All Photos Copyright © 2010 by Robert E Pence
I had business in Chicago on Tuesday and Thursday, June 22 and 24, so rather than make the 4-hour drive home and then return so soon, I stayed in Michigan City and commuted via South Shore trains - cheaper than staying in a Chicago hotel while there are events going on. I made plans with a friend in Chicago to get together on Wednesday and tour Chinatown.
Wednesday morning came up rainy at the Carroll Avenue stop on the east side of Michigan City, where I boarded Train #116, on time at 10:55a.m.
The resurgence of bicycling has brought many older bikes back into the daylight after years of neglect in basements, attics, and garages. At the Carroll Avenue station this Raleigh Carlton awaited its owner's return on the train. It's been updated with alloy hubs, rims, bars, and crankset and lightweight mudguards and has been converted to a fixed-gear bike. The sticker above the original decals on the seat tube read "Working Bikes Cooperative
I detrained at the 11th Street/Museum Campus Station, with plans to meet Chris at the Red Line station at Roosevelt. He had decided to drive, so after we picked up a couple of his friends, we were on our way.
Welcome to Chinatown!
Random walking around and taking photos.
Chris dropped me off at Millennium Park Station where I boarded Train #11, departing at 3:58p.m. for Michigan City.
Back at Carroll Avenue ...
The Raleigh Carlton still awaited its owner's return.
By 6:00p.m. I was back in my motel. As I prepared to take a shower, I turned on my laptop and opened weather.com. There was a severe storm warning that some really bad stuff was headed our way fast, and it was almost there! I decided to defer the shower until later and get ready in case I had to evacuate. By the time I got dressed and gathered my camera bag and laptop, the sky had turned very dark and a torrential rain had started. Abruptly the wind started to shriek around the building, lightning lit up the room, and the power went out simultaneously as the tornado sirens started. I grabbed my stuff and headed for the stairway just as hotel staff came up and started banging on doors and yelling for people to get downstairs.
The worst of the storm passed and the all-clear sounded after 20-30 minutes, but the rain continued at a lesser rate. I was one of the only guests who had a flashlight, and many people continued to congregate in stairways and in the lobby until the battery-powered lights petered out about 9:30. I turned on all the lights in my room so I'd wake up if the power came back on, and went to bed. About 2:00a.m. I awoke to a brightly-lit room, took my shower, and went back to bed.
Driving to the station in the morning I encountered some flooded intersections and several traffic lights without power. The major roads had been cleared of downed trees, but many minor roads and streets were still blocked. Later that afternoon driving home through La Porte, I saw much more severe damage to very large old trees.