Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Gateway Arch Observation Deck at Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park (East St. Louis, MO)

4.05.2014

Gateway Arch Observation Deck at Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park (East St. Louis, MO)

One of my last [casual] stops in my drive back to Southern California was East St. Louis, IL, the bordering city to St. Louis, MO. In particular, I was there to visit the observation deck of the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, one of the best places to see the Gateway Arch in its entirety.

And here's a cameo of my 1999 BMW 528i wagon stuffed to the gills with some of my worldly possessions.

It was a clear, cold day with snow and ice still on the ground. The park was "closed" with a flimsy chain across the beginning of the ramp leading to the observation deck and I was the only person and vehicle in sight. I went back to the car for my Yaktrax and up the path I went. Needless to say that this was the last time I was going to use those ice cleats for a while as temperatures were far above freezing once I made it past Oklahoma on Interstate 40.

Ha! I laugh at your icy conditions and little chain barrier.
Here is some information about the Mississippi River Overlook.
At the top of the deck, I was greeted by a life-sized statue of Malcolm W. Martin himself and a decorated birthday cake sculpture commemorating the 250th birthday of the city of St. Louis, MO. Actually, this art piece is part of a campaign called "Cakeway to the West" with a whole spattering of these non-edible delicacies all over the STL region. For more information about this celebratory project, visit http://www.stl250.org/cake.aspx. In fact, one of my friends is making it a special mission to find them all with her motorcycle. Considering who I'm referring to, I'm not surprised one bit that she's probably going to pull it off.


It's not often that I am greeted with a cake after climbing up two very long stories of ramp. Usually, I'm just told to turn around and do the climb again.
I could see why this spot is valued by many a photographer for its view of the St. Louis skyline and its most popular attraction. Even on a regular day like this with no filters and nothing but my cell phone, the shot was just spectacular. Combine that with the Gateway Geyser (it wasn't on that day) and some fireworks and you've got a show.


And here's my obligatory selfie with Mr. Martin's statue as he gazes back across the Mississippi River from the park that he helped make a reality.


Symbolically, it felt appropriate to end the farewell tour of this drive by crossing the Mississippi and through the "Gateway to the West." The continuing drive across the country was pretty uneventful with very little time to stop for other attractions, but I am glad I did take the time to see this one. I hope to return to St. Louis under better circumstances, on two wheels, and with more time to hang out with my friends out here.