5/4/2011 – Day 28 – Robertsville State Park and St. Louis – 100.1 Miles

Poor Diana woke up this morning feeling stuffy and crummy and we’re both hoping it is just allergies.  We were going to leave camp and drive through St. Louis today, but because Diana isn’t feeling great, we have decided to do a day trip into town and return here tonight.

Robertsville State Park campground is really nice.  We are surrounded by thick trees and while there are train tracks and a road around a mile away, what we hear the most are unfamiliar bird songs and the mooing of distant cows.  I particularly enjoy the surprise of hearing a bird whistling away a totally new (to me) tune.  I look forward to more refreshingly different tweets (the natural kind) as we continue our trip.

We drove into St. Louis and the GPS did find the Gateway Arch alongside the Mississippi river.   We were amazed at the size and graceful appearance of the arch.  It is BIG and HIGH!  After we parked the car we walked through the park around the arch and down into the underground visitor’s center.

We purchased tickets and soon were riding in tiny, five-person “capsules” up the inside of the arch.  It’s an interesting trip with the capsules rocking intermittently accompanied by a variety of sounds, and a view through the tiny window of the inside stairway.

At the top we emerged from our capsules into a surprisingly small viewing area with small windows along each side.  We spent time peering out both sides and looking at distinctive buildings of the cityscape, the big, strong current moving the Mississippi downriver, and a great view of Riverfront Stadium.

When we returned to ground level, we had lunch at a local restaurant and then made the trip back to Robertsville with a quick side-trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  We got there an hour before closing time, so I let Diana commune with the gardens while I waited outside. The gardens were large, varied and beautiful.  A Chihuly glass sculpture was in the entryway and and another original was floating in a large pond.  There are several mansions on the grounds.  I didn’t get a chance to figure out why.  My favorite features were the Iris beds and wooded garden.  I know most of the plants are not right for our area, but how gardens are laid out always give me ideas.  I know I want to add an Iris to our yard in honor of my grandmother Iris.  I took down names of my favorites–the deep purple ones.  I love the wooded gardens, and I try to do that at home.  This year I’ve added 5 small (15 feet max) trees to give it that feel.  I want anything that is low water usage and high shade for Sacramento.  I walked constantly for that hour to see as much as possible.  It was well-worth $8. 

Back at camp we had another nice chat with Billy & Lynn before we turned in.  Diana is now in full cold mode and crawled into the teardrop equipped with kleenex, mentholatum, nose spray, water and plenty of decongestant medicine.  Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy (well, sneezy) ride!

At the top of the Gateway Arch

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5 Responses to 5/4/2011 – Day 28 – Robertsville State Park and St. Louis – 100.1 Miles

  1. gherie says:

    Been there. Kinda scary.

  2. chppio says:

    I did read that the arch can sway as much as 18 inches — in 100 mph winds! It didn’t sway while we were in it, I’m happy to say.

  3. Fran says:

    Just catching up on your travels and just had to comment on your visit to the arch in my former hometown. Never got to go up in it as a child, but it was my favorite landmark beside the mighty Mississippi. Love reading your posts. Safe travels! Best to Diana!

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