Saturday, July 24, 2010

Water access and guerilla landings

Adam Goss, of Spirit of Space, talks with Alec about paddling in Chicago.
   Yesterday, we agreed to participate in a video for a firm that's developing a plan for Chicago's Northerly Island. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this man-made peninsula, it is the former site of Meigs Field, a single-strip airport much beloved by VIPs and others, that Chicago's mayor, Richard M. Daley, destroyed in the middle of the night in 2003. Today the main terminal building is a Chicago Park District facility full of little kids in matching t-shirts, and the island itself is the site of the Charter One Pavilion and acres of prairie grasses.
   This left us in the unlikely possession of free parking for the afternoon in one of Chicago's most expensive and restricted lakefront lots, so we took advantage of the 45 minutes before a thunderstorm rolled in to paddle around Burnham Harbor.
   It was the day before the 2010 Race to Mackinac, so the harbor was full of visiting vessels, including the famous Beau Geste.

Sharon in a position that wouldn't be safe 24 hours later.

   We always enjoy prowling around harbors, admiring the creative names people give their yachts and enjoying the fact that we don't have to spend thousands of dollars to dock our little boats.

With the sky growing dark, we decided to forego the low docks and scale a wall instead.

   The sky looks blue in the background, but at this point we were watching heavy cumulonimbus clouds coming our way. In typical summer paddling fashion, we loaded up and drove away just as the storm hit.

Weather can change quickly in the summer. This photo was taken moments after the previous ones.

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