On2Wheels will now be it's own prefix in an attempt to force myself into as many 2 wheeled trips as possible. It started off pseudo-big with a LA trip, but I don't know how much that counts. It was more like a Between 2 Wings To Get On 2 Wheels trip. Not ideal. The aim is to see how much this Midwestern prairie range has to offer. Myself being a byproduct of mountainous New England terrain has left this Frank Lloyd Wright expanse with much left to desire. If this move has taught me anything, it's that the grass is only as green as you make it. Sometimes I spend too much time staring out the front door while the backyard has gone unexplored. Locusts aren't infamous for their ability to choose desirable locations. It's time to consume! Consume! Consume!
As with anything of a sequential nature, we started out small with a half day trip up the coast of Lake Michigan. The destination was Fort Sheridan, a military training facility that started during the Spanish-American war back in 1898. The fort was officially closed back in 1993 and has since been converted into residential housing. These people live in a historic military fort over looking Lake Michigan with about 2 acres of finely manicured front lawn and a mile long driveway off the main road. It's like Pleasantville out there.
Being the first real trip of the season, I slept like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve that night, and we kicked out of bed around 5:30am. We got on the road by 6 to assure we'd be up and out of the city limits before the cab drivers and Wrigleyvillians knew what hit them. There's something so serene about cruising stark city roads that are normally gagged to the gills with congestion and noise pollution. It's beautiful in an apocalyptic nature.
We reached the coast just in time to catch the sun peeking over the horizon. With the city at our backs, we bolted up Lakeshore Drive and got the hell out of Dodge.
Above is the Baha'i Temple. It's one of only 8 houses of worship under the Baha'i faith in the world. The intricacies of it's outer appearance trickle down into the landscaping surrounding it's base. We underestimated the temperature drop from Chicago to Wilmette. It being only 34 degrees, we took this opportunity to soak in some sun on the steps of the temple and thaw out our appendages.
The winding road up the shore line is littered with multimillion dollar properties. 6 figure cars hold down cobble stone driveways. Glass balconies hover over streams feeding into the lake. Beaches are sectioned off into patches of private real estate. ...and exhaust notes thump, one after another, into their bedroom windows at 7am. Meanwhile the toes of my right foot lose circulation and I struggle to swap steering hands while the other regains life on the cylinder head.
We make a stop at one of the sections of beach designated for us inlanders. These little beaches are a tiny oasis I've visited a few times before. Stand on the pier and stare out to the lake's encompassing horizon and you'd think it was an ocean. It brings me back to all the summers spent with family on the shores of Gloucester's beaches. This is a tranquil place, not so far from the city limits - a nice escape.
After putting around the fort, that I apparently forgot to take pictures of, we grabbed some breakfast at a diner in town. One of those diners where everyone's a regular and you feast for $10. We hung out long enough for the temp to crawl up to 50. I finally thawed out and color had again returned to my knuckle region. The ride back through the twisties was a brisk run. Right up until we caught up with Easter traffic. Ho-hum. Maybe next time we'll bring the camping gear.