Day 19: Northeast Illinois

Today was cut short by several hours due to pouring, impossible rain once I finally got to Chicago.  8:30pm and now it has finally let up!  Hopefully, it will all blow through tonight and give me a good day tomorrow.  If so, I should be able to pound through Chicago and start heading westward towards Iowa.  Not too many stops in Chicago proper since I’ve been here many times in the past few years.  Although I would just love to reshoot tons of funky, dull old photos that live at my website — there’s no time to do that on this trip.  I will try to resist the temptation to stop every few feet tomorrow to photo something or I will just never make it to Iowa on this trip.  Chicago is just so loaded with good stuff.

The dogs got to splash around in the Illinois River several times yesterday.  No water for them today — might be the first swim-less day of this trip.  But tomorrow, I know there’s one of their fave beaches (Montrose in Chicago) and another one that I want to check on.  They were pretty content today to just sack out.  Grem barely mustered her motorcyle alerts.  This morning, they had a big run at the Hammel Woods dog park in Shorewood:

Although it’s a members only sort of place — you must get a permit and wear a card around your neck — I crashed it anyway.  I would’ve been happy to make a contribution — even $15 or $20 would’ve been fine —  if there had been a convenient way to do so.  Oh, and a three dog limit which we blatantly ignored.  Most dog parks have a two or three dog limit but out of the hundred or so that I’ve been to around the country, only one place did someone say something.  I guess they just don’t want dog walkers bringing packs of dogs there — or idiots who don’t pay attention when their dogs poop.  I guess it is hard for most people to keep tabs on four dogs at the same time but I’m quite used to it.  So Hammel Woods was really a gorgeously landscaped and plenty big enough space (7 acres) with great fencing.  No pond or kiddie pools but it was okay since it was early enough that it wasn’t too hot and I had my water jugs in the van to soak down Nik afterwards.

On to the photos of which there are just a few.  The distances between stuff in the morning was great — lots of boring country roads and interstate driving with nothing worth shooting.  I drank about three cups of coffee — my desperation drink when I’m tired — resulting in having to pee every hour.  Very annoying time waste-age!   The good news for me tonight is I’m really going to get to bed super early and recharge myself for the remaining 10 days or so.

Some metal sculptures in Essex.  These were created by Jack Barker — more about him & them here:



I don’t think I’ve ever seen a neon V.F.W. sign before.  This is in Wilmington.


It looks to me like this sign in Joliet has been reworked with different lettering at some point.  At least on the top piece and probably the middle piece as well.


This one from Kankakee.  At first I thought it said “Jafe” — one of my work buddies.  Perhaps he can photoshop out one of the Fs.


And lastly, I think I like this sign better than any of the pretty neon signs I shot today.  This one is in Watseka.  Very unique framing and bonus use of actual auto parts.


So — I’ve had requests for more photos of dogs and food.  Any other suggestions or things that I should be including?

I’ll be in bed by 10pm — woo hoo!   Ready to tackle Chicago come rain or shine at 7am.

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