Carbondale, Illinois

Last night, raccoons rifled through our stuff without any fear of being caught. They kept us awake until Steve got up and scared them off, and I don't think they were very scared at all. We rode to Sainte Genevieve, where we temporarily lost Steve. He resurfaced, after I rode a ten mile detour and got a car ride. We arrived late and got a motel. It was Shannon's birthday, so we ate Mexican food at a restaurant. The staff, whom Steve quickly informed of the special occasion, sang, crowned Shannon with a garrulous sombrero, and presented a dessert plate that later ended up on his face. We woke up early for the ride to Carbondale.

Carbondale does not allow camping in the city park. The fire department would not let us stay on their lawn (despite it being fairly common practice in small towns in our experience so far). While we were searching for a place to sleep, we happened to run into Scott and Jamie Lambert who were walking their dogs, and they offered their back yard as a place to set up tents. They later washed our clothes and let us take a shower.

Steve asked Scott if he was done reading the sports page, which was on a chair in the living room. Scott said that he never read the sports page; he wrote it. Indeed, half of the articles on the front page were written by Scott Lambert, the sports editor. Recently Scott and Jamie had gone to Oregon City to pick up a Saluki, nearby Southern Illinois University's mascot. This particular Saluki was going to be the school’s official mascot.