|We ate the cozy dogs too quickly to photograph, so here have a pic of the sign instead.|
From here we moved on to a number of tiny stops on the route... a restored abandoned gas station, a bunny ranch (no not THAT one - this one has actual bunnies!) and a hotel that has a tiny lake with a steamboat in it then made our way to the Chain of Rocks bridge.
|The Illinois end of the Chain of Rocks Bridge|
Many years ago this bridge would have marked our departure from Illinois as we crossed the Mississippi River and entered the city of St. Louis, Missouri. However, the Chain of Rocks bridge is no longer in use as a river crossing for cars. It has long since been bypassed for a much more modern bridge spanning the river nearby, but you can still cross it today on foot and it's become a Route 66 tourist attraction itself. It's a must see if you are travelling R66 for the views of the Mississippi river alone. One word of advice though - if you are walking the bridge on a hot day, take some water and remember your sunscreen because there is little to no shade. It's a deceptively long walk from one end to the other - just over 1.6km each way! Needless to say we fell upon the car on our return and blasted the aircon on high (and by we I mean I because Rachael is a lizard and revels in any available sunlight).
|The lizard basks on the bridge|
|Lying down in the gap between the two states, basking in the sun. The lizard is stateless.|
|Still barking... err... I mean basking.|
|View of the Mississippi from the bridge.|
After retracing our steps a little and using the interstate to cross the river by car, we made our way through St Louis using as much of R66 as we could manage in search of custard. Frozen custard. The reputation of Ted Drewes' frozen custard was legendary on all the Route 66 blogs and programs we could get our hands on. It was one of three places Man Vs Food covered on their R66 episode and it instantly became a "must see" on our list. Honestly the place could not have been more hyped if Max Clifford was doing it's PR, and so we were hoping it would be good. We were not disappointed. Well actually thats a lie, we were very disappointed when we'd eaten it all and there was none left. Who freezes custard? The bloody clever people at Ted Drewes do. It is going to be a true disappointment in my life from this point onwards that this stuff lives nearly 4000 miles from me. Because of our hot walk on the bridge we decided to go 20 minutes past our hotel on R66 just to get this today. This means we have to pass it again tomorrow. So for scientific purposes tomorrow on our way out of the city we will stop and sample the product some more (to make sure today wasn't a fluke) and take photos for you lot. Are we not good to you?
|These custard cups are broken - we need new ones.|
Driving in America is odd - about 10 times in the last 2 days we have driven past the same Walgreen's. Is it possible that the theory about the USA being big is a huge conspiracy? Have we been lost and driving in circles for the last two days? Cos I swear all of these Walgreen's were completely identical. It's starting to give me a complex.
After checking in at our hotel for the evening (a well equipped Holiday Inn Express just off R66), we ventured out to the Soulard area where there are lots of bars and restaurants. The receptionist at our hotel had recommended Molly's where we had fantastic Cajun influenced food and sat outside in the sultry heat of the evening making little tweaks to the plan for the rest of our trip.
Still can't quite believe we are doing this. Loving every minute of it.