Drove into St.Louis early Sunday AM, and walked all around the downtown area by the Arch. Parking was a bit problematic as we felt the F-350 with the lights on the cab was too tall to comfortably get in the parking garage by the Arch. Finally found an open parking lot down by the old restored area being used as night life spots and restaurants. A bit quiet on a Sunday morning in that area, much more so than the revelry at night. The RV parking area was closed due to construction but of course the city hadn't taken down the signs leading there or given an alternative! We walked through the grounds around the Arch and suddenly - there it was! 630 feet of gleaming stainless steel. It almost made you dizzy to look up from under it. I didn't realize that the Arch is a national park. http://www.nps.gov/jeff.
Our NPS Golden Age pass got us into the underground Museum of Westward Expansion inside the arch for $0. The tram ride up to the top and the IMAXX movie was a grand total of $22 for both of us. The Museum of Westward Expansion is part of the NPS entry fee of $3. We spent about an hour and a half in the Museum reading the interpretive panels that went with the maps, artifacts and exhibits taken from the original diaries of Lewis and Clark and western pioneers. Also went to the "American West" IMAXX movie with incredible fly overs of western canyons and wild areas.
Joe sort of held his breath for the four minute ride up to the top of the Arch on the tram as he is a bit claustrophobic. Tram is not what we were on but in tiny little five passenger pods shaped like an egg. Totally closed in and stuffy with the accompanying noise of going up through a metal tube. We both could feel the wind effect at the top and were suprised at the small view windows. Guess they are small and almost bullet proof for the wind. Joe did breathe going down
We did the tourist thing and took the Tom Sawyer river boat out onto the Mississippi. Only an hour ride and we've both spent too much time on the water to be excited about it. It was interesting watching all the barge boats go by and listening to the NPS ranger talk about the history of St. Louis.
Too late in the day and a bit too tired to go to the Zoo or Botanical Park. We'll leave those for over the next two days. Also found two archeological parks and one park that shows how the dam and lock system works. Isn't it great being a kid again?