Anyone interested in reading good travel narrative should take a look at the piece from Glencoe, Illinois native Rich Cohen in last Sunday’s edition of the New York Times.
Called ‘A Tour of Lake Michigan, My Inland Sea,’ Cohen, with his three school-age boys, sets out to keep the lake on his left and, as he puts it in a great opening line, leave from the south and return from the north, travelling the thousand-plus miles around Lake Michigan.
Chicago is the capital of Lake Michigan. As Naples sits above stony Mediterranean beaches, Chicago commands the southwestern shores of the big water. It began as a point of transit, a passage from the lake to the big river farther west, the Mississippi, which French explorers believed emptied into the Sea of Japan. In this way, Chicago, which was a wigwam village and became a fort and then a boomtown, was once seen as a kind of Pacific port, our first California.
It’s a beautiful ode to a Great Lake.
And, because it’s the New York Times and they have embraced digital storytelling in a way few other media outlets have, the online layout is gorgeous, well accompanied by full-spread photographs and galleries.