US Trip 2017 – Day 8 – Gateway to the West

In Ut på tur
Scroll this

This was another day with a lot of driving, from St. Louis, Missouri to Salina, We also wanted to visit Gateway Arch ,a webcam cache and some caches with many favorite points. A long, but very eventful day! We had lots of fun!

Approximate time on road/out caching: 15 hours (1,5 walking + 13,5 driving)
Total miles driven: 483.3 mi / 777,79 km
Total cahes found: 29
Total DNF: 1
States visited: Missouri, Kansas
Famous places visited: Gateway Arch
Most memorable cache: GC7ED St. Louis Arch Virtual Cache
Biggest surprise: Getting stuck in the hotel due to testing of the emergency system
Weather: Cloudy, rain, sunny
Highest temperature: 82°F / 28°C
Lowest temperature: 66°F / 19°C
Roadwork: Yes

Getting up early

We got up early, so we could visit GC7ED St. Louis Arch Virtual Cache before going up in the arch. We could see the arch from our hotel room, so it wasn’t very far to walk. To not waste any time, we didn’t check out of the room before heading to the arch (we could do that after).

While planning, we found out that the waiting time at Gateway Arch could be very long. So we decided to be there as early as recommended. We quickly learnt that those recommendations probably doesn’t apply to the first tour of the day… The arch wasn’t open yet, and there was no queue.

But it didn’t take more than a few minutes, before more people started showing up. And once the doors opened (exactly on time), it didn’t take more than a few minutes before we were inside the tiny tram.

The long way up

The ride up was an attraction in itself. Not much space inside, but surprisingly comfortable.

Getting up on the first available ride of the day does have a huge advantage. The top was empty when we arrived. The view was a bit limited the first minutes, due to dew on the windows. But one window was perfectly clear, and that was all we needed! Even though the windows are tiny, the view is amazing!

Back down

There’s really not that much to do at the top of the arch, other than enjoying the view. And it’s also one of those places that it’s just fun to have visited. So we didn’t stay that long, but apparently longer than the rest of the group we traveled up with 😛 It almost felt like we were alone up there. And we got the entire tram pod to ourselves on the way down 😀

Getting stuck at the hotel

After visiting the arch, we just had to pick up our bags, and check out before we could leave. But we didn’t get further than the hallway before we met some other guests that told us the elevator was broken. And indeed it was, we were stuck at the top of the hotel! The emergency siren started a few minutes later, before they announced a test of the emergency system. Great. Perfect, exactly what we needed on a long day like this. We had quite a lot (and heavy) luggage, so we didn’t really want to drag it down all the stairs.

After waiting for 30-40 minutes, they announced that they couldn’t get it to work. And they sent someone up to help us (poor guy). Once he got up, the elevator started working again. And to add even more to the already crazy story, they forgot to turn the microphone off. Apparently they don’t know how they got it to work 😛 They probably just turned it off and on again… 😉

Ooops, not that way!

We eventually made it out of the hotel. But as often when parked indoor, the GPSr is confused for a few minutes. So when we found ourselves in the middle of a busy city street, with no GPSr, we just had to try to get to the interstate. Sadly, it was the wrong interstate… That also added to the already lengthy delay…

That’s a big hand!

We eventually made it to the next cache, GC1VN1A The Awakening. There was a lot of muggles around this interesting piece of art, but fortunately for us, that was just the first virtual stage of the wherigo (so no danger for the cache).

A strange place

After the interesting piece of art, we continued to another strange place. GCA9DE Expensive Real Estate led us to a nuclear waste site, with a great view. Not your typical tourist destination…

Missouri’s oldest cache

We continued west, stopping mainly at caches in new counties and a virtual cache. One of the detours we had planned (also one of the shortest detours) was to GC37 Missouri’s First – Watts Mill.

A very nice area, with no muggles. A nice break from the traffic we had to drive in to get here.

A few more detours

We continued west, stopping in counties, as usual. And we also did a couple detours to find some virtual caches, and the webcam cache GCPGXD Where in the World is Toto. Well, maybe it’s wrong to call them detours. The places we stop at along the road, and the things we see, are the real destination.

The sun started to set, and we were lucky enough to have enough daylight to finish the caches we had planned in Wamego before the sun was completely gone.

Some really nice caches

We’ve seen a few caches in Manhattan on YouTube lately. So we wanted to find a few of them. We put the ones with most favorite points on our list, and hoped for the best. And we really got the best!

Whoa is what we said. Several times. Even though we didn’t get here before after sunset, the caches were all easy to find, and awesome to log! The creators have really put both creativity and thought into these caches. Well done! We definitely recommend anyone traveling on I-70, to take time to find these caches!

A late arrival

After a long day like this, and the delays at the hotel, we couldn’t really expect to arrive early at the hotel. And we sure didn’t. We arrived exactly at midnight. Tired, but not exhausted. We see so much, and experience so much in a day, that we get filled with energy.

But it was time to get some sleep now, we had an even longer day ahead of us the next day…


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments