My place in the world is anywhere my husband is. It’s wonderful to say that as it wasn’t always that way. We’ve come a long way in the last ten years. This place is the flat look out over the Missouri River at Klondike Park in southwestern St. Charles County, Missouri.
I was once asked, when setting up an online account, what was my favorite color. The gentleman I was speaking to was amazed that I didn’t have a favorite color. Thinking a little further, I realize that I’m one of those people who doesn’t have favorites, or maybe I just can’t articulate it. There are things I like more than others and places I enjoy more than others.
But when thinking of my favorite place, I think I’d have to go all the way back to my childhood to my grandparents farm. It was the place where my mother was raised and it stayed as a farmstead until the mid 80s. I was very saddened when my grandmother decided to sell the farm; it had been in my grandfather’s family for over 100 years.
It wasn’t a large farm, only about sixty acres. It had a couple of barns, chickens and cows. Grandpa grew field corn and we always had a good time popping the kernels off the ear. Mom came from a fairly large family, six brothers and one sister.
Growing up, some of the best times I can remember is having large family picnics with all my cousins at Grandma and Grandpas farm. We’d play in the barn, play softball in the yard, feed the chickens and jump from the hayloft. I admit that I only did that once. We’d hunt for fossils in the creek bed and swing on the grape vines. There is just something about wide open spaces.
Intellectualy, I know that farming is a tough life, but it has always been something I’ve been drawn to. Whenever we go out on the motorcycle or when I make an annual fall photo tour, it’s to the farming country I gravitate to.
This isn’t a photo of my grandparent’s barn, its just one I’ve photographed on our many motorcycle rides.
St. Charles was the first state capitol of Missouri from 1821 to 1826. The historic down town area is home to quaint shops, the restored State Capitol building and the large and open riverfront area. The Missouri River boarders the southern border between St. Charles and St. Louis Counties and often floods. The historic 500 year flood of 1993 had the banks of the Missouri covering all the way to Main Street and inundated much of the northeastern portion of the county which is the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
Another photo from one of my favorite places, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Garden Glow.
The design of the Climatron greenhouse was developed by St. Louis architects Murphy and Mackey, winning the 1961 Reynolds Award, an award for architectural excellence in a structure using aluminum. In 1976 it was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history. The term “Climatron” was coined to emphasize the climate-control technology of the greenhouse dome.
The Climatron has no interior support and no columns from floor to ceiling, allowing more light and space per square foot for plants than conventional designs. It rises 70 feet in the center, spans 175 feet in diameter at the base, has 1.3 million cubic feet, and encloses approximately 24,000 square feet (more than half an acre).
The Garden Glow is returning this winter from November 18 to January 1, 2018. If you are in the St. Louis area this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. Tickets are required for specific times in the Garden.
The Eads Bridge is a steel combined road and railway bridge over the Mississippi River connecting the cities of St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. Envisioned and financed by a young Andrew Carnegie. Opened in 1874, it was one of the earliest long bridges built across the Mississippi, the world’s first all steel construction, and built high enough so steamboats could travel underneath. As such, the St. Louis Landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark.
The bridge is named for its designer and builder, James B. Eads. When completed in 1874, the Eads Bridge was the longest arch bridge in the world, with an overall length of 6,442 feet (1,964 m). The ribbed steel arch spans were considered daring, as was the use of steel as a primary structural material. This was the first such use of true steel in a major bridge. The cost of building the bridge was nearly $10 million ($210 million with inflation).
The Eads Bridge was also the first bridge to be built using cantilever support methods exclusively, and one of the first to make use of pneumatic caissons. The Eads Bridge caissons, still among the deepest ever sunk, were responsible for one of the first major outbreaks of “caisson disease” (also known as “the bends” or decompression sickness.) Fifteen workers died, two other workers were permanently disabled, and 77 were severely afflicted.
On June 14, 1874, John Robinson led a “test elephant” on a stroll across the new Eads Bridge to prove that it was safe. A big crowd cheered as the elephant from a traveling circus lumbered towards Illinois. It was believed that elephants had instincts that would keep them from setting foot on unsafe structures. Two weeks later, Eads sent 14 locomotives back and forth across the bridge at one time. The opening day celebration on July 4, 1874, featured a parade that stretched for 15 miles (24 km) through the streets of St. Louis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eads_Bridge
To see more of this week’s challenge, click Structure.
Breathtaking, awe inspiring and so worth while. The Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of my favorite places on earth.
And…it’s coming back this year for its 5th Anniversary! If you are in the St. Louis area between November 17 through January 1, 2018, make a point to spend an every at the Garden.
To see more of this week’s challenge, click Ooh, Shiny!.
Having grown up practically on the banks of the Missouri River, we always knew the power behind it and it’s ability to change our lives, most likely in an unpleasant way. The first flood I remember was 1973. I was newly married, but still very much a youngster, being only 18 years old. The road I drove to where we lived came very close to the banks of the Missouri River. When I approached the area, I found that the road was flooded. I sat and contemplated what I should do when I saw a large truck drive through the flood waters. Being young and dumb, I didn’t consider the fact that this truck sat much higher than my Chevrolet Nova, and proceeded to follow the truck through the flood waters. He made it through, I did not.
To see more of this week’s challenge, click Delta.
As much as I like to travel, Dorothy’s old saying “there’s no place like home” rings so true for me. A scant 25 miles from my home is the St. Louis Zoo, voted best in the nation in 2017. It is a wonderful place to spend a day and although admission is free, the parking in the zoo lot is somewhat steep, but still well worth it. It definitely takes a whole day to see all there is to see at the park including the walk-through bird cage which is a remnant from the 1904 World’s Fair.
In 2012, the zoo opened “Sea Lion Sound” which includes a walk-through glass tunnel where visitors can get up close and personal with sea lions. It is an amazing site to see the sun shining through the crystal blue waters overhead and watch the the lions dart to and fro. The lions have become accustomed to the visitors and often come right up to the glass and up to the visitor.
So my wanderlust on this beautiful Sunday morning included my grandson’s first visit to the zoo. He didn’t really know what was happening but he was definitely captivated by the sea lions.