STORM CHASING USA 2011

Distance driven today: 874kms | Total so far: 6402kms

After some weak activity north of St Louis, Missouri on Fri 13 May, it would be several days before the next significant weather system across the Great Plains. Consequently, Drew and I decided to chill in St Louis for a few nights to recharge the batteries, look around and sleep in without the pressure of a check-out time.

We afforded ourselves a little luxury at the Parkway Hotel in the more affluent Central West End precinct:

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Downtown St Louis and the Old Courthouse:

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The hugenormously massive Gateway Arch is a distinctly St Louis landmark, stands 192m high and was built as a monument "to the westward expansion of the United States". It's the tallest monument in the USA and a tram ride takes you up to the top, which we unfortunately never got around to doing.

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Laclede's Landing is the entertainment district named after St Louis's fur trapping pioneer. I really dug the sign.

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Very funky menu at an Irish pub that offered my beloved salmon steak... a far cry from the prolific greasy fat-fare we've been subjected to on the road:

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After some R&R we took off for the broad area around central Oklahoma for some hopefully impending severe weather in the coming days. On our way, I got to try my first Missouri wine. A bunch of varietals I'd never heard of.. hoorah!

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Then some rolling green hills and awesome views which seem to epitomise Kansas state (in the E half anyway; I would soon learn that W Kansas is quite dry and yellow):

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