After our first night in the Subaru, we headed out for St Louis.
We ran a few in the early afternoon before heading downtown to check out the Gateway Arch.
The Arch is truly stunning. I don’t know how many times I said “unbelievable” out loud. I don’t know what I was expecting, but between the sheer size, and the beautiful design, I was absolutely blown away.
The Gateway Arch also happens to be a National Park so we took the opportunity to snag a National Park annual pass for the road (something we unsuccessfully tried to track down earlier in the day).
After leaving downtown, it was time to track down some St Louis ribs. We had heard great things about Bogart’s but unfortunately we were a little late in the day and they had already sold out of everything but the pulled pork so we headed to Pappy’s instead. Damn, those ribs were good.
With full belly’s, we hit the road again to get out of town and find a quiet spot for the night.
We stopped at a small town on the edge of the Mark Twain national forest right before sunset. We were about to set up the bed for the night when we decided to double back and stop by at a drive-in we passed a few miles back up the road. This was both mine and Kinsey’s first time watching a movie at a drive-in. Deadpool 2 was a ton of fun, and we were also fortunate enough to see a giant shooting star and the ISS pass right overhead (I used my phone to check the ISS location because this light was so bright in the sky).
Into the woods
The next morning we headed out to Montauk State Park to see if we could catch some fish. Before heading in to set up camp, we pulled off at a river access point and hiked up a bit to find some secluded water. In a couple hours, we had 5 rainbow trout caught and released between the two of us. Nothing too big, but a great way to spend the afternoon and dust off the fly-rods.
The campground in the park was pretty busy, but the sites were really clean and there were nice facilities to use really nearby. It was nice to take a break from the car to set up chairs around a fire and roast some hot dogs. Our camp neighbors were all really friendly, and some were very curious to see the Subaru camping set-up. While the embers of our fire died out, we were serenaded by some acoustic guitar and classic songs from a nearby site and I the excitement of this trip really began to sink in.
We got up at sunrise, scarfed down some eggs and bacon, and hit the road to visit our friends Clint and Rebecka in Memphis. The drive took most of the day, but we carried on without stopping, focused on arriving as early as possible.
That night we went out and checked out a few dive bars and local music venues around town. Clint pulled some strings and got us all into the end of a Melvins show 🤘 before taking us to our last stop for the night on Memphis’ famous Beale Street. A great way to close out the night.
The next day we went around checking out the more touristy side of Memphis. We spent a few hours going through the Civil Rights Museum in what used to be Lorraine motel—the location of MLK’s assassination in 1968. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend going through this museum—it’s a very solemn journey, but well worth every step.
After the museum and a quick walk down Main Street, we swung by the Sun Studio. It was a little too busy for a tour so we moved on to get ready for Clint’s show that night. The show was a ton of fun, and there was even a Chicago band playing that we got to chat a bit with about the town we had just left. We haven’t been gone a week, but it’s already weird to think of Chicago as somewhere we used to live.
Our last morning in Memphis was spent doing some laundry and prepping to head to Nashville. We are super thankful for the hospitality extended from Clint and Rebecka and the wonderful time they showed us. The Subaru is comfortable enough, but nothing can beat friends, a clean bed, a hot shower, and access to laundry.
Nashville here we come.