6427 Miles: A Tour of America by Car

By Gerard Forgnone

Day 23

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Livingston, Illinois to Knob Noster, Missouri

My destination for this day was Worden, Illinois.  As I got closer to Worden, I discovered there were no campgrounds, and some of the local hotels looked bad.  I went a little further north of Worden, and found this place in Livingston, Illinois.  It was old, but nice, and they give you a free breakfast with your overnight stay.

This veterans' memorial was right across the street.

The interesting thing about this town, is that it's the same name as my parents' hometown of Livingston, California.  This Livingston is next to Worden, which is my mother's name.  What an amazing coincidence!

My sister Nita collects elephants, so this photo is for her!

So, just down the road about 10 miles, the town of Worden, Illinois!  Hey, I may see some of my relatives here!

Hey, where is everyone?   It's a Saturday, nice weather, and nobody around.  Seems a lot of little towns in the Midwest have this problem...no jobs, so nobody living there.

Here's a panorama of the main street.  I think I saw two people.

Ok, back on the road!  The interstate had some construction going on, just as I caught this glimpse of the Gateway Arch.  The sign says, "Left lane closed 1 mile ahead."  What puzzled me is that everyone started to merge right at the sign, instead of where the lane stops.  If you merge further up, the through lane accelerates, and spots open.  Things move fast.  Nobody here seemed to be able to figure this out.

I had the whole lane to myself for nearly a mile...nobody understood how to merge.  Weird.

WOW!  This thing is HUGE!  630 feet tall, 630 feet wide.  See those small slots at the top?  Those are the observation windows!  Yes, we're going to the TOP!

This guy and I are standing in the center.  Look at the people over by the leg, and you'll get an idea of how enormous this thing is!  Near each leg is an entrance to the museum below, and the tram ride to the top.

These are the tram pod entrances.  Each pod holds 5 people.

It's a tight fit!

An example of a pod in the museum.


Top of the arch!  Windows are on each side, and the triangular shape gives you a good view out and down.

Lean over!  It's scary!

What an amazing view!  The Mississsippi River is below.

YIKES!!!!   SCARY!!!!

The view West.  The baseball stadium belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The outside is welded stainless steel.

WOW!  That was amazing!  The site of the Gateway Arch is where the city of St. Louis began.  In the early 1920's, this area had become run down, and a local businessman proposed clearing it all out for a monument to America's Westward Expansion into the Louisiana Purchase and beyond.  The arch was built in the early 60's by a skilled team of builders, with no loss of life.  That is truly amazing, since they did not use safety harnesses or tool lanyards.  Here is a great documentary on YouTube:

Modern Marvels Gateway Arch

Well, Westward Ho!  This night, I was heading toward my grandfather's home of Holden, Missouri, and made it to Knob Noster, where I stayed the night in Knob Noster State Park Campground.  It was nice, but dark when I got there.  Pics tomorrow!

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