2022 Road Trip Part 9B

16 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 9 Continued (5/24/2022)

Next on the list was The National Museum of Transportation located in the Twin Oaks area of St. Louis.  This museum is laid out over a huge 42-acre rolling hills park that could really be called a four-museums-in-one arrangement.  There is the Lobby Area with its antique streetcars, the Miniature Train Station, the Automobile Collection, the Train Yard, and the Roberts Pavilion.  This museum has gone a long way to protect and interoperate North American’s Transportation Heritage.  There is something for everyone, including a miniature train ride around the park perimeter.  A family could easily spend a whole day here, and sill not see everything.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

In the main lobby area, I was impressed with the 1870s Bellefontaine Railway ‘mule car’ and the 1880s Boston & Providence Railroad coach.  There was also a selection of framed model history scenes depicting the evolution of transportation in America, as well as the McDonnell Tribute Exhibit.  For the antique car collector, there was a 1924 Ford Model ‘T’ there in the lobby being showcased as a give-a-way (Sweepstakes).  A real prize for someone!

Photo credit: Bill Lites

Within walking distance of the lobby, I checked out The Carl G. Lindburg Automobile Center, which displays some 60+ beautifully restored cars and trucks dating from the early 1900s.  Two of the most unusual cars in this collection are Bobby Darin’s Dream Car (Designed and built by fashion designer Andy Di Dia) and a 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car (only 55 produced).  And yes, Jay Leno has one that runs (#34) that he bought from Chrysler.

Photo credit: Bill Lites        Bobby Darin’s Dream Car

Photo credit: Bill Lites        1963 Chrysler Turbine Car

A little farther up the hill was the museum’s huge historic Train Yard.  This collection of 45+ pieces of restored rolling stock, includes the 1939 General Pershing Zephyr streamlined ‘Silver Challenger’ and the Union Pacific #4006 ‘Big Boy’ steam locomotive, considered to be the world’s largest (successful) steam locomotive

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I was walking back down to my van, I passed the Miniature Train Station, filled with excited young passengers waiting for their turn to ride in the museum’s Miniature Train. The train travels around the perimeter of the park and gives visitors an opportunity to see where all the exhibits are located.  Everyone loves that train ride!  This is truly a family attraction.

Photo credit: https://www.ksnt.com/news/miniture-park-train/

After that informative visit, I headed over to visit the James S. McDonnell Prologue Room located in the Boeing/St. Louis Headquarters building adjacent to the St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  This prologue room displays full-size Mercury and Gemini capsules as well as hundreds of models, dioramas, photographs, and videos that tell the story of the milestone events that the original McDonnell Aircraft Company was instrumental in, that helped shape America’s early manned space programs.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was time to get something to eat and head back to the motel for the night.  I stopped at an Applebee’s in the St. Johns area for a plate of their Rib-Lets with French fries and coleslaw.  I had enough left over to enjoy that delicious meal again tomorrow night.  Greta (My Garmin) acted like she knew the way to the motel, having been there before,

and took me right to it.  I recorded today’s adventures and went to bed.  I didn’t even turn on the TV.  I was a tired puppy.

Photo Credit: https://yahoo.com/applebees+riblets+plate

—–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 9B”

  1. divoran09 November 16, 2022 at 4:25 pm #

    Beautiful cars and fine writing.


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