I head south from Springfield towards the Lou. My plan is to stop twice along the way to sleep, but that isn’t the way it works out. The state is smaller than the map makes it look, and soon I find I am nearly out of Illinois. I stop at a state park, but the camping prices are ridiculous so the dog and I content ourselves with a few hours of hiking through the park before continuing on. We come upon the great Mississippi river and cross it to get into a new state:
And then I realized I had two extra days to putz around a huge city. And huge cities are not my favorite thing to putz around in. So the first order of business was finding a park. We found one called ‘Stacy Park’ which was great for joggers, but not so great for a couple of travelling bums like us. We hung out regardless until the sun set and then found an REI to buy more fuel for the stove, and then continued on to a walmart parking lot to spend the night in.
Morning time found us heading towards the largest city park around: Forest Park. The highlights of this park are the free zoo and museums. I spent three hours on a friday morning dodging the masses of mothers and gaggles of children meandering around the zoo.
I saw spider monkeys and bald eagles:
I saw hippos and jaguars:
As well as sun bears and giraffes:
After the zoo, I put the camera away and meandered to the art museum, and spent another two hours wandering through their halls before heading back to the dog. We found a quiet part of the park and spent the rest of the day hanging out, working out, playing fetch, and just generally enjoying a laid back afternoon. Friday evening found us parked on what appeared to be a quiet residential road.
But it wasn’t quiet for long. We seen realized that we had parked directly in front of a house party. And, although it didn’t afford us much sleep between midnight and three AM, it did provide us with quite a bit of entertainment as people had raucous conversations a scant few feet away from the truck. What they thought of the intermittent dog growls I’m not really sure.
Woke up early, and got a cup of coffee, and prepared to pick up my gal from the airport.