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ST CHARLES, MISSOURI 1-13-02


Howdy Everyone!
On Wednesday I walked the KATY Trail from Defiance to St Charles, around 20 miles. The closer I got to town, the more people I saw out on the trail. It was a beautiful, warm day to be out walking -- I even wore shorts that day! The beautiful B&B I stayed at for free in Defiance contacted another B&B in St Charles for me, and they said I could stay there for free, too. About 4 or 5 miles from St Charles, a lady out walking asked me where I was going with that cart. I told her my story and gave her my brochure. A half hour later, I met up with her again. She had read my brochure and went back home to get her pickup truck to haul my cart to wherever I was going! That made my day! We hauled my cart to the B&B and then she drove me back out to the trail. I spent 2 nights for free at the Mueller House, a beautiful B&B that was built around 1908. I stayed in Miss Annaís Room, and slept on a 4 poster bed. The home is beautifully decorated. They also have a suite that takes up the whole 3rd floor, and they say many newlyweds honeymoon there. [The Mueller House, 636-947-1228] The Mueller House is located just a few blocks from Main St in St Charles, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the next day off and being a tourist. St Charles has over 125 craft & specialty shops to shop in. The gas lights & brick streets make you feel like you're back in time. South Main is the largest designated historic district in Missouri, and features 88 restored buildings dating from 1790 to the late 1800's. I browsed in all the shops and visited with many people. I am really amazed at what happened that day. In one store I was buying a magnet and the lady wouldn't let me pay for it. At the Lewis & Clark Museum, they wouldn't let me pay for another magnet or let me pay for admission into the museum. The Chamber of Commerce wouldn't let me pay $10 for a book about St Charles. Another store gave me a stuffed lamb and a canvas bag that says "Historic St Charles" on it. And yet another store gave me $5 for lunch. I have never had a day like that before. St Charles is a very historic town. Founded in 1769 by French Canadian Louis Blanchette, he & his cohorts called this first settlement on the Missouri River "Les Petite Cotes," or "The Little Hills."
St Charles is also the place of rendezvous for Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804. Clark waited in St Charles from May 16-21 for Lewis to join them there. St Charles was the first state Capitol of Missouri, before Missouriís territorial government was reorganized into a progressive state system. St Charles was the town where George Sibley assembled and wrote his report concerning the survey & marking of a road to Sante Fe. SOME MISSOURI FACTS: State Bird: Bluebird. State Song: Missouri Waltz. State Tree: Flowering Dogwood. State Mineral: Galena. State Rock: Mozarkite. State Insect: Honeybee. SOME FAMOUS MISSOURIANS: Daniel Boone, George Washington Carver, Samuel Clemens, Walt Disney, Eugene Field, Jesse James, Scott Joplin, Joseph Smith, Harry S. Truman, & Laura Ingalls Wilder. Y'all take care and have a great day! KB

LEBANON, ILLINOIS 1-13-02


Howdy Everyone!
I enjoyed spending a day with the Epilepsy Foundation in St Louis. They seemed interested in my trip and eager to help. They made me some copies of my brochure, and that evening I found $40 inside my notebook that they had put there. On Saturday I walked to Lebanon, IL, a town of around 3,600. The first thing I noticed was the big McDonalds Distribution Center they have here. That was pretty impressive. People had told me there wasn't a motel in this town, so I was looking for churches. The first one I found was St Paul United Church of Christ. I checked the door and it was open, so I walked in. I couldn't find anyone inside, but the bulletin for this sundays service was printed, so I looked in it. I found the Pastors name, then went across the street to the Subway Restaurant to ask for a phone book and got his number. I then tried calling him, but didn't get an answer. So I pushed on. One block farther was a B&B, and even though I didn't intend to stay there, I thought I could at least ask for information. She said that she had just sold an apartment complex just a few days ago, and that she knew one apt was empty. The apartment was just 2 buildings down, so she walked me to it, opened the door, and said I could roll my sleeping bag out and stay there. However, if the new owner saw me there and kicked me out, then I'd have to leave. Oh great. Staying in an apt without the owner knowing, yeah right.
The building was really run down & grungy. The only light was in the bathroom, and there was no toilet paper. The apt consisted of a lg living room, a lg kitchen, and a tiny bathroom and that was it. I put my cart in the living room and I headed out to explore this town. As you enter this town, the sign says "Welcome TO Historic Lebanon." So I found the downtown area and stepped in to an antique shop. I asked the lady what was so historic about this town and she was clueless. She sent me to the Visitors Center. They weren't so sure, either, but they were sure interested in what I was doing. They asked me where I was staying that night and I told them. Their eyes got really big and they were all for getting me out of that apt. She called up the same Pastor I had tried to call, and that time he was home. He immediately came & got me and then got my junk out of that apt. He hauled me & my stuff to a Comfort Inn 3 miles back where I came from and paid for one nights lodging. Thatís when he told me there had been recent arrests at that apt for drug dealings. Oh great. Well the Comfort Inn was a DEFINITE improvement, thatís for sure.
I told him I'd like to go to church in the morning, so his wife came and picked me up on sunday. I enjoyed being there for SS & church, and afterward Charles & Lynne Kamm took me out for dinner. I was planning on still walking to Breese today, but plans got switched around and tonight I am staying overnight at their house and tomorrow I'm scheduled to give 2 talks at 2 schools. Charles is a retired principal and made all the connections for me. So I'll be staying at their house tonight and Monday night, and walk to Breese on Tuesday. This afternoon they drove me to St Louis and took me to see the Arch. I rode the tram up to the top and enjoyed the panoramic view. The 630 ft stainless steel Arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947. It was built between 1963 and 1965. It is the centerpiece of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, a unit of the National Park Service established to re-tell the story of Americas century of westward expansion. We also went to the Museum of Westward Expansion. It was a great day and a great experience. Y'all take care and have a great day! KB


 

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