My 3rd day was a big one encompassing 4 states. I woke up in Cleveland determined to make up a little time by pushing through to St. Louis (skipping Chicago) and hopefully — with the slight time difference — making it in time to catch a Cardinals game. I also hoped to swing by the famous 3 Floyds brewery to pick up some suds for friends and lonely hotel stays along the way.
The weather would do it's best to see to it I would not. I met with 2 powerful systems; the first on my way over to Illinois via Toledo along route 80. The first deluge reduced visibility down to about 5-6 cars in a matter of minutes. I pulled under an overpass along with a motorcyclist and after 10 minutes[ish] it lighted up enough where I would then be able to make it a rest area where the western and and much stronger part of the system would blast through, setting me back another 1/2 hour or so.
Without any trouble was able to finishing sliding across the top of Indiana to Munster for lunch at 3 Floyds where it was Zombie Dust release day. A famous American Pale Ale which has garnered a massive following. Needless to say the brewery was humming! I was able to get a set at the bar and a superyummy cheese plate and make off with lots of tastiness.
Then turned down to St. Louis. Unlike the very hilly, rolling farmland of Cleveland & Indiana the farmland along Route 55, driving through what is suspected to be the very same Springfield that is home to the Simpsons and while didn't get a pic of it did pass by a gi-freaking-gantic powerplant.
As the Cardinals gametime approached so did that massive, ominous cloud and as I began to turn from south to south west could better see how big this southwest-northeast moving system was and come to realize I was not going to be able to outrun it. Though the roads here weren't nearly as busy as they were in Indiana did er on the side of caution and take the first exit to wait it out which would prove to be the right thing to do. It was intense; setting me back another 1/2 hour+.
After it cleared was able to pretty quickly make my way into the city. A quick hotel search revealed the Missouri Athletic Club. A 100+ yo private athletic/social club which when capable acts as a hotel. A beautiful old building wreaking of history and perfectly placed for the Cardinals and the Arch. Fortunately for me the Cardinals were also delayed.
The walk to Busch Stadium was quick. The tickets were relatively cheap at $26 and weren't all that bad. The fans and employees were friendly and passionate, up until the end of the 7th where — suspecting they all had been forced to stay up past their bedtime with the delay, & beat the crowds — they started filing out. Cards lost, though had gone into the 4th with a no-hitter.
After the game hit a beautiful little bar called Bridge. Extensive tap and bottle list and lots of reasonably priced tasty things. I chatted a bit with a local who had himself just came from the game and after the 20+ hour (with the time difference), 11+ hour driving day caught up with me packed it in.
Was up Wednesday and after checking the radar decided to scurry over to the Arch sooner than later imagining that if I could get it in early could then hit a museum afterwards in case it were raining.
The Arch was surprisingly cheap ($10) though imagine that after renovations to the surrounding park are made that might change. At 10:30 in the morning there was no real wait. I paid and was on the 10:50, 4 min long, tiny-tiny 'tram' up to the top along with a very nice family from Florida who were driving their daughter to college.
The view was magnificent but didn't stay long. Made my way down, back to the hotel and the car and zipped over to SLAM, the St. Louis Art Museum. It was a pleasant surprise. Free parking, free admittance and a treat for art enthusiasts and a genuine treasure. A wide variety of about it all and an impressive collection of modern/contemporary art.
When I realized the sky was clearing drove back to the hotel, dropped the car off and hit the street. Walked west toward Forest Park through 'Midtown' which initially along the main road (Olive) was desolate and deteriorating. I scooted over to Locust street where there were a few other things going on. Locust street seems to be attracting some business. Breweries and bars of course but even marketing and advertising agencies including one I believed to have recognized. Fusion. The closer to St. Louis University the more restaurants and shops there were. I moved back over to Olive St., now called Lindell Blvd which reminded me a whole lot of Connecticut Avenue in DC. All apartment buildings and increasingly more University. I'd finally made it to the park and after an hour 1/2 of walking decided not to explore that area too much but instead make my way back, this time trying to take a different path. Maryland Avenue was packed full of restaurants, shops and bars which seemed to have come out of nowhere though makes sense being right around the corner from the Chase Park Plaza, in the middle of a very nice neighborhood and right around the corner from the World Chess Hall of Fame of all things.
Lucky me when my feet badly needed a break I would happen upon Urban Chesnut Brewing Company. A fine little brewery full of really great people who will be boasting 15,000+ barrels this year. Well done. 1 fellow was really excited about my trip and offered all sorts of drink-this, eat-that for my next stop in Kansas City which he and his wife had visited last summer. As Cardinals first pitch approached everyone at the bar turned their attention to the TV and I made my way back to the hotel to attempt to write this blog. Which did not happen last night.
Am an hour late leaving so off to KC!