Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

September 2008 Archives

Maggie's Night Hike in London

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I've walked around London quite a bit in my time, but never have I walked the streets all night -- until last night.

I was one of 1,500 people to take part in this year's Night Hike, a fund-raiser for Maggie's Cancer Care Centers, free care centers that provide support and activities for anyone afflicted by cancer. It's a wonderful program, and one we need more of in Chicago.

We could also use a Night Hike in Chicago. Here's how it worked: All the walkers gathered at London's funky City Hall on the south bank of the River Thames. At 10 p.m., we started our 20 mile route. That's right: 20 miles. We walked all night, ending up back at city hall to watch the sunrise around 7 a.m. (I've never seen so many people limping in my life.)

The event is held each year in conjunction with Open House Weekend in London. That's when buildings that aren't typically open to the public throw open their doors and welcome people in. Our walk included eight stops at some of these buildings, like the Battersea Power Station.

It was so amazing to see London overnight, when the sidewalks aren't nearly as crowded. I'll be writing a story for Travel on it soon, but figured I'd jot down a few lines on this blog since I'm too sore to sleep and I'm jet lagging like crazy.

I'd love it if Chicago started something like a Night Hike. And more importantly, something like Maggie's.

So you and your boss are on a business trip and YOU get offered an upgrade. What do you do?

You politely turn it down, because your job is more important than extra legroom, Anna Post told us during a live video chat in the Sun-Times newsroom.

Check it out here.

It might be lights out Oct. 1 for Illinois historic sites such as the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin (a reconstruction of the log cabin belonging to Abe's dad and stepmom) near Charleston and the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington.

More than a dozen such sites -- and 11 state parks -- are scheduled to close as a result of the Blagojevich administration's budget cuts.

State parks slated for closure Nov. 1 include Hennepin Canal Parkway in Sheffield and Channahon State Park in Channahon.

What do you think of the impending closures? Are these communities going to miss out on big tourism bucks as a result or do you see this as a sad but necessary step needed to deal with the state's financial woes?

For a list of the historic sites and a bunch of good information -- including what you can do to potentially save these landmarks -- click here.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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