The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Where to go in cooler weather

Go hiking!

It’s not “purple mountains majesty” for hiking, Jason King knows, but Illinois, Indiana and southern Wisconsin, are not without charm — they’re free, they’re close, their trails are uncongested and they offer a solace and beauty all their own.

“I love Illinois, I’ve lived here all my life. If you like simplicity, if you like the feel of the wind blowing through the trees … there’s no place better,” King said.

One of King’s favorite solo hikes to “get the world behind me” is about 90 minutes away from Chicago near Gary, Indiana, in the little-used western part of Indiana Dunes National Park. The Paul H. Douglas center is currently closed but the namesake trail (1) winds through Miller Woods and across the Grand Calumet River. It was named after the Illinois senator who helped make the Dunes a national park. It’s a moderately challenging 3.5 miles out and back, partly through sand dunes — which make it a workout.

King identified 19 other trails near Chicago that reporter Zachary Nauth listed in the article. Maybe next weekend? Cassie would probably love all of them.

Back to the Dog Beach

Cassie got almost 2 hours of walkies before 9am with a return trip to the Montrose  Beach Dog Friendly Area:

She also got a bath, because even though Lake Michigan supplies millions of people with fresh water, we don't drink it right out of the lake for very good reasons.

Also, I did not take 540 photos like last time. Maybe tomorrow...?

And if you're listening to "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" on NPR this morning (and tomorrow morning in some markets), I was there Thursday night:

My houseguest has departed

After four nights, five puddles, four solid gifts, and so much barking that the neighbors down the block left a note on my door, Sophie finally went home this afternoon. I also worked until 11:30 last night, but that had nothing to do with her. It did cause a backup in my reading, though:

Finally, army dude-bros in several countries have gotten into arguments over online tank games and, to win those arguments, have posted classified information about real tanks. The defense authorities in the US, UK, France, and China are investigating.

Houseguest

One of Cassie's old friends, who moved away about a year ago, has come for a 4-day visit. Sophie seems to enjoy being back in her old 'hood:

Sophie is very much a potato. Couch, bed, floor; still a potato. I just walked the two of them together around the block, and that is the last time I will attempt it. Cassie pulls forward, Sophie pulls backward, human is unhappy.

But Sophie and Cassie get along really well, in part because they both get along with everyone really well. So it'll be a fun few days.

The artist and her work

Cassie has spent the last two weeks creating found art out of one of my area rugs. Yesterday the "found" part got too much for me and I let the rug go. Pity, too; I won it at a silent auction for $300 only in 2016, and neither Parker nor Cassie tried to destroy it until this spring.

Here's Cassie's final expression of the piece. Note not only the center section, which Cassie exfiltrated from the house a small bit at a time, but also the left edge, where she expressed a more compelling feeling of the interplay between organic lines and straight edges:

On the road

Cassie and I are at a lovely ranch in Kentucky where tomorrow she'll meet goats and tonight I've met a 1990s-era Internet connection. Well, I didn't come here to surf the Web, so I'll just deal.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting outside listening to frogs. Lots of frogs. And a hound somewhere down the road.

Gotcha!

A year ago today, Cassie and I adopted each other, which was obvious even on the drive home from PAWS:

Right now she's sulking on the couch because she didn't get breakfast this morning. That's because in about 15 minutes she's going to the vet to get her teeth cleaned. Pobre perrita.