I wasn't preaching today, which meant I could ride to Church, rather than drive. Actually, I wasn't scheduled to do anything at Church today other than be there. As I left the condo I found myself thinking it would be a most excellent day to play hooky. There even seemed to be a good reason to do so. Theoretically I retired May 1. It is theoretical because I've been pretty much retired from Church work for a few years now. I knew I was rationalizing, but still.....
I decided to swing by the Church and talk with Doris. Doris is the Priest I help out at St. Matthew's. It was 0730hr and I knew she'd already be in the office. When I walked in she said, "What are you doing here? I thought you were going to be in Illinois this week." I told her I'd gone to Illinois last week after Church, but now that she had mentioned it, it did seem like it would be good for my soul to spend some time riding. She was good with that. And off I went.
I wasn't planning a very big ride. After Church, I'd planned to head up to Cabela's
to pick up a couple of things. I decided I'd just add dropping down into the Missouri flood plain near where I lived when I first moved to St. Louis to the agenda.
I grew up on a farm and really am forlorn when I can't check out crops. I'm a total Flatlander at heart. I appreciate photos of mountains, but whenever I've traveled there I've found I'm my father's son. It just looks like bad farmland and I can't wait to get back to the areas most others call boring.
Notice the tree covered ridge in the distance. Just beyond that ridge is Olive Street Rd. with its urban sprawl. But, below the ridge there are nurseries and corn fields and truck farms.
|I noticed this little garden. The leaf lettuce is ready, and even the sweet corn is up.|
Since I was in the neighborhood, I couldn't pass up Creve Couer Lake.
I hung out for a while and took on some fluids. The temperature was 83F/28C and it wasn't even 1000hr yet.
On my way to Cabelas I've notice a road. There is a "Caution One Lane Bridge" sign visible from where I travel. Each time I've gone past it's intrigued me and I've been thinking I should see where it went. I decided today was the day to find out.
I discovered it ended up running along the northern boundary of Lambert International Airport. If you click on the photo hopefully it will enlarge and you can see the Control Tower and some of the runways.
The road ended at Lindbergh Ave. Back in February I'd taken a rainy day road trip. (Click
here to view the post). I mentioned in the post I thought I'd found a way to cross the Missouri River on Billie. Lindbergh Ave. would lead me to that bridge. I decided I'd check it out, but wasn't sure I was going to try the crossing. Still I thought it would be a good idea to get gas.
It's a good thing I did. Not only did the crossing of the bridge go well, but I found myself turning onto West Missouri Rte.94. There was a welcoming committee waiting for me. How could I resist? I couldn't, nor did I try very hard.
The ride on 94 was gentle. I saw lots of Harleys and a couple of scooters. I didn't see any sportbikes. The road was mostly flat and straight. When there was a curve it was a sweeper. And, there wasn't much to look at other than the crops. I loved it.
When I got to the outskirts of St. Charles I decided I'd better stop and get something to eat. I'm not the carnivore I once was and I don't miss it much, but now and again I get a hankering for a all beef hotdog. When most folk see a Dairy Queen they think ice cream. Not me. I think hotdog.
When I walked into DQ a young man said to me, "What's up?" I never quite know how to respond to comments like that. I think I said, "Same old, same old." If not it was something equally un-clever I'm sure. The next time I passed them he said, "Aren't you hot in all that stuff?" My response? I pointed to the young woman he was with and said, "You'll have to ask her?" We laughed and this began a nice conversation.
|Meet Houston and Kristen.|
I got some directions from Houston. Since I hadn't really expected to end up in St. Charles County I hadn't a map. I'd been sort going from memory of the February drive and my sketchy knowledge of St. Charles. It all worked out. I made it through St. Charles without accidentally ending up on an Interstate and then I crossed back over the Missouri River on the Page Extension.
I still didn't go straight home. I made my way back to Olive Street Rd. and went west. This took me by Faust Park.
There is a Butterfly House in Faust Park. I never been., but Heather and I plan to remedy that very soon.
Next serendipity struck again. I knew Olive Street Rd West turned into Clarkson Rd., but I didn't know Clarkson Rd. turned into Kiefer Creek Rd. Kiefer Creek Rd. leads right into Castlewood State Park. I couldn't pass that up could I?
By this time the temperatures had risen to 92F/33C Folks were enjoying the old swimming hole. I got to witness a little drama. A couple of Park Rangers came down and inspected the cooler of one of the parties on the beach.
I don't think they found anything, but it was enough to break up the party. It seemed like a good time for me to leave as well.
From Castlewood I headed straight home. When all was said and done this little ride up to Cabela's ended up being close to 150mi/240km. I left the condo at 0700hr and returned a little after 1600hr.
I got home in time to change gear and head to Grant's Trail and fit in a 7mi/11km inline skate. Is life good or what?