Mulling things on my morning ramble, well, this time, without Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
Walking Stony Island Avenue, 63rd Street and Jackson Park is quite a different experience than rambling around the town pond with the meathead.
And quite the stretch of my usual Ramble with Storm.
I couldn't walk the meathead this morning, because I was up too early to cover the 16th annual Chicago Half Marathon & Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K for the Sun-Times.
And my walk was a far different one.
Two things caught my eye. One of them always does.
I have covered the Half Marathon for a few years and am amazed by the sheer number of runners utilizing the South Side lakefront. There's 20,000 or about that, who do the actual races.
There's at least another 80,000 (that's four fans for each runner and that might be on the low side) to watch the races.
The days of fishing drawing thousands upon thousands to the Chicago lakefront any more are rare. Occasionally, it happens when the perch are in good around August 1 when the season reopens or sometimes when perching is good in May and June.
This year, a second thing caught my interest: the sheer number of portable toilets. Hundreds of them were scattered around multiple locations.
I am glad there are that many there. The ones at the start line were lined up six or seven people deep before the start this morning.
Good, that's taking care of business.
Apparently, it was no real problem to truck in 100s of portable toilets for these races. And it happens all over the lakefront. For smaller charity races at Montrose, you get the lines of hundreds of portable toilets, too.
So what gets me is how brutally tough it is to get a portable toilets set at Montrose, Belmont, Burnham, Jackson Park and 95th for fishermen and other lakefront users.
It's like pulling teeth, shark's teeth, to get just those handful for Chicago fishermen. It's especially needed in the off season months before April 1.
Maybe I should have taken my usual time to walk around Wooded Island, one of the greatest wild spots in Chicago outdoors, to sooth myself. But I was on a personal deadline as well as a writing one. So I passed.
Tomorrow morning, back with Storm and the usual routine around the town pond.
And the streak of nine straight days of doing Ramble with Storm daily is alive, by toilet thoughts.