Saturday, September 08, 2012


After two days of strong wind, thunderstorm and heavy rain, it was sunny and comfortable on Friday morning, but then thunderstorm came again early yesterday evening.  The forecast for the weekend will be pleasant temperature in the mid 70s.  Today was beautiful - sunny and no humidity.  There are many activities around town including the Missouri Route 66 Annual Motor Tour and the Polish Falcon Festival.  It was lot of fun driving the T-bird across the Chain of Rocks Bridge.  It was a special arrangement because normally only pedestrians and bikes would be allowed access onto the bridge.  We crossed the bridge a few times during the annual Eagle Day and Route 66 Festival.  After the Chain of Rocks, we went to the Polish Falcon Festival for lunch (pierogies, kielbasa and galumpki) and polka dancing afterward :)
These are photos from our July (2012) road trip.  After a visit to Atlanta (spent quality time with my sister CH), we drove to Stone Mountain State Park (approx. 16 miles from Atlanta).  We had breakfast at Stone Mountain Inn where the hostess greeted us with a heavy German accent and the young lady who brought us orange juice told the guests at the next table that she was an exchange student from Ireland.  We have encountered many international workers being employed at places such as Yellowstone, Grand Caynon, or Branson (Missouri) to fill these temporary seasonal positions.   
After breakfast, we took the tram ride up to the top of the mountain.  We walked around the summit, the view was great but we did not have time to learn more about the geology and ecology of the mountain.  It costs $9 for a roundtrip to ride the Skyride but is free if you would rather walk the 1-mile trail.  There is a visitor center on the summit that includes a gift shop, snacks, drinks and very accomodating restrooms.      
The Cherokee Indians called the mountain "Thenefthofkee" or bald mountain.  Granite from Stone Mountain was used in many well-known constructions such as the Panama Canal, Arlington Memorial Bridge, the tunnel from Detroit to Canada and even the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.  The neoclassical carving depicts Confederate leaders president Jefferson David, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson galloping on horseback, is the world's largest piece of sculpture at 90 feet high and 190 feet wide.  Gutzon Borglum, whose famous work at Mount Rushmore, started the carving on the mountain in 1923 but abandoned the project because of technical problems and rifts with the sponsors.  The memorial was completed in 1970 after it became part of Georgia State Park.  Since we were at Mount Rushmore, we could say that we saw one completed and half-done work by Mr. Borglum :)     

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