When I walked out of Cardinals Nation restaurant, I noticed something very strange — the rain had stopped and the sun was poking through the clouds. More storms were forecast later in the day so I had to make hay, as it were.
I went back to my room and exchanged the Little Red Chair for THE Red chair, then headed for the Arch. Here’s the view from Luther Ely Smith Square, immediately next to my hotel.
I walked under the arch and took the photo on the left. It turned out pretty good, but I was disappointed that I didn’t get to the grass on the top. I returned the next morning and practiced until I got it right, but the sky wasn’t as interesting.
The visitor center at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, under the Arch, opened at 9:00. My ticket to ride to the top was for 9:20, which gave me about 15 minutes to tour the Museum of Westward Expansion. Since I didn’t read any of the displays, that was plenty of time.
My turn came and I packed into one of the tiny tram cars for the ride up the Arch. I was with a friendly family of three who had no idea what to expect. They didn’t even know we could get out of the cars at the top.
The wind was gusting up to 45 mph, and the Arch swayed noticeably and constantly. It didn’t bother me, but a lot of people got out on top, turned around and rode back down on the next available elevator. I stayed up top about 15 minutes.
It wasn’t until later that I realized this was essentially a photo of people’s backsides.
Note the sign that says we’re 630 feet up. The girl in the orange jacket found me and my chair far more fascinating than anything out the windows.
The Old Courthouse and my hotel (the Drury Plaza Hotel at the lower left) from the Arch.
I would have stayed up top longer, but I had a long drive ahead of me. I walked down the curving steps to the landing for my assigned car and took this photo looking back up.
I was stuck with two couples on the way down. The five of us were crammed in the car tightly, but the trip was shorter.
Outside the Arch, I descended the steps to the bank of the Mississippi where I found this monument to the founders of St. Louis. Note the working dredge boat on the river.
It was so windy this morning, that the chair almost blew into the river.
On the previous evening during a brief stretch of sunshine, I took a photo from the top of the steps, right under the Arch. The first bridge on the left is the Eads Bridge, built in 1874. At that time, it was the longest arch bridge in the world. It’s still being used for cars and passenger trains.