Day 25

Sunday, June 19, 2005St. Louis, MO
Miles: 2962Busweiser: The King of Beers
We thought about resting again today, but we are easily bored. We sat around the campsite for awhile and tried to figure out what we were going to do, but this led nowhere. We finally just got in the van and drove into St. Louis. We intended to just check out where things were and get an idea of if we wanted to spring for a hotel room in the city or not, but instead, we ended up doing touristy things.

Our first stop was the Arch. It was fun to look at, majestic and soaring and shiny, but going up in it was evil. Ceridwen is not all that claustrophobic, but when we climbed into a little pod with five seats crammed in it and started ascending 630 feet, she started to have a little bit of a panic attack, though she didn’t let on. The top wasn’t much better. The only views from the top are through windows about 6 inches high and 18 inches across. This did nothing for the feelings of claustrophobia. The views weren’t terribly exciting either. St. Louis and some surrounding corn fields on one side and the Mississippi and some smokestacks on the other. We walked from the exit of our North side tram to the South side tram and went down that side. Most of our time at the Arch was spent outside, trying to get cool photos.

We also spent some time in the Westward Expansion Museum, which was set up poorly and had no signs to lead you in the proper path. The Museum is set up in a series of concentric circles, with each circle being a different decade. Except they don’t tell you that when you start. We walked around baffled by the connections between things before we figured out the system, but by then it was time to get on the tiny tram.

After the Arch, we went to the Old Courthouse and walked around, then to some cool city fountains. One of them was running red, which we had many hypotheses about, though none of them were correct. It was actually supposed to be pink, as the Walk for the Cure had been the previous day. Instead of a nice pink, they ended up with a fountain of blood. Oops.

Our next stop was the Anheuser Busch brewery. We learned all about the wonders of AB and Budweiser and saw hops up close and personal. The best part about the Budweiser brewery is that they recycle almost everything. The Beechwood chips they use in their aging tanks are cleaned and ground into mulch for use in city parks (St. Louis supposedly has the happiest squirrels in the world), the used grains are cleaned and sold for animal feed and they recycle more cans than they use. Pretty impressive.

At the Hospitality Room, we discovered that our original bond is still as strong as ever: neither of us likes beer. We had some Bacardi Silver products instead, though Keath did try AB’s answer to Guinness, some dark foamy thing. We took sips, made faces and left.

While we saw some Clydesdales at the brewery tour, their weren’t too many of them there. We were told that the rest of the St. Louis based horses were stabled at Grant’s Farm, where they are bred to make future generations of Clydesdales. We took a drive out to Grant’s Farm, for even though it was closed, the Security Guard told us we could still see the horses if they were outside. And they were. They were very pretty, though we did wonder what happened to the ones that did not meet the exacting Budweiser standards of coloration.

Our sightseeing done for the day, we went back to our campsite and at dinner, then went to sleep.