoped today (as you can see, it was a busy day).
So tomorrow we will backtrack about 40 miles and then head to Springfield MO. After we backtrack, we have about 95 miles to go and figure with stops and such that it will be at least five hours. That is just the way we roll on this trip.