To that end, today we headed towards St Louis. One thing we found out was that, unlike the Route66 song, the final S is pronounced.
Anyhow, the day started out fine and cool and we headed a little north.
It was interesting to note the number of different banks in this country. In Australia we just have the Big Four and a few credit unions. Here there are any number of different banks, some have a National presence, but many would have to be local only.
Speaking of banks, we went past Fort Knox. Actually we called in, hoping for a tour with samples. But we were quickly turned away. Bugger. The military guy was quite nice about it.
Shortly after, we left Kentucky and re-entered Indiana for a while. It took some looking, but we finally found a diner around 9:30am and had a hearty breakfast. Not the most memorable diner we've been to, but passable. We also looked in a nearby antique store and came out with some nice smelling crumbles. They are meant to go into candles, or heated above a tea-light. But just by themselves they make the car smell really nice.
Here we turned west and headed along Hwy 50 until we got to near St Louis. Then we took the I64 in to town and turned off to take a look at the Gateway Arch. This huge steel structure overlooks the Mississippi River and the city of St Louis. It is 630 ft high and 630 ft between the stands. Truly massive.
Underneath it has a visitor centre and museum as well as a "train" that takes you all the way to the top inside the arch. Quite an incredible journey as the train starts off lined up one way then turns right upside down as it gets to the top. The tiny carriages are suspended and so stay upright. They are very cosy inside.
Once at the top, in a short hallway, tiny windows let you look straight down as well as out to the City to the west, or across the river to Illinois to the east.
We spent quite some time here, up the top, then back down and in the museum where we learned a great deal about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which departed St Louis in 1804 to travel up the Missouri River then across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, returning two years later. It was a very difficult, but successful mission.
Nearby on the river was a helipad barge with a little Robbo. What the heck, we took a flight to have a look at the arch from the air as well, and a short tour of the City. We flew over a 30,000 seat baseball stadium and a brewery where they make Budweiser beer. It is also surprising to see how much traffic still uses the Mississippi River for transportation of goods.
Sufficiently educated, we made our way to our digs for the night, travelling once again on I64, but this time in peak hour. With at least three breakdowns on the 15 mile journey, it took a while. At one stage we saw red/blue flashing lights and sirens behind us and with the rest of the traffic, we squeezed over to allow the emergency vehicle through. Turned out it was the Towie!!
Didn't feel like going out for tea tonight so we had it delivered. A giant burger for me with Idaho potato as a "side" and a huge salad for Charleen. The damage? $18.02 delivered. The really nice Days Inn motel cost $62.00 with taxes. No wonder this country is nearly broke.
Traffic Chaos finished off our day.