Miles Today: 130.8
Total Miles: 7369.2
Days on the Road: 130
Dogs Rescued: 1
Reward Money Collected: $0
On October 8, 1871, the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, the worst forest fire in U.S. history swept through the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, killing about 1200 people and completely destroying every single building in town except one. The only people to survive were those who jumped into the river and floated on logs and such while the firestorm raged around them on all sides. The fire burned itself out in about an hour.
Sandy My Darling
We couldn't leave Chicago without paying homage to one of our personal heroes (and also one of the most innovative architects of the twentieth century), Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright, man of small height and big ideas. Looking with our eyes and not our hands (after one guy in our tour group made the mistake of leaning against a door frame and was promptly and publicly scolded), we saw up close the sheer genius and simple creativity that Mr. Wright put into every one of his designs, from the stained glass skylights to the overall layout of his buildings. Once again, we are inspired to build a home from scratch, we've just first got to figure out how to reverse the whole negative cash flow thing. Hey, if they can reverse the direction of the Chicago River, anything's possible.
After leaving Oak Park, it was our turn to be heroes when we spotted a lonely looking lab walking a little too close the Hummers and BMWs screaming down a luxurious strip of Sheridan Road on the shores of Lake Michigan. We turned the Badunkadunk around, the dog bounded up as though he'd been expecting us and we soon learned that "Sandy" lived just a few houses down the street. "What is it girl, fire?", we wondered as Sandy insistently led us down a long and lush driveway to her palatial home. We rang the bell once, twice then knocked a mighty knock. The house was quiet. Sandy shifted on her paws.
The garage door gaped wide open, showing off a polished Jag and a sporty Audi, plus some other highlife accoutrements such as leather-cased golf clubs and monogrammed croquet sets. On Sandy's collar was one of those newfangled electronic devices meant to keep the dog close to home. We put the clues together. Obviously, Sandy was a well-loved dog. Her owners inexplicably vacated their home in a hurry and Sandy has somehow foiled the electronic dog collar and nearly gotten herself run over. We suspected foul play.
We decided to pay a little visit to the neighbors, to see if they'd seen any suspicious activity in the neighborhood, that is aside from our rusted-out hippy van being parked on their private drive. They, um, told us Sandy's owners had gone out for a run and Sandy must have tried to follow them. Mystery solved, we said a sad goodbye to Sandy and hoped this time her electronic collar would do its job.
Hungry from our little dog rescue adventure, we arrived just in time for dinner at Anthony's cousin's house in Kenosha, WI. Finally, Liz got to meet the fabled "L'Outre", which, to the French means "the other" and to Anthony's family means "The Other Olivier", after Anthony's brother, Olivier. There's the French in a nutshell for ya.
We had another tearful goodbye the next day when L'Outre's 2-year-old daughter Chloe was rather unhappy to see us pull out of the driveway - kids really dig this van. But go we must, and we did, all the way to Madison where we strolled the campus before meeting up for a brief rendezvous with someone from Liz's past who she described as her high-school "Partner In Crime." After a couple rounds, Julie, unprompted, described Liz with the same moniker, however adding that Liz was the more cunning one who never got caught. Well, at least we know now if the whole legitimate job thing doesn't work out, she could always make it as a petty criminal, or a politician.
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.