I'm up early, in anticipation of today's trip to my harbor on Lake Michigan, (Montrose for those who know the area).
For those of you who don't know the area, for me this involves the unique experience of going down the Chicago River right through downtown Chicago and out on the lake.
I say it's a unique experience, because there are around 22/100yr. old Bascule Bridges that have to be raised, as we go, pretty much bringing downtown Chicago, (a metropolitan area boasting 7mil. people), to a standstill.
This, of course, brings everyone to the rivers edge to view the spectacle, (making quite a spectacle for us boaters too!).
Today is the first scheduled river trip of the season, which has it's drawbacks because the bridges have sat all winter, subject to the weather and 6mo. of municipal neglect!
What they do is have 2 or 3 teams, hop scotching from one bridge to the next to try to get them up in a timely fashion.To give everyone the flavor of this, two years ago I did the same "first trip" and made the mistake of tuning my radio to the Bridge Tender's channel. the first bridge took 20min. to get to move, and I swear to god, at one point I heard one of the tender say, "George is looking for a hammer!".
But usually the chatter goes something like this: " OK, now Ralph you push #2 relay, George you release the brake, and I'll pull the lever................. Nothing? .........OK...... Ralph you pull #2 relay, I'll push the lever, then George releases the brake! There we go! NO???.. OK.....",
and so on, and so on, for the whole trip.
This, of course, is all part of the adventure and adds to the excitement, (if not to the reputation of one of the worlds most important cities
),as long as you don't mind if the trip turns into a 12hr ordeal, which it frequently does.
So anyway that's the day I have ahead of me, which reminds me, I need to start loading the refreshments into the car.
If any body is interested, there are Youtube videos from some of the past years, just search 'Chicago river boats, Chicago bridge raising, Chicago river bridge', Chicago boat day, some combos like that, and you can get a look at what I'm talking about.