9:30--the rain has stopped. . .for now.
it is Saturday morning at 8:45, and a steady rain is falling in Beverly Shores. i have seen days like this clear up, and i have seen some where it rains all day.
the event is definitely on--even if i wanted to cancel, i couldn't be sure someone wouldn't show up anyway. if you decide not to come, please cancel on the event invitation. if you do come, be prepared with raingear, and a change of clothing, and maybe a change of footwear too.
i think the key is to be flexible. it won't be cold today, and for myself, i plan to wear swimming trunks, hiking sandals, and a gore-tex jacket if it is raining, so i am willing to hike in any weather. on the other hand, i am open to delaying, shortening, or not hiking too if that is the consensus.
since we are meeting at my house, we do have some options. if there is rain when we are about to set out, we could try to wait it out. if rain starts later, we could shorten the hike and return early. if we have unrelenting rain, we could have a pot luck lunch , and a game afternoon . anyway, Mary and I will be there in any case, and the show will go on, one way or another.
. . .and as i write these words, the sky is brightening and the rain is diminishing. . .you figure.
we invite you to a
loop hike and swim to Central Beach
and on the Calumet trail and Great Marsh trail
in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
followed by pot luck and games
length of hike about 6 miles,
chance to lengthen to 8 miles
sun exposure high (if there is sun)
may be some bad footing on beach
may be some standing water on
the Calumet trail
we invite you to a Saturday Funday, with something for everyone. we will start with a 2-stage hike right out my front door. why 2-stage? because you can make it a 6 mile hike or an 8 mile hike as you choose. we will walk down some interesting Beverly Shores roads to the beach, walk down the beach a while, then stop for a swim. we will walk some more on the shore and an abandoned road, and emerge at the high dunes of Central Beach.
there the beach will open up to several hundred feet wide, and the height of the dunes will increase to over 100 feet. we will stop for lunch and a swim at the Central beach seawall, then continue to Central st, where there will be washrooms and drinking water, and go inland to the Calumet Trail.
this is a hike which i have continued to Mt Baldy in the past, but the whole Mt Baldy area is still closed since the incident last summer when a child fell into a sinkhole, and was lucky to survive. so the inland areas of Mt Baldy are closed, and it is possibly unsafe and definitely illegal to hike there.
but the beach area is safe, so if anyone wants to add about 2 miles to the hike by continuing to Mt Baldy Beach, Mary K will lead the hike extension for those who would like to go farther. you can then return to Central ave, and continue inland to the Calumet trail and back to my house.
be sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately-- http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/tenday/46301?from=36hr_topnav_allergies. since about 2 of the 6 miles we will be walking will be on the beach, and water temps should be in the mid to high 70’s, I suggest you be prepared to swim, or at least to cool off by wading, unless the lake is rough. even if the day is not supposed to be super hot, we will be in the sun a long time if it is sunny.
I plan to hike in swimming trunks and a t-shirt, with hiking sandals inland and barefoot on the beach. be sure to bring along plenty of water (preferably 2 quarts), sunscreen, a hat with a brim, and a lunch which we will eat along the way.
we will return on the Great Marsh Trail for a potluck at my house.
Of course there will be substantial refreshments: my coq au vin was well enough received last time, that i think i'll make it again: but this will not be enough to feed everyone, so please bring something to share, a main course, side dishes like chili, baked beans, a potato dish, etc, or snacks, wine, vodka, liqueurs, etc. despite the weather, we can also use the grill. Grillmaster Carl will be manning the fire for whatever you would like to toss upon it, so feel free to bring some meat (real or fake), fish, vegetables, tofu or what-have-you.
we are long on paper plates, plasticware, etc, from past contributions, and i plan to use down my inventory at this event, so don't bring any of those items, please.
I will pass a hat for a small contribution to cover the costs of using the meetup website.
If you’re coming on the train or otherwise can’t bring anything, don’t worry about it, we’ll be ok--just add a bit extra when i pass the hat around.
after dinner, i hope we will have the time and the energy to play some games, as we usually have at the end of recent events.
someone in our group has been grieving the loss of a loved one lately, and at some point during the day, either on the beach, or back at my house, i would like to read a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier which i found comforting after the death of each of my parents. anyone who would like to join in this mini-event is invited, and if there is something you would like to read yourself, you are welcome to share.
i suggest you print out the announcement or at least the directions ahead of time and bring it with you in your car if you are driving or navigating--I have frequently been delayed from arriving on time myself because I'm giving directions over the phone.
this will be an easy hike to follow and to catch up with if you are late, so please arrive at 11:00, and i will try for a pretty firm 11:30 departure. if you arrive a bit late, probably up to 20-30 minutes, just walk down Broadway to the lakefront, and turn right on the beach. you should be able to catch us up for our first swim stop. if you don't, when you come to the Drexwood rocks and can't continue on the beach, climb the steps, and turn left. continue on Lake Front dr, and its abandoned section, till you come back down to the beach. we will be having our lunch and swim stop there.
you can try calling my cell phone [masked]), but reception isn't always good on the beach.
hope to see you all,
directions & parking instructions:
note: since it is summer, the police are enforcing the no street parking laws more stringently. if all parking in our neighbors spaces and our driveway is gone, the safest thing to do is probably to park at the train station and walk 5 minutes down Broadway to my house. This is not strictly legal unless you are taking the train, but i've never heard of anyone getting a ticket, whereas if you park on the street, you are likely to get tickeed and towed.
by car from Chicago: (driving time from downtown is about 1 hour 15 minutes) follow I-90 (Kennedy-Dan Ryan) East; at exit 59A, be sure to follow signs to "Chicago Skyway/Indiana Toll road"--the Skyway will turn into the Indiana Toll rd at the state line: tolls can be paid with I-pass or cash; at I-90 exit 21, get onto I-94, be sure to go East (marked Detroit); exit I-94 at exit 26 marked IN 49 north; continue to US 12 east, continue on US 12 about 4 miles to Broadway (traffic light opposite National Lakeshore campground, gas station & liquor store on corner) and turn left; continue about 1/2 mile past Beverly & Bellevue, and turn left at Marne, continue to 11 w Marne near the end of a cul-de-sac; our house is on the left, and is a gray, three story house set back rather far from the road; street parking is not allowed in Beverly Shores, but our gracious neighbors, Henry & Mary are allowing us to use their parking spaces across the street (don't block their driveway!); if these spaces are taken, go to the end of our driveway and park on the right side, if someone is in that spot, park on the left side, next person park in the middle, following persons, go as far forward as you can and park single file in the driveway: if all the driveway spaces are taken, call me at [masked], or ring the doorbell and I'll give you instructions; please try to arrive by 11:00, we will wait till 11:30, then depart on foot.
from Northwest, West, or South suburbs: follow the TriState tollway (I-294) east until it merges with I-94 east; exit I-94 at exit 26 marked IN 49 north; go north to US 12 east (exit on left), continue on US 12 about 4 miles to Broadway (traffic light opposite National Lakeshore campground, gas station & liquor store on corner) and turn left; continue about 1/2 mile past Beverly & Bellevue, and turn left at Marne, continue to 11 w Marne near the end of a cul-de-sac; our house is on the left, and is a gray, three story house set back rather far from the road; street parking is not allowed in Beverly Shores, but our gracious neighbors, Henry & Mary are allowing us to use their parking spaces across the street (don't block their driveway!); if these spaces are taken, go to the end of our driveway and park on the right side, if someone is in that spot, park on the left side, next person park in the middle, following persons, go as far forward as you can and park single file in the driveway: if all the driveway spaces are taken, call me at [masked], or ring the doorbell and I'll give you instructions; please try to arrive by 11:00, we will wait till 11:30, then depart on foot.
by the South Shore line: get the South Shore at the Metra Electric stations at 8:45 AM at Randolph, or at Van Buren, Roosevelt rd, Hyde Park, etc; take the train to the Beverly Shores station (you will have to tell the conductor you're getting off because it is a flag stop); train arrives at 10:09; walk toward the lake (away from US 12) on Broadway thru the wetland, past Beverly & Bellevue, and turn left at Marne, continue to 11 w Marne near the end of a cul-de-sac; our house is on the left, and is a gray, three story house set back rather far from the road, ring the doorbell (walk is about 15 minutes)—or call me at [masked], and maybe someone can pick you up; check the website below for trains returning to Chicago; you also may be able to get a ride back to the city from someone else
here is the South Shore website: http://www.nictd.com/....
The Dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California. They constitute a signature of time and eternity.