Rain on Our Parade – Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower #118

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img_2506It finally happened. On the fourth cake of the day, our luck ran out and Miles and I were treated to a sudden and heavy downpour just as we pulled into the parking lot for Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower. So, since the day had otherwise been mostly sunny, we did what seemed like the only plan of action – waiting in the car and bonding over our shared conclusion that Illinois was not a fan of our cake adventures.

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Entrance to the Confluence Tower

While we waited, it was practically impossible not to admire the enormous structure directly in front of us. Soaring to a staggering 180 feet, the Confluence Tower was constructed in 2010 to commemorate the location where Lewis and Clark set sail on their momentous expedition. With viewing platforms at 50, 100 and 150 feet, you can not only take in the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers but supposedly you can also see all the way to the Gateway Arch if it’s a clear enough day, which, of course, on the day of our expedition, it was anything but.

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Miles admiring Clark’s biography

So for one of the first times, but certainly not the last, this Cake Monster swallowed what was left of her pride (and let’s be honest, vanity, because there is no coming back from rain on curly hairs) and decided it was time to let Miles run wild in the rain so we could continue with our hunt.

As you walk up to the entrance to the Confluence Tower there are two little areas with concrete steps and water running over them on either side with a likeness of Lewis and his biography on one and Clark on the other. Since we were basically alone at this point in the day, and we were already soaking wet, I let Miles decide which side to check out first and because he’s a history buff, he chose Clark and jumped right into that side’s water steps without a second thought.

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Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

The cake itself was a bit behind the tower just past a little water fountain that again Miles sampled as we passed by because a pug’s gotta do what a pug’s gotta do, and I was too waterlogged and soggy to stop him.

After we had walked around a bit, I saw there was a museum type place located a few feet from the cake, and so I poked my head in just to look around and of course Miles saw his opening and barged in after me as if he had been there many times before. The teenagers who were working the front desk thought seeing Miles was the best thing since sliced bread and didn’t even stop him from looking around and sniffing all the artifacts he came across. They even said that we could climb the tower if we wanted to for free, but as I realized just how many steps that would amount to with a lazy little pup, I had to pass saying we had other cakes to visit before our time in Illinois was over.

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Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

So we said goodbye, and like Lewis and Clark, headed back into in the wild Illinois unknown, hoping for good weather, a strong sense of direction and hopefully no further obstacles on the way to our next destination.

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Cake #118 at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower

Cake Monster’s Top Ten Interesting Facts about the Arch – The Gateway Arch #78

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wpid-wp-1445979883241.jpgFor most St. Louisans, the Gateway Arch is a symbol of what it means to be from St. Louis. When you drive towards the city, you can almost always see it watch your drive in. When your out of town friends or relatives visit, it’s one of the highlights on an obligatory tour of St. Louis. But how much do you really know about the Arch? Welp, this Cake Monster has gathered the top ten most interesting facts (at least to her, anyway) about the monument to help you beef up your knowledge of the Gateway Arch.

Cake #78 at the Gateway Arch

Cake #78 at the Gateway Arch

1.) The Arch just celebrated it’s 50th anniversary on October 28th (one day…and several decades…away from this Cake Monster’s birthday)! It was completed in 1965.

2.) The architect who designed the Arch was Eero Saarinen. He wanted the Arch to be a monument to Thomas Jefferson as well as for it to be “a landmark of our time.”

3.) The Gateway Arch is the tallest man made monument in the United States.

IMG_23604.) The Arch is as tall as it is wide – 630 feet each way!

5.) Trams run every 5 or 10 minutes (depending on if only one or both legs of the Arch are running) which can take you to the top of the Arch. But if you were interested in walking up the stairs inside the Arch, which don’t get too excited about it, they’re only for emergencies or maintenance, you’d have a 1,076 step journey ahead of you.

Cake #78 at the Gateway Arch

Cake #78 at the Gateway Arch

6.) Once at the top, the viewing area can only hold up to 160 people at one time, but if the weather is just right, you can get a view of Missouri on one side and Illinois on the other. However if the weather is a little rough, the Arch has been known to sway!

Mannequin child and Cousin Monster

Mannequin child and Cousin Monster

7.) If six passenger tram rides and crammed viewing spaces aren’t your thing, there is still plenty to see in the area underneath the Arch. In particular, there is the Museum of Westward Expansion which is “sadly” currently closed, but which contains an inappropriate amount of mannequins.

8.) In 1987, the Arch and the area surrounding it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

9.) And just in case you were wondering, the Gateway Arch weighs 43,220 pounds.

2014-04-18 17.15.1010.) It will forever be the location of Cake #78 on this Cake Monster’s cake-venture! Plus it was also the location of another accidental Mercutio selfie to add to the books!

wpid-wp-1445979848030.jpgAlso while we were visiting the cake, Mercutio took this amazing photo while we were on the Arch grounds then added his own personal editing touch which inspired this Cake Monster, who is also a Seven Word Storyteller, to write the Seven Word Story you can read here.

And now you can impress your friends, and maybe even win a trivia night, with your newly acquired Gateway Arch knowledge!