We are parked in St.Charles, Missouri, having arrived here April 10 from Farmington. It has been hard not to always be on the go, which is what we are likely to do when we park in a strange city. It is a good trade-off however, for here in our hometown we are able to spend time with family and friends. And our home currently is next to the Katy Trail, where we can hike or bike whenever we feel we have energy to burn off. This past Wednesday we drove over to Alton, Illinois to ride the Great River Road Trail. We rode on our bikes from Grafton to the Pere Marquette State Park, a journey of about 4miles one-way. Don't laugh, I know that does not sound like much on bikes, but our bikes have no gears and we had removed the battery packs. Hills are a challenge on those bikes! On Thursday of this week we paid my sister Linda a visit in Columbia, Mo. I told her I would like to a write about her home town and asked her to show me some sites of the town which to her define Columbia. Our first stop was the Shelter Gardens where currently a variety of trees and plants are in bloom. For most of Missouri it has been a warm winter which brought an early spring. Azaleas, iris, peonies, lilacs and roses are all in bloom at the same time. The roses pictured below, which surround a fountain in the gardens, do not usually bloom in April! The gardens are quite beautiful at this time with everything in bloom.