Chicago Sun-Times
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Chicago outdoors: Detour to Wooded Island

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Detours to side trips sometimes are the best part of the day.


Such as a side trip to Wooded Island on Sept. 12 when I covered the Chicago Half Marathon for the Sun-Times.

Because the Bears were at Soldier Field for opening day with their 60,000 or 70,00 fans and another 20,000 runners and some 40,000 spectators in Jackson Park for the Half Marathon, I figured it was smarter to take Metra's Electric Line.

It was exactly the right call.

I walked the mile or whatever from the Metra station at 63rd faster than the cars gridlocked found parking.

But the Half Marathon goes relatively fast and I was soon done with my interviews and had more than an hour until the next train. On Sundays, trains on the Electric Line only run every two hours.

So I rambled north along the lagoon through Jackson Park, thinking I might walk Hyde Park for a while.

But I wandered into Wooded Island or Wooded Isle, formally known as Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary.

What a spot. It had been years since I was there.

Considering some 60,000 runners and spectators were nearby, it was just stunning to walk into the transformation of the utter calm of Wooded Isle.

It's one of the truly special spots in Chicago outdoors.

A couple birders and butterfly watchers were there, and a group of guys practicing some odd form of self defense.

Otherwise, I was alone.

I found Osaka Japanese Garden (the photo above) and just savored it.

Savored being the right sense of a very sensory e experience.

Then I walked over the bridge and back into the crush of runners and spectators returning to their cars, Metra or the CTA.

But my morning had been made.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 20, 2010 3:38 PM.

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