I hope to get a closer view.
We drove to Collinsville, IL, just across the river and enjoyed a wonderful day of cycling in the country. We biked to Edwardsville and back, with a little extra backtracking to retrieve a lost water bottle. Bonus miles! The field of yellow flowers that Anne is standing before is rapeseed and is grown for its canola oil. We rode in Madison County that has literally hundreds of miles of rails-to-trails bike paths. I had to invoke Google maps to navigate their labyrinth around Edwardsville and when we exited the paths in downtown Edwardsville, Google dumped us on a brick paved street, pavé. One nice feature of these trails are their numerous tunnels that cross under busy thoroughfares and facilitate car free cycling. There is no need to dodge traffic. We counted eleven on our route. They are usually very dark, especially while wearing sunglasses on such a brilliant day so that diving into one is almost like taking a leap of faith into a black hole. We lunched at Foundry Public House. Anne had a flatbread dish, while I had a burger and Greek fries, which are cooked with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, and grated Mizithra cheese. Yummy!
We revisited the Earth Day festival today, the largest in the Midwest. Crystal blue skies and a wee bit more warmth successfully brought the throngs out. We bicycled today, which was a good thing, because parking would have been impossible. There was such a long line of bikes waiting to cross Skinker and enter the park that we had to go with the flow and run the red, just to make that light cycle. I’m sure that played well with the endless line of cars that were backed up all along Skinker, but they weren’t going anywhere anyway, at least anytime soon. I’m seen here sporting the latest fashion in bike lids, a waxing crescent moon helmet. If I turn my head and give you the other profile then you can see the waning crescent. Creator Lynn Herzberger fitted it and snapped the photo. It was tough to balance it on top of my head. He was supporting ISDC 2017, the International Space Development Conference, which occurs next month, here in Saint Louis. As part of their promotional effort they were touting Saint Louis engineering firsts: The Eads Bridge – First bridge across the Mississippi; The Spirit of Saint Louis – First nonstop transatlantic flight; Fabrication of the Mercury space capsules – First US manned spaceship. I’m not sure how much all of this has to do with Earth Day, but it was a lot of fun posing as a moon man and it has to be more relevant than rain gutters and replacement windows.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be
Today’s Earth Day dawned rather wet. It rained so that I was afraid that the earth might drown, but by noon it stopped and we soon headed over to Forest Park and the annual Earth Day festival. At least, the rain succeeded in knocking all of the pollen out of the air that has been bothering me of late. The festival acts like an outdoor mall, with hundreds of little booths, all of which are hawking something. Sometimes it is a cause, but on others it is merchandise. The connection that some of these booths have with Earth Day is pretty obvious, but for others it is a long march down the path of six degrees of separation. The weather had muted today’s turnout, but that’s OK, fewer people made for a more enjoyable experience. Tomorrow will be the pick day and I suspect that the crowds will be there for it. Today’s low turnout made each booth’s hawker all the more desperate to lure you in to listen to their spiel, if not actually buy.
As the years roll-on from that first Earth Day, oh so long ago, each new year’s festival seems to lose a little more of that quirky hippy-dippy atmosphere of the original, only to be supplanted with more and more corporate order. The below pictured van was a notable exception to this corporate creep. The festival’s food booths were a noticeable improvement over the past. Plenty of local restaurants were there representing. We’ll likely return again tomorrow, because we plan on bicycling in the park and the festival’s food would make for a nice lunch stop.