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The Gateway to the Midwest
The anticipation, the wondering, and the waiting…. I am ready to see the world in a blink of an eye, if I ever get through this line!
The announcer said, “Ladies and gentlemen get into groups of five.”
At that moment, I was thinking who I might want to spend my last breath with. The mindboggling thought of being 530 feet in the air was terrifying. The thought of going up in what looked like a 5 by 5 silver washing machine was horrific. However, I was determined to go up into the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch, the Gateway to the Midwest.
When I stepped into the washing machine, to my surprise, there were no seat belts. I was thinking how the heck am I going to survive if there are no seat belts. My heart began to race. I believe my friends were thinking like me based on the disbelief in their eyes. We cautiously, slowly stepped into the machine unsure of our destiny. When everybody was loaded in the machine, the doors started to close!
We were waiting in the machine for what seemed like an hour, but it was only a minute or so. We finally started to move; my insides felt like someone was trying to smash up potatoes in my stomach. I think that we should have gone to the arch before lunch! I was beginning to calm down, but then there was a sudden jerk. Our goal keeper Harpie started to hyperventilate, and my other friend next to me was yelling for glee. I on the other hand was sitting there in shock looking like a deer in headlights. I was probably ghost white. The jerks kept on coming in increments of 15 seconds or so. I calmed down again once I got used to the jerking and realized it was supposed to feel that way.
Then there was a sudden halt. Everybody screamed; we thought we were going down.
The announcer came on again and said, “Welcome. We made it to the top.”
The doors started to open slowly, and we stepped out of the death machine. I thought we would just go to the top, look out for a few minutes, get back in and go down. No! We were not going to get off that easily. We had to face another obstacle, stairs! We had to climb the steep narrow stairs, but we got there ok.
There were a ton of people. Surely there was a weight limit, but I let that thought pass. I was able to push my way through the crowd to look out the window and take some pictures. Wow! The view was amazing. It was one of the best sights I have ever seen. I could see the tall buildings, the trees, the river, specks of people, the baseball stadium, and the city.
Then I felt the arch begin to sway. "It is falling, it is falling," I heard myself repeating. The security guard explained the arch moves when there is wind. It was built to sway. After that comment and a few more pictures, I definitely was ready to return to Earth.
We had to wait for the next machine. We congregated for about 10 minutes passing the time laughing and chatting. Then the other tourists arrived and my friends and I tried to look very scared to freak some of them out. That was kind of evil, but was also so much fun!
We loaded into the machine again. Thankfully fear was no longer present in my body. We began to yell for fun. First, we were yelling random things. Then we started to converse back and forth between the machine.
When the ride was almost over the announcer came on and said, “Ladies and gentlemen please lower your voices.”
We started laughing and could hardly stop.
We finally got off, but at that point I did not want it to end. I wanted to go again to see the view and experience the washing machine too. I think that everybody that visits Saint Louis should visit the top of the Gateway Arch. You may be nervous at first, but it’s worth it.