Day 30

Down at the beach with Jeni and Nancy to open my wind window. Steve came jogging by and they introduced us. He’s working at the steel mill and said that before US Steel bought it and nixed everyone’s pensions, it almost became a worker cooperative. Later he returned with his wife Randy with some sweet arrowheads that he had made! He gave me the pick and I immediately snatched the rainbow obsidian, what a beaut.

I offered him one of my artifacts of the global life support system but Jeni took it instead – the polished concrete from in front of Fritz’s in Douglas.

Steve also gave me an organic PB and J, so that about wraps up his application as producer. Imagine what we could accomplish with Michael AND Steve.

Send off from the secret freak tribe at Ogden Dunes, Steve is taking the picture

Dan the other filmmaker showed up too and Nancy’s sister – we had a crowd! I was off the beach by 10:30 into a very light wind, Calumet looked very far. As usual, the gods kicked in and we were hauling ass by 2:30 roaring past the breakwaters of the point and into the harbor. I had a sketchy idea where I was going, but studying images on the net paid off. The mooring is kinda wavy, but the beach was an easy offload. We’ll probably move north soon.

Loaded up with technology and even less of a plan, (eat something) I biked off into the wilds of south Chicago. I was feeling like a bit of an idiot, where was I going? My iphone was out of power, so no helpful searching. The mural of Jake and Elwood was encouraging, I just needed to stop worrying and flow. Eventually a train station appeared and I waited on the “To Chicago” side. The conductor was very helpful and suggested I get off downtown for a Taste of Chicago. I didn’t really care about the festival, but I’d been downtown before. Why not?

Detraining at Monroe, I rode seemingly at random until I found my burrito place – small, good food, cute waitresses and one table with power to charge the iPhone – hurrah! I searched for hotels, then an inspiration… hostels! Remember hostels? The Hostel International Chicago was just a few blocks away for $30 a night. A bike room, laundry, crappy wireless and oblivious young clods – what more could I ask for? At least waves won’t be bashing my spine at 3:00 am. If I can find a solid home for HW, I’ll haunt Chicago for a few days and catch up on the project, duplicate hard drives and ship them home. Maybe within a week we can be back on schedule… Whoa!

What can I say about a night at Chicago’s Hostels International? Generally it’s fun – bunk beds and common bathrooms, padlocking gear. You’re not supposed to drink in bed, but I am constantly needing to hydrate from days in the sun so I took my water bottle up to the top bunk with me – and my laptop, camera, phone… After I nodded off I heard the my bottle slip between the bunk and wall and fell into my neighbor’s bed below. I had dreams of his bed flooding, of my camera getting wet.

Then some duffus came in, turned on his reading light and left for another two hours. I can sleep through a lot but WTF? Coming entirely awake at 3:00 am, I toyed with a scheme for hauling my water bottle back up by dropping a slip knot over it. I could clearly see it between his bed and the wall thanks to the light of the inconsiderate oaf. Problem solving is so much of my moment to moment experience now that it’s like breathing. Fishing with a slip knot in some random dude’s bed seemed fraught with peril, so I bagged the project and resigned myself to fate. Mr reading light finally returned, read for 5 minutes and turned off the light. Just then my downstairs neighbor headed for the bathroom. I pulled on some pants, jumped down and grabbed my bottle. I took it and my phone down the hall to the empty conference room for some charging and catchup time.

Too late to go back to bed – 5:00 am! 7 hours to get to O’Hare airport to meet an old pal. Around 7:00 I checked out the hearty all GMO breakfast the hostel had provided for the kids of less gullible nations and chatted with Anna from Argentina. She was a latina ringer for Sarah Eichberger-Wheeler.

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