Thursday we drove our way through Kansas and stayed the night just outside of St. Louis, MO. I have to say, Kansas surprised me with how pretty it was. The western side was quite flat, but still quite pleasant. Then the further east we got, the more rolling hills and sedimentary rock we saw, and it wasn't a boring drive at all. We had dinner at Big Daddy's BBQ just outside of Kansas City, and went to the Gateway Arch on the way to see Karen and the kids in Indianapolis.
The area around the arch is super flooded at the moment- I'm glad the monument wasn't affected. This isn't really a national "park", more of a city park surrounding a cool monument. We didn't expect to stay long, but the museum under the arch was larger and more interesting than we expected- spent at least 2 hours looking at all the pioneer exhibits. We've noticed that the park service has done a really good job including the history of the Native Americans, and their connections to each park region, not just the people who came after. However, this was one park where the emphasis was really on "go west, young man" and the pioneer settlements to the detriment of the Native populations- its a little awkward to be in a museum that both celebrates something at the same time as it recognizes how awful it was to many.
We got to Indianapolis a little later than we intended, but we still had plenty of time to hang out with my sister and our nieces and nephew, have a nice dinner (and an awesome Butterbeer birthday cake!), some time in the hot tub, and a good night's rest. Hope to see you all again soon!