Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 068 - Glen Carbon IL to St Louis MO

Temps were in the 60's on a mostly cloudy day. I had three members of the Illinois Trekkers AVA club walk with me today. Leonard and Delores Wojtysiak and Trudy Duffman. Delores and Trudy walked 5.5 miles and Leonard did the entire walk.

They pointed out that there was an extensive bike path network that we could use. By walking down three different paths we were able to get to within one mile of the McKinley Bridge which Leonard and I walked across to enter St Louis. The bridge had been renovated in 2008 to add a bike lane.

On the way to the bridge we passed a steel plant. Jerry Duffman and Delores did a nice job of navigating
us to the bridge. Once in St. Louis we walked to the Gateway Arch and saw the Missouri State Capital Building.

Thanks goes out to Wally Spiers the columnist and Steve the photographer from the Belleville News Democrat.

After the walk Deb (President of the Illinois Trekkers) and her husband Mark Kruep invited me and six other Trekkers over to their house for BBQ and desert. The food was great. They have a really good club. I enjoyed listening to them telling their walking and traveling stories.

Sally and Dick Miller hosted me for the past six nights. They are a delightful couple that has been married for 53 years. Sally is a retired fifth grade teacher and Dick is currently a semi retired State Veterinarian. They found out about my walk when Mary Truitt made an announcement at their church.

They are both great cooks and treated me like a member of the family. They took me on a tour of local historic sites and museums. Thursday was the National Day of Prayer. The Vandalia Ministerial Alliance sponsored a prayer breakfast on Thursday and had 15 minute prayer sessions at various buildings at 8 am during the week.

The theme this year was to "Pray for America". George Stewart spent over six pages of his book describing why traveling US 40 is the perfect way to study the state of the country. I couldn't agree more and feel strongly that it can be done more effectively on foot than by auto. I would say from my unique perspective over the past two months that not only is America alive and well but it is vibrant.

The Miller's gave me a jar of homemade apple butter which I am very much looking forward to using. One ritual that I am really, really going to miss is sitting in their hot tub and watching the sun rise while drinking a cup of coffee and listening to the whistles of trains passing by. Who said walking across the country is hard work.

Trivia Question:

When I was in grade school I hoarded and spent hours studying road maps. I thought that Saint Louis and the Mississippi River were the halfway point to the Pacific Ocean. Was I correct?

What fraction of the walk have I completed:

A) 1/4
B) 1/3
C) 2/5
D) 1/2
E) 3/5
F) 2/3

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