Rain on Our Parade – Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower #118

Standard

img_2506It finally happened. On the fourth cake of the day, our luck ran out and Miles and I were treated to a sudden and heavy downpour just as we pulled into the parking lot for Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower. So, since the day had otherwise been mostly sunny, we did what seemed like the only plan of action – waiting in the car and bonding over our shared conclusion that Illinois was not a fan of our cake adventures.

img_2499

Entrance to the Confluence Tower

While we waited, it was practically impossible not to admire the enormous structure directly in front of us. Soaring to a staggering 180 feet, the Confluence Tower was constructed in 2010 to commemorate the location where Lewis and Clark set sail on their momentous expedition. With viewing platforms at 50, 100 and 150 feet, you can not only take in the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers but supposedly you can also see all the way to the Gateway Arch if it’s a clear enough day, which, of course, on the day of our expedition, it was anything but.

img_2500

Miles admiring Clark’s biography

So for one of the first times, but certainly not the last, this Cake Monster swallowed what was left of her pride (and let’s be honest, vanity, because there is no coming back from rain on curly hairs) and decided it was time to let Miles run wild in the rain so we could continue with our hunt.

As you walk up to the entrance to the Confluence Tower there are two little areas with concrete steps and water running over them on either side with a likeness of Lewis and his biography on one and Clark on the other. Since we were basically alone at this point in the day, and we were already soaking wet, I let Miles decide which side to check out first and because he’s a history buff, he chose Clark and jumped right into that side’s water steps without a second thought.

img_2505

Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

The cake itself was a bit behind the tower just past a little water fountain that again Miles sampled as we passed by because a pug’s gotta do what a pug’s gotta do, and I was too waterlogged and soggy to stop him.

After we had walked around a bit, I saw there was a museum type place located a few feet from the cake, and so I poked my head in just to look around and of course Miles saw his opening and barged in after me as if he had been there many times before. The teenagers who were working the front desk thought seeing Miles was the best thing since sliced bread and didn’t even stop him from looking around and sniffing all the artifacts he came across. They even said that we could climb the tower if we wanted to for free, but as I realized just how many steps that would amount to with a lazy little pup, I had to pass saying we had other cakes to visit before our time in Illinois was over.

img_2501

Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

So we said goodbye, and like Lewis and Clark, headed back into in the wild Illinois unknown, hoping for good weather, a strong sense of direction and hopefully no further obstacles on the way to our next destination.

img_2504

Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

Welcome to Illinois Where the Street Names Are Confusing and a Pup’s Dreams Don’t Matter – Lewis and Clark State Historic Site #117

Standard
img_2497

Cake #117 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site 

Miles James is a simple pup. He likes simple things like food, a good rawhide to chew on, his various stuffed animals and visiting cakes. And so he was absolutely devastated when we arrived at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site during our Illinois adventure, and he was told he had to wait in the car because the cake was inside the building.

Ok, quick rant: For real, I did not understand then and I do not understand now why some cakes were placed inside buildings – like business type buildings with events and people and operating hours!  Also some of these buildings were not open on the weekends, so in order to make sure I saw all the cakes, I had to plan specific days off work to check out some of the indoor cakes – not ideal, yo! I guess I can assume that a small reason why some cakes were inside was to preserve those cakes from the elements and general vandalism, but what about the other poor cakes? Are they not good enough to have an inside house and not an outside one? *sigh* End rant.

img_2493

Cake #117 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site 

What made this inside cake even more of a frustrating find was the fact that it was incredibly difficult to locate. For some reason my GPS (aka my old school Garmin) wasn’t bringing me to the right location, and I kept driving down the same street expecting to see a turn I had missed or a big statue or even the cake, but nothing. I drove down and around this same location so many times a kindly police officer even asked me where I was headed and when I told him, he just said, “Yeah, there are a lot of Lewis and Clark things around here, but I’m sure you’ll find it eventually.”

img_2494

Cake #117 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site 

Luckily, or unluckily as it may be for Miles, I tried a slightly different route to my new favorite road and that led us to the cake location. Once we arrived, I promised Miles that I would be quick and pretty much skip-ran to the building where I could see the cake in the window, praying the building was open. Thankfully it was!

Since I had Miles waiting in the car, I didn’t get a chance to really poke around too much in the museum part, but I learned that this historic site was home to Camp River Dubois which served as Lewis and Clark’s winter camp from December of 1803 to May of 1804. During that time the men who camped with Lewis and Clark helped prepare for the spring expedition by gathering supplies and hunting. Pretty neat actually to see another Lewis and Clark location after Miles and I had previously checked out the Boat House in St. Charles on a cake hunt that seemed so long ago.

Thankfully the sky had turned cloudy but hadn’t started to pour yet, so even though Miles wasn’t able to be with me, I still enjoyed a short walk around the cake and the front of the building where there was an interesting (and super reflective) rock? statue? commemorating the location.

img_2495

Cake #117 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site

img_2496

These Boats Were Made for Sailing – Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center #57

Standard
Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

For the next cake Miles and I decided to embark

On a journey much like Lewis and Clark.

We traveled to the boat house in St. Charles, MO

To find the spot where the duo left from so long ago.

In memory of their momentous trip,

The boat house offers something you don’t want to skip.

On the bottom level just behind the cake,

Are full size replicas of the boats Lewis and Clark decided to take.

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

Cake #57 at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

And besides the boats, which are incredible to be sure,

Inside the museum you can get an idea of what life was like in 1804.

What’s more, there’s even a group of modern day performers,

Who set out every year and sail the same route as those early explorers.

So with historical pride beating in our hearts,

Miles and I continued on just like Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.