George Rogers Clark's 261st Birthday Walk

The 12 mile length of Clark Street was named after George Rogers Clark. His 261st birthday deserves to be honored by nothing less than a walk of this entire length. Though his birthday falls on the 19th, we'll observe it on the 17th.

From Wikipedia:

"George Rogers Clark (November 19, 1752 – February 13, 1818) was a soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War... Clark's military achievements all came before his 30th birthday. Afterwards he led militia in the opening engagements of the Northwest Indian War, but was accused of being drunk on duty... Clark spent the final decades of his life evading creditors..."

Meeting place is under the New York Central rail bridge, southwest corner of Clark and Cermak (2200 S. Clark), and we'll walk to Clark and Howard (7600 N. Clark) at the Evanston border.

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SUGGESTED ITINERARY
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Depending on the weather, there may be a very big turnout. I encourage you to form “subgroups” on the way depending on your walking speed and desired stops. Following is a suggested itinerary, which leaves plenty of time for visiting the neighborhoods on the way.

11 AM
Head north from Clark and Cermak, taking breaks as needed. At around 950 N. Clark you will pass Newberry Library, an independent research library (unfortunately closed on Sundays). It’s adjacent to a park which is a good spot to stop and rest for a few minutes. History buffs may consider stopping at the Chicago History Museum at 1601 N. Clark (admission $12-$14) and catching up with us further down the road.

1 PM
Reach Clark & Wellington. This is the halfway point of the walk (6 miles). It’s in the heart of the lively Lakeview neighborhood, and would be a good place to stop for lunch:

* New York Deli (2921 N. Clark)
* Aje Café (2942 N. Clark)- coffee and sandwiches
* Jake’s Pub (2932 N. Clark)- if you pack your own lunch, you could eat it here
* Duke of Perth (2913 N. Clark)- Scottish pub serving up fish & chips

2 PM
Continue north.

2:30 PM
At 4000 N. Clark you will reach Graceland Cemetery, a beautifully landscaped burial ground for some of Chicago’s most prominent historic figures. It's open until 4 PM, and well worth visiting. (Hint: If you catch a glimpse of Michael Diversey's grave, you'll know when our next walk will be.)

3 PM
Continue north.

3:30 PM
Reach Clark & Foster (9 mile mark). This is the southern border of the colorful Andersonville neighborhood. Some recommendations for a quick break:

* Simon’s (5210 N. Clark)- classic Chicago neighborhood tavern
* Icosium Kafé (5200 N. Clark)- excellent Mediterranean creperie, good for desserts
* Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark)- tavern and restaurant specializing in Belgian food and beer
* Kopi Café (5317 N. Clark)- “traveler’s café” with travel books, a wide range of coffee drinks, and some good vegetarian food.

4 PM
Continue north. When you reach 6400 north you will be at the border of Rogers Park, which is likely Chicago’s most culturally diverse neighborhood. You will pass Peruvian, Iranian, and African restaurants.

5 PM (actual arrival times might range from 4 to 6)
Reach Chicago’s northern border at Howard Street, 7600 north. This is a good place to catch up with other walkers and share our experiences.

* Ethiopian Diamond (7537 N. Clark)- I highly recommend sharing a combo platter here. Very good vegetarian and meat-based options.
* Hop Haus (7545 N. Clark)- This spot offers more traditional fare and a very wide range of beers

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WEATHER?
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It should be stormy and windy tomorrow, high of 68 F. Fortunately the wind will be at our backs!

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  • Linda W.

    I loved the first mile. good people very considerate. I had another engagement so I could only do the beginning, then went back to my car - and then the rain hit. see you next time

    November 18, 2013

  • ReAnn

    As I was, with the rest of Chicago, hunkered down for most of the afternoon due to the weather; and since I live at the end of today's route and know the horrible rain and wind we had in Rogers Park, I am guessing that this event was cancelled and will be rescheduled?

    November 17, 2013

    • Michael F.

      We trudged through giving Chicago only blood, sweat, tears and toil.

      3 · November 17, 2013

    • H. R.

      There will be no retreat.

      November 18, 2013

  • H. R.

    This soon turned out into a 3 man assault. We trudged on resolutely mocking the wind and the rain. We stopped in at various watering holes for temporary refuge where we were welcomed as heroes.

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Rob R.

    I posted some photos of our first meetup- if anyone has any more please feel free to add them to the album. Stops included the rain-sheltered front porch of a high rise building, a pancake house, a Scottish pub, St. Boniface Cemetery, a Belgian pub, and an Ethiopian restaurant. Hope to see you at the next walk!

    1 · November 18, 2013

  • Mark S.

    I think Rob has a cool idea with the city street venues, keep up the good work see you at the next one.

    2 · November 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    you guys have fun, I thought the meet up time was 12pm. see you next time. :(

    1 · November 17, 2013

  • Rob R.

    On my way to Clark & Cermak. Please do check the weather report for a reality check... the forecast is not great but it seems to have improved a bit. Once we get past the first couple of miles it should be very easy to step in to shelter anywhere along Clark, if we need it.

    1 · November 17, 2013

  • Ralene

    I'm not going to make it after all. Next time I hope. Enjoy your walk!

    November 17, 2013

  • Mark S.

    Don't be scared, I was thinking of not doing it but that has passed now though I have to park at the start. Oh well!

    November 17, 2013

  • Barbara L J.

    Scared by by the weather.

    November 17, 2013

  • Mark S.

    I think I have to go along with Carol. It's really bad here at the south end of the lake.

    November 17, 2013

  • Carol

    unfortunately weather conditions force me to change my involvement in this walk today.

    November 17, 2013

  • Brian B.

    I signed my name onto this but whether I actually attend depends on what the conditions are at the time I would have to leave, especially since I will be coming from the west suburbs and have about a nine block walk to the train station. I also have got things to catch up on following a five-week assignment.

    November 16, 2013

    • Rob R.

      Okay, no worries. I think the weather may deter a number of people, but we're still going regardless. See you tomorrow, or at a future event.

      November 16, 2013

  • Lee H.

    This looks like so much fun but I'm hammered with work this weekend. Looking forward to joining a future walk.

    November 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I'm not going to make it after all. Will definitely sign up for another in the future.

    November 15, 2013

  • Mark S.

    Here's my plan. I'm going to park at Howard street station and take the red line back to the start. This way I'll have a ride home. I'll be coming from NW indiana.

    November 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to join the group for this walk. I don't know the city at all. Can anyone tell me is the starting point at Clark and Cermak is easily accessible via public transportation?

    November 12, 2013

    • Rob R.

      the starting point is just one block east of the Cermak-Chinatown stop on the red line

      1 · November 12, 2013

  • Anna Maria C.

    can't join this walk but will surely go on the next one!

    November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, I can tell you Rob--it is a great walk. Lucky I brought a friend. Guess I was so excited to participate I just couldnt wait. I will try to come again next week!

    1 · November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Where is everyone?

    November 10, 2013

    • Rob R.

      George Clark would be much honored that you're starting early, but it's a whole week early!

      1 · November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to a great walk

    November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow what a cool concept. Walking into our city's history. I'm a maybe in case it snows...

    November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow what a cool concept. Walking into our city's history. I'm a maybe in case it snows...

    November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wow what a cool concept. Walking into our city's history.

    November 9, 2013

  • Robin

    I'd like to walk, but won't know for sure until that week! I look foward to meeting all of you!

    November 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dodging some humans, maybe. But snowflakes? Nah...

    November 6, 2013

  • ReAnn

    Hi - this group sounds fantastic - I do hope that you plan to continue into the Spring and Summer months as right now I think we could be dodging snowflakes soon. Slippery, soggy sidewalks do not a fun walk make.

    November 6, 2013

  • Lisabeth

    So...do you take public transportation back to route origin?

    November 6, 2013

    • Rob R.

      This one winds up close to the Red Line and the Clark Street bus, so walkers can readily take public transit back to the origin (if they drove in) or straight home. This is looking like a much bigger group than usual, so I'd like to hear about other ideas!

      November 6, 2013

  • Paulie ".

    I know of only one street in Chicago that has no known derivation or source of origin-Agatite. If I'm wrong, please let me know, it would be enlightening.

    November 5, 2013

    • Paulie ".

      Thanks Rob, appreciate the comment. For some reason I always imagined it was named after some sort of rock or element, but I know that is not the case. Probably made up, but, it sure sounds cool. Maybe it could be used in a Sci-Fi movie about space explorers mining a far off planet light years from Earth possessing strange and magical powers, hmmmmmmm!? Now that would be really cool (LOL)!

      1 · November 5, 2013

    • Louis S.

      1 · November 5, 2013

  • Sue

    Oops! Just me not me + 1.

    November 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I haven't walked this far since I did a half marathon a few years ago but I'll hang in a long as I can ;).

    November 5, 2013

  • Rich

    How fast is the pace?

    November 5, 2013

    • Rob R.

      How fast would you like to walk? See my note above re: estimated pace/time.

      November 5, 2013

  • Gabrielle D.

    Will it really take until 5?

    Gaby

    November 5, 2013

    • Rob R.

      Good question, see my note above. It could certainly be done faster, but 5 allows some time for exploration.

      November 5, 2013

  • Rob R.

    5 PM is the estimated finish time, but it also depends on who turns up for the walk and what we find on the way. This is about exploring the neighborhoods as much as walking, so I'd say 12 miles @ 3 mph, with 2 hours for stopping at places such as a restaurant, coffeeshop, Graceland cemetery, bar, etc.

    November 5, 2013

  • Molly M. C.

    Beans! I'll be in Atlanta for a client product launch for this one. :/ Keep me posted, because this sort of "micro-exploration" is just what I need to learn about my new home. :)

    1 · November 5, 2013

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