I’m in the middle of reorganizing my entire photo library and came across some photos I wanted to share with everyone. Two years ago I visited the St. Louis arch and tested my Claustrophobia limits by taking a ride on the tram that goes to the very top. They call it a tram but it’s more like a small egg shaped capsule. The capsule is so small that you can’t fully stand up and have to crouch through the small opening to get inside. I nervously got inside the capsule first and then 4 more people were crammed inside with me. Once the doors closed the tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. There was an eerie silence and it was obvious everyone else was nervous too. I remember thinking “What if the power goes out? How will we get out of this capsule” and immediately my forehead started to sweat. I was starting to panic and it felt like the walls of this capsule were caving in. I don’t know how long the ride to the top takes but it felt like an eternity. I wanted to immediately go back down but they make you get completely off at the top and wait back in line to go back down. The reason I was in St. Louis is I was storm chasing the day before and now a massive cold front had passed through so it was windy and the top of the arch was swaying very noticeably. It was explained to me that this was nothing and I should try riding it out on the top of the Gateway arch during a thunderstorm when lightning is hitting all over and the winds are howling through the windows, Ugh, No Thanks.
I took photos out the windows on the top of the arch with a heart rate as high as if I was in a Cat 5 hurricane. I think I was at the top for around 10 minutes and then rode the capsule back down. I remember walking out of the arch and back into the openness of being outside in an un-claustrophobic situation thinking I was glad I did it but have no desire to do it again. Well, just a few months went by and there was a news story of a massive power outage that stranded 180 people inside the arch (My worst fear) and I instantly thought about how scary it must have trapped inside one of those small capsules with 5 other people. Yikes…
This leads me to a movie review. Who has seen the 2005 movie “The Decent”? I usually don’t watch these kinds of sci-fi movies but was told by a friend that I just had to watch this movie. Let me tell you if you are in the right environment (Dark, quite, movie atmosphere) this movie will give you fits if you are claustrophobic. The cinematography is amazing and so realistic it puts you right there with these girls in the cave and gets so intense when crawling though the tights spots that I just had to stop the movie and take a breather. My worst fear is getting trapped in a small space so watching this movie was taping right into the part of my brain that holds fear and sparked goose bumps all over my body. The only thing that got me through the movie was knowing it was only a movie. There are some sci-fi creatures that appear in the movie that is supposed to be the scary part of the movie but this didn’t do much for me. The part of the movie that freaked me out was the tight openings these women were squeezing through and realizing that there are people who really do this for adventure. I will film Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Fires, Floods, Waterspouts, Lightning and just about anything else Mother Nature can throw at me but you will never get me on a cave expedition of any kind.
I added some photos to this blog from inside the arch and some shots from the very top. I also included a photo from the amazing fireworks show at the Gateway Arch.
Links of interest:
More info about the movie “The Decent”: Click Here
CNN Article about 180 people that were trapped in the Gateway arch: Click Here
Gateway Arch Website: Click Here
P.S. Only 2 months to go until I start the spring tornado chase blog that will run from roughly May 3rd - June 25th.
Fireworks during the Lewis and Clark 200th anniversary celebration at the Gateway Arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo from inside the top of the St. Louis arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
View from the top of the St. Louis arch of downtown St. Louis. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo of the St. Louis arch at Sunset. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo of people peaking out the window at the top of the St. Louis arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo inside the small capsule that brings people to the top of the arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo of 5 people crammed into a small capsule that brings people to the top of the arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Steel door to the entrance of the capsule ride. Copyright Mike Theiss.
A long line of people waiting to take ride to the top of the Gateway Arch. Copyright Mike Theiss.
Photo of the St. Louis in downtown St. Louis. Copyright Mike Theiss.