Kayaking Chicago

Lisa and I just returned from a trip to Chicago. While there, we thought it would be interesting to take a kayaking architecture tour on the Chicago River. I guess when you live in a place for a while you don’t always get out and see some of the things you think about after you move away. We asked our friends and family about such a kayaking tour but nobody was familiar with the idea. Lisa searched around and found Kayak Chicago. They had several tours available and, since we’ve done none of them, we picked a 3 hour architectural tour leaving from the Magnolia and Le Moyne location. We arrived to find that we were the only people headed out with the guide that day, so if you want a trip with fewer people but don’t want to go on your own, it appears that a Thursday in mid-September is a good time to go. The weather was perfect.

Our guide, Brian gave us a few required instructions and we headed out.

Soon after launch we could see the Sears Tower (or, whatever it's called these days)

Soon after launch we could see the Sears Tower (or, whatever it’s called these days)

At the southern tip of Goose Island we paused for a selfie . . . . 

Waiting for a large powered tour boat to turn around at the southern tip of Goose Island near the old Montgomery Ward building

Waiting for a large powered tour boat to turn around at the southern tip of Goose Island near the old Montgomery Ward building

Brian explained the significance of this statue. Apparently there are/were three. One I believe is in New York and it points to Chicago, this one in Chicago points to Wisconsin and I can’t recall the third. Well, that’s the story anyway.

Montgomery Ward Diana Statue

Montgomery Ward Diana Statue with our guide

There is some barge traffic on the river, but surprisingly they didn’t make large waves.

Chicago River Barge traffic

Chicago River Barge traffic

Of course there’s no shortage of bridges either . . .

Bridges over the Chicago River

Bridges over the Chicago River

We paddled further and stopped for a bit at the place where the North Branch of the Chicago River meets the South Branch.

The Merchandise Mart on the left

The Merchandise Mart on the left looking towards Lake Michigan

The Nuveen building reflects the image of the other buildings across the river

Reflections in the Nuveen building

Reflections in the Nuveen building

We paddled past the Marina Towers, and yeah, we did ask if Steve McQueen’s car was still in the river (From the movie The Hunter). How could I resist!

The Marina Towers

The Marina Towers

The city is putting in a river walk which came as a surprise to me . . . .  that it wasn’t done a hundred years ago! That’s a resource seemingly too big to ignore.

River Walk seating along the main channel of the Chicago River

River Walk seating along the main channel of the Chicago River

The Wrigley building is just across the street from the Trump Tower. The guide asked, “do you notice anything unusual about the clock?” We answered, “there’s no numbers”. He replied, “Yep and they’re all “W”. All time is Wrigley time.

The Wrigley Building

The Wrigley Building

The return trip took around the east side of Goose Island where is is very calm and peaceful. Overall, a very nice trip where we felt very comfortable among the water taxis, barges and large tour boats. My short explanations barely get the job done, but the guides do a good job and mix in a few bad jokes as well . . . but in Brian’s defense, he warned us.

Photo at the end of a nice trip

Photo at the end of a nice trip

Next time, I think we’ll need to head out onto the lake.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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One comment on “Kayaking Chicago

  1. […] and I left the Kayak Chicago architecture tour (see previous post) and headed back towards Naperville via I-290 when we saw a sign for the Frank Lloyed Wright Home […]

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