Friday, April 27, 2018

The Arch....

7:04 am - Friday - April 27th - St. Louis, MO - 50º F, 87% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the west.....clear blue skies with a forecast high of 71º F.

First of all, it has been nice to be sitting still for a few days after moving daily for 9 straight days.  We are parked in beautiful surroundings.....


....it is quiet and almost pastoral here at the Oakville Elks Lodge.

We were here in St. Louis back in the mid 80's when we had just 3 children and visited the St. Louis Gateway Arch National Park at that time, but it has been over 30 years, and we thought it would be fun to visit again, and spend more time in and around this amazing structure, but I get ahead of myself.

It has been a while since I washed and detailed the Newell.  I think the last time was on our way to the Grand Canyon from Yellowstone at Downata Hot Springs in southern Idaho last October.....it was definitely due.  The weather was delightful so I spent about 2 hours washing and drying the exterior of the Newell, and it came out quite well......



......she's got a smile on her face again, and her ALCOA wheels have a sparkle to them once again!

We were off on our drive over to the Gateway Arch around 1 pm.  It takes a little over 30 minutes in traffic to get there, but visiting on a Wednesday meant it would not be crowded, and it was not.  We found a parking spot ($6) down by the waterfront and then walked up to the Visitor Center to buy our admission tickets ($20 with our National Park Pass).  The Gateway Arch was originally conceived in the early 40's, and finally completed in 1965.  Not one person lost their life in the construction.  There is a theater inside the Visitor Center (Tucker Theater) where you can watch a 30 minute movie (Monument to the Dream.....click on this YouTube link to view a portion of the movie) about the history, and construction of the Arch.....it is totally fascinating......

Very few cars in the riverside parking lot

......our tickets to ride to the top of the Arch were for 2:10 pm, so we walked around the arch for about 15 minutes before heading inside to get on the funky elevator.....





......we were assigned to elevator #5 (Ride to the Top....click on this YouTube link to view how the 'elevator' works).....they are quite small inside, and seat just 5 people each....

Our 'capsule'

......you can ride the elevator capsules up either the south, or north leg....we went up the north leg.  As the capsule ascends the leg, which is, obviously curved, the capsule periodically adjusts itself so it stays vertical to the ground.

The views from the viewing deck, 630' above the ground, are spectacular as one might imagine......

 The Cardinals were playing a 'day' game Thursday

 The old courthouse


 At the top

 The entire viewing area about 100' long, and you must lean over to look out the windows

 The Hyatt Regency hotel is to the right of the old courthouse


 


....by the time we finished with our tour it was closing in on 3 pm and we were both hungry so we stopped by a local Starbucks located in the Hyatt Regency hotel in the picture above.  We both got coffees, and a bagel for moi, and a scone for TLE.

After our coffee we spent some more time walking around the arch and capturing it from different angles......



 My favorite picture of the day



 Big barge being pushed up the Mississippi

.....we were back in the Beetle heading for home by 4:15 pm.  We had a dinner date with Creig and Kay's family at their home at 6 pm, so we were back on our way over to their home by 5:20, arriving there right at 6 pm (rush hour traffic slows things down a lot).  We spent a couple of hours with Creig, Kay, Jessica and Kaytlin (and their significant others....Zach and Steven).  It was such a perfect evening we sat outside eating until almost 8 pm before the evening chill chased us inside.

Left to right: Moi, Creig, Kay, Kaytlin, Zach, Steven, Jess and TLE

One of the benefits of our lifestyle is being able to visit with our relatives across the country on a more regular basis than we did when we were stuck in our workaday lives.  It was truly a pleasure to spend time with Creig and Kay's amazing daughters.

We were home just before 9 pm, and in bed by 10:30.....we'll be going hiking Friday with Creig and Kay.....looking forward to it!  Thanks for stopping by!

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