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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

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Page 11 of 33: Day 11-Edwardsville, Illinois

photo by BJ Firestone

Route 66

We left St. Charles, Mo. this morning and took the "back" way (Highway 67) into Illinois and across the Mississippi River. This gave us the chance to go across the River on the stunning Clark Bridge. On the Illinois side we were able to pick up the River Road once more and discovered a couple of places we hadn't known about. One was the National Great Rivers Museum run by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It includes an enormous dam and lock system along with a very thorough and interesting museum all about the Mississippi River including history, ecology, hydrology, and economics. A little further along the River we came to the Confluence Tower, a 150 foot tower which celebrates and overlooks the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We went to the top (luckily there are elevators), and the landscape is spectacular.

From there we turned off the River Road and made our way into Edwardsville, Illinois, where Erica's mom Chery lives. We'll spend the next five days with her both in Edwardsville and in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. Chery first showed us around Edwardsville including the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Buckminster Fuller was associated with the school and designed and built a wonderful dome for the Spiritual Center.

Chery is a Route 66 author and an expert in all things Route 66. She took us out and about on Route 66 from Edwardsville to Litchfield. We finished off the evening with BJ writing the blog and Chery and Alan playing piano and violin duets of show tunes (no embedded recordings in the blog). Route 66 is right up our alley as far as odd Americana. I see another road trip in our future!

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