Today's Route: Wilmette, IL - Portage, IN
|Except for the wonderful 18 mile Lakefront trail, we stayed away for|
the lake to avoid congestion and industrialization along the south shore
Threatening Thunderstorms never developed. Instead we road through fog along the lakefront and then summer-like sunshine to Indiana's miles and miles of beautiful bike paths.
|Departed:||May 17, '15, 07:14AM|
|Starts in:||Wilmette, IL, US|
|Elevation:||+ 1674 / - 1586 ft|
|Max Grade||5.0 %|
|Avg. Grade||0.1 %|
|Max Speed:||18.0 mph|
|Avg. Speed:||12.1 mph|
|East end of Navy Pier looking back to the fog-encased Chicago Skyline|
We worried all week about the weather. Really didn't want to start this grand adventure by riding in our support van because of dangerous thunderstorms. Fortunately everyone's prayers and concerns paid off - we had nice foggy weather until just past the Loop. When the sun did come out it did so instantaneously completely foggy up our glasses with the change in temperature. Strangest phenomena of the day.
|In front of Buckingham Fountain whose horses represent the Great Lakes|
|Looking back at the "Fog that Ate Chicago"|
My favorite experience of the day - catching the new Wolf Lake trail in Hammond which took us through some restored prairies and wetlands and then eventually over the lake itself on a 2014 boardwalk bridge. A bit of the bio-diverse richness right here in the heart of freeways and industry.
After lunch in Hammond we picked up the Erie Lackawanna trail taking us to the southeast and away from Gary and its steel miles. Unto beautiful reclaimed rights of way we road the rest of the day. South east was also the wind direction, so the riding became a bit of a slough until we turned directly east on the Oak Savannah trail. It feelt like our own Middle Fork Savannah in Lake Forest except the path is paved - YEA and the vegetation a bit more over grown - SAD. But, the riding was wonderful as we pass wetlands, parks and even lily-ponded lakes in the town of Hobart. There we met up with Jim who had driven the van to our destination in Portage and back tracked just to meet us - well really - to a get a nice hot fudge sundae.
We end the evening with a fabulous fish dinner in, of all place, a bait shop. A beautiful, red sunset fore tells of what should be some glorious bike-riding weather tomorrow.
Who knew that Northwest Indiana could have such great biking terrain? I guess our EBC folks have been telling us all along - I just didn't listen. Will certain come back to explore some more.
|Inside the magnificent South Shore Cultural Center|
|Yes, we are doing the Lake Michigan Circle Tour - one of our own making|
|Crossing the Calumet River, through the industrialized south shore|
|Oak Savannah trail some of which is contained in the National Park|
|Lake George coming in to Hobart, IN|
|Our dinner stop - really has a fine fish restaurant inside|
|My favorite part of the day - riding the Wolf Lake path and boardwalk|
in Hammond, IN