Tagged with " St. Louis"
Feb 3, 2013 -

Would You Try This Slide?

Check out the picture of a 10-story slide in this article about the St Louis City Museum.

I still can’t believe I went down that thing.

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Countries, MIssouri, Museums, Travel, USA    No Comments
Apr 28, 2012 -

Into Kentucky

I am parked at the Cracker Barrel in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and looking forward to the parking lot clearing out so I can get myself on some levelers!

Part of the trouble with figuring out tonight’s overnight spot was that Google Maps kept routing me out off of I64 and around Louisville. I did some research and learned that the Sherman Minton Bridge, which connects I64 in Indiana to I64 in Kentucky at the western edge of Louisville, was shut down due to maintenance concerns for several months. Even though the bridge has now been reopened for two months and Google knows this, it has failed to update its mapping application. Once I knew that I could stay on I64 through Louisville, it completely changed how far I felt I could get today. None of the Louisville overnighting options were on I64. It made sense to get clear of the city and then pull over. Shelbyville had a number of options, with the Cracker Barrel the only sure bet.

Cracker Barrel is a restaurant I have mixed feelings about. I love their food, but it is so unhealthy that I feel guilty when I eat there. But tonight I had a good reason to do so and I savoured every bite, including their OMG crustless coconut cream pie (which is actually a toasted coconut custard).

But let me go back to the beginning of the day. I didn’t want to get to the Cracker Barrel too early, hoping to miss the dinner crowd (that plan failed), so I had a slow mo morning in St Louis and pulled out at 10:30, with my ETA being 6PM. Huh? Oh, I was going to cross into EST today!

Miranda at Harrah's St Louis

I did a double take when I saw this rig pull in last night!

Getting through St Louis this morning was much easier than it was at rush hour on Thursday. I was glad to be going eastbound because check out the westbound lanes:

Shortly after crossing the Mississippi into Illinois, I got off the freeway to get fuel and have visual evidence of why I loathe getting gas in the motorhome with the car attached. Why do some fuel stations have those stupid useless cement bollards at each end? Let’s just say I miscalculated my turns. A good Samaritan tried to warn me, but I saw this happening in the mirror and knew I couldn’t stop it:

I drove another 100km to the Goshen Road rest area for lunch:

Goshen Road Rest Area

After lunch, I put a capful of Turtle Wax car detergent into a bucket and diluted it with a couple of cups of water. Armed with a soft green scrubby pad, I spent at most 15 minutes vigourously scrubbing away the remnants of the bollard’s attack on my car:

There’s still a very faint line on the door and one by the wheel well, but you have to know they’re there. I’m glad that my cursory assessment at the gas station was correct; I just scrapped the paint off the bollard but didn’t do any real damage to the car. You can all start breathing again. 😉

Now, I’m going to say something that is going to leave some of you in disbelief and assured that I am a couple of cards short of a deck: the east smells different from the west. I really noticed it at the Goshen Road rest area; there was this humid scent of humus that I haven’t smelled for years. It could be that the vegetation is different.

I drove some more and crossed into Indiana:

My only experience in Indiana was at a really horrible rest area. The welcome centre on today’s route was much nicer:

I found this map interesting. I drove on the northwestmost red line on this map and was traveling on the southwestmost red line:

The Indiana welcome centre had information about the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. I think he looks very handsome without his beard:

Lincoln is an historical figure who feels very real to me, not legendary. I think it’s because I saw the place where he died. There was a pillow on the bed that was supposedly stained by his blood. I don’t know for sure if that was real or not, but it made an impact on me.

Lincoln’s mother died of something I’d never heard of:

The NPS has a very informational page about milksickness.

The overpasses in Indiana, like those in Michigan, are painted sky blue:

About 10 miles from Louisville, it became imperative that I stop to use the bathroom and I only had a quarter tank of fuel left. So I pulled off the highway at an exit where there were several gas stations. I found one that I could easily pull into, but the roof looked low. I was very happy that they bothered to post the clearance level. It was 13′, which gave me a foot and a half to spare. 🙂

I crossed the Kentucky state line on the Sherman Milton Bridge and was then formally welcomed into the state:

It says birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, but I think of it as the birthplace of my favourite female singer, Loretta Lynn. 🙂

Driving through Louisville was easy. I stuck to the centre lane when possible. There was almost no traffic and no one honked at me!

Louisville, KY

The Kentucky welcome centre is very beautiful!

From there, it was only about 10 minutes to Shelbyville. My GPS thought the Cracker Barrel was almost a full kilometre past where it is, so I missed it. I was very glad that just a couple of kilometres down KY-56 there was a small shopping centre into which I could pull in and turn around. I saw the Cracker Barrel on the way back, but was confused by the sign that said that RV parking was thataway, leading me to think that there was another entrance. Thankfully, the next entrance was a U-shaped one, so I was able to get turned around again and finally manoeuvre myself through the Cracker Barrel maze into one of their three RV slots.

This was the first night since I left Lethbridge that I arrived absolutely exhausted so I was glad to have an excuse to have supper made for me, and even gladder that the manager was so quick to say that I could stay.

The sky has been rumbling for the last hour and it has finally started to pour. It is also very dark out even though it is just 8:30EST. I will be getting to bed early tonight so that I can pull out reasonably early tomorrow. I have a fairly short driving day planned, so I’m hoping to get to a rest area fairly early on where I can spend part of the day and catch up on some things.

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Boondocking/Dry camping, Kentucky, MIssouri, Travel, Weather    13 Comments
Apr 26, 2012 -

A Generous End to the Evening

I decided to go up to the casino tonight to put $10 in the slot machines as a thank you for letting me stay. Since the day had been so cheap, I decided to check out the restaurant offerings. Everything was either way too expensive or way too fast foodish. The only option left to investigate was the buffet, but at nearly $20 I was convinced I’d be turning around and having dinner at home.

When I got to the entrance, I noticed a woman was standing there glancing at the people coming in. She came over to me and said, “Have you prepaid?” “No…” She then handed me a ticket for the buffet and said, “Pay it forward.” I don’t know if she won a free dinner or what, but wasn’t that nice of her?! I can’t believe I got a free dinner! I had some tasty baked chicken with mashed potatoes, veggies, and salad as a first course, then a couple of pieces of ravioli with some sausage and more salad for a second course. Third course was a small scoop of ice cream and a tiny brownie. Fourth course was half an orange and some honeydew melon. It had been a very, very, very long time since my sushi lunch and I was ravenous, but I don’t think I ate excessively at all. It definitely helped that dinner was free, so I didn’t feel I had to get my money’s worth. 🙂

The lady didn’t let me say much to her beyond thank you, but I was able to confirm that she’s not from Missouri. 🙂

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MIssouri, Nice Folks, Restaurants, Social, Travel, USA    6 Comments