My plans for departure seem to have proven prudent, as I was able to complete my remaining preparations in an unhurried fashion today. Indeed, I have felt most at east and, if I may say so, self-satisfied. By 3pm, all of my re-supplies were neatly arranged, all equipment was cleaned, tested, and re-packed. I decided against loading up the boat today, on the infinitesimal yet rational chance that my possessions would be stolen on the eve of my departure. Thus feeling well prepared and calm, I devoted the remainder of my afternoon and evening to cultural pursuits.
The highlight was my visit to the Basilica Cathedral, so designated by the pope for the splendor and craftsmanship of the 83,000 sq. ft. of mosaics within, unparalleled in any other North American city. Perhaps the entire western hemisphere. Done in a Romanesque exterior and a Byzantine interior, the inside of the domes bejeweled with rich reds, blues, and purples. It was quite a stunning sight, and worthy of reverence.
I also made tour of a local dining fixture, a sporting event, and a musical performance at the University. And I couldn’t resist a trip down to the waterfront to steal a glimpse of the river, which I hope will treat me with as much leniency and favor below St. Louis as above.
The turbid waters flowed along at a nice clip, and were dramatically lower than when I left 2 months ago. In retrospect, I crammed a substantial amount of activity into the latter half of my day, yet never felt rushed (it is however now midnight) and I realize it was all an attempt to distract myself from the growing anxious feeling in my gut, knowing that tomorrow morning, the ram will have touched the gate and there is to be no turning back. I hope sleep comes with no struggle tonight.