Drive-By America: Day 2 – Ohio to St. Louis
It’s 4:45 AM, central time. I’ve finally picked up my fellow traveler. We’re in a parking lot outside the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO, waiting for sunrise. He’s napping and I’m working on photos. The “plan” for today is to go to the free zoo and free art museum before we move on westward, but we’ll see how that all goes. It’s not warm here, but down blankets, a car and good company do the trick nicely.
Yesterday was rainy and ugly for most of the drive from Pennsylvania to St. Louis, so the only stop was early on for gas, somewhere in…..well, let’s say Ohio. I picked up a little aroma therapy, Apple Pie-Cinnamon-Vanilla to brighten up the dreary drive, then it was straight on through until the tank ran out again where I stopped for more gas and a toothpick/soon-to-be-spare-change holder featuring the Gateway Arch, even though I was still an hour outside of St. Louis. I would’ve rather grabbed the mini ceramic Schroeder and piano (a la Peanuts), but he cost over 15 bucks. Anyway, this is more “useful”.
I trucked on, hoping that the sky would clear up for sunset, but when I arrived at Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park and the Arch Overlook, it was as overcast, grey, and sad as ever, all the way out past the horizon in all directions, so I figured there wasn’t much chance. I hung out at the top of the overlook trying to keep warm for about 45 minutes and shooting what I could given the conditions. Then broke my own rule about ALWAYS WAITING UNTIL SUNDOWN and headed back down to the car. Well wouldn’t you know it, 10 minutes in the car and somehow the whole sky opened up and the colors poured in. I geared back up, climbed a wall, and crossed some railroad tracks to land right on the east bank of the good old Mississippi, where the weather warmed up on the sandy rocks as the sun slowly sank behind the city. A perfect second night, and a perfect gateway to the rest of my road trip, now the fun really begins.