After an overnight camp just outside of Paducah near the Kentucky Dam, we got up early to go into town. I've lived in the north too long and forgot that most places down south don't open until at least 10AM. Oh poor us got to wander around about a thousand antique and street rod cars at a club meet right in downtown Paducah's riverfront park. Beautiful small town that has kept its charm and so many of the old buildings. Chatted at length with Big Daddy who was cooking up his daily portion of ribs, briskets, BBQ, etc. in this enormous metal BBQ rig. He had won the BBQ championship for Paducah five of the last ten years. He treated us to a sandwich and we promptly bought two more to go in the camper. Said in late September there is a three day BBQ cook off. http://www.bbqontheriver.org/index2.htm usually attended by 40,000 people. Hmmmm... return southern trip?
Photo is of the flood gates by the Ohio River. They can be locked tight. Local artists have painted the entire wall in the downtown park area with murals depicting life in early Paducah.
Photo is of bronze statues of Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea who helped lead them west and Lewis's faithful Newfoundland dog. Interesting story if even part of it is historically correct.
By then the American Quilt Museum was open. You have to understand that this is the "have to go" place for any quilter as the past year's contest winner's and visiting artist's quilts are hung there. http://www.quiltmuseum.org/ Stunning pieces of art in fabric and thread. Going to this museum had been on my list of places to go before I die and now I've been but I'm not ready to die. We both then went to the River Heritage Museum and learned a lot about dams, locks and the value of a river in mid-America for commerce. http://www.riverheritagemuseum.org/ Small museum with a second floor almost as interesting as the first. A couple had owned the building and used it as their home. Second floor still had their furnishings with 20' ceilings and a great men's card room with leather chairs and a table with lions for the legs. Joe walked over to the Paducah Railroad Museum while I managed to stumble upon a home made ice cream parlor on the way to move the TC to the Railroad Museum. Somehow a pint of home made peach ice cream just fell into the TC freezer.
We could have spent a lot more time in Paducah but St. Louis was calling. Long, very flat drive to St. Louis after all the mountains we have been in. We finally saw TCs on the road. A Lance and a new Okanagan travelling as a pair and later two Lance's both towing boats. One of them even flicked their lights at us! We're now camped at a KOA (I know, I know) in northeast St. Louis in a town called Granite City, IL. Too hot for this northern thick blood to boondock in a state park without electricity for AC. This is called "camping" isn't it? We'd planned on using the RV park at Casino Queen right across the river from the Arch but did not like the looks of it. Barren hot top, not a safe feeling though the lot has security. http://www.casinoqueen.com/rvpark/index.php . TCs and pop ups were relegated to a small section of the north lot which was not appealing at all. So we did the KOA thing and are in a wooded site with full hookups plus Internet for the same price as the casino. Tomorrow we will detach the Lance and take a few days to explore. On the wish list are 1) St. Louis Zoo 2) Arch with IMAX film and a ride to the top of the arch 3) River boat cruise on a paddle wheel steamship 4) Missouri Botanical Garden. Lots more to go see and play tourist but not sure these aging bodies and feet will take much more then four big walks. Supposed to be in the high 80s. We'll be out of here by Thursday when it is supposed to be 99 degrees. House sitter said it was cool and rainy at home.
Couple next to us tonight are from Denver, CO and are giving us a great list of places not to miss in CO. We are trading New England sites.