Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007

The balmy weather yesterday sent scores of bicyclists, walkers, joggers and in-line skaters to the lakefront path. There were no tricyclists, though, as tricycles have apparently gone the way of the great auk. Instead, helmeted youngsters road tiny bicycles with permanent training wheels. These wayward youths overran one section of the path, forcing us Bob Roll wannabes to make a daring pass in the oncoming lane.

Today, the weather has returned to normal for March. The temperatures still would make Antarctica envious.

A quick look at local state park news finds that one Wisconsin writer is accusing Illinois of stealing the "seven wonders" idea from America's Dairyland. The Fond du Lac Reporter writer shared this salvo aimed at the Prairie State:

"I couldn't resist," a friend said, in an e-mail. "I went to the site today and nominated 'The last toll booth before you get to Wisconsin' (aka heaven to Illinois eyes!)."

I later discovered this stunning item from the Waukegan News-Sun. Contrary to my assumptions, Illinois rates highly when it comes to state parks:

The state ranks in the top 4 in the country for number of lodges, cabins, and primitive campsites. The 482,000 acres of land ranks sixth in the country in total acreage and attendance ranks in the top five in the country.

It must be noted, though, that natural areas in more wild states are largely federal areas. Illinois has a lot of islands of state land amid seas of private acreage. Also, I'd like to see what counts as a "primitive campsite." They must use a loose definition of the term.

Finally, Hoosiers and Buckeyes are having an emerald ash borer border war, according to the Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item.

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