Yesterday Ron and I left the WINs and headed to St. Louis. We're staying in the Harrahs Casino parking lot for a couple of nights - not quite as quiet as we're used to. Since other WINs are also heading north, a few of them also landed here. Always nice to see familiar faces.
Today we went downtown to see the world famous St. Louis Arch - the Gateway to the West. Its official name is the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and it took two and 1/2 years to build. At 630 feet, it towers over the surrounding city and the polished stainless steel skin shines in the sunlight.
We parked along the waterfront and climbed the hundred or so steps up to the base.
There are two trams, one in each side of the arch, that carry visitors to the top. Each tram has eight capsules, which hold five persons each. Electric motors keep the capsules level as they ascend and descend. They put one on display so you can decide if you might have a problem with claustrophobia.
Here's Ron about to enter our capsule (or egg, as I like to call it.)
I really appreciated the view from the top because when I was here about ten years ago, it was windy and raining. Of course, I still had to go to the top and there was no view. However we could see the rain falling below us - that was interesting. I told Ron that the arch sways 14 feet in the wind and it's actually about 14 inches. It just felt like feet.
Ron's looking at the Mississippi River far below.
This is it. Along with everywhere we've been this spring, the river is higher then normal. And just as muddy as its reputation.
The closer bridge is the Eads Bridge. Completed in 1874, it was the worlds first alloy steel bridge, the first to use tubular cord members (whatever that means,) and the first to depend entirely upon the cantilever. It was the first large bridge to span the Mississippi and the first to carry railroad tracks. It is a double decker bridge with railroad tracks below the roadway. Of course, back in 1874, the upper deck was for pedestrians and trolley cars.
I think this is the postcard spot. The sun was not quite right, but I thought it still turned out okay.
These guys are blurry since they were zooming away from me. Daddy goose stayed on shore and actually hissed at me.
This lovely building with the arch in the background is the old courthouse. It's now the park headquarters and a museum, but had quite a history. It was where the famous Dred Scott case was originally tried. Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom and his case went all the way to the Supreme Court. Although he lost the case, the publicity increased the turmoil between the slavery supporters and opponents and may have hastened the start of the Civil War.
I thought the rotunda was particularly lovely.