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Old 02-05-2008, 07:34 AM
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I recently took a road trip to St. Louis...

....And it wasn't planned for at all. If it had been, I would have taken an extra day or two to try and meet up with some St. Louis area members. On this past Saturday at around 10 A.M., my in-laws (actually my wife's folks and one of here aunts) were returning home from a vacation called from some little area about 60 miles west of St. Louis (it was about a mile from the Flying J truck stop if you know the area...) on I 44. Seems their minivan wasn't moving really well, and they called just to pick my brain. I told them to check the trans fluid, and the response was, "Well, there's none on the stick, it's all on the underside of the van.".


My first thought was, "I got the truck, the trailer, how far is St.Louis?" I was rolling out of Wausau by 2 P.M.(just getting started by then was a marathon effort in and of itself...), and I got to the hotel they found a room at by 11:30 on Saturday night. We loaded the van, and I hit the bed at 1 in the morning. And promptly rolled out of the bed at 5:10. I have a really cool shot of the Gateway Arch with the sun shining on it at 7:30, and by 6 P.M., I was dropping the trailer, the minivan, and the in-laws of at home, before going home to catch a three hour nap before going to work at 10:30.

I missed a couple birthdays, and spent most of Monday just sleeping. I crashed at 8, let the dog out at around three, and hit the pillow again until about 9:15. I woke up totally refreshed. And I felt AWESOME!

I figure I did alright on fuel (I burned $105 going down, and I believe about $140 or $150 coming back), and no tickets (I'm not going to publicly admit being illegal--PM me if you really must know all the details ...). In return, my in-laws are reimbursing me for gas, paying for an oil change and a transmission fluid flush for my truck, they payed for my meals, and are also going to take us (my wife and I) out for dinner since we missed out on being together on the one night each week we both can be around each other while being semi-alert.

Not a bad trip, and I'm kinda thinking about doing it again, only taking my wife instead of the trailer (or bringing the in-laws), and making it a longer trip. Looks like a nice area to visit, when you can stay. Longer than 6 hours....



In a while, Chet.

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Old 02-05-2008, 07:50 AM
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St louis is nice, there's a place right down by the arch that's called the landing, some descent restraunts and some things to do. If you guys plan on going up to the top of the arch get tickets online in advance, first time we went we didn't and spent 3 hours waiting in the museum at the bottom, cool for the first hour, boring after that. Avoid East St. Louis at all costs, you don't want to get stuck in there over night. Depends on what things interest you, but there's the budweiser tour (free beer), the new body works museum (heard it was pretty creepy), etc. I live about 30 mins away, so if you need some info or anything PM me.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vettedreams2001
Avoid East St. Louis at all costs, you don't want to get stuck in there over night. .

My Mom spent her teen years in Randolph Co. back in the 30's and she said East St. Louis was a rough place even back then.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:56 PM
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I stopped in Troy at the SA for gas on the way down,and for the return we stopped there and then headed to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I think the whole rest of the way we never saw the sun. The fog was so bad I had about a half to a quarter mile visibility all the way to Rockford. However, that was a far cry from the wall of fog all the way through Springfield. I tailed a pair of 18 wheelers that had passed me a few miles before the fog at 40 miles an hour (and we were speeding at that...) for nearly 15 miles. I'd love to thank those drivers. One in particular. It took me a bit to figure out that every time he flashed his trailer lights there was an off ramp just ahead of me. In that stuff, and without that to help guide me, I would have probably wound up down by Henry Highrise.

Aside from the pics on my phone, I took a couple pictures at one of the rest stops, but hat was only because I really didn't want/need to stop. I just wanted to keep those tires turning and the fossil fuels burning. I'll post them once my father-in-law emails them to me (I took them with his camera).

The only other thing I'll add is that Illinois in winter is just like Paris Hilton. White, flat, and easy to enter....


In a while, Chet.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:54 PM
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I took a nice little vacation there about 93... stayed at the Embassy Suites near the river, did the Arch, Grant's Farm, Bud brewery tour, and a Cardinals game.

Glad things worked out with you helping the in-laws!
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:42 AM
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Once again, you've gone out of your way to help someone.
Schnitz, I think you are the guy that many of us SHOULD be.

454 RATTLER
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 454 Rattler
Once again, you've gone out of your way to help someone.
Schnitz, I think you are the guy that many of us SHOULD be.

454 RATTLER

Dear Lord NO!!! If more of you were like me, nobody's rod would get built...

I did this one for the in-laws because they let me go on the second (and third and fourth and....) date with their daughter. Looking back at how I used to be, if someone like me had shown up looking for a second date with my daughter, well, there'd have been cops involved... I used to be a lot wilder. Maybe this is all just the wisdom of a man making up for the youthful mistakes of the spirit of a boy.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pmeisel
I took a nice little vacation there about 93... stayed at the Embassy Suites near the river, did the Arch, Grant's Farm, Bud brewery tour, and a Cardinals game.

Glad things worked out with you helping the in-laws!

If we make it back, there's one big thing I want to do. I've always liked looking at the architecture of the older buildings in any town, and I saw a couple in passing I'd like a better look at. Victorian style homes, the older factories from the turn of the century, stuff like that just interests me. I grew up seeing the older buildings of the largest "city" (if you count just under 5500 people a "city"...) nearly every time we went to town to see family. Prairie du Chien, Wi. was/is home to the Campion Jesuit High School, (later) Martin Luther Prep School, the Brisbois House, and lastly the Villa Louis Historical Mansion. There's also a log home that was built in the mid 1800's located in town. If anybody ever gets the chance (Hippie, there's a hint for you--PM me a time and maybe we could meet up there...), I'd highly recommend going there.


In a while, Chet.
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