We arrived in Chicago after a fantastic American Airlines flight from Manchester, on which we ate chateaubriand and struggled to drink wine as fast as the air stewardess was pouring it. Immigration and customs took no time at all and we eventually found our airport Hilton hotel. A trip on the “L” saw us to downtown Chicago. The mixture of old and new architecture was beautiful, with clinical razor-sharp highrise offices by the Lake yielding to rows of smart older buildings, all diced in an efficient grid of roads, interlaced with overhead train lines and the underground “L”.


We had hoped to go to a Blues bar but we lucked out with a whole Blues festival. Basking in the sunshine under clear blue skies, we indulged in Blues music, Budweiser beer, deep pan pizza, buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce and mustard fried catfish- a personal first for me!
We stoped by a bar on Wabash Street that had been frequented by Al Capone and ate at a grill a few doors down. You got to choose your food and sauces yourself and hand it over to the kitchen staff to cook on a hot plate. Friendly locals taught us some finer details of baseball whilst watching it on TV, and even gave us recommendations for places to go in Anchorage.
Been up since 5, repackaging after a restless sleep. I am eager to get to Alaska. I had a ‘malfuncton’ of my Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 yesterday whilst I was trying to compress it further as hand luggage (it’s a huge bag!) And I broke a buckle, so I’ll be hotfooting it down to an outdoor shop in Anchorage in a few hours. The weather here is sunny with blue skies, but cooler and wet in Anchorage.  I lost this post after I wrote it once, so this is my second iteration, on a smartphone! In 13 hours I may be able to see Denali from Anchorage, and this expedition will start getting serious…
 Keep exploring!

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