St. Louis, Missouri – Gateway to the West

October 21st and 22nd we stayed at the Red Barn Rendezvous RV Park in Edwardsville, Illinois, just outside of St Louis, Missouri. We spent the day sightseeing in St Louis, at the Gateway Arch and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The Gateway Arch is a world-renowned masterpiece of modern architecture built on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St Louis. It was created in 1935 by Eero Saarinen, to memorialize the role of St Louis in the westward expansion of the United States. The structure of the Gateway Arch, built between 1963 and 1965, is a sandwich made of stainless steel on the outside, carbon steel on the inside, and concrete in the middle. The highlight of the visit was the ride to the top of the 630 foot arch. We rode in a unique capsule-transporter system, consisting of barrel-shaped capsules joined together to form a train-like vehicle that runs on tracks inside the hollow legs of the Arch. Each capsule holds 5 passengers and maintains a level position throughout the 4 minute ride to the top.

Once we arrived at the observatory, we had fabulous views looking out over all of St Louis. Also across the Mississippi River to the Malcolm W Martin Memorial Park where we saw the Gateway Geyser erupt. It is the tallest water fountain in the US and erupts 3 times a day, we were lucky to be there at 12 noon to view the eruption, that can reach up to 630 feet on a windless day, as tall as the arch itself. When we descended we visited the Museum of Westward Expansion beneath the Arch. Where we viewed the history of the American West from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to the closing of the frontier in the 1890’s, and saw how the American Indians and pioneers lived.

View from the top of the Gateway Arch