Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Summer changed back into winter
A year ago at this time I was writing myself little notes on things about which I wanted to blog, but never got around to doing. One of these such events was the NUOC trip to the Indiana Dunes. Myself, Andrea and another guy whose name is escaping me at the moment headed down on Saturday, May 31 2003 to the Indiana Dunes for what we expected to be a day frolicking in the sand. When we got there, it turned out to be quite a windy day, and the dark gray clouds looming all around us didn't help matters much. Nevertheless we started along one of the trails and followed the boardwalk over the sand for a while till we reached a small marked trail on the dunes themselves. (Note: Don't walk on dunes unless its specifically posted that you can, as this can damage the fragile ecosystem and dune grass doesn't hold up well under continued trampling.) As we climbed to the top, we were rewarded with a sweeping, if somewhat dismal view of a heaving ocean threatening to attack the low gray clouds. We proceeded down on to the beach and met a few other brave souls, but for the most part the entire park was deserted. We started walking back and decided to check out one of the trails that led into the woods on the other side of the park. There, with the trees covering the sky, the day didn't feel quite so gloomy, and as we walked we saw interesting large green balls covered with brown spots on the ground. They were about 1 inch in diameter, and appeared to be seed pods of some sort, although at first we were convinced they were alien eggs. After our romp in the woods we decided to hop into town to grab lunch and then planned on checking out the other trails that were up the road a bit. As we drove into town, we began to think that town was too strong a word, since there were 2 restaurants plus a gas station, and that was it. Our choices were limited to something that seemed dineresque with a seafood emphasis, but with decent prices and a pizza place. After a brief discussion, it was decided that pizza would be lunch. We went in and ordered our large pie with numerous unrecalled toppings, and settled down to eat. Just as our pizza came out of the oven, the door opened, and in walked a local. She went up to the chef/waitress/cashier and asked her if she could use 4 tickets to the Cubs game later that day. She had gotten them from the steel mine where she worked, but didn't feel like driving up to Chicago that afternoon. Fortunately for us, she had to work till late that night, so the lady came over to us (as the only patrons in the place besides a cop who came in shortly after us) and asked us if we wanted them. Although it wasn't the plan, we agreed, and discovered we not only had box seat tickets, we also had free parking at the closest parking lot to the stadium (which would have gone for $20 normally). Thrilled at our luck, we left Indiana for the day and headed back towards Chicago where we found that the weather was quickly improving, and left us with a bright sunny afternoon to watch the Cubs beat the Astros 1-0 in 16 innings. Despite the change in plans, we all had an excellent, if somewhat surprising, day.


Not a bad memory for a year ago. Great story and great writing. Makes the lonely Floridian nights pass faster!

Guess who
Instead of "steel mine" you probably mean one of the BOFs (Basic Oxygen Furnaces) that are used to liquify the ore used in steel (I think). Northwest Indiana used to be a thriving steel economy, but since then, many of the plants have been shut down. You can see the Hobart plants from the dunes. I was a steel brat growing up.

Hooray for the Indiana Dunes!
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