Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Week 4 - Albany, MO to St. Louis, MO

Monday, October 22nd - Reindeer, Walt Disney, Tom Sawyer and the gang . . .

Today we left Albany, Ridgeway, and Eagleville behind, said our goodbyes to the Cooks and headed for our next stop, St. Louis, MO. We had a wonderful time while staying with the Cooks and really hated to leave. One note here: The price of gas is really low (rememer, this is 2001). We found it for 106.9 this morning and actually saw a place near St. Louis for 102.9. WOW!!!

On our way to St. Louis we took route 36 on the advice of Jay and saw many, many Elk. They populate the land along this highway due to the fact that they are raised there by elk farmers! Even saw a sign that said Elk for Sale! Dot had been napping when we entered this area and upon awakening, exclaimed “look at all the reindeer!” Oh, so much to learn!

We took a small detour about halfway across Missouri, to a small mid-western town called Marcelline, MO. Those who are up on their Disney history would know this was the childhood home of Walt Disney where it is said that his love of animals developed and became a major influence in his life. He used to play around the train station and it is said that his love of trains started here.

The town is very typical of many small towns in the Midwest. A railway station at one end, a park at the other, and a main street with the usual display of buildings. The strange thing is that there is really nothing that would imply that Walt spent his childhood here. However, if you stop at the edge of town and look down main street you will see a very familiar site . . . A place that looks very much like Main St., USA in both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World! The only sign of Disney we saw was a few of the characters on an old sign at the park. Kind of disappointing but it has been some 90 years since Walt had been here.

(NOTE: our week at WDW at the beginning of this trip was actually the celebration of Walt's 100th birthday!)

We got back onto the main highway and at the end of our travels across the state of Missouri, our route took us into the little town of Hannibal, MO. This is the childhood home of Mark Twain, alias Samuel Longhorn Clemens. The town has really gone all out to honor this prolific writer and we were able to tour his boyhood home, the home of Becky Thatcher, the drug store across the street that he lived above when his parents lost their home and a couple of museums filled with memorabilia of his life. It was a fun-filled and very educational afternoon. You could certainly see how Mark got his inspiration for his book about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn!

We finally arrived in St. Louis around 6:00pm, found our hotel, the Homestead Suites near the St. Louis airport, and had a wonderful Mexican dinner at Casa Gallardo and crashed. Tomorrow we visit the famous St. Louis landmark, the Arch!