Thursday, April 26, 2018

9 in a row!

 7:59 am - Thursday - 04/26/2018 - St. Louis, MO - 48º F, 100% humidity....yes, that's right....100% humidity, wind 11 mph out of the south by southeast.......looking outside I see no evidence of any wind whatsoever.....seems totally CALM.

We began our 9th consecutive travel day with St. Louis just 157 miles away.  Yeah, I know, another 'strenuous' travel day, right?  Well, it is what it still have to drive the miles and arrive without incident....that is the trick.

Rain was forecast for our starting location, Lebanon, MO by mid morning, so we decided to roll our wheels by 7:50 am and arrive at our destination for the day before the rain caught up with us.  That's the thing about dry camping......all you have to do is turn the engine over and don't have to roll up a water hose, disconnect an electric line, or finish dumping your just start the engine and go.

We were back on I-44 and rolling eastward within minutes.  The route this day was full of big rolling hills....up and down we would go over and over again.....300' up.....300' down for 150 miles until we finally began our descent to the Mississippi River at 450' elevation.  The interesting thing about St. Louis is that from here to New Orleans where this great river empties into the Gulf of Mexico you will only lose 450' in elevation over 658 miles.

We made just one stop with about 50 miles to go at a Rest Area for about 15 minutes to go to the bathroom, and stretch and then continued on to our destination.....the Oakville Elks Lodge on the east side of St. Louis.  They offer just 6 back in RV sites with 20 amp cost for four days.....a minimum $15 donation!

Since we had an extremely early start with only one stop along the way, we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Oakville, about 300 yards from the Mississippi, around 11:38 am....the lodge does not open until 2 pm on Wednesdays so we went about parking, and hooking up to one of the 20 amp plugs provided.  TLE called her brother, Creig, about the time we arrived so while we waited for the lodge to open, and Creig to arrive I went about a few chores which included finally stowing the new hose I bought on Tuesday, and removing the brass male and female fittings from the old hose before discarding it into the Elks dumpster.  By the time I finished with that Creig had arrived and we sat talking until the lodge opened.  This is one of the most scenic Elks Lodges at which we have stayed on our journeys.....

There are some soccer fields immediately adjacent to the Lodge....I feel right at home

Once I had made my $15 donation (I actually donated $20) we got in Creig's Ford truck to drive over to his home in Fenton, MO (a suburb of St. Louis located to the southeast of St. Louis), which was only about 10 miles away.  We planned to go out for dinner with he and his wife Kay later in the evening, but first he needed us to help him move his 1996 C-4 Corvette back to his storage garage about 10 miles away......I got the assignment of driving it....I have never driven a Corvette of any vintage before, so I gladly accepted the assignment.....

 TLE took this short video of me driving the 'Vette

.....Creig stores his C-4 in his daughters garage across town when he is not using it.....his garage is full of Triumph TR-6's.....more on that another time.  We arrived at his daughter's garage about 20 minutes later where I backed the 'Vette into the driveway....

.....getting into this low slung beauty is much easier than getting least for me!

Once we had the 'Vette tucked away we then headed back to Creig's home to await the return of his wife Kay who was out getting her hair done, and doing some light shopping.  She returned home about 5:30 pm at which time we headed into downtown St. Louis to a micro brewery called '4 Hands Brewing Company' for some brews and food......

Moi, TLE, Kay and Creig

.....for our first round (we weren't driving) of beers TLE and I ordered two 12 oz. La Belleza's (an Imperial stout brewed with cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, chilies, and ginger)....delicioso!  For our second round we chose their Zellige (Moroccan Coffee Stout brewed with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, black pepper and sea salt)......both were scrumptous!

Our two 12 oz La Belleza's 

The food menu

For us to give our top marks to any micro brewery the food must live up to the beer, and 4 Hands' food definitely rises to that level.  We ordered a Chopped salad, Smoked Brisket Nachos, and their Brisket Poor Boy sandwich to share.....OMG.....this place definitely lives up to its 4 star Yelp rating on 229 reviews!

Creig and Kay delivered us back to the Newell by 8:30....what a great day!  We arrived home in a light rainfall....the rain finally caught up with us! 

Thanks for stopping by!

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