Go West, Girl

Day  Two

St. Louis and The Gateway Arch

Originally St. Louis was going to be a quick pit stop on my drive west. Then I learned the Gateway Arch had just re-open in July including the tram ride to the top.  And it was now part of the National Park system which was a double win for me since the tram was closed on a previous visit and my brand- new National Park passport was itching for its first stamp.

Ten dollars got me a ride to the top with two with a family of four from from Mississippi.  During those few minutes, we chatted about the usual things, where you from and where you’re heading, but it was the space shuttle inspired pod holding five seats in a tight semi-circle where we really bonded. I guess with no circulating air and claustrophobia one breath away, bonding among strangers is a good thing.

Leaning over a small metal beam, I peeped out of the Arch’s small glass windows to see the thick, muddy waters of the Mississippi River to the east and to the west the mixed architecture of downtown St. Louis. After several minutes of looking and picture taking, I made my way back to a pod this time holding a family from Chicago to make the  630 feet trip back to the base of the arch.

For the next hour, I wandered around the new museum learning about the Westward expansion and the many people who played willing and unwilling roles. Then like Lewis and Clark and the pioneers who followed them, I crossed the Mississippi to see what the west had to offer an east coast girl looking for adventure.

Oh, yea, I got my  first stamp in my national parks passport. That life list I got going, just grew: collect all parks’ stamps.

Click below to see pictures from day two’s adventure


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