Robller Winery is near New Haven, about 13 miles east of Hermann and only about 30 miles from the outskirts of St Louis. Our plan was to spend the night somewhere around the area after their Reggae Jam Party on Sunday afternoon and watch the eclipse from the winery’s hillside on Monday, joining in their “Eclipse Party.”
Somewhere between a bottle of wine and “Jamin’” and “Stir it Up,”, we decided that location may be crowded with St Louis area watchers. So, after the last tropical beat, we took off for Mexico Missouri, a small town about 15 miles north of the exit on I70 for Hermann where there is a large gun reloading store that Dan wanted to visit on Monday morning. Mexico is a small town but they have an excellent little city campground with electricity and even a dump station for $10 a night. I found this quiet, little gem by using AllStays, an indispensable app for those who roadtrip like we do, a plan with no reservations.
While Mexico was still on the fringe of the totality area, we decided to go for the middle 63 miles away at Booneville Missouri. Surprisingly there still wasn’t much traffic on I70. We arrived at New Franklin right outside of Booneville in plenty of time to unload the bikes and ride about 15 miles on the KATY by the Roundhouse campground, called that because it was a roundhouse location. The extremely friendly owner let us park for a few hours without any charge. (We drove by a place in Booneville wanting $20 to park with others somewhat less).
Here are a few pictures from the memorable event
As we rode up and back on the KATY there were a lot of bikers who road out onto the trail to watch—actually a cool idea. They were all watching their phones for weather updates. Luckily, just as the moon slipped over the sun, the clouds thinned out enough to get an excellent view, for at least one or maybe two minutes, all the while with cheers , whistling and somewhere far off, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.
We left immediately after the event. Getting through Boonville was stop and go, which should have been a clue to what was ahead. As we approached the overpass entrance to I70 we could not believe the line of traffic as far off to the west as we could see. It looked to be standing still—or at least hardly moving. In our great, spur of the moment wisdom, we just kept going—south to Sedalia and Hwy 50. We never encountered any stopped traffic and hit nearly every light on 135th street to 7 Hwy north to 10 into Lawrence. And, we escaped the terrible rain as well.
The PW is clean from the four inches of rain we received Monday night and put away. Yes, it was a quick trip, but one that we will remember that is for sure.