Sunday, July 22. 1:00 PM, Central Time.St. Louis is a beautiful city, full of large, verdant trees and small, charmingly quaint brick structures that seem like they've been there for ages. On the side of the freeway was an empty brick parking structure that particularly struck me. Then we saw the famous arch. The way it solemnly towered over us as we passed by it was almost cinematic.
After we got lost we exited by the Anheuser-Busch brewery, and drove along its red-brick walls as we looked for a gas station. Now, as we search for the right freeway, we may see the arch again.
Sunday, July 22. 2:30 PM Central Time.
Forty-five minutes ago we crossed the Mississippi. The mighty Mississippi, that vast, soulful river that buoyed up a thousand steamboats - the highway of the South, the passage of muddy waters that flowed with the blood of Civil War brigades, that mingled with the tears of a legion of despondent slaves, that felt the fantasy of Huck Finn's bare feet.It was quite large, and spanned by a wide bridge. Foresty trees clad the banks on either side, along with buildings. The water was the same brown-green of most large rivers, but I was surprised by its shallowness: on the north side of the bridge, I saw a ridge of soil near the water's surface, about half the breadth of the river. On the south side a wave rolled in the distance toward the pillars of another bridge. Thirty seconds, perhaps, and we had moved on. The eastern shore disappeared behind us, and we were in Illinois.
It feels strange to be east of the Mississippi. My head knows I'm here, but my heart still jumps a bit at the thought of it.