Monday, June 18, 2018

St. Louis, MO

We left our KOA campsite in Salina this morning about 8:30am. Campsites are interesting in the way that for a day at a time an ad hoc community is created and dissolved. We did laundry and met a couple from FL that toured the country with their sailboat and competed in races. We got to talking about Rachel and her friend Shubham who has a productive mango tree in his backyard. Turns out these folks too had a productive mango tree and further, they had a bunch of their mangos with them on the trip. They shared a bunch of them with us. So I had some very fresh, ripe mango for breakfast this morning.
 As is our habit, we stopped in a small town for lunch during today's drive. Today's stop was in Boonville, MO. One really neat thing about Boonville is that it is a stop on the Missouri KATY rails-to-trails project. At 260 miles, it's one of the longest such projects in the country. Laura and I walked along the trail for a while and wished we had our bikes with us so we could see more of it. I met a guy that was riding the entire length of the trail for a long weekend. He took a train to one end with his bike and his gear and was riding back to the other end where his car was parked. Here's a typical "stop" along the trail.
 Here's a farm that can be seen from the part of the trail we walked:
 This is the restored original railway station from when the trail was still a rail. It's now a bike shop:
 This old-style brick warehouse is now a kind of whole foods grocery store:
 After lunch we finished our day's drive at Laura's Aunt Judy's house outside of St. Louis. There, along with Aunt Judy, we met two of Laura's cousins, Chris and Will and Chris' children Thuy-Anh, Thao-Anh and Jamison. All great kids, we especially enjoyed getting to know them. We played Yahtzee and Judy rolled 3 Yahtzees! We got to know Thuy-Anh and Thao-Anh a bit.
 It was a typical hot, humid day in St. Louis. There was a water gun battle:
 After that, the Yahtzee, Thao-Anh is the best most animated dice roller:
It was really great catching up with these fine folks. I hope we can stay in touch a bit more moving forward. Thuy-Anh is in a dual-language program (spanish) at her elementary school. Maybe Laura and I can stay in touch and share a bit of our Spanish experience with her.

Tonight we're in a Days Inn in St. Louis--taking a break from the tent for a night. Tomorrow on to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and back into the tent.