Gateway to the West

St. Louis ArchThis weekend I took a quick trip to visit some family in St. Louis, Missouri. I rarely see them, and whenever I do I expect late nights filled with gossip, old family stories and plenty of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. My aunt knows how to entertain!

The highlight of the sightseeing was, of course, a visit the Arch. I’d been there many times as a kid, but I was sometimes too scared to ride to the top, and other times the line was too long for us to wait. This time, I made it all the way up! It was fun to be there with my cousin’s two boys — they’re 7 and 4, and they’d never been to the Arch. The oldest was a little nervous about going up inside of it. It’s funny that we, the adults, were trying to calm his fears and act like, “Hey! No biggie! We’ll only be 360 feet in the air!” But that is very high. And humans like to be on the ground, you know, with the legs and with no wings.

St. Louis Arch SilhouettesThe oldest held it together, he was brave even through his nervousness. Sometimes if you can get through a little discomfort and a little fear, you can experience something amazing. It was perfectly fine and safe. Nothing bad happened to us! We rode through this amazing structure, through its innards up to the tippy-top. Then we looked out windows for 30 seconds and the youngest was HOT (it was hot and clammy up there with other bodies and other breath) and wanted to go. That was fine with me. I see little people from airplanes and little cars from airplanes. It was really instead about the experience, about the ride up and the ride down. The oldest wasn’t afraid anymore. He asked if we could go again, if we could buy another ticket. I wasn’t afraid anymore either.

Our feet in the tiny compartment inside the Arch:

feet climbing up the Arch
Lando at Arch

Grant at Arch

Thanks Lando and Grant for sharing your first trip to the Arch with me. It was cool to see it all shiny and new through your eyes.

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