Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cahokia, Illinois and St. Louis

We spent three nights near St. Louis. Right off the bat we toured the city when we missed the exit to our campground. Our travel app kept telling us to turn around and go back the way we came.  But a campground staffer had advised us not to cross the Mississippi on the Poplar Street Bridge if we could help it because of major construction. With our wrong turn we'd already done that once. So we took a southern loop without rattling too many of our nerves.

We stayed at the Cahokia RV Parque (that's how they spell it) in Cahokia, Illinois.  The campground is a little worn around the edges but worked for us.  

We'd visited the Gateway Arch and surrounding grounds a couple years ago, so this time we went to the Cahokia Mounds, the Missouri History Museum, drove around the city (intentionally), and of course went to a brew pub.  We also got groceries, did laundry, and walked the dogs.  We did not go to a dog park because all of the ones close by required membership. A good idea for locals, actually, but not so hot for the rest of us.

Jim also spent some time creating a temporary hatch cover for his kayak, as the rear hatch blew off somewhere nearby. And we gave ten dollars to a homeless woman who told us she'd "be back soon."

Cahokia Mounds were worth seeing. It's the largest prehistoric Indian site north of Mexico and around 1200 AD was home to as many as 20,000 people. The population started to decline after that, and it is believed that by the mid 1300's it was abandoned.  The original site had 120 mounds over six square miles. Eighty mounds remain. 

At the Missouri History Museum we saw an exhibition about the 1904 World's Fair, a display called "#1 in Civil Rights" about African-American Freedom struggles in St. Louis, a kid's section called "History Clubhouse," and an exhibit of panorama photos of St. Louis.  And, Bev bought a scarf at the museum gift shop, as scarves are my new "light enough for a motor home" souvenir. We highly recommend the museum.
Jim and Arlo about to start up Cahokia's Monk's Mound, the largest earthen construction in the Americas.  It contains an estimated 22 million cubic feet of earth.  At the top of these steps are a second set of steps up to to the top, where it is believed a principal chief once lived and worked.
Bev's beer samples at Square One Brewery in St. Louis.  Jim got his usual IPA. The brewery got its name because in 2004 the building (built in 1883) was gutted by a fire but then restored from "square one." I liked the maple stout the best.
Thomas Jefferson manspreading at the Missouri History Museum.  The museum is in what's called the Jefferson  Memorial Building, built in 1913 from funds raised at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the 1904 St Louis World's Fair.  That fair was held at St. Louis' Forest Park; the museum sits at the northern edge of the park.
Jim's duct tape, trash bag, bungie cord, and rubber rug kayak-hatch-repair job.  He ordered a new hatch cover from Delta Kayaks in Canada and spoke with someone named Robin who was unbelievably helpful and not only put up with Jim's corny sense of humor but gave it right back to him.

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