Thursday, June 21, 2007
St. Louis Arch
The “girls” at the arch
I would be so happy if I were one of those people who can think of things when they need to be “thunk” of...
While on our “girl” trip to St. Louis “the Arch” was high on our list of things we had to see.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and I have to say, security was one of the last things that entered my mind.
The three sisters (me, Jackie and Rahe), along with my daughter Dana and granddaughters Binky and Gremlin, planned to hit the Arch early — most of the girls wanted to ride the cars to the top — Jackie and I were going to sit on the benches outside and be the designated wavers.
We had not planned on several things — first, the security checks we had to go through to get in the Arch.
As we stood in the long line, in the hot sun waiting to get in, all our bags were searched. The security guard was very nice and friendly, I guess because none of us were terrorists.
Then, as we got to the inside doors, we had to put all our bags on a conveyor belt and go through a metal detector. The security was much tighter than the last time I was at the airport — I don’t know if it’s normal now or what, but it was intense.
A lady in front of us had a strange, square object in her x-rayed handbag. Three or four of the security guards emptied her bag for her, searching everything, until they found her forgotten PDA zipped in a side pocket.
They were still nice, but very efficient and conscientious at this point.
When it came our time to pass through the metal detector, somehow I was first. No buzzers went off, so, whew, I wasn’t a suspected terrorist.
I was standing at the end of the x-ray conveyor belt, collecting my bag, camera and cell phone when I happened to glance up and see the rest of the “motley” crew coming through — every one of them, children included, had to raise their arms above their heads as they walked through (I didn’t).
I really had to laugh at the sight! Naturally, it didn’t occur to me for a couple days, that I should have snatched my camera up and taken “incriminating” photos. I’ve missed many a photo op because I didn’t think at the time...
The Arch itself is simply incredible. Standing 630 feet high, it also spans a distance of 630 feet. It’s legs are “equilateral triangles” that begin at 54 feet at the base and narrow down to 17 feet at the top.
And, just in case of a tram failure (I mentioned I was a designated waver for a reason!) there are two stairwells with 1,076 steps each!
On a clear day, you can see 30+ miles from the top of this gorgeous monument.
Construction began in Feb., 1963 and was completed in Oct., 1965 costing less than $15 million.
The Arch is simply stunning — a must see.
And, to get there, you have to drive a bit on Route 66!
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