Solarized Zoo Zebras

We walked in Forest Park this morning. Trying to get out early, to beat the heat. We parked up at the top of the hill near the Hi-Pointe and then descended down Government Drive into its shade. I was reminded why we usually avoid the park on the weekend. It was crowded, chock full of weekend warriors, all huffing and a puffing with their exertions. It was masks up and social avoidance the best we could. Once we got away from the bike-path the population density decreased markedly. I was able to relax and listen to the quiet sounds of Kennedy Forest.

Down the hill, we encountered something new at the north entrance to the zoo. Tents and rope lines had been erected for the coming zoo reopening later this month. We stopped a zoo employee and asked about the schedule. Apparently, later is not going to be that much later. Monday, the zoo will open for members only. Next Saturday, it reopens for everyone. Come Monday, the peace and quiet of Government Drive will be gone and the road reopened to vehicles. It did not appear as though the south entrance along Wells Drive will reopen.

There was a new sign up explaining some of the rules. General admission will remain free. However, a timed reservation will be required. So, admission will be limited. Otherwise, throngs would show up and a line of cars backing up onto the highway would result. Other than the sea lion show, all the other ticketed attractions will be available, including both the train ride and the carousel. Face masks will be required for all visitors, but small children. I don’t think that we will be going to the zoo anytime soon. Maybe in the fall, when the weather turns colder and schools hopefully restarts, then it might be uncrowded enough for us to think about going to the zoo. Even so, I would stay out of all the buildings.

We continued walking east, past the zoo. Around the World’s Fair Pavilion, we ran into another spat of cardio congestion. Too many people working out, not blocked arteries. Past that we circled the Nature Playscape worksite, which this being the weekend, wasn’t being worked. Bounding the eastside of the worksite is a road, Carr Lane Drive. It is not much trafficked and was very shady when we walked it. There are always a few cars parked there and I wonder if it is a gay hangout. When we walked, there were three vehicles parked, all with one man per. Across from the Nature Playscape worksite is a dense forested section that also is little used, but would provide plenty of privacy for whatever.

There used to be another locale in the Kennedy Forest part of the park. That was also rumored to be a gay hangout. Through park renovations, the city removed that road (Coincidence?), thus prompting the popularity of Carr Lane. With most bars still closed, the social avenues for gay men to meet are somewhat limited, but I would be surprised if the city permitted any such things to continue, once the adjoining new children’s playground eventually opens. Saint Louis is still very conservative. And yes it got hot by the time we made it back to the car.

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