Just on the east side of the Arch, but before you hit East St. Louis, there's this huge river called "The Mississippi" that apparently cities to the north and south of us celebrate. Some of these crazy burgs have even been known to construct parks along its banks -- in the city itself! -- replete with well-lighted jogging paths, picnic areas, wildflowers and dog runs. Insane! But just because our river in the mile south of the Arch is home to more abandoned washing machines than humans doesn't mean that you can't do some stealth exploration in this forgotten wilderness, more exciting than Grant's Farm and closer than the nearest state park. Some brave frontiersmen have even camped
on these muddy banks. It's right there, after all, and any number of breaches in the great flood wall allow access to this "Mississippi" river, on which heavy barges smuggle heroin to all parts of the Midwest -- kidding, we're kidding
. Once inside, you'll realize the glory -- and the sorrow, and the pity -- of this here river, and maybe even resolve to become active in rescuing the land from the do-nothing real estate speculators who have parked their collective ass on it.