Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sky High

While we were in St. Louis this weekend, we discovered that BFF had never been up inside the Gateway Arch, so we insisted that she do that before we left town. It’s like the world’s largest ball of string. How can you pass that up, if you’re in the neighborhood? I’ve seen the Arch several times, so I take it for granted that everyone else has too, since it’s kind of in my backyard. I have to remind myself every now and then that many of you have never been to my little corner of the world and that you may be curious about what it’s like here. That thought occurred to me when we entered the Arch. I said to myself, “Self, folks like Jason and Oreneta and Karisma have likely never been to St. Louis. You should show them around, too. So I am. If you’ve been to the Arch, you can skip this post. If you haven’t come along for a little peek.

It is a really cool structure.

The light bouncing off of all of that steel alters its appearance throughout the day, and the simplicity of its shape is remarkable. You should really go here and read about the construction of the Arch. It’s very interesting. They had only 1/64th of an inch room for error when connecting the two legs at the top. Nifty, huh? There are my peeps, waiting for me to catch up because I was…you guessed it…taking pictures of redbuds.You enter the arch in a basement like area underground.
Forgive the crookedness of this photo. I took it as we were leaving, and I was in a hurry. My bunch was anxious to get to Ruby Tuesday’s for the all you can eat soup and salad bar.

You will go even further underground to get to the trams that will take you to the top. Say hello to the back of Teen Angel and BFF. Notice how they’re ignoring the camera. Around the corner, you’ll wait in line for your tram. Just a note, the guides get a little testy if you get on the wrong side of the rail to take a picture.
What’s behind door number four?Our tiny little tram. Each one holds five people.It’s kind of like crawling into your clothes dryer. It is SMALL in there, and if you are claustrophobic, you will not like it. The last time we went up in this thing, a rather scared, vocal woman put a death grip on Hubby’s knee and screamed all the way to the top. Anyway, the ride takes four minutes, which is long enough to annoy your family with the camera. This is the look I get at least sixteen times a day. Seventeen if I’m on a roll. I think we were a diversion for the nice lady from Alabama in our cart that was having a major panic attack. Watching the tram door while you rise to the top reminds me of riding to the top of the Washington Monument. When you arrive, you pick a corner, hang your butt over the ledge and peer out one of the tiny windows, where you get views like this:And this: And this: That’s where the Cardinals play and where a bunch of fans were freezing their tail feathers off in 30 degree weather on opening day. There are great views up there, and on days when it’s very windy, you can feel the Arch sway a little. If you are afraid of heights, you will not like the sway.
To leave, you have to travel down another steep stairwell to catch the tram again.And can you believe we rode down with a couple from Connecticut whose police chief is retiring and coming to be the police chief of our city? What are the odds of that happening? Have I mentioned I love talking to strangers?
There is a short walk to and from your car, but it’s a lovely place for a picnic if you’re so inclined and are there on a good weather day. My peeps were inclined to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s, which is why they left me behind again….while I was taking another picture of….redbuds. There are several cool things to do in downtown St. Louis, so take time to stop if you’re ever rolling through there. Tell ‘em Hula sent you. And let me know if you need directions to the closest restaurant.


Trailboss said...

I remember now. Yes, that's it. I was 9 years old and we went to the arch. Never mind that was 40 years ago.....hahahaha

oreneta said...

Thank you for the tour! I will have to get my butt down to St Louis cause that looks really neat! I get the same look from eldest. She complains I don't have many photos of her, but how many photos do you need that all have the same look?

I think I would like the sway, and I would not like someone screaming for four minutes for the entire ascent. When I go, I promise, I will go to Ruby Tuesdays too.

Sounds fabulous!

Anonymous said...

It really is an awesome structure isnt it? Funny story...a few years ago we drove to St. Louis as part of our midwest road trip...and I got to go up in the arch for the first time. As we were looking down I could see our car. And then I could see a parking officer leaving a ticket on it. LOL!

J.G. said...

Thanks for the tour! So glad you went up in the arch so I don't have to. :-)

Fantastic Forrest said...

This is too fun.

16 times a day, huh? How do you cope with that?

I like your blog, and your philosophy of life. I am now following.

Janis said...

Been there done that, my step daughter and her family live just over the line in Illinois. The Arch is truly amazing, but I was one of the people who got a little sweaty on the tram and when we reached the top. I was glad to get back on the ground. Did you feel like you were swaying...or was that my imagination??? Great photos.