Yesterday Jer and I went geocaching in downtown Chicago. Most of it was pretty normal geocaching. We started with brunch at Frontera Grill. I managed to actually get a reservation there much to my shock and ended up getting there late due to the flakiness of the weather and inability to hail a cab. I had a lovely brunch of Indigenous Hotcakes with chile glazed bacon and eggs over easy while Jer was unable to find anything he liked so settled for Tacos al Carbon. After that geocaching started in earnest. Mostly virtual caches. Near one of the micros we found there was a new statue.
A striking image of Shakesphere’s King Lear.
We finished the virtuals on Michigan Ave and then struck out for Navy Pier. It took us longer than it should thanks to everyone and their brother was taking the free trolley. There were two caches to find out there though. The one I liked the best was honoring Milton Olive III who unselfishly gave his life for his companions during Viet Nam. A very peaceful park near the hustle and bustle of Navy Pier is named for him. Well worth the trip.
By this time we were pretty tired so after looking at the line for the trolley we looked at each other and grabbed a cab to Millennium Park to find the virtual there.
Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) is a very fascinating statue and it attracts all types, including zombies it appears. There were more people (and zombies) crowded around it than there were people around Buckingham Fountain over in Grant Park.
We could see evidence of the upcoming Taste of Chicago. Roads were already blocked off, tents being erected. But there was still echos of past events present.
Like a ghost the tenor of the day was starting to change as our last cache was at The Sears Tower.
During 2000 and 2001 I worked a total of ten months in the tower, on the 6th floor. I had never actually been higher then about the 33rd floor. Now almost eight years later I was returning to the tower. The walk was filled with memories. Places I ate, The Board Of Trade, DePaul University, new shops, echos of a world pre-911.
There were no metal detectors when I worked, there. But there are now. And the new management company is handling the property better than the one when I was there. Gone are the days when you could cut through the tower in inclement weather to get to Union Station. But the journey at hand was now to the top. Through metal detectors, long lines, and an elevator ride that mirrored those I had when I actually worked there. We emerged on the Skydeck, perhaps with stuffed up ears. The information needed was gathered, the gift shop avoided as best as we could and we descended to head home on the train.
Ghosts of the time still echo through my brain, even today. I never want to have to live through the 14 hour days, the tension of a company sinking fast, and the events that unfolded not two weeks after my last time walking out of the tower ever again.