2015 USA Road Trip Day 4: Richmond IN to St Louis MO

Just checked the map and there seems to be nothing much going on along the 300 miles before I hit Route 66 in the early afternoon.

I had an entertaining day all the same. I love bookshops in the USA - I remember from my previous visits that they just seem to be interesting because they look the same as the UK ones, but they're different. And bigger. So I found one very close to my route, one called Books A Million in Terre Haute, Indiana. And there must have been at least a million books in it - it was enormous.

Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN Books-A-Million Terre Haute IN

Had a cup of tea in the obligatory bookshop coffeshop too, Joe Muggs. One thing about the states is that tea in these places is not a ripoff - I paid less than £1 for my tea and it was similar in Starbucks in the times I've visited there this week.

My next stop was definitely unexpected. I was driving down the interstate when I saw a sign reading "Attractions - world's largest wind chime, world's largest golf tee - next exit". This is exactly the kind of thing I expect to see in the USA. I turned off and ended up in the town of Casey, Illinois. I drove around a bit and couldn't find it so I stopped at a general store and toyed with the idea of asking where the wind chime was without sounding like an idiot. So I walked in and bought a 99 cent water There was no problem with that though - the woman in the shop was extremely enthusiastic and was clearly very proud of having these things locally! She also reeled off a list of other "world's largest" things that were coming to the town - world's biggest rocking chair, world's biggest fire hydrant, world's biggest basket of something or other, and suggested I came back to see them!

world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL world's largest wind chime Casey IL

The wind chime was well worth the detour. It was quite big - 55 feet tall - and I managed to knock it together a bit, and it was quite bassy which I suppose you'd expect given the size of the tubes.

It looked nice in the snow too. The weather is getting better now - no snow, warming up (it rose up to 1C today!) and lots of snow on the ground, enough to make things look pretty without the roads being hazardous. I should make the most of it as I'm probably a day or two from not seeing any more snow.

I finally hit Route 66 this afternoon by cutting cross-country through Illinois and into Stuanton. The first place to see on my list was Henry's Ra66it Ranch, which I managed to find - closed. There was a note on the door apologising saying that it would usually be open but the owner had to go to see the doctor (I think that's what it said, it was handwritten). I just quite literally chilled out there, taking a few photos and looking around, not being able to hear another person or car at all for all the time I was there.

Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL Henry's Ra66it Ranch Staunton IL

I didn't have a lot of luck today. I headed over to the Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge, hoping to walk across it into Missouri and back - but it was locked closed. No signs or explanation or nothing. I suppose being under about a foot of snow had something to do with it.

Chain of Rocks Bridge Granite City IL Chain of Rocks Bridge Granite City IL Chain of Rocks Bridge Granite City IL Chain of Rocks Bridge Granite City IL

I ended an eventful day by arriving at St Louis. I purposefully chose a hotel which looked like it was very close to the arch - and it was - but because of various building work going on, I had a 20 minute detour to reach it on foot. I checked in about 3pm which gave me time to walk up to it.

I'm a big fan of Defiance so I was really looking forward to visiting the arch (I appreciate that those words may be unique to the internet). It was a great experience too - you go up in a pod, which is not a good idea if you're claustrophobic. Once you're at the top there isn't much to do except look out of the window and wait for the pods to come back to return you - but just being there in itself and seeing the floor curve underfoot just reminds you what a unique engineering the arch actually is. The stainless steel exterior looks great in any light and it's a lot higher than I thought too - 630 feet, which is higher than the Nat West Tower in London.

Gateway Arch St Louis MO The Old Cathedral and Gateway Arch St Louis MO Gateway Arch St Louis MO Gateway Arch St Louis MO The Old Courthouse St Louis MO Mississippi river at St Louis MO Mississippi river at St Louis MO Gateway Arch St Louis MO Gateway Arch St Louis MO Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO top of the Gateway Arch St Louis MO



Next:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 5: St Louis MO to Joplin MO
Previous:     2015 USA Road Trip Day 3: Bedford PA to Richmond IN

Last updated 20 February 2015 14:06

A bird

I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.

USA Road Trip 2015

  • Introduction
  • Day 1: Philadelphia PA to Atlantic City NJ
  • Day 2: Atlantic City NJ to Bedford PA
  • Day 3: Bedford PA to Richmond IN
  • Day 4: Richmond IN to St Louis MO
  • Day 5: St Louis MO to Joplin MO
  • Day 6: Joplin MO to Elk City OK
  • Day 7: Elk City OK to Tucumcari NM
  • Day 8: Tucumcari NM to Gallup NM
  • Day 9: Gallup NM to Monument Valley UT
  • Day 10: Monument Valley UT to Flagstaff AZ
  • Day 11: Flagstaff AZ to Henderson NV
  • Day 12: Henderson NV to Tonopah NV
  • Day 13: Tonopah NV to Sacramento CA
  • Day 14: Sacramento CA to San Francisco CA
  • Day 15: San Francisco CA

  • Gigs

  • 08.12.2015 Shed Seven, Hatfield
  • 27.11.2015 Vile Electrodes, Brentwood
  • 07.11.2015 Asylums, Southend
  • 30.10.2015 Baby Blues, Brentwood
  • 02.10.2015 Fireworks, Harringay
  • 25.09.2015 Lydia Lucy, Brentwood
  • 28.08.2015 Dani Clay, Brentwood
  • 24.07.2015 Indietracks
  • 17.07.2015 Latitude Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Brownstock Festival
  • 11.07.2015 Southend Village Green
  • 26.06.2015 The Who, Hyde Park
  • 20.06.2015 Blur, Hyde Park
  • 13.06.2015 British Sea Power, Camden
  • 06.06.2015 1000 Yard Stare, Charing Cross
  • 03.06.2015 Madness, Great Leights
  • 31.05.2015 Los Endos, Hornchurch
  • 29.05.2015 Juke, Brentwood
  • 28.05.2015 Pop Will Eat Itself, Shoreditch
  • 24.05.2015 Ride, Camden
  • 24.04.2015 Kaleidophone, Brentwood
  • 27.03.2015 Finding Miranda, Brentwood
  • 13.03.2015 Francesca Priest, Brentwood
  • 13.02.2015 Kaiser Chiefs, Greenwich
  • 06.02.2015 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 31.01.2015 Sulk - Hackney
  • 23.01.2015 Velvet Tree, Brentwood
  • 11.01.2015 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.12.2014 High/Low, Southend
  • 12.12.2014 Break For Cover, Brentwood
  • 28.11.2014 For The Love Of Bob, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2014 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 31.10.2014 Band From Co Hell, Brentwood
  • 28.10.2014 Steve Hackett, Westcliff
  • 20.10.2014 Hafdis Huld, Charing Cross
  • 11.10.2014 Stillmarillion, Ruislip
  • 26.09.2014 D'Ukes, Brentwood
  • 13.09.2014 Flag Factory Festival, Brentwood
  • 03.09.2014 Kate Bush, Shepherd's Bush
  • 30.08.2014 Brownstock Festival
  • 08.08.2014 Killing Jimmy, Brentwood
  • 20.07.2014 Brentwood Festival
  • 19.07.2014 Latitude Festival
  • 18.07.2014 Juke, Brentwood
  • 20.06.2014 Pete Brame, Brentwood
  • 30.05.2014 Bow Flats, Brentwood
  • 25.05.2014 Pop Will Eat Itself, Islington
  • 23.05.2014 Arctic Monkeys, Finsbury Park
  • 14.05.2014 Wolf Alice, Cambridge
  • 30.04.2014 Yes, Westcliff
  • 25.04.2014 Ordinary Noise, Brentwood
  • 19.04.2014 Darling Buds, Charing Cross
  • 28.03.2014 Mannequins, Brentwood
  • 26.03.2014 Menswear, Shepherd's Bush
  • 23.03.2014 Republica, Islington
  • 14.03.2014 Franz Ferdinand, Camden
  • 28.02.2014 Ryan Green, Brentwood
  • 27.02.2014 Republica, Balham
  • 03.02.2014 Maximo Park, Bethnal Green
  • 31.01.2014 Scarlet Echo, Brentwood
  • 22.11.2013 Nedstock, Shepherd's Bush
  • 18.11.2013 Pub Serv Bcasting, Cambridge
  • 04.11.2013 Art Brut, Tunbridge Wells
  • 01.11.2013 Steve Hackett, Cambridge
  • 23.10.2013 Suede, Westcliff
  • 27.09.2013 Primitives, Southend
  • 21.09.2013 Duckworth Lewis Method, SB
  • 14.09.2013 The Flag Factory Festival
  • 06.09.2013 Jonny Cola/A Grades, Harlow
  • 25.07.2013 Bis, Pentonville
  • 19.07.2013 Latitude Festival
  • 17.07.2013 Taffy, Camden
  • 05.07.2013 Brentwood Festival
  • 26.06.2013 Bleech, Bethnal Green
  • 22.06.2013 Battle Stage Final
  • 09.06.2013 Tibetan Tea Company, Romford
  • 26.05.2013 Battle Stage 3
  • 25.05.2013 Muse, Highbury
  • 21.05.2013 Dirty Royals, Islington
  • 18.05.2013 Mika Bomb, Southend
  • 18.05.2013 Battle Stage 2
  • 27.04.2013 Battle Stage 1
  • 06.04.2013 Dingus Khan, Southend
  • 16.03.2013 Republica, Tunbridge Wells
  • 09.03.2013 Phoenix In The Foyer
  • 27.02.2013 Kaiser Chiefs, Cambridge
  • 26.02.2013 Bleech, Cambridge
  • 19.02.2013 History Of Apple Pie, Shoreditch
  • 12.02.2013 Sonic Boom Six, Southend
  • 06.02.2013 The 1975, Southend
  • 25.01.2013 Archetype, Brentwood
  • 02.12.2012 Lighting Up Shenfield
  • 01.12.2012 Lighting Up Brentwood
  • 24.11.2012 Lovely Eggs, Southend
  • 20.11.2012 Focus, Chislehurst
  • 10.11.2012 Carter USM, Brixton
  • 03.11.2012 Taffy, Clerkenwell
  • 02.11.2012 Bleech, Harlow
  • 27.10.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 2
  • 15.09.2012 Phoenix In The Foyer 1
  • 01.08.2012 Blur, Margate
  • 08.07.2012 Brentwood Festival
  • 29.06.2012 Bis, Pentonville
  • 22.06.2012 Knifeworld, Pentonville
  • 08.06.2012 Jim Bob, Bedford
  • 02.06.2012 Coldplay, Highbury
  • 30.05.2012 Evans The Death, Chelmsford
  • 11.05.2012 The Others, Putney
  • 04.05.2012 BAS II, Basildon
  • 29.04.2012 Break For Cover, Ingatestone
  • 18.03.2012 The Brownies, Shoreditch
  • 24.02.2012 Neil Hannon, Felsted
  • 29.01.2012 Kaiser Chiefs, Westcliff

  • Interviews

  • 28.06.1996 Frank and Walters
  • 01.07.2006 Sultans of Ping

  • Random writings

  • Aris Salonica
  • Lake Margaretting

  • Essex Walks

  • 1. Goldhanger
  • 2. Downham