Going from Mundelein to Chicago on this sunny Spring afternoon may have been the most pleasant urban ride I have ever done. People used to always tell me about how nice the Northern suburbs of Chicago were. After this ride I had a personal understanding of what they were referring to.
I was first led to the Skokie Valley Trail. This trail paralleled the shoreline, residing about a half mile inland of the Lake. It, like many other trails I had been on, followed a series of electrical lines. I cruised Southbound on this trail, gazing into the blue Chicago sky. At times it looked like it was snowing due to dandelion florets swirling into and out of my view. Although these drifting flowers were delivering the unfortunate news that I'd be facing headwinds today, they were an uplifting element of my goodbye cruise through Chicago.
Next, based on the recommendation of one of Evanston's all-time heaviest hitters, Ben Spulber, I checked out the Bahá'í House of Worship. This spiritual and architectural marvel is the only one of it's kind in the US. I really was not expecting such a temple to be nestled in this suburban scenery.
I passed through Evanston en route to the Lakefront Trail. Evanston seemed like a lovely place to live. Everything was oriented to the large swath of Lake Michigan shoreline that it occupies, including its nuclear downtown area and marquis University, Northwestern. As I rode down the town's main road I could see the peak of the Willis (substitute "Sears" for "Willis" if you're a disgruntled Chicagoan) tower in the distance.
I arrived at the Lakefront Trail in Chicago. Riding the full trail was the one thing I hadn't done during my stay in the city but that I desperately wanted to do. Now it was my turn. As I rode South on the I was overwhelmed by nostalgia. Every building, boat, volleyball player, smiling couple, evoked a fond memory. It put a great smile on my face to bear witness to so many happy Chicagoans. This was truly Chicago at its best. As I passed through downtown and entered the South Side, I could feel it in my stomach as Chicago transitioned from being my present to my past.
I arrived at the home of my new friend Grace. Her apartment had a great view of the Lake, allowing my nostalgia to trail on. That evening was pretty uneventful. I could've forced going out, but, quite honestly, when I'm on the road I'm in production mode. I ride, eat, clean, plan, blog, sleep and repeat. This evening in Hyde Park was no different, although I was lucky enough to enjoy a goodbye Chipotle with Grace. Yeah, that was definitely the highlight of the evening. That night, for one last time, I passed out of my friends couch in Chicago.