It was 16 degrees, but somehow 16 degrees on a sunny, windless morning with coffee and friends and a dog doesn’t feel so terribly cold. So we started off from Francisco and Leland, walking north, crossing Lawrence at a very ugly stretch, and angling off into Ronan Park.
The crew consisted of Linda, hiker and biker extraordinaire and organizer of this little excursion, Laura, our illustrious art director, Laura’s dog Minka, oft featured on this site and basically the best dog in Chicago, and myself. The point of the walk was to walk. That’s all. We went nowhere–the beginning and the end were the same, and then we all scattered.
We walked north through the park, encountering almost no one but a few hearty joggers and several fellow dog-walkers and one very dedicated girl shooting baskets alone on a forlorn court. We followed the river north, under bridges with frozen-up drains, under weeping willow trees that looked dangerous with no leaves, under skies bluer than we’d seen in months. We talked some of the kind of talk you can when you’re side by side instead of face to face and when you’re moving forward instead of sitting still.
We didn’t stop to sight-see until the end. We’d come back south on the opposite side of the river and saw a tall chain-link fence enclosing an irregularly shaped grassy area. Inside was a metal folding chair, some unidentifiable equipment, and a stack of plastic signs. We couldn’t figure out what it was for. Some kind of safe rest area for park workers? A containment facility for rabid squirrels? But then we read the signs:
And all became clear.
You never know what you’ll find when you go for a walk to nowhere in particular.