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Run 15: Destination Running

March 1, 2012

Miles: 7

Other Runners: 0

So today’s big question:

What do you get when you cross Grecian columns with French Quarter-esque ironwork, a tile mosaic of a flamingo and another of a bald eagle on the front and side walls of a house,  new, elaborate brick steps that somehow still look like they’re about to crumble, an enormous stone fountain seasonally covered with plastic, gilded cobra statues on each corner of the roof, a cherry-red Porsche parked on the smallest circular driveway you can imagine and- thanks for sticking with this- a goose statue wearing a plaid dress leaning against the  mailbox?

Sauganash. You get Sauganash.

It’s the time of year when Chicago’s damp chill has settled in everyone’s bones. Bijan and I are both sleepy, Alice is gloomy, and the only answers seem to be coffee and exercise (us), and long, teeth-clacking naps (her). Since our budget doesn’t allow for sunshine and swim-up pool bars, I decided today to get out of the house and try running somewhere new and exciting. Sauganash, for those of you who have not heard of it and, like me, can’t confidently pronounce it, is an “upscale enclave on Chicago’s Northwest side” (Chicago Tribune 6/22/97). “It could also be one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets. ‘This is the nicest area in the city, but a lot of people don’t know where it is; they confuse it with Saugatuck, Michigan,’ said Andrea Copetas, a lifelong resident.” Indeed.

To tell the truth, my goal wasn’t actually Sauganash. It was the Forest Glen woods to the west of today’s featured upscale enclave. Unfortunately, Forest Glen woods is sopping wet these days, and I also got a little mixed up about which side of the Edens Expressway I needed to be on to get there. Here’s a good challenge: try crossing ten- ten- interstate on and off ramps in the course of a run. Loud cars, litter, and no crosswalks (or sidewalks, for that matter). This, it turns out, is an easy way to incorporate sprints into a workout. [Insert sigh.]

Really, though, I lucked out. I ran through the ugliest and most ostentatious outskirts of Sauganash (which, to be fair, may not actually reflect the rest of the area), then somehow landed on a dirt! path through a neighborhood to the south. There were no signs, but it did end up connecting with a gravel path through ol’ LaBagh Woods- and while it was still damp and chilly and desolate (save the occasional low-flying jet above), I’m pretty sure it’s going to be hot and humid and wildly green in a few months. To celebrate, I’m going to wade into my pool (oops! I mean bathtub) and drink a beer.

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One Comment
  1. A Friend permalink

    I love it!

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