17/61- Shiny, steel and shimmering at 650 ft the Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made structure in the US. It is a feat of monumental proportions and speaks much to the ingenuity and tenacity of the American architects and steel workers who designed and built it. Located on the banks of the Mississippi river and at the edge of what was once the American wilderness it is a site of great historic import. This so-called gateway was the entrance to the wild west and the American frontier. Situated adjacent to the old courthouse where the Dred Scott case was heard and across the river from the Cahokia mounds there is much history in this location. However we felt that the designation as “national park” number 60 instead of- “national historic monument” to be a little odd. It felt like more of a Disneyland ride and then a nature walk.
Our autograph collection hotel was the nicest we have stayed in this year by a long shot. It was amazing!! We were totally out of place but loved every minute of it!
On advice from the locals we spent the next morning across the river at Cahokia Mounds. These enormous mounds represent the largest “Indian” population north of Mexico. Covering 6 miles, in the year 1200 the city here was larger than London. In fact, this was the largest city in the United States until Philadelphia was established. Their temples were built a top the mountains. Perhaps this is our version of the Mayan temples. We were glad we came.