Some rides are good some are great and some quite wonderful. Seldom does one ever have a bad ride. Being out on your bicycling is in itself a blessing. So one really never can call a ride with flats or rain or intolerable heat or nasty drivers or whatever, bad. Because the very act of riding means you are alive and that is always a good thing. So the worst ride you can ever have is a good one.
When I was an Boy Scout (Eagle rank, Brotherhood Order of the Arrow, God and Country Award) and working at Owasippe Scout Camp each Sunday we would gather at an outdoor chapel where those of us who were Christians heard a sermon and recited the Apostle’s Creed.
Most of my life up until that time (18 years of age) had been spent in churches where there was precious little temperature control. On the winters the sanctuary could be ice cold (especially at my grandmother’s church in Birmingham, AL) or stifling hot in summer where you got to understand why all black churches in the South used hand fans. Even at my parents church (Robert’s Temple C.O.G.I.C.) it was unbearably hot in summer. You found that folks did not mind sitting hear open windows during those times.
But out in that open air chapel as a Boy Scout I got to wondering why folks do their worshipping indoors? I do mine these days astride a bicycle each Sunday and welcome the chance to recapture the memory of my childhood introduction to open air worship.
We parked downtown and headed over to the local Caribou to grab a couple of sparkling teas and to use their bathrooms. The tea was especially delicious. It was our first time trying it. It reminded me of the Ocean Spray sparkling cranberry drink but much better in terms of flavor.
The we headed south to 18th Street and headed in towards the Lakefront Trail. Connie had heard me rave about the new 31st Street Harbor installation and she wanted to see for herself. We spotted the trees painted in primary colors that guard the lower levels of this multilevel installation.
At the top of the installation is a nautically themed rest area. We found the view quite breathtaking. And before long a couple pulled up on a pair of Raleigh bikes with lugged frames and a delightful pooch perched in her very own custom cane basket. Her name is Roxie and she by all rights should not be alive. She fell ill a while ago and the veterinarian suggested that she be put down. But her parents decided to try some therapy on her and she recovered. So today she rode with the wind in her ears and was an inspiration to us all.
Roxie is 13 years old and is a rat terrier. She has put on a few pounds her mom said but aside from that she seems to be enjoying life. So should we all. Her dad and I spent a few minutes taking pictures of her. She seemed quite happy to oblige us with a few doggie smiles and grins. Life is good!
We said our goodbyes and headed further south in search of the Osaka Gardens. This is a gem that lies just south of the Museum of Science and Industry and should not be missed if you visit the South Side.
I stood guard on the bikes while Connie strolled around inside and captured some very nice images. This garden is part of Jackson Park and is a remnant (like the museum itself) of the Columbian Exposition.
Back on the Chicago Lakefront Trail we headed north to Native Foods Cafe in Wicker Park and enjoyed a late luncheon before heading back to the van and home. But not before stopping at Jamba Juice for a Five Fruit Frenzy. Yummy!
Distance: 27.9 miles
Time: 3h 30m 53s