I left St. Charles a bit later than I should have, since it was going to be 108 degrees, but I had a relatively short day so I wasn’t too worried. I met two cyclists who had just escorted a touring a father-daughter team out of St. Louis and they ended escorting me in. Perfect strangers taking time out of their day to help out a fellow cyclist. We took a water/ shade break and a couple of local organic tomatoes came out of a map bag. I grabbed my Swiss army knife and salt and pepper shaker and we all enjoyed a little refresher. After saying thanks and goodbye to my escorts, I pedaled thru forest park to my old school mates apartment. It had been over a decade since we had last seen each other! I arrived at her apartment in the “Dogtown” neighborhood and was greeted with a hug and a blue Gatorade! After a shower and what seemed like ten glasses of water, we braved the heat and went out to grab some dinner and did a little sight-seeing. After dinner we watched some video tapes of performances we were in,in high school. We chatted and caught up with news of different people that we had or hadn’t been in touch with since school.

The next day I got my bike a little tune up and ate a gross reuben sandwich. After getting back to the apartment, and drinking more Gatorade, we braved the heat and went out to the zoo and did a little drive thru tour of the rest of Forest Park. The heat wave was torture and I was so thankful to be able to spend a few days off the trail and out of the tent. ( it’s really hard to sleep at night when it’s in the 80’s)