Party On – Castlewood State Park #134

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                                                                                             Cake #134 at Castlewood State Park

The day was winding down. Mercutio Krispytreats, Palmetto Joseph Ray-Ban and this Cake Monster had traveled all across West County in search of cakes and had succeeded. With the cake at Castlewood State Park in Ballwin, where we completed our caking hunting adventure, we had seen 9 cakes in all and had created countless punny songs about our adventures.

Unbeknownst to at least this Cake Monster at the time, Castlewood State Park actually used to be a pretty happening place. While the park is well known for its hiking and biking trails and just general great views of nature, starting as far back as 1915, Castlewood was a resort of sorts with folks traveling in to spend some time in nature, enjoy the sights, and generally get their party on.

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                                                                                                                    Cake #134 at Castlewood State Park

Legend even has it that there were multiple dance clubs within the boundaries of the park that were a pretty strong draw for St. Louisans looking to get down with their bad selves.

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                                                                       Cake #134 at Castlewood State Park

For Mercutio, Palmetto and this Cake Monster, the only partying was done in the spirit of celebration as we congratulated ourselves on a cake hunt well executed and a long day come to an end.

And so with the final cake of our hunt in the rear view mirror, we headed for the only place that was fitting for 3 famished cake hunters – Raj’s Rasoi in Maryland Heights, which, just like Castlewood State Park’s partying days, was too good to last for long (aka they closed their doors not too long after our celebratory meal, much to the sadness of this Cake Monster and Mercutio in particular 😦 ).

 

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Time to Get Our Babler On – Babler State Park #126

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IMG_2570It was the best of the cake hunting times; it was the worst of the cake hunting times…nah, not really, it had been pretty good up until this point! But with the middle milestone cake out of the way and a new cake hunting companion along for the ride, it just felt right to go with something dramatic and so here we are. 🙂

For this series of cakes, I decided to switch it up a bit and instead of heading into the city and beyond, I would plan our trip around the cakes in West County and beyond, adding some spice to the hunt but mostly keeping it in my old stomping grounds.

And so for this trip, I was once again joined by my trusty cake-venture companion Mercutio Krispytreats and his fantastic boyfriend Palmetto Joseph Ray-Ban who not only comes up with amazing nicknames but also shares my love for impromptu song creation, but more on that later.

The first location on the list was Babler State Park, which is located in Chesterfield and *woah* is it beautiful.

The cake was placed near the information center which also happened to be near a cute fountain which of course we had to document. Once sufficient fountain photos had been taken, we headed into the information center to poke around.

Ok, so while there were no real human-like mannequins in this information center, there were enough animal type mannequins to render me a little uneasy of the place.

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                                                                        Really no need to go sticking your hand in a mysterious shadow box in my opinion 

Mercutio and Palmetto seemed to have much more of an adventurous spirit at this point and were even reaching their hands into dark crevices to check out “surprises” that helped them learn about nature – yeah, that’s a no thanks from me!

After we had exhausted all that the information center had to offer, we headed back out into the park to check out a large statue we had seen on the drive in. Walking all around it and reading the signs, we learned that the statue was of Dr. Edmund A Babler.

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                                                               Dr. Edmund Babler statue

Babler was a well known surgeon in the area with a deep sense of compassion and drive to help the less fortunate. Upon his death in the 1930s, the land for the state park was donated by his brother who was a huge proponent of the state park system and wanted to contribute land and resources to honor his brother. Currently the park has 13 miles of trails, numerous campsites and recreation areas and impressive natural attractions such as century old trees in some parts of the grounds. Plus all of the stone used to build the buildings and bridges were quarried locally which is just incredible.

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                                                                    Cake #126 at Babler State Park

 

And so, with some new knowledge, some exciting(?) animal mannequins and a few breaths of state park fresh air, Palmetto Joseph Ray-Ban had conquered his first cake of the hunt, and Mercutio and I could both agree that it really was the beginning of the best of our cake hunting times.