The title for this blog is a bit misleading as we spent most of the drive between Chicago and St. Louis along the banks of the Illinois River and joined up with the Mississippi shortly before jumping across it (not literally of course- our bus is not much of a jumper) to enter the city. As it's gotten a bit colder the biggest challenge with veggie oil hasn't been acquiring it, but rather getting it warm enough that we can pump it through our filter without blowing our pump's fuse. We've had enough sunny weather that we can usually just let our oil do a bit of sun bathing before filtering. In between visits with family, friends, and friends of the two we still spend some nights parked just the two of us and the bus. Jori cooked us some dinner on the coleman inside the bus one chilly evening. We usually eat right out of the pot to save cleaning additional dishes when we don't have easy access to water or even sometimes when we do.
Right now we're preparing to leave St. Louis after spending several nights in the secured parking lot of Judy and Bert's apartment complex. Judyand Bert lent us their bikes for a few days and that has been our main mode for exporing the city. (Rat- I've thought of you may times in the last several days as we've visited familiar places.) We visited the botanical gardens, a sculpture park, the art museum, and the Arch.
We also spent a day at a place called the City Museum, which is like a giant playground for adults. It is four stories (inside and outside of the building) of caves, slides, tunnels, ball pits, and any number of other things that you can climb, swing, or slide on. You can climb four stories up through wire tunnels, tubes, and occasional stairs to the cockpit of an airplane and then climb higher to slide down a few stories. Needless to say, this is probably not the best place for those
afraid of heights or small spaces.