Monday, September 19, 2016

#15. Chicago River Trip



On to the Final Fifteen!

The Chicago River does not have "personal meaning" for us the way John Graves describes it.  It's not even a rebel river by any definition of the term.   And so it's not the Chicago River itself that comes in at #15...it's the Chicago River TRIP.   Which was epic by anyone's definition.  Here's a reminder why:

It started with the traditional hanging of the balls.  Then we got to haul the blue trailer right up I-65 for 8 hours which, as you know, would be a good enough trip for me.   There's a reason we got the "Long Ranger" model from MO Trailers with highway radial tires. 


 
 
 



Then we got to meet the legendary canoe folk hero, Ralph Frese, and get a personal tour of Chicagoland Canoe Base:



  
 


 

We "ran the shuttle" to our "campsite":


 
Then to the Twisted Spoke northside biker bar...

 
 


 
 
 
 

Afterward, Ian unpacked his bicycle to ride back to the condo.   Stuart's directions sent him straight through the notorious Cabrini Green housing projects but the residents were so confused by the suitcase-as-a-trailer thing they forgot to mug him.

 
 
 


Next morning up and at 'em,   Wake up you jessies!


Off to the river....

 
 


Approaching downtown Chicago is truly one of the most unique sights you'll ever see from a canoe....

 
 
 
 


When the bridges started going up we knew it was our lucky day...

 
 
 


Then on through downtown, all the way to Lake Michigan...



 
 
 
 
 

 

Off the river in time for an afternoon Cubs game...

 
 
 
 
 

A stop in Wrigleyville on the way back home...

 
 
 

And then, as they always do, the cooks made a big feast back at camp.

 
 
 
 
 


With music on the gravel bar at night before hitting the sack.

 



Big city, turn me loose and set me free.

 






But wait!   There is a post script.

Just when we thought the trip was over for sure, the boat delivery crew alertly followed the Vandy NCAA tournament baseball in Louisville on the radio on the way back through Indiana.   Another solemn promise:  "If they win this game, we're staying for the second game tonight."    And when the final out was recorded as we crossed the Ohio River, we veered off on the first Louisville exit and started tailgating.  


 
 

Overheard at that game:  "This is one of the best things we've ever done."   And it could very well have been about the whole trip.

1 comment:

Greg said...

It's hard to believe all of that happened in one weekend and I was there!