California 2021:
Day 22 - St. Louis, MO


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California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Sunday, November 21, 2021: We had another long driving day ahead, so we were out of the hotel and on the road by 6:30 AM. We circled back to get a picture of this golf cart crossing sign, both for the unusual shape of the cart and for the speed of it. The front wheel is off the ground. It's got places to go!
Out of Great Bend, we took US-56 east, which is part of the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway. This byway celebrates the nearby Santa Fe Trail, the Chisholm Trail, and the Flint Hills.
It looked like the Bundlings Weather Luck was going to hold out, with sunrise showing a beautiful sunny day ahead.
Aw, shucks. We missed the Flint Hills Rodeo on June 2, 3, and 4.
We switched over to the Flint Hills Scenic Byway, an area of native grasses and flowers on the tallgrass prairie.
Speaking of tallgrass prairie, this Adopt-a-Highway sign noted the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, ...
... with its beautiful visitor center, ...
... and official National Park sign.
The Farmers and Drovers Bank in Council Grove, Kansas, was really cool looking, ...
... but we were here to see the Kansas Madonna of the Trail statue.
The text unique to this statue was about establishing the Old Santa Fe trail here in 1825, ...
... and the history of Council Grove. And a Memory Box from 1978! We're guessing a memory box is like a time capsule, except there isn't a date where you expect to open it.
The detail on these statues is amazing.
There is a cactus on the left by her dress, a rose and probably other types of plants on the right. Stunning.
As we left Council Grove, we saw a deer running at full speed through a field. It had places to be!
Just after 11 AM, we reached Kansas City, ...
... and crossed into Missouri.
We got off the highway and drove down Broadway Boulevard, past the Uptown Theater, ...
... on the way to the Seville Light Fountain, an identical copy of the fountain in the Plaza De La Virgen De Los Reyes in Seville, Spain, Kansas City's sister city, which we had seen almost exactly a decade earlier.
It has been here since 1967.
We didn't know if the water was off because of the cold, or because of the pandemic, but there was no water running through it today.
As we waited to cross the street, a DeLorean went by. We checked, but it wasn't Doc Brown driving.
The building on the street beside the fountain was very cool, ...
... with dragons and shields and other interesting decorations running around the outside.
Across the street is the Mini Giralda, a half-scale replica of the 12th-century Moorish tower of Giralda, also from Seville, Spain.
Across the street and a little north is the Community Christian Church, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1940. The design is based on a parallelogram and includes features conceived for the Johnson Wax Company building in Racine, Wisconsin.
This stylized cross is on the Main street-side of the building toward the north end of the church.
As we wound through 46th Street away from the church, we passed this giant spider sculpture outside the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. It is appropriately named "Spider, 1996" by Louise Bourgeois.
On the south lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are two 18-foot-tall badminton shuttlecocks, the world's largest. There are four in total, with the art piece visualizing the building as the net for a giant game of badminton.
Also at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is "Glass Labyrinth," a triangular-shaped, glass-walled labryinth, made from glass, stell, bronze, and stone by artist Robert Morris.
We saw this silver tree, titled "Ferment," which is similar to Graft, 2008 - 2009, by Roxy Paine, that we saw in DC in 2018 and 2021. This is by the same artist and was completed in 2011.
Our route out of the city took us by a Church's Chicken where we loaded up on fried okra. Oh, we got other food there as well, but nothing mattered besides the fried okra. It was perfection!
We saw this Adopt-a-Highway sign near the exit for Arrowhead Stadium as we went past.
Since we were in the neighborhood, we diverted north and then east on a lovely Missouri Byway next to the Missouri River to Lexington, Missouri, to see ...
... Missouri's Madonna of the Trail statue. They had painted theirs a red color, which we still aren't sure about.
The location-specific text indicated that Lexington was settled in 1820 by pioneers from Virginia and Kentucky, and that this was the starting point on the western trail of pack ponies and ox carts.
The other side was dedicated to the early pioneers, traders, soldiers, and citizens of Lexington who helped to settle the west.
The Potawatomi Trail of Death marks the 1838 forced march of 800 Potawatomi Indians from their land in Indiana to new lands in Northeast Kansas.
Driving through Lexington, we saw a replica Statue of Liberty placed by the Boy Scouts outside of the Lafayette County Courthouse.
We took this picture of a restaurant serving Maid-Rite Sandwiches, which involves cooking hamburger by steaming it rather than frying it. Tom had never heard of them, despite there being a Maid-Rite Sandwich franchise that is located in a town not far from where he grew up.
We stopped at a car wash to finally rid our beloved van of the remenants of the dirt roads we had been on in the west, ...
... and shortly after that, our van officially recorded 88,888 miles.
We passed through Knob Noster, which is near Whiteman Air Force Base, home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. This billboard called attention to the stealth part of the Stealth Bomber.
At Sedalia, Missouri, we went to the Missouri State Fairgrounds, past the Swine Pavilion, ...
... to the Missouri Merci Train.
It was in pristine condition. It was probably the best preserved Merci Train boxcar we had seen, and the paintwork looked brand new.
This one had a plate nearly identical to the ones we had seen on the East Coast two months earlier, saying that the boxcar was presented to the State of Missouri by the French National Railroad. The only difference is that instead of noting that this gift was in gratitude to "the American People," this says, "it's generous people," implying that only Missourians were thanked and throwing in a punctuation error as well.
The fairgrounds had another historic locomotive, Old Smokie, which had been used during World War II and presented to the state of Missouri in 1956.
We left the fairgrounds to the north, ...
... and passed the Trail's End Monument, which celebrates the end of the trail for the first post-Civil War cattle drive.
Goody's Steakburgers had lots of neon and for some reason, it had a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on the front of the building.
One of the hardest, most elusive signs in the world to photograph is the Missouri version of the Great River Road sign. This photo didn't turn out, but trust us that the logo was in the upper-right corner of the brown exit sign. Oh, yes, it was there.
We crossed over the Missouri River as we entered St. Louis, ...
... and the Gateway Arch and a giant Vess Lemon Lime soda bottle came into view.
We drove right by the Historic Old Courthouse building on the waterfront as we made our way, ...
... to the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Arch, where we had a corner suite overlooking the Arch.
It was a huge room, with a sitting area, ...
... a separate hallway with a bathroom vanity, couch, and closet, ...
... and a large bathroom.
We turned the lights off, and yes, that is the Arch right outside.
Here's a view of the Arch from the east-facing window.
An hour later, the nearly full moon was rising across the river, ...
... and it was a spooky orange color.
When it was fully dark, huge lights came on at the base of the Arch, lighting it up beautifully.
When we went to bed, we turned off all of the lights and left the curtains open. It was such a cool view from the bed.

Day 23 >


California 2021: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Route 66: IL] [Day 3 - Route 66: MO] [Day 4 - Route 66: OK] [Day 5 - Route 66: TX] [Day 6 - Route 66: NM] [Day 7 - Route 66: AZ] [Day 8 - Route 66: CA] [Day 9 - Route 66: CA] [Day 10 - Los Angeles] [Day 11 - Los Angeles] [Day 12 - Palm Springs] [Day 13 - Joshua Tree NP] [Day 14 - Death Valley NP] [Day 15 - Las Vegas] [Day 16 - Zion NP] [Day 17 - Grand Canyon North Rim] [Day 18 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon] [Day 19 - Page, AZ] [Day 20 - Durango, CO] [Day 21 - Great Bend, KS] [Day 22 - St. Louis, MO] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

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