1 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
3/4 – 1 cup milk (to desired thickness)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Not only is Katie an excellent pancake cook, she even found frozen blueberries to add. Brent came back from a doctor’s appointment, and offered to take me shopping in search of the MSR accessories needed to connect my two MSR Dromedary water containers to my Katadyn water filter. We stopped by The Alpine Shop (no luck) on the way to REI, where the two pieces I needed were available, but only as part of a $20 kit. Not wanting to spend $40 for 40 cents of plastic, I explained my delimma to Betsy, one of the employees, who went to the trouble of calling MSR on my behalf and having the two pieces mailed to me.
Brent and I found lunch at Bar Italia; I had an Italian sausage & red sauce dish over fettuccine noodles, while Brent had much the same except veal and tubular noodles. Both of them were excellent, especially washed down with with a Peroni beer.
Suitably fortified, we headed out in search of The Arch, which we found amongst the raindrops. Pictures had not prepared me for the immensity of it. At 630 feet tall, it was hard to photograph from any closer. Around the corner, we also caught sight of the Eads Bridge, an engineering marvel and the oldest surviving bridge across the Mississippi River, but I didn’t manage to get any photos.
From there we drove past the Budweiser Brewery, impressive for it’s size if nothing else.
After much slow highway traffic, we returned to Brent’s parents home, and found dinner almost ready: Breaded pork-chops, Au graten potatoes, green beans, a savory zucchini bread and applesauce.
After dinner we played several games of “Bananagrams”, sort of a personal scrabble game without the board. Katie dominated. At some point, someone mentioned a frozen custard establishment, and a mad scramble ensued to make it before they closed at 9:30. We made it with seven minutes to spare. I had a “grasshopper” (mint) one and it was even better than Culver’s frozen custard (my only other point of reference). On the way back we stopped by the YMCA, and saw a giant statue of a man “Awakening” out of the ground (very zombie-esque).
I have to add that this is one of the coolest families I’ve ever met. John & Ruth welcomed me into their home for two nights, treating me just like family even though we’d never met before; Brent, Katie and I having only met over three days while biking the Oregon coast two months ago. Brent spent nearly all day driving me around, helping me round up gear for the tour as well as introducing me to all things St. Louis, including radio station KDHX (88.1 MHz) which was playing jazz & blues (two of my, and it turns out Brent’s, favorites), the new & now famous baseball stadium, bike lanes & sharrows, St. Louis bicycle culture, etc). St. Louis is a cool town, and I regret not having months to check it out more fully. Brent & Katie also drove me out to the Katy Trail so I could resume my tour without having to endure more suburban traffic on bicycle-unfriendly high-speed arterial roads, and included a stop at Whole Foods so I could stock up on those things that have proved hard-to-find in small-town grocery stores (quinoa, raw almonds, dark chocolate, etc). They’re driving to Colorado today, and I wish them luck in landing jobs & re-locating to Denver. I hope we meet again.