Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Paducah, KY to Jefferson City, MO, ~300 miles
We decided to walk down by the river this morning, so we parked near the new Holiday Inn and walked along Riverfront Park. The Queen of the Mississippi was in port, so we got a better look at her this morning. Once we got to the Crounse Corporation, we started walking down the street, and before we knew it, we were just walking up and down blocks and blocks of Paducah’s downtown, snapping photos and having a little stroll down memory lane, trying to remember which storefront was which, back in the day.
We walked over to Lower Town and took pictures of some of the decorated fire hydrants and looked at the houses and studios. If you don’t know about Paducah’s Artist Relocation program and the Lower Town Arts District, please check it out HERE. It’s one of the main reasons Paducah is a UNESCO city for creative arts. We then made the fateful decision to have breakfast at Gold Rush. No problem with the food – we just got ‘accosted’ by a totally crazy woman who sat down next to us and talked non-stop (to us) the entire time we were there. And when I say crazy, I mean seriously mentally ill. It was sad, truly, and it did put a damper on our day, at least for a little while. As soon as we could escape gracefully, we did, and we stopped by the Visitor’s Bureau to say goodbye to Mary, then we stopped by the River Discovery Center to see if there were any eclipse t-shirts left. No luck!
We drove back to the hotel and got cleaned up and loaded the car, and we were off, but not until after noon!! Kim bravely decided that she could drive across the old, narrow, iron grate-bottomed, scary Irvin Cobb Bridge over to Brookport, Illinois, so off we went, with no plan and no paper map of Illinois! We opted to cross the Mississippi at Chester instead of going all the way to St. Louis, and on the way we went through Metropolis, Vienna, Anna, and Jonesboro. We went through a bit of a hard rain between Vienna and Anna, but it had almost stopped raining by the time we saw a sign for the site of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. It doesn’t take much for us to stop…
As we drove into Chester, we noted that it was the home of Popeye (the Sailor Man) and his assorted motley crew, so again, we were forced to stop for some photo opportunities. Kim crossed another old bridge here, and we went from being high on a bluff to in the flatlands of Missouri. Before long though, we were in some hilly-ish country. As usual, we opted to stay off of interstates as much as possible, but we did have to hop on for a few miles to get up to Festus. Shades of Gunsmoke!
From looking at the map, it looked like we could make it to Jefferson City for the evening, and it also looked like our best chance for a meal before then was in St. Clair, a little town on Route 66. We had eaten at the Lewis Cafe there for breakfast back on our second Route 66 venture back in 2007, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the restaurant was still open! Since they butcher their own meat, we opted for burgers and shared a plate of homemade onion rings. And since they had pie….
Once done with dinner, we made our way to Missouri’s capital city, arriving at our hotel before 8 PM! Since we had toured the capitol building on our 2010 road trip, we did not need to redo that, even though the capitol is one of my favorites – and it is massive! We spent our evening looking through photos and blogging, and wondering where the next day would find us!