The team at PPG Porter Paints has dedicated 90 years to sprucing up homes with the company's revered brand of vivid paints, stains, and primers. Silken Touch paint ($54.19+/gal.) stands ready to replace previous wall and ceiling embellishments, such as presidential murals painted in mustard. Permanizer ($67.65+/gal.), which carries a lifetime warranty against the development of flaking and other defects, helps to prevent al fresco fortifications from cracking and peeling during supersoaker season. Acri-Shield ($55.97+/gal.) lasts for long periods indoors and out, and coats outer walls easily in the hands of both professionals and casual painters. Amicable staff members roam the aisles and are eager to provide product recommendations for any home, office, or abandoned grain silo.
The experienced construction gurus at Waltco Tools, with more than 8,000 square feet full of wares from 200 major brands at their disposal, guide customers toward the right tools for any handyman job. A Dremel engraving tool ($19.99) etches signatures into personal property or local playground slides, working its carving magic on a variety of surfaces and materials such as metal, plastic, glass, ceramics, wood, and leather. The convenient telescoping magnet ($1.99) facilitates quick retrieval of screws and other metal parts, and a pair of Black Stallion gloves($16.99) protects hands when battling squirrels for dropped shiny things. Waltco packs supplies for all manner of DIY projects, as well as professional projects, outfitting area businesses with essentials for automotive and industrial work.
In December 1803, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set up the Camp River Dubois, right where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet. There, they and a crew of 30 men spent five months preparing for their legendary three-year expedition to chart America's newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territory. On May 14, 1804, they finally set sail on a 55-foot-long keelboat, named for its habit of keeling over in fear when it passed a shark.
To commemorate the bicentennial of its namesake's journey, the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower opened on May 14, 2010, the 206-year anniversary, to the day, of the expedition's embarking. Tower is a slight misnomer?the structure is actually two parallel towers, connected by viewing levels 50, 100, and 150 feet above the ground.
The platforms afford panoramic views of Lewis and Clark's departure point, as well as the rivers' intersection, and, 25 miles north, the union of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch are visible on clear days, and during evening events, sunsets and fireworks reflect gorgeously on the water. Back on the ground, the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway, complete with educational plaques, accommodates visitors interested in following the rivers' convergence on foot.