Unfortunately, I had to spend a night there. Like working through sedimentary layers, MO gets down and dirty and pretty darn close to the unreconstructed hickdom frequently visible elsewhere in the midwest. The greenery and water is certainly attractive, and one can almost imagine Huck and Tom around the next bend. However, it's also home to things like the Ozarkland gift shop. I briefly stopped in Rocheport and saw one of the upper layers. That's home to a terminus on the Katy Trail, a "Rails to Trails" 250+ mile bike path running through MO. It featured an upper-scale restaurant with a few families and older folks munching on crabs. However, I didn't want to disturb anyone's dinner in search of a Greenspunian moment.
In Columbia, I stopped at the Alpine Shop and briefly spoke with their manager, Paul Lowry. Missouri is the Cave State, and I wanted to have a caving adventure. However, while both the Alpine Shop and the state of MO conduct tours of one of the more interesting caves in the area, the Devil's Icebox, the tours have to be scheduled in advance and there wasn't time. He suggested I check out the Graham Cave, Onondaga, and Meramec State Parks. I only had time for the first, which was OK, but it's mainly just an overhang. Meramec, despite being a paved tourist path, sounds interesting. Maybe on the way back I'll be able to do some of the caves.
Anyway, I got to St. Louis, dropped the bike, and took a tour of the downtown area. I took a few pictures of the arch but, other than that, St. Louis didn't exactly light my fire. I'd driven by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame but, like other things hereabouts, I assumed that it had already closed at 5pm so I didn't even bother.
BloggingAcrossAmerica · Fri, 09/12/2003 - 20:31 · Importance: 1