Monday, September 21, 2009

Serious butt-in-boat time

We love playing in the waves and practicing rescues, but last Friday we decided to simply paddle. In fact, we decided to paddle from Evanston to Indiana and just glide by Chicago's entire shoreline.

Hello, Chicago. Sharon paddles by without stopping.

We put in at Juneway Terrace Beach (technically a block south of Evanston) around 10 a.m. and headed south. We passed the familiar beaches of Chicago's north side--Leone, Wilson, North Avenue--and the still-quiet harbors--Montrose, Belmont, Diversey. By noon, we were around Navy Pier, and boat traffic was picking up. We exchanged greetings with visitors on the tour boats and paddled on.

Still life with Alec and tour boats.

As we got to Hyde Park, the wind and waves were picking up. We continued on, past Rainbow Beach, past the water filtration plant, to the Calumet channel.

The smokestacks of Indiana are closer and more beautiful than ever....or something like that.

That's when we realized we didn't have time for the final two miles. We had arranged to meet our kids back at 63rd Street at 5:30. So we turned around and paddled those last couple of miles in the wrong direction (from a making-it-to-Indiana perspective) but the right direction (from a meeting-our-kids perspective).

Arriving in the 63rd Street harbor.

We learn something every time we get on the water. This time, we learned that some of our clothing causes chafing, that it's easy to forget to take enough photos, and that it's fun, once in a while, to paddle past Chicago without setting foot on shore.

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