Once we got near St. Louis we were funneled onto the freeway and headed to downtown. Riding in heavy traffic is never fun. Driving defensively is the way to go. Cars and trucks fearlessly change lanes. Our job on bikes is to stay out of their way.
The road was well marked and we exited the freeway right at the riverfront in St. Louis. I had been here many times when I was flying. This was a first on motorcycle. We ended up down on the road along the river right by the arch. We stopped for a little bit and took some pictures. We had been up the arch before so we did not feel the need to do it again. You can’t lock all your valuables in your trunk with a bike so we opted to stay close to the bikes.
Off to Ste. Genevieve. The Great River Road is a freeway for a little ways so we made good time. South of St. Louis we got back off the freeway and followed highway 61 to Ste. Genevieve. This was the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi. There is a well maintained historical section of town and we spent some time exploring the old shops. We even had dinner in the oldest brick building in America west of the Mississippi. The bricks got here because the French settlers used the bricks as ballast on their ships. Who knew?
Very friendly and helpful staff at the Great River Road Welcome Center. It was the visitor centers and welcome centers that made a trip like this so enjoyable. It seems they always have coffee or water ready for you and helpful hints on the local area. Of course they have the maps you need to find your way around. The Great River Road is occasionally a local road not that well maintained or marked. More than a few times we found ourselves at a stop sign where the only option was to turn left or right and no signs for the Great River Road.
As we post this article we are actually on our way back to Minnesota. We made it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico! Yea!