Today, I drove south down Old Missouri Route 21, the infamous 'Blood Alley' and perhaps Missouri's most dangerous road before a new freeway was built to replace most of it a few years. The new freeway has removed almost all except local traffic, so I had much of the winding and very pretty in parts road to myself.
My destination was Sandy Creek Covered Bridge, one of only four preserved historic covered bridges in Missouri.
This Howe–truss covered bridge is built of white pine, and very lovely it looks from the inside and the out, despite the profusion of graffiti that old wooden structures invariable attract.After an hour or so wandering around this structure with my camera, dodging numbers of attractive young women in prom dresses who seemed to have selected this spot for their friends to photograph them, I headed back north.
My map showed another historic site close by, Gov. Daniel Dunklin's Grave State Historic Site in the Mississippi Riverside town of Herculaneam. I wended my way through Crystal City and then into Herculaneum, finding, more by luck than design, Gov. Dunklin's (Missouri's fifth Governor) memorial on the bluffs with a fine overlook over the Mississippi River.As I drove through Herculaneum, looking so green and fresh in the spring afternoon sunshine, I was all the time aware of the Doe Run lead smelter sitting in the middle of town. America's only still-functioning lead smelter, and the source of severe heavy metal contamination of much of Herculaneum.