Day Three Hundred Thirty-six

Planes, Trains, and a Bike Path

I had to pick up my son from O’Hare International Airport this afternoon. I decided to leave a little early and go for a walk just west of the airport on the Salt Creek Greenway Trail. The Salt Creek Greenway is a 25 mile trail that runs through eight suburbs (that I counted), connects to many other trails, and spans across Cook and DuPage Counties. I only walked on a short portion in Wood Dale, Illinois.

I didn’t plan my parking very well and ended up parking at a Target and walking mostly through an industrial park and under large power lines. With the air planes descending and Metra tracks crossing the trail, it definitely gave the walk an industrial and transportation theme.

Salt Creek Greenway

I did walk into a portion of the Salt Creek Marsh Preserve. It was really nice, but I ran out of time and had to head back to the car and on to the airport.

On my way back, I spotted an adult great blue heron. He looked like he was hunkering down trying to stay warm while watching the ducks swim calmly by him.

Salt Creek Greenway 21

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I was struck by this heron’s dark feathers and head plumage. I think he must be more mature than most of the herons I saw over the summer and early fall. I wished that I could have gotten closer to him or caught him in flight, but I had to keep moving in order to get to the airport.

I think with a better parking spot and more time, I would enjoy walking here again in the future–even if it’s after 2013 and the end of my official walking resolution.

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Day Two Hundred Forty-three

What did we ever do before cell phones? I bet we did more walking.

Today my oldest son came home from doing graduate work abroad for a year. Although he was home for a couple of weeks at Christmas, I haven’t seen him (not counting Skype) since January, and I am ready for him to be home for awhile!

Since we had made no specific pick-up arrangements, my daughter and I parked at the international terminal and walked inside. We usually don’t park and go into airports anymore. Have you noticed that? Instead, we usually just use the cell-phone lot and wait for a call.  But because my son had a year’s worth of luggage and no cell phone, we went inside.

I was glad we did. I really enjoyed seeing all the people greet their friends and loved ones. I loved hearing all of the different languages spoken too as we paced between Exit A and Exit B and between inside and outside, in case we missed him somehow. Eventually, he made it through customs, and we walked back to the car and got to bring him home.

It is so good to have him back in the States.

Day Two Hundred Twenty

Airplanes and Butterflies

Since we had a planned trip to O’Hare Airport this afternoon anyhow, I figured why not leave a little early and walk at a different forest preserve.  With some research into area preserves and navigation, I had the perfect spot twenty minutes down the road from O’Hare.

We drove up to Busse Woods, an early preserve for the Cook County Forest Preserve.  The area was mostly set aside to provide flood relief along Salt Creek. This preserve is quite large, bordered by the suburbs of Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, and Arlington Heights. Much of the preserve is Busse Lake and the various pools and marshes that surround it.  Salt Creek runs through here as well.

As planes flew regularly overhead, we walked north of Higgins Road through a forested area, across a meadow, and near a marsh.  It was lovely. Unfortunately, we saw many dead ash trees designated for removal.

Busse Woods 2We also saw all sorts of butterflies.  One even posed for me!

IMG_0853Good day, good walk, good trip to the airport!