We are staying in the lovely small town of Festus, MO, about forty miles north of Gary’s race tomorrow in Park Hills and about forty miles south of St. Louis. We awoke this morning to perfect fall weather, blue skies and 58 degrees. Having driven through and around St. Louis, but never actually visited, we decided today’s adventures would include a trip to downtown to see the famous Arch – The Gateway to the West. I won’t try to retell its history here, others have done it so well, just click on the link.
We arrived fairly early & purchased our tickets to the top. It wasn’t really what I expected, but it was pretty cool, all the same. Here are a few of my Iphone shots, the big camera images will have to wait for a less full day to be edited. My Ipad won’t let me add captions, but the first couple of shots were the view from the top, the shadow of the arch fell over downtown, and Busch stadium is to the left.
There is a beautiful old cathedral that sits in the shadow of the arch, and that is the last image on this post.
The park around the arch offers tons of things to do, including a CityGarden which has some amazing artwork to view. And, of course, Kiener Plaza has a magnificent statue called “The Runner”, so I couldn’t miss that. Here are a couple of images of some of my favorite things in the park. And, yes, the fountain water around “The Runner” is brilliant blue. I don’t have an explanation for that. There was an Hispanic festival going on in that plaza, so maybe it had something to do with that? The festival also made picture taking a little more challenging, but it was a great day to have it, that’s for sure.
After a wonderful lunch in the park, we headed to Gary’s race sight for sign up. We stopped at our hotel so that I could change into my running clothes, and away we went. It’s the first day in a LONG time I would be able to run after lunch with no fear of heatstroke. And, we were headed to St. Joe’s State Park, which I knew would have some lovely trails.
We got to the State Park, and I was beyond excited. The trailheads to all the different trails each called me to come try them. I was literally bouncing up and down in the seat with anticipation. The plan was for me to do a forty-five minute or so run while Gary got registered and had his bike inspection. We finally found the park office at the entrance, and the girl there told us that the registration for the race was not held in the park, but at another location quite a distance from the park – AWAY from the beautiful trails!!!! I barely contained my disappointment as we drove to the new location. Gary would probably say I didn’t contain my disappointment at all, but I really could have been a lot worse.
Anyway, we arrived at the campground for registration and it was held at a place called The Missouri Mines. Interesting. There is a wonderful old mining operation still set up ( I think the bikers will race through it tomorrow!) and a really nice bicycle trail that offered a couple of different length loops. I started up one of the trails that the bikers will race tomorrow, but it was straight uphill and very rutty and ankle turning, so I turned back after the first mile and found the bicycling trail. A nice run, not the one I envisioned, but then, is life ever what we expect it to be? Here are a couple of snaps I took on the run. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get some close up shots of the mining company tomorrow.