Last time we drove east we were newbies and the idea of driving 40 feet of vehicle on I-80 near Chicago was intimidating. This time, after checking the Illinois DOT site for road closures and construction, we decided I-80 was the way to go. It probably would have been worse on a weekday, but I-80 seemed easy with just a little bit of congestion on a 35-mile stretch straddling the Illinois/Indiana border.
Then we got off I-80 into more pastoral areas of Indiana and ran into a road closure on Indiana State Route 6 going east. Obviously I should have also checked the Indiana DOT website. The detour added 75 miles to an already long day, plus our iPhones routed us on ten miles of country roads where I prayed we would not meet one of those huge tractors with drills/planters/discs that take up 75 percent of the road, because we take up a pretty good hunk of it ourselves and can't back up.
But we're at Chain O'Lakes and this morning went kayaking. I've kayaked in a tandem boat before but had never paddled in one by myself. This was also the first time I used my new Wilderness Systems kayak Jim and I bought after my knee surgery. We paddled four of the nine lakes plus a long, narrow channel of water lilies. Jim says he thinks animals don't recognize people in kayaks as human and are not as afraid -- and that certainly seemed true. Vultures landed in branches right over our heads. A squirrel jumped from a nearby branch and almost dumped himself in the water. A water snake swam about six feet away from me near the shore. Lovely and fun.
|I didn't take my camera because I thought I'd dump it in the water, so Jim took this pic of me in the channel between Dock Lake and Long Lake at Chain O'Lakes.|
|Bev across the lake from Jim. In the dead tree behind me is a big vulture who was later joined by a few friends.|
|The view from Jim's kayak.|