Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Lake Front at Chicago Downtown

I went to Chicago for a conference this week. The first thing I did after I checked in at Hyatt at McCormick Place on Sunday was to walk to the shoreline of lake Michigan. 

It was a cool Sunny afternoon, and I followed the trail map from the hotel to walk toward the lake front, and was pleasantly surprised to walk by the soldier field stadium (Chicago Bears' home). Despite steady cool breeze, the water in the first marina I passed by was as flat as a mirror - reflecting the blue sky and white yachts. Walking around the Marina I walked toward Adler Planetarium to view the silhouette of the Chicago skyline from this small peninsula.

A Marina
A paved trail
Chicago Skyline in the afternoon
Lake Michigan
The next morning I woke up around 6:30am and decided to run for 5K  and cool down in my usual pace. I brought everything needed for a morning run, running shoes, shorts, T shirt, sunscreen and baseball cap! Getting out of the hotel, I ran north through an area of apartment buildings, turn right through an underpass to cross highways and then an zig-zag overpass to cross rail ways, trying to follow the lake front trail earlier than previous day, I made a wrong turn before reaching 2 km distance, and quickly realized it since the soldier field - my reference point, was in the wrong direction. Corrected course, I turned around when I reach 3km. Instead of a silhouette, the downtown high rises were in the bright morning Sun.

I encountered runners or bikers every 1 ~2  minutes on the  lakefront trail - not too many and not too few. The portion of the trail from hotel to Planetarium is mostly tree lined for a pleasant 5K run and I walked 1 km additional back to hotel. After showering and breakfast, I still had plenty time before the conference kick-off at 9am.

My running trail
Chicago Skyscrapers in the morning Sun
The conference ended at 2:45pm on its last day. I had a short nap and decided to have a 10K walk to the navy pier directly, bypassing the Alder Planetarium.

It was a good extension of my previous trail: different views, close up of high rises, there are steel art work, and concrete art work along the way, and a big fountain in the park surrounded by the high rises. There were a lot more locals and tourists along the lakefront, on the lawn, on the pedestrian walk way, and bike way between the aquarium and navy piers.The long walk produces a new tourist attraction - touring lake front on Segway. In the end I walked 7 miles, i.e. 11+km for the round trip.

The Lake Front at Chicago Downtown is a perfect place for hiking, running or just wandering.

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