2022 Road Trip-Part 9A

9 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 (5/24/2022)

I was up early this morning, had breakfast, and headed for downtown St. Louis to visit The Gateway Arch and Museum.  I wanted to get there early to find the right parking garage which I had not been able to locate yesterday.  As luck would have it, I found it on the first pass and even with the three-block walk, still arrived at the Arch before the doors opened.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The prelude talk before the ride to the top was long and took us from one level to the next, but we finally arrived at the trams.  The 6-minute ride to the top of The Arch was knee-to-knee crowded in the tram, but when we got there, the view was worth the ride.  The windows were small, but the view (30 miles in any direction on a clear day) was spectacular!  I was amazed to feel the floor under my feet move slightly at one point.  We were only allowed about ten minutes at the top before we were herded back into the trams for the 4-minute trip back down.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As we exited the trams, we were guided onto the museum floor and the exits.  The museum is a very impressive layout.  There are six-themed exhibit areas that chronicle 201 years of American Western Expansion history as was witnessed by the St. Louis area from 1764 to 1965.   The displays are informative and explain each of the six periods in detail, with hands-on items for the younger visitors.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After completing that ‘Bucket List’ adventure, I walked over to check out the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France church (known as the Old Cathedral).  This cathedral’s roots date back to 1764, when St. Louis founders Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau dedicated land (church block) to the people of St. Louis for religious purposes. The log cabin built on that site was the first church west of the Mississippi River and the first church in St. Louis.  This 1831 Cathedral (renovated over the years) is the fourth structure to be built on this site and tells the story of the early history of St. Louis.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed off to explore some of the other museums on my list there in the St. Louis area.  First on the list was the Jefferson Barracks POW & MIA Museum located in the 405-acre Jefferson Barracks Park which was founded in 1828 as part of the Jefferson Barracks Military Post.  This museum is housed in the old restored 1905 Post Exchange building and is designed to honor those men and women who did not return from the war they fought, with personal and military artifacts and memorabilia.   

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving the Jefferson Barracks Park, I visited the Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum which is situated in an original restored 1896 building.  This building was originally designed as a two-family duplex, and was part of in the ‘Officers Row’ housing section, within the U.S. Army Jefferson Barracks base.  The museum features an extensive collection of telephones, and telephone related equipment dating from the late 1800s to 2012. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Next, I drove out to the Creve Coeur Airport, not far from the Missouri River, to visit the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum.  As I was pulling into the airport complex, I saw a sign for the Army Aviation Heritage Flying Museum which I didn’t know was also located in this complex.  I looked for their museum all over the complex, but couldn’t see any other indications as to where their museum was.  So, I tried the Restoration Museum.  This museum was closed, and I was really disappointed to miss a chance to see their collection of beautifully restored ‘Golden Age of Flight’ aircraft.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “2022 Road Trip-Part 9A”

  1. divoran09 November 9, 2022 at 8:57 am #



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