North to St Louis, MO.
Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
150Trip End Sep 11, 2011
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As Philip and Susan were both busy with work commitments, Philip very kindly lent us his car for Thursday and Susan provided a welcome picnic hamper; this enabled a trip out to Greenville to prepare the EZ for our departure on Friday morning. James at the FBO was happy for refuelling to be done before we set off, so we were able to concentrate on repacking, checking oil etc, and generally making sure all was in order. Dallas and surrounding areas have had 20+ consecutive days over 100F so far this year – not completely unusual but a bit earlier in the season than normal – and therefore we were glad that the EZ had been tucked away in the hangar during our trip home
Friday morning we left the house at 0615hrs – Philip drove us out to the airport prior to his first appointment of the day in Dallas. This early start did mean we would be able to get airborne before the heat of the day started kicking in. Refuelling accomplished we were away by 0815hrs. Tracking NNE, at 7,500ft, conditions were quite hazy, not unexpectedly all things considered. After Cooper Lake and Paris, Texas, we crossed the Red River again into Oklahoma and as we passed over the Kiamichi Mountains the cloud cover thickened overhead providing welcome respite from the hot sun.
We were enchanted to see ahead of us, and stretching on either side, a series of lakes connected together along the Arkansas River in the Fort Smith area, and once in the state of Arkansas we soon crossed the White River looking like a Chinese Dragon beneath us. The skies above cleared but we were still flying along at about the inversion layer level. ATC were very good at steering us straight to the Creve Coeur airport to the west of the city St Louis, nestling in the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, gateway to the West.
After landing at the small local airfield, and to enable a prompt start on Sunday morning, we refuelled the EZ and parked it on the grass to avoid ‘heat stroke’ and retired to the AC coolness of the small FBO (fixed base operator)
On the ride to the hotel, we quizzed the driver on places/sights to see during our short stay. Once established in the hotel and after a quick shower, we took the courtesy van to the Lambert International Airport to pick up the metro into downtown, a 45 minute journey. Alighting at the Laclede’s Landing station, just shy of the Mississippi River, we made the short walk through the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park to the Gateway Arch and Museum of Westward Expansion. A beautiful tree shaded walk to the famous 630ft high stainless steel arch situated on the west bank of the River. It is a magnificent sight glinting as it was in the late afternoon sunshine. Naturally we had to take the ride to the top of the Arch!! It was worth the claustrophobia-inducing confinement of the pod for the four-minute ride to the apex and the wonderful views east and west. After taking many photos and the three-minute ride back down, we took some time to visit the underground Museum and especially the Lewis and Clark exhibits showing their expedition up the Missouri River to find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
A meal and the return ride to the hotel and we were ready to retire for the night – it had been a long day.