St. Charles, MO
On Tuesday we pulled out of our site near Independence and headed east across Missouri. A few hours later we pulled into our new home at Sundermeier RV Park in St. Charles, just northwest of St. Louis.
After spending much of the last year in the dry air of the west, we are now definitely back in the lowlands of the mid-west. The weather here so far has been a heavy dose of the three “H”s – Hazy, Hot, and Humid. In spite of this, on Thursday we ventured into downtown St. Louis to make a visit to the famous Gateway Arch.
At 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made monument in the United States.
The Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (if you do crossword puzzles, you probably recognize the name). Construction began in February of 1963 and ended in October of 1965, costing $13 million, about $94 million today. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967.
On the way back to the Jeep we had to pass the Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises. Since one of the boats, the Tom Sawyer, was scheduled to leave for an hour cruise on the Mississippi in just a few minutes, we quickly purchased tickets and got on board.
The cruise goes up the river for about five miles, then turns and goes down river a bit, with a nice narration explaining some of the sites and a bit of history of the city entertaining us along the way.
Along the bank of the river we noticed a statue of two fellows and a dog appearing to be trying to get out of the water.
The figures in the statue are the famous explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and Lewis’ dog, Seaman. The statue is on the spot where it is believed that the Corps of Discovery exited the river in 1806 upon their return to St Louis from their two year exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. The Mississippi is at a high water level right now, giving the impression that the two explorers had to swim the last leg of their trip. Below is a picture taken at a more normal water level.
We first planned to stay in St. Charles for a week, but with the fourth of July weekend approaching, we decided to extend our stay through the holiday. The fourth is one of the busiest camping weekends of the year and many RV parks and campgrounds fill up, so we don’t want to be looking for a place to stay during the holiday.
The St. Louis area has a number of interesting places to visit, so we will not be bored during our stay. Look for more on our explorations later . . .