The adventures of the Els family, who immigrated from South Africa to the USA. Els family in Texas.

Trip To Missouri - July 2001

We went on a short vacation to Missouri from July 19 to 24. The purpose was to visit Brooks & Ann Read of Rolla, Mo. They are the parents of good friends of ours here in Lago Vista, Phil & Debbie Read (Phil's parents). It was a great trip that also allowed us to see a lot more of the US.


Day 1: Relaxing & swimming in the Little Piny river

Johnny splashing in the river. The river had a gentle flow, so it was possible float down it.

Michael messing around in the sand on the side of the river. He would roll down the bank into the river.


Day 2: Canoe trip down the Current river in the Ozark mountains

It was a fairly hot and humid day, so we all cooled off in the Current river before we started the trip. The Current river is spring-fed, so the water is coldish.

Johnny and Austin (Phil & Debbie's son) with Brooks & Ann in their canoe.

Michael, looking the part, with Caroline (Phil & Debbie's youngest daughter).

Esmé paddling hard. This allowed me to take pictures and drink beer in the back!

It was a lot of fun jumping off this rock, and most of us did it several times... even Michael!


Day 3: Trip to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch

St. Louis used to be the furthest point that the American settlers ventured westwards. The Mississippi river runs by it, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, and this used to be the border to the Frontier. It also used to be the major trading center (furs & skins) of the old West, and it is from here that Lois & Clark started their journey westwards in search of the Pacific ocean. The Arch of St. Louis is known as the "Gateway to the West", and is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Under the Arch is a museum that honors all the people of the old Frontier, and there are several informative movies to see.

Our first view of the Gateway Arch of St. Louis!

A much closer view of the Arch. This is truly an engineering marvel!

Phil Read accompanied us to St. Louis, and on our way we picked up his sister, Kim, who lives in St Louis. She did all the driving for us. Here we are with Kim and her son.

The Arch is hollow and there is a tram that runs to the top. This picture was taken through a small window in the top. It shows a barge on the Mississippi river, which is used heavily for transport.

The Mississippi is known for steam boats.

The Old Court House, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion memorial.

Esmé & the boys with Phil Read at the look-out windows inside the top of the Arch. The previous three photos were taken through the windows.


Day 4: Back to Austin

All of us together on the morning we returned to Austin. Phil Read is on the left, and Brooks & Ann are on the right.

Brooks & Ann's house. They have a truly magnificent place with lots of trees. This is one aspect of Missouri that struck us... how many trees there are.


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Copyright, John Els