Floods and ‘Wrong’ Turns

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

If I have to go to St. Louis, I usually take 1-55 northbound because I probably have to do something time-sensitive, like picking up or dropping someone off at the airport. I don’t mind, because it’s a pretty stretch of road, much nicer than most pieces of the Super Slab that have an “I” as their first name.

Fourche a du Clos Valley Roadside Park

On the way back, I look for more scenic routes. I generally hop on Hwy 61 just north of Bloomsdale. That’ll give me a chance to see the Dew Drop Inn, and look over the valley at from the Fourche a du Clos Valley Roadside Park.

When I made the trip in May of 2019, the Mississippi River was misbehaving. A few weeks earlier, there was a sign just north of St. Mary that warned the road was underwater. I knew a dodge that would take me around the low lands, so I ignored the Road Closed sign in Ste. Gen.

Valle Spring Cemetery

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

The river had come up a few feet by the time I made this trip.

The water was over the road well north of my cutoff, so I had to backtrack to pick up Missouri M in Ste. Genevieve. That turned out to be a good thing, because it took me past the Valle Spring Cemetery (also known as Calvary Cemetery).

The beautiful grounds, home to about 6,000 permanent residents, was a place I’d like to explore more some day.

A peaceful resting place

Valle Spring Cemetery 05-15-2019

I don’t think you can find anything greener or more peaceful than the lane that runs through the graveyard.

The Quarrytown Road Gamble

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

Just beyond the cemetery was Quarrytown Road that took off to the south. I gambled that it might stay on high ground to below St. Mary.

I always like driving through the rolling hills between Cape and Altenburg, but I think this road was even more scenic.

I just like it

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

When I started to get back in the van after shooting the vista, this old post caught my eye. I can never explain why I’m stopped by some things.

This ain’t great art, but I like all the shades of green and the idea that some farmer tacked a fence to this old tree no telling how many decades ago.

Sometimes you just have to believe the signs

Quarrytown Road 05-09-2019

When I got to the intersection of Quarrytown Road and Hwy 61, I found that it was time to turn around. The Mississippi River had other plans for me.

The road back was pretty enough that I didn’t mind seeing it from the other direction. I ended up taking I-55 most of the way back to Cape.

I believe that life is about journeys, not destinations. If Hwy 61 hadn’t been under water, I would never have discovered the cemetery nor Quarrytown Road. That made it a good day.

Mississippi Lime in Ste. Genevieve

Mississippi Lime St. Genevieve 11-09-2012When I was riding U.S. 61 last month, I kept my eye open for the tell-tale white coating that let you know that you were coming up on Ste. Genevieve. When I was a kid, the whole landscape was covered with a white powder that looked like snow. If it had just started raining, it turned the roadway into a slurry that was slick as grease on glass and would coat your windshield with impenetrable goo.

Established quarry and kilns in 1920s

Mississippi Lime St. Genevieve 11-09-2012The company’s website said the company was founded as the Mississippi Sand Company in Alton in 1907. It opened a limestone quarry at the Ste. Genevieve site in the 1920s and built four vertical kilns. By the end of the decade, seven more were added. A gas-fired kiln was added in 1998.

Stacks still puffing

Mississippi Lime St. Genevieve 11-09-2012There’s still a lot of something coming out of the stacks, but most of the particulates must have been removed these days. You could still see white deposits here and there around buildings, but the grass and roadway were clear. It was kind of hazy, so the pictures aren’t as pretty as if it had been a clear day with blue skies.

When people say you can’t clean up the environment and stay in business, I can only point to Mississippi Lime and the cement plant in Cape, both of which have been around for a century, give or take.