Day 74, Thursday, September 27, 2018
Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, Missouri
In my last post, I explained the history of Gateway Arch National Park, but I was so excited to visit again! My first visit had been in 2006 with friends, but this would be my first visit by myself.
My first order of business was to purchase my ticket to go up to the top of the arch in their little pod unit. There is always a bit of a wait for tickets, but going solo means they can fit you in more easily!
While I waited, I checked out the Westward Expansion museum in the basement of the arch. It is a great museum dedicated to telling the story of the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the West Coast, and the stories of the later pioneers. It was definitely worth a return visit!
In short order, it was my turn to get into the pod. I climbed in, and to be honest it is a little bit claustrophobia inducing. It’s really tight in there, but it helps to look out the window in the pod to see the inside wall of the arch and the machinery that moves the pods up and down through the arch.
Soon I was at the top, and I got to see the incredible view! The windows in the Arch are very small, but they give a great view of the buildings down below, and the river nearby. I found the small windows to be good for not making my fear of heights flare up! There are also some displays that give you some interesting facts about the arch. Did you know that the Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall, and also 630 feet wide at the base? You can stay up in the Arch for as long as you want, and then you just line up to catch the next pod going down.
Afterwards, I headed over to the Old Courthouse, to check it out once again. It was built between 1839 and 1864, and was the place where the Dred Scott trial first started. So this courthouse was one of the pivotal places leading up to the Civil War. The building has been renovated to stabilize it, but many of the historical features are still intact, and it is an incredible building. I wandered around for a while, checking out the architecture of this amazing courthouse.
There was a lot to see and do here, even though it is a small park. Soon enough though, it was time to get on the road; I had more I wanted to see nearby!