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The Top 100 Reasons to Come to DRSWCVI!

Suggested by MarkO  ♦  The Wolf Sanctuary (a privately run organization founded by Marlin Perkins) is not a place for wolves to come and live out their lives. It is merely a weigh station where they get prepared to be released into the wild. Using breeding programs, the wolf population of many different breeds is bolstered before the wolves are flown off to their natural habitat and released. Several breeding pairs are always kept at the sanctuary so they can continue to breed and release future generation. There are also extensive programs for the public including campfire evenings and wolf howls (at a wolf howl, everyone howls 'till you get the wolves howling). Private tours are available - reservations required. The first two times I visited the sanctuary, I was there on photo shoots for a local paper, so I was allowed into the wolf enclosures so that I could get better pictures. It was quite incredible seeing these amazing animals with nothing in between but open field. I found out the hard way that you can never get the smell of Mexican gray wolf dung out of your shoes. I've since been there on members days, but after having being allowed into enclosures, watching though the chain link fence is kind of a let down. So when if St. Louis, if you are a wolf lover, than the Wolf Sanctuary is a definite must see.

Suggested by MarkO  ♦  Located in the University City Loop, the Tivoli Theatre is in the national historic places registrar. Opened in May of 1924, the opening night festivities included speaches by the mayor of St. Louis and of University City, a "photo play", an orchestra, the Kilgen Wonder Organ, and five vaudeville acts. In the late 80's early 90's the Tivoli became a money loser as a one screen movie palace just didn't cut it anymore. A fire in the apartments above the theatre condemned part of the building. In 1994 the Tivoli shut its doors, and Joe and Linda Edwards (owners of Blueberry, earlier Reason, which is right down the street), bought the Tivoli. Over the next couple of years they meticulously restored it to its previous grandeur, the only real difference being that the one huge screens were now broken down to three smaller ones - the only way the place could be profitable. A replica of its original marquee (three stories tall on the four story building) hangs outside. As a child I used to ride my bike to the Tivoli to see movies. They would change the movies daily (they showed everything from classic movies to ones that were only out of the theatre for a year or two), and show a double feature (one price) every day, and some times a triple feature. This was before the days of cable and affordable VCR's, so this was the way that you saw movies (other than network television that would hack 'em up) once they were out of first run. I still remember a Sunday afternoon sitting through a Mel Brooks film festival and thinking he was so funny. And then there was the Sunday spent watching Eraserhead and Freaks and spent the rest of the day wondering if my mother knew there were such weird movies as these. Now the Tivoli keeps movies around for a couple of weeks. They are mainly an art house theatre, but will usually carry one of the mainstream pictures (currently the Big Lebowski). So if you are in St. Louis, and you want to see a decent movie, and don't care that the sound isn't in Dolby or THX stereo or if the movie has grossed a gazillion dollars, then the Tivoli is the place to go.

Suggested by Dean Mueller  ♦  Pinocchio may have thought it was great not to have any strings to slow him down, but puppets at Bob Kramer's Marionette Theater don't seem to mind. Bob Kramer's Marionettes are a bit of an institution here in the St. Louis area and a big draw for school field trips (both of my kids have been!). Marionettes, or string puppets, are always operated from above. Originally the term marionette was applied to any kind of French or Italian puppet. It comes from the French for "little Mary," the figure in Nativity scenes. Today the term is associated almost exclusively with puppets manipulated by strings. The body of the puppet is traditionally, though not necessarily, made of wood. The strings or threads lead from the puppeteer's control, or crutch, to various body parts of the puppet. A common marionette has nine strings - one to each hand, one to each leg, one to each shoulder, one to each ear, and one to the spine - but the strings may number from 3 to nearly 30, depending on the delicacy of articulation desired. The greater the number of strings, the more difficult the marionette is to manipulate. One of the most famous marionettes is Punch (of "Punch and Judy" fame). Punch-and-Judy shows have been popular in Great Britain for centuries and are still performed to the delight of audiences in public parks and squares. The character of Punchinello was introduced to the English puppet show in about 1660, and in the 18th century Punch was usually depicted by a marionette. In more recent history, probably the most famous American marionette was Howdy Doody, a grinning, freckle-faced, 4-foot tall marionette who appeared with (Buffalo) Bob Smith, on weekday television from 1947 to 1960. (before my time :-) At the Bob Kramer studio, you can see how marionettes are made, learn the history of puppetry and see a puppet show. Five seasonal marionette shows including classic stories with a new twist and Christmas and other holiday shows are presented throughout the year. Show times: 11:15 am and 2:15 pm. Adults $5.50, children (2-12) $4.50. Daily demonstration of the art of puppetry, including puppet making, at 10 am and 1 pm is $2. Reservations required. Located at 4143 Laclede Avenue, downtown, phone: 531-3313. Directions: take Highway 40 east to Kingshighway north to Forest Park Parkway east. Go left on Sarah to Laclede. Turn left and it is 1/2 block down on Laclede.

Suggested by Dave Braun  ♦  This... is big. No, not his physical size, which is quite immense, but John Goodman, the actor, will be making a guest appearance at the Sunday morning track meet. John is a local boy, having grown up in Affton (graduating from Affton High School, Class of '72 - thank you, Joan) and he still comes home to check out his various investments in restaurants and see family and friends. Well, through some connections and a fortuitous event the same weekend, he will be in town Memorial Day weekend. And the news may even be better - he is here with Robin Williams to help roast another local boy, Bob Costas, on Saturday night to help raise money for a wing in the Cardinal Glennon Hospital for Children that is named for Costas. As I said, through some entertainment connection that I have, I got to talk to John and just casually mentioned our running group. One thing led to another, i.e., the name Dead Runners Society was based on the movie Dead Poets Society etc. etc. and John is going to try and talk Robin into also showing up. There are no guarantees of this, but it would be great!!! Almost everyday in St. Louis is like this, but this one is officially April fool's.

Suggested by Kevin Keply, The Mathineer  ♦  The Taproom, located at 2100 Locust Street, is St. Louis' first brewpub. Home of the Saint Louis Brewery's Schafley brand, the pub features a menu which is meant to be enjoyed with beer, including fries, battered fish, beer-cheese soup, and goat cheese rarebit among others. Upstairs, the Club Room features live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and is also available for private functions during the week. The beer is brewed on premises in full view. Pilsner, Pale Ale and Cask-conditioned Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Wheat Ale, Hefeweizen are the standard brews, and an assortment of seasonal brews are also available. The building, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Trailhead Brewing Company is located at 921 South Riverside Drive in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is also a brewpub with brewing on premises - tours of the brewery are available. The building is an old converted warehouse with a seating capacity of 500. The menu contains soup, salad, steaks, seafood, pizza, and sandwiches. Five beers are usually on tap. The Trailhead is located half a block from the Katy Trail trailhead in the St. Charles historic district. It is a great place to "re-hydrate" after a long run on the Katy Trail. If you love beer, you'll love to visit either of these fine pubs.

Suggested by Kevin Keply, The Mathineer  ♦  The Edgar M. Queeny Park was once part of the estate of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edgar M. Queeny. Mr. Queeny was the former president and chairman of the board of Monsanto Chemical Company, which was founded by his father. The Queenys sold their property in 1964 and donated the proceeds to Barnes Hospital. St. Louis County purchased the property in 1970 and turned it into a park. The Queenys and Greensfelders contributed $1,000,000 each toward the completion of the Greensfelder Recreational Complex, which is located within the park. The park covers 570 acres of ground between Clayton Road on the north, Manchester Road on the south, Weidman Road on the west, and Mason Road on the east. The park contains an ice rink, an outdoor roller hockey rink, an Olympic size swimming pool, nine asphalt tennis courts, an outdoor creative play area, six trails for hiking, biking, running, and horseback riding, five lakes (one of which is stocked - probably not the one I usually take my son fishing to :), and two picnic sites. Also located at the park is the Dog Musuem which apparently contains a number of old dogs as well as the New Tricks Research Center. The park hosts a number of different activities each year including the Bark in the Park run, and a number of equestrian events. The best thing about the park is that it's a great place to run. The outer, 4.2 mile loop has felt my feet on numerous occasions. There are enough side trails along the way to get the inquisitive runner asking "wherzatgo" with an impressive persistence. It's a hilly course consisting of asphalt and gravel roads. The footing is generally good, and the scenery is very rural considering the rampant development in the area. I frequently see deer feeding in the fields at dusk or dawn.

Reason 23 is missing... ;-)

Suggested by Tracey G.  ♦  Are you the type of person who never passes up a historical marker off the side of the road? Do you drive across a State line and immediately visit the Visitor's Center at the rest area? Well, here's a quick list of Things Not To Miss while you're here in St. Louis. They're all just a few minutes outside of town; grab your official State map and hit the road for an hour. You'll be glad you did. Head south to Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial. Just 20 miles outside of St. Louis, off I-55, is one of North America's most important excavation sites for ice-age humans and animals. A full reproduction of a mastodon skeleton is on display, as well as actual artifacts from the site. On the nearby banks of the Mississippi is the living-museum town of Kimmswick, founded by German immigrant Theodore Kimm in 1859, where historic buildings house a variety of shops and restaurants. Antique Toy and Truck Museum, Stanton. Wander down I-44, and stop in at this museum to see over 3,000 antique and collectible toy farm tractors, cars, trucks, trains, construction equipment, horse-drawn vehicles, dolls, doll houses, and furniture. Also on display are several real Mack trucks from between 1920-1964. Open from 9-4. After you tour the toy museum, head on over to see the five-story-deep Meramec Caverns where Jesse James hit out. And in Meramec State Park in Stanton, you can tour living Fisher Cave with hand-held lanterns. On your way back up I-44, stop in Eureka to ride the Wabash Frisco and Pacific Mini Steam Railway. The steam-powered miniature railway takes a two-mile scenic tour along the Meramec river. Open May-October from 11:15 am to 4:15 pm. $2 per person. If all that activity makes you hungry, make sure to stop at Super Smokers for some unbelieveably good barbeque. Wander down to Augusta, along the Katy Trail, and home to several wineries. It's Strawberry Festival Weekend May 23-25 at the Mount Pleasant Winery. Yum.

Suggested by Dean Mueller  ♦  My first trail run was six miles at Castlewood State Park; the location of the DRSWC2 picnic and trail run. My second trail run was ~15 miles along the Chubb Trail which runs along Lone Elk Park, and ever since, it has been my favorite. :-) The Chubb Trail runs between the entrance to Lone Elk Park and West Tyson State Park. The exact distance appears to be a mystery, but I hold to about 7.5 miles point-to-point. My preferred course on the trail is to start at the West Tyson entrance which is wooded and slightly rocky. This is the most uneven part of the trail as you begin to make the largest ascent (600 feet according to Krash, who also believes the trail is 19 miles long ;-). However, high it is, you're guaranteed to be breathing hard when you make it to the top. On the other side, you have an equally steep descent which opens into a field. After crossing the field and the railroad tracks in the middle, you'll enter the mostly flat, wooded area that runs along the Meramec river. The path is soft dirt, rich with river sand. The trees are tall and provide a thick cover from the sun. Running beside the river, it's easy to fall into a groove and just coast along as if your shared course with the river helps to move you forward. :-) After you leave the river, you'll cross over the tracks again, and run along a wide path/road used by the Lone Elk staff. This runs flat for about a mile or so and then it begins to climb, and climb. You'll leave the trail and enter a road that will lead you to the Lone Elk park entrance, which will be your turnaround for the 7.5 miles back to West Tyson. :-) Now, a word or two about Lone Elk Park. Lone Elk is a State run wildlife refuge area with bison, elk, deer, ducks, wild turkeys, etc. You mainly stay in your car and ride through the park seeing the animals in the woods, on the water, and on the side of the road (alive, hopefully roadkill :-). You'll see more animals in the early morning and evening. The bison, in particular, are truly awesome... they're so big. There are picnic areas in a couple of locations and admission is free. The park closes half hour after sunset. Directions to Lone Elk Park: 1-44 West to Highway 141. Turn right at the bottom of the ramp then right again onto North Outer Road. Turn left at stop sign onto North Outer Road, which will dead end into the park. Phone: 889-2863.

Reason 20 is missing... ;-)

Reasons 100-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 | 39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1