I’m so tired from trying to learn to sleep without sleeping pills that my brain is in a deep freeze. Talking and writing is like bobbing for apples must think of word stick head in tub of water and try to find the word grab the word with my mouth now what was I saying how do I finish a sentence help. help. help. help.
The only thing that feels good right now is walking. You know those dogs that grab their leash and stand by the door? That’s me. I keep asking HOB to take me for a walk and he’s always willing. Lately I’ve been looking for new walking destinations to add to our standard repertoire and have had great success. So grab your sunblock and floppy hat and spray on some mosquito repellent and come along on two super Chicago walks (no pooper scooper required).
The 606 opened in Chicago a few years ago but, because it’s so far from where we live, we only visited for the first time this summer. Named after Chicago’s zip codes (which all start with 606) the 606 is an elevated trail built on an abandoned railway line on the west side of Chicago. The park is almost 3 miles long and nothing about it is scrappy: we are talking some seriously A+ urban planning here.
The trail can be accessed at many points and is exceptionally well signposted.
The 606 is popular with bikers and the trail access points link up with Divvy stations (Divvy is Chicago’s bike share program). We even saw a free bike repair station about half-way through our walk.
Every elevated trail should have public art, don’t you think? And you know what else every elevated trail should have? Bathrooms. Nope, the 606 doesn’t have those, other than a couple of porta johns near the entryways. As much as I love the trail this is a serious bummer.
There are plenty of benches—even some bleachers—on the 606, but we still preferred to get out of the sun and eat our picnic in a nearby park.
North Park Village Nature Center
The North Park Village Nature Center was built on the grounds of a former tuberculosis sanitarium on the north side of Chicago. (Let’s take a moment to remember that before antibiotics and vaccines 10% of deaths in the US were caused by tuberculosis). The Nature Center is peaceful and gorgeous but really what you need to know if that it has a bathroom.
After using the aforementioned bathroom, we started out with a picnic, nearby a fire pit and some beehives.
HOB and I were in love with the wetland area of the park which was noisy with frogs.
When you’re living the plot of Flowers for Algernon, only backwards, staring at a bullfrog is worth an afternoon’s mental energy.
Not only does the Nature Center have a miniature wetland, it even has an oak savanna. Oak savannas were once common in the Midwest–they are like forests but not as dense.
While enjoying the blissful dappled light of the oak savanna we spotted a…..dappled fawn.
On the count of three, everyone together now: awwwwwwwwwwww.
I can’t finish my post about Chicago walks without a plug for my favorite Chicago walk of all: the beach. This view is a ten minute walk from our apartment building. I recommend an early morning or sunset visit. You might even see me there, looking sleepy.