Back on the Bike

Lake McDonald Boat Ride View

This picture is from Glacier. We took a ride on the De Smet, a 1930s tour boat, around Lake McDonald. This wooden boat was suitably quaint/idiosyncratic. It had sliding windows that were so tricky that we were asked to have the crew do them for us. This alpine lake was so placidly smooth, so that only the boat’s wake disturbed the surface of the water. You can see some of that at the bottom.

Anne and I bicycled today in Forest Park. It was the first time that I’ve been on a bike for a month and only the second time for two months. For Anne, it was the first time in almost three months. But we are now both back in town and are committed to getting ready for next month’s Bike MS challenge. Look forward to hearing about more of our two-wheel adventures to come. Today, we toured the board walks in the northeast corner of the park and saw a little blue heron.

This species used to be extremely rare in Saint Louis, at least compared to its bigger brother, but over the last few years, it has become a park regular. iBird shows its range to be more coastal: the gulf, southeast coast and the Caribbean. Maybe global warming is pushing its range further north?

In less happy biking news, our friend Chris from Rochester shared a photo of himself, after his latest bike accident. He took quite a few hit points. He’s got bandages everywhere. My question to him though is how’s the bike? 😉

After our ride, I drove up to Schnucks for groceries and two boys approached me in the store. After having gotten my attention, one of them spoke. What he wanted to say was, “Don’t hate the player hate the game.” But what he said was, “Don’t hate the game hate the player.” Realizing that he had messed up, they then both walked away. Later, I looked up the correct phrase on the Urban dictionary, which translated it to, “Or society made me do it.” This phrase is also trending on Twitter, in the wake of Trump’s midnight castigation of Lebron. I hope that those kids didn’t think that I’m a trumpeter. 😳

Bicycling Groupies

Point Iroquois Lighthouse with Black-eyed Susan’s

Anne drove Jay to the airport, while I slept-in. Later, we drove to Point Iroquois. On the way there, it soon became apparent that today was the day that the MUP passes by the cabin. MUP stands for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and this bicycle tour is put on by the League of Michigan Bicyclist. We rode it in 2015. This year we were just bicycling groupies and hung out with the cyclists at the lighthouse and also chatted them up some too. We’ll probably see the bikers again tomorrow, because they will be spending two nights in the Soo and we have to go into town to do laundry. After the lighthouse, we stopped off at Jack’s Pub and Grub for some lunch. There we continued our groupie ways with the bikers that were also dining there. I had their whitefish, which was pretty good and Anne had a salad. We each had a glass of Grizzly Pear Cider, “made with real pears, not bears.” It was quite sweet, but still refreshing and tasty too.

Back on the Bike

The Road to the Badlands

On our first full day back in Saint Louis, among chores of unpacking and doing laundry and such, I found time for a bicycle ride. Anne had her own errands to run, so I launched solo towards the park. I came upon two other cyclists, waiting at the light, at Wydown & Big Bend and had timed it to pass them, as the light turned green, when one of the bikers called out to me. It was Captain Chris of Team Kaldi, our Bike MS club. He and his son were headed to the park also, so I tagged along with them, at least the best that I could. I got dropped at the Science Center, but Chris waited for me by the zoo and told me that they were headed over to the DeMun Kaldi for lunch. Taking this as an invite, I eventually showed up too and we shared a patio repast. After lunch, they headed home and I headed towards the grocery store for some supper fixings and then home.

This was my first bicycle ride for the month and next month’s riding schedule looks even more doubtful. Still, I’ll have August to get into shape for the annual Bike MS ride. I lost ten pounds on our camping trip, which is odd, considering that we ate out most days. Still, we got lots of exercise in the mountains, lots of hiking, but no biking. When we were not dining at the [insert national park of choice here] lodge, we were doing our own rustic cooking. We have a Jet Boil stove that we used every morning to hot-up water for breakfast coffee and oatmeal and we usually cooked a dinner stew using a combination of fresh vegetables and canned goods. Lunch was mostly cold sandwiches, with veggies and fruit, which was fine, because most days warmed up quite nicely. 

Crepe Fear

Snowy Egrets

On Saturday, Anne and I went for a bicycle ride in the park and for the first time in months we were able to ride up our street, instead of on the sidewalk. MSD paved our road on Friday. Yea! On our way, we passed what looked like a derby party. It was only noon then , so I imagine that there were more than hammering hooves there by race time, some six hours later. It was a delightful ride that we celebrated on the way back, with cool libations from Kaldi’s coffee. Our ride around the park was certainly no race, but we did manage by the end of it to win, place and show. It helps that we set our own race parameters. 

On Sunday, after Anne unwrapped all her birthday loot, she had a hankering for something sweet to eat. We decided to visit that French café in downtown Clayton for some crepes. Driving over there, we marveled at all of the new construction occurring there. I guess, it has been a while since last we visited. As it turned out, the crepe place was no longer there and instead there was a Vincent Van Doughnut in its place. That worked. Their donuts are huge. Mine was too much to eat all at one time and brought half of it back home.  

Afterwards, we hiked over to our own local Lindbergh Drive, not to be confused with the Saint Louis encircling Lindbergh Boulevard (US 67) with a similar sounding name. The annual Richmond Heights Art Fest occurred there today. There we were able to score some crepes at Holy Crepes! I had their Crepe Tragedy, so names because it included gyro meat, but I thought that they should have named the dish, Crepe Fear, because it sounds so much cooler. 

Loop Trolley

Loop Trolley

Another day, another bicycle ride in Forest Park and another sight on which to remark. Clang, clang, clang went the trolley! After years and years of planning, preparation and anticipation I saw the Loop Trolley operating today, twice. Banners along its sides say that the trolley is currently operating only in test mode, but testing should soon lead to operating. As I said, I saw the trolley twice, about half an hour apart or in my case, once around the park. That means that this car made the roundtrip journey along its 2.2 mile track that runs from the U City loop to the History museum, as pictured above. 

Our Own Oddities

Red Tulips in Forest Park

When we moved to Saint Louis, we first encountered Our Own Oddities. This local Sunday special was featured in the comics section of the Post-Dispatch. This strip always seemed to me to be similar to the syndicated Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It frequently featured unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, such as a potato that resembled Richard Nixon. In addition to freakish produce the strip also featured peculiar local trivia, like a woman who lived at 1919 Montgomery St. and was born at nine o’clock on August 19, 1919. The paper discontinued this feature years ago, which is unfortunate, because I have some new entries.

I rode in the park this morning and while riding I encountered two noteworthy scenes. The first was a man on the bike path. This man was holding a log in his hands. This log had been cut to fireplace length and was about 8″ in diameter. He was holding it out in front of himself, with both palms pressed against the two flat ends. But what made this individual even more unique was that he was dragging a car tire behind him, laid flat on the path, by a rope around his waist. His homemade exercise regimen certainly set him apart from all us others.

The other scene of note was encountered while rolling past the Grand Basin. A dozen new moms were working out, each with their new baby in its stroller facing them. I guess that watching mom gyrate in front of them, must have been soothing or at least entertaining for the infants. It would have made a good pic.

Not to be outdone, Anne witnessed her own oddity, while walking home from school. We are not alone here, while suffering under the ministrations of the sewer district. There are many other streets that are also undergoing the same uncrossing of the waters that we are. While Anne was walking by one such site, she observed a driver attempting to exit their driveway. MSD had trenched out the road in front of the house, such that when the car exited the driveway, it first dropped into the dugout section of the road. Thump! Then it attempted to climb back out again and ran into an even steeper wall along the road’s centerline. Whump! Some back and fill ensued, eventually leading to the car’s escape, but not completely, because it had lost a bumper in all of that bumping and grinding.