Saturday, June 28, 2008


The Gateway to the West

That's the nickname for St. Louis and the justification for building the massive Gateway Arch in front of the city.

I started the day by going to the Anheuser-Busch brewery, where they give free tours of the plant and a few free beers at the end. The tour brings you the malt/rice mixing tanks, the hops filter, the chill tanks for yeast fermenting, and the bottling plant. They also brought the tour to the horse stables where the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and dalmations are kept.

These huge fermenting tanks would keep a frat busy for months! Well maybe days depending on the frat..

Unfortunately the bottling plant was not running because they do maintenance and cleaning on Saturday mornings, so we couldn't watch the lines spit out 2000 filled bottles per minute.

After the brewery, I headed down to the Arch. Little did I know that St. Louis has casinos! To avoid paying for public parking, I parked at one of the casinos and played some $5 blackjack on my way out. This was a good opportunity to check out the Mississippi River flooding:

There is supposed to be a road and a river walk down there!
I walked to the Arch, and it happened to be pretty crowded today -- there was a 1.5 hour wait to ride the tram to the top. So I hung out for a half hour and then went to a really good IMAX featuring the Lewis and Clarke expedition -- their journey seemed a bit more difficult than mine.

I finally got to take the tram to the top. It's a really neat system made of eight 5-person "pods" that rotate to keep you upright as the tram climbs the side of the arch.
The view of Busch Stadium from the top:

And looking straight down at the people underneath:

In this photo is the shadow of the arch, and you can see the flooded coastal area next to the river:

I was in St. Louis until pretty late today, so it will be a light driving day.

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