GNABRT Day 37 – Arch enemies


GNABRT map - day 37The Great North American Baseball Road Trip rolled into St.Louis today and would have rolled into the hotel…if every exit into the city off I-70 wasn’t closed due to construction.

That’s not an exaggeration.  And the Nav kept circling me back to I-70, as if it didn’t believe that all the exits were closed.  After about 20 minutes of random exits, I found a back way to the hotel (and here I was worried I would be too early).

But wait!  The hotel parking lot was blocked from some heavy deliveries, so I was directed around to the end of the block where the parking garage extended to other hotels.  It took a few minutes for me to grasp this information while the man explained it to me.  Finally, I got what he meant and ultimately parked about a hundred feet from the lobby door.

Turns out the room was ready and had a majestic view of the St. Louis Arch (which is good because I sure as heck wasn’t going to go up that high).  As if knowing my love of heights, my room is on the 26th floor (still only about halfway up the arch).

But wait, there’s more!  The room was another of those pipe-based systems without room control and it was piping in Dinosaur-killing cold.  My arch-enemies all gathered in one room:  staggering height and bone-freezing cold.  Thank goodness it’s just for tonight.

I’ve opened the sliding glass door just to be able to sit in the chair, which was ice-cold, too.  Yum!  On the plus side, it’s supposed to be 85 tomorrow and the game is at 1 pm.

The city:  St. Louis, Missouri.  Ah, those French.  The fur traders strike again, getting the land grant from King Louis XV and named after King Louis IX, who was a saint (well, I didn’t know him personally, but I suppose you can do that thing when you’re a king).

The town began as named in 1765, popped over to Spain for a few years and then back to France before the Louisiana Purchase (our best, non-bloody land acquisition in history) made it American in 1803.  St. Louis served as the launch point for Lewis & Clark’s exploration of the big land purchase.

Heavy immigrant influx kept the town solidly Union during the Civil War, but St. Louis never really had any major battles in that tumultuous time.  Adding water transport (Missouri and Mississippi rivers) to the ubiquitous rail lines, St. Louis played a major role in commerce across the midwest.

The city hosted both a World’s Fair and an Olympics in 1904.  Through an odd quirk in the way the city was set up originally, St. Louis literally ran out of room to expand and topped out at about 850,000 people in 1950, dwindling down to less than half of that today.  Still, five Fortune 500 companies make their home in St. Louis and the fans adore their seemingly always successful St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Miscellany of Day 37:

– Five words you don’t like to see heading out on a road trip:  “Heavy congestion – Prepare to stop”.  Turns out, it was a gyp.  The “congestion” was only a slow down to 60 mph and it lasted about a mile or so.  I need to send those sign makers to California.

– As I’m riding along the outskirts of St. Louis with the windows down, the phone rings with an unknown 407 number.  Rolling up the windows, I answer a call from Wyndham trying to sell me on a timeshare.  I told the lady (nicely) that I would not be considering a trip again for…er…some time.

– As I passed over the river on the way to the hotel I thought that it was the ugliest river I had seen since years ago viewing the Hudson.  Perhaps it’s just suffering from all the heavy rains and flooding recently.  Bleh.

– My Subaru’s map screen was replaced by a Maintenance Reminder screen.  It was a helpful reminder, because, though I had mentally noted the odometer now reading over 11,000 miles, I had forgotten the whole “every 6,000 miles” thing.

The problem is, I’m in my 9 games in 10 nights stretch and there is no way I will have time to bring the car to a dealer, even for the 2-hours it probably only needs.  I need to pore over the schedule and see where I can find an opening.  Maybe in Wisconsin.

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