A Motorcyclist’s Life: The Wild, Weird, and Wonderful

In the book “Secret St. Louis: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure“, author David Baugher takes readers on a tour of 97 unique and little-known places.

The annual Missouri Women On Wheels® Touring/Photo Contest serves the same purpose. When one visits a place to earn another point for the Contest, one may not know the history of that place. Although we didn’t know it, the Heartland Chapter had already visited a a few of Baugher’s places in 2021 before this blogger heard about the book.

Place 1: The Big Cone
Where: 6930 Weber Road; Affton, MO (on the grounds of Mesnier Primary School)
See blog post “All [Rocky] Roads Lead to Ice Cream
Place 3: Bigfoot®
Where: 2286 Rose Lane; Pacific, MO
Bigfoot #1, a modified Ford F-250 “Monster” truck, was built by Bob Chandler in St. Louis, in the mid-1970s. Bigfoot #5, built in 1986 is 15′ 6″ tall, weighs 38,000 pounds, and is the Guinness record holder for the tallest and widest pickup truck in the world.
Place 9: The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Where: Chouteau Island to St. Louis (easiest access from Chouteau Island on the Illinois side)
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was chosen as the cinematic double for the 69th Street Bridge in John Carpenter’s 1981 movie, “Escape from New York”. https://youtu.be/0sZoWuWYBPE
Place 26: Champ, MO
Where: Along Creve Couer Mill Road near the Interstates 70 and 270 interchange
You’ll need good Google Earth or Google Map skills or a friend familiar with the area to help you find Champ–population 13. Incorporated and mayored by Bill Bangert in 1959, today’s Champ is primarily a landfill. Bangert’s visionary plans for Champ were mocked for decades, but his ideas of domed stadiums and shopping malls are now part of the national landscape.
Place 38: Piasa Bird
Where: Illinois Route 100 about a mile north of Alton, IL
The Piasa Bird’s mythology began with Native Americans. Explorer Jacques Marquette is said to be the first European to discover the original artwork of the Illini more than 300 years ago. Attempts to restore the original artwork began in the 1920s and remains a never-ending maintenance project. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piasa

Place 54. St. Louis County is known for its dozens of municipalities. In less than .75 mile on Interstate 170 between Page Avenue and Natural Bridge Road, three different city limit signs are visible at one time. Motorists cross from Overland to Charlack to Sycamore Hills and back to Charlack before motoring on to St. John and Bel-Ridge.

Place 59: Statue for Robert Pershing Wadlow, the World’s Tallest Human
Where: 2800 College Avenue; Alton, IL
See blog post “Where’s Wadlow?
Place 85: Eureka, MO
Where: Interstate 44 west of the Meramec River
City lore says that the name was inspired by an 1850’s railroad worker who was tired of moving and laying track on the bluffs on the outskirts of town and was so thrilled to finally see a stretch of straight, flat land that he yelled “Eureka!” Eureka translates from ancient Greek to English as “I have found it!”

Every ride is an opportunity to discover something new and unlike anything else. Eureka!

By Cris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s