Day Trip: Palos Forest Preserve
Once again I found myself in this crappy limbo period between train trips with one at the very beginning of last month and my next one not until the end of this month. It’s ridiculous, but I’m starting to get really bummed out if I go longer than three weeks with hopping on a train to somewhere. So last week I coaxed Adé to take a day trip out to one of my favorite forest preserves in Chicago-land: Palos.
Y’all probably remember Adé from when he joined me on the Empire Builder out to Seattle (photosets and film shots from that trip here). This was his first train trip ever and he was crazy enough to do a two-day ride. He did a really rad write up on the whole adventure here.
Okay cool great I got your memory jogged and everything, nice, so here we are back to our day in the woods. Palos is in full-dense-foliage mode right now so it was pretty crazy to run through the dark forest where in the entire time out there we only came across two other mountain bikers. Even though it’s not that far south from the city, you’re treated to ravines and grades to keep things challenging. Get the right music going (in our case Kendrick Lamar blasting out an iphone) and you fall into a fun pace navigating roots, rocks, and mud puddles. There’s one downside to ripping on trails this time of year: mosquitoes. Like, holy crap I think I ended up with twenty bites on my left leg alone.
But, after a few miles in the dirt we headed back to the Palos Park stop on Chicago’s Metra commuter train, scratched our legs endlessly, and zoned out in that way you do when you’re exhausted and just spent the past few hours feeling like you’re flying.
Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday.
More photos, and sneak peaks, on instagram.
Thoughts and other nonsense on twitter.
That's all the planning I do.
Using Amtrak to travel around the western US, I started Railpass as a 15-day train trip to circle western America, explore new areas throughout the U.S., have surprising adventures, and document the experiences.
Taking only a few cameras, a bicycle, and a change of clothes, each stop on that route was a full day's worth of adventure. The train rides between destinations offered a chance to talk to other rail-travelers, recuperate, and (of course) blog here.
This blog started as a photo-journal of that trip, and continues to be updated with further adventures via train.
My name is Brent Knepper.
I'm a freelance photographer from Chicago, IL. My first Amtrak trip happened when I skipped class in high school and took my bmx bike with me from rural Virginia to New York. My parents have since forgiven me.