Gateway Arch and Goodbye

Gateway Arch 01-30-2013Friend Jan and I had planned to visit St. Louis’ Gateway Arch Tuesday, but the torrential rains kept us from our goal. We got to the site too close to her departure time for her to see the movie on the building of the structure, one of my favorites, but she did get to walk around it taking photos.

You have to lick the arch

Jan Norris at Gateway ArchI tried to convince her that it was tradition that newcomers to the arch had to lick it. Daughter-in-Law Sarah must have warned her about that gambit, because she got close enough to tease the arch, but not close enough to give it a healthy lick.

Turned down tram ride

Jan Norris at Gateway ArchI think she was ready to take the 4-minute tram ride to the top of the arch despite all the horror stories about claustrophobia and getting stuck. Ready, that is, until she got into a mock-up and realized that she’d be sharing that small space with four other riders.

I got the feeling her togetherness quota had already been exceeded on this trip.

Time to wave goodbye

Jan Norris at St. Louis AirportEleven days, 2,422 miles and nine states after we started our trek, it was time to put her on a plane back to sunny Florida. She made her escape just in time. Shortly before I dropped her off, I noticed some white pellets on my blue jacket that weren’t dandruff. The wind picked up and the white stuff kept coming down harder. It wasn’t sticking yet, but there was enough of it to blow around in the roadway.

I met with some folks about a possible St. Louis photo exhibit, then went to dinner with Friend Shari. When we got out of the restaurant, the stuff was still coming down and I had ice on the windshield. That’s when I decided to stay at Brother Mark’s house one more night rather than chance finding a slick spot on the way back to Cape.

Is this going to work out?

To be honest, before we left Florida, I wasn’t sure how this pairing was going to work out. Sure, we had worked and biked with each other for years, but being trapped in a car with someone for days is another thing. That’s why Wife Lila flies back home and I drive.

After it was all over, Jan and I are still speaking each other. She and Mother bonded. (I’d wake up in the morning hearing they chattering away in the kitchen like magpies.) I even noticed a few times when Jan said, “The next time I come back….”

Photo Gallery of the Last Day

Here are some pictures of Jan’s last day in Missouri and the Gateway Arch. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.


5 Replies to “Gateway Arch and Goodbye”

  1. The little car with four sweating people…the jerking when you change the angle up the arch…Jan, smart move NOT getting in the car. That being said, the top of the arch is a wonderful experiance. The view is far and away the best in the midewest. When you are at the top of the arch you can look straight down and see NOTHING below holding you up, not like a normal building.

  2. When time allows, a few blocks walk to the old court house, part of the National Park Service arch site (JNEM for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial), is a worthy experience. Quite a feeling to stand in the room where the landmark ‘Dred Scott’ case unfolded.

    1. We just flat ran out of time. There were a lot of things I wanted to show my passenger, but there are only so many hours in a day.

      I know what you mean about the feeling of history you get when you go to certain places. I remember my first trip to Washington, D.C., and driving around looking at buildings I had only seen in photos and on TV. There is such a feeling of “those are REAL buildings.”

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