Since I can remember, I have always lived within at most a forty five minute drive from a Great Lake and only a couple minute drive from any other lake, river, pond, or other body of water. Long before the sounds of the city soothed me, I found peace in the sound of the waves washing against a shore, an aluminum boat bobbing around in the water as I hoped for a fish at the end of my line, the crackle of a camp fire, or the sound of loons, ducks, or even seagulls calling out to the world.
All of the kayak rental places in Chicago that I am aware of have closed for the season since about a month ago and I am experiencing kayaking withdrawal. The temperature this morning is in the low thirties so far, but if a kayak rental place was open, even if it is was for registered group tours only, I would put on some winter clothes and take the CTA over to a place where I could get out and paddle for a while. Sadly I didn’t get out much toward the end of the season due to a busy schedule, so the withdrawal is even worse and spring is still quite a ways off in the Midwest.
NaNoWriMo ramblings. Pumpkins in the Park 5K race photos. Homebrewing. Writing. Good Writing Books to read on the craft.
Long overdue was it that I spent some time alone with a notebook and pen. For over three years I have resided at my current dwelling and I have only been to the rooftop a handful of times. This is a shame. I always expected it to be busy, and frequently it is, as my apartment building has two towers with seventeen floors each, both of which share a rooftop space that is joined by a narrow bridge between them. When I ventured up on a lovely day earlier this past week however, it was surprisingly calm. At any given time there were only a handful of people sharing the rooftop with me and frequently even less than that.
Even though my lungs and muscles adjusted to getting back to running, an activity they had missed since August, it still seemed like a good idea to run/walk for the first time back out on Chicago’s Lake Front Trail just to make sure I wouldn’t accidentally injure myself. Upon slowing to a walk, I saw two women within view of Lake Front Trail, who looked like they were planting a tree. Curious, and thinking they were part of some of the organizations I have been investigating recently with thoughts of joining, I figured I would stop by and ask some potential members directly about their experience and how to get involved.
Let’s start with a little background. I grew up a camping, fishing, biking, cross country skiing, DIY home remodeling, son of a carpenter. By ‘son of carpenter’, I mean the same thing I mean when I refer to myself a ‘Writing, biking, kayaking, camping, hiking, fishing, home brewing, traveling, running, animal loving, photographer’, in the sense that while I have a day job that I like and that pays my bills, like Bill my landlord, Bill the student loan shark, and Bill my cat’s veterinarian, it is these other things that more accurately define and fulfil me…