End of Day Four Tuesday, November 21, 2017
It is the fourth day of our nine day roadtrip. Last night was our second night at the Paducha Inn Boutique Hotel in Paducah, Kentucky. Russell, the Inn keeper who took care of us during our stay, fed us a wonderful made to order breakfast and then we decided to take a detour to St. Louis, Missouri to see the Gateway arch.
We enjoyed the scenery of Kentucky and Missouri as we made our way from Paducah to St. Louis. Sharon did an excellent job of piloting us through the traffic. The only time it got a little complicated was when we neared St. Louis and hit the eight lane highways. As calmly as Sharon maneuvered us through back-to-back semis traveling at high speed you would never have guessed that she learned to drive on the dirt roads of Palmdale, Florida.
The Gateway Arch is visible from across the Mississippi river so you can see it quite a distance before actually arriving at it. We were able to park at the base of the steps on the river side of the arch. We had hoped to grab a hotdog from the food stand by the river and eat on the steps leading up to the arch but the stand was closed for the day. The arch is so simple, yet so impressive. Standing 630 feet tall it is the world’s tallest arch. It’s width is also 630 feet at the base which makes it difficult to get the entire arch into one photograph when you are at it. The arch is clad in stainless steel and shimmers in the sunlight. It was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947 whose team won the architectural competition for a memorial commemorating the Mississippi River and it’s essential role in establishing St. Louis in the westward expansion of the United States. Construction began on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965 the contractor was MacDonald Construction Co. of St Louis at a contract amount of $11,442,418.00 for the arch and visitor center. If you ever get to St. Louis, take the time to visit the Gateway Arch, it is worth seeing this amazing architectural art.
We left St. Louis and discovered a small quilt shop in Jacksonville, Illinois called the Quilted Cow Emporium where Sharon invested in more fabric and I enjoyed the display of completed quilt works. One of my favorite displays included several quilted wall hangings made by local women in recognition of Breast Cancer Survivors. Across the street from the quilt shop we found a place to have a late lunch called Brickhouse BBQ and tried our very first fried Twinkie. I have to admit, it was delicious. This trip hasn’t done anything good for my diet, but I am enjoying every indulgence.
Our afternoon drive to Champaign, Illinois where we would spend the evening was pleasantly uneventful and filled with more lovely scenery. This day was a great reminder of how fun surprise detours on a roadtrip can be.