Scene + Heard | The Great Outdoors

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midwest camping | concert & theatre guide | vibes a bloomin’



Editor in Chief | Aliza Abarbanel

Editor at Large | Elizabeth Johnson

Design Editor | Heiwon Shin

C u lt u r e G u i d e E d i t o r | Abby Kamen

content editors | Nick Fistanic, Taryn Nobil, Shaleila Louis

Staff Writers | Eish Sumra, Helen Murphy, Zach Barr, Michael Schonfeld

editor’s letter

Since coming to Northwestern I’ve discovered many things. Foremost among them is that winter quarter is way, way worse than my tour guide said it was going to be. As a newly appointed editor on Scene+Heard, I’ve spring quarter seems to ooze creative content and article ideas, at least in comparison to its frosty counterpart. Scene+Heard writers have scoured Chicagoland to bring you the best of what being young, beautiful and perature calls for new experiences, so if you weren’t the cultured explorer you wanted to be last quarter, don’t be afraid to get a taste of Maine in the Midwest by visiting a campsite in Indiana, see an emotional performance at the Empty Bottle, or eat delicious tacos at a “supersized block party” in Little Village. I know it sounds like a lot of big talk, asking you guys to leave your beds and stop living vicariously through the characters of your favorite Scene+Heard in the name of glorious weather and a brand new quarter. nization overhaul and welcoming in a new set of content editors just last month, we’re happy to say we’ve evolved from the newborn publication we were last spring. We hope our excitement and passion about the content of ventures.

Abby Kamen Culture Guide Editor

table of contents

spring theatre guide vibes a bloomin’ mixtape

spring concert guide reading week shows camping in the midwest chicago food festivals

spring theatre guide zach barr

“the little foxes” the goodman theatre | written by lillian hellman | directed by henry wishcamper

It has not been long since the Hubbard family (of Hellman’s script) has been in the Chicago area. The play graced our own Wallis Theatre at the Wirtz Center only last year as part of the MFA Lab show season. But the show is sure to shine again in Henry Wishcamper’s (“A Christmas Carol,” “Ask Aunt Susan”) brilliant new production at the Goodman. The Good-

man’s season this year is full of new work and work with a contemporary angle. The only exceptions are the recently closed “Two Trains Running” (set in 1969) and “The Little Foxes,” which takes audience members back to the very beginning of the 20th century. A Goodman-level budget given to a play from 1939 will certainly be worth trekking into the Loop to see. The

Chicago’s best talent, from Mary Beth Fisher (a longtime Goodman standout, last seen in “Luna Gale”) to Larry Yando (a Chicago legend who has played the title role of “King Lear” and Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”). “The Little Foxes” is a classic play getting an exciting revival. May 2 through June 7.

court theatre | based on the novel by frances hodgson burnett | book and lyrics by marsha normanry | music by lucy simon | directed by charles newell

secret garden May 21 through June 21

three sisters the hypocrites | written by anton chekhov directed by geoff button

Let it never be said that The Hypocrites, Chicago’s crazy revisionist storefront theatre troupe, chooses digestible subject material. Chekhov’s existential masterwork is a brilliant play and will presumably be made even more brilliant through the direction of

tragic pursuit of the big city is as entertaining as it is truthful, and The Hypocrites will surely bring something new to the

year’s impressive “Into The Woods.” The Prozorov sisters’

absurd little mold that The Hypocrites creates so well.

that he doesn’t see the sisters as passive, but rather active in the wrong ways. It’s a world of distractions and other prior-

Go see it if you love Chekhov, reinvention or reinvention of Chekhov. April 17 through June.

doubt: a parable writer’s theatre | written by john patrick shanley | directed by william brown

One of the best plays to come out in the last decade or so, “Doubt” concerns the activities of a newly hired priest at a Catholic school when the principal begins to detect that his activities might not be in line with the integrity of the church. Racial, sexual and religious tensions collide in a perfect storm of dramatic thought and…well,

doubt. The show is a mental Aiding the atmosphere of the show is William Brown’s fanat the Glencoe Union Church. Brown is a frequent collaborator with Writer’s Theatre, and his goal seems to be to keep the audience on the edge of their seats the entire time.

the play’s tense subject matter, but still an exciting prospect. April 28 through July 19.

moby dick

lookingglass theatre | based on the novel by herman melville adapted and directed by david catlin

June 10 through August 9

the Ocean,”

“Feathers and Teeth” “Carlyle” “Agamemnon,” “Another Word for Beauty” “Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976” “The Matchmaker”

“Satchmo at the Waldorf,” the “2666.”

“The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window”

“Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” “Wonderful Town.” “Disgraced,” the “Gem of

“One Man, Two Guvnors.”

“The 4th Graders Present An Unnamed Love-Suicide,”

“Marjorie Prime.”

“Burning Bluebeard” “The Glass Menagerie” “Adding Machine: A Musical”


“All Our Tragic.”

“Green Day’s American Idiot,”

“Death of a Streetcar named Virginia Woolf — A Parody.”


“Blood Wedding,”

“Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure,” written

“Treasure Island.”

michael schonfeld

vibes a bloomin’

Ah, spring quarter, the most wonderful time of year at Northwestern. The sun shines bright, leaves blossom on trees and students gleefully roam around Evanston, as neither a walk from Tech to the Arch nor a run on the arctic-grade coat. Evanston’s beauty in the spring brings out picturesque qualities usually reserved for college towns in movies; games of Ultimate Frisbee dominate the quads, students leisurely grill in backyards and music blares through frathouse speakers. Thankfully, we all have a role in this blockbuster, which, like any other movie, needs a soundtrack. Here’s a mixtape for the days out in shorts, nights in sweatshirts and vibes that make spring quarter the best at Northwestern:

1. “Paradise Awaits, Part 2” ZHU (feat. GoldLink) Clocking in at only two and a half minutes, this funky banger leaves you wishing it could go on forever. ZHU’s production blends the thump of a deep house bass line with a slowed-down, halftime hiphop beat. GoldLink spits slick, boastful bars with a sexual edge that could give a 1950s housewife a heart attack. The song instantly connects and makes for a great anthem for a spring night out.

2. “Back at the Start” Viceroy (Djeki & Fotche Remix)

the coldest listeners to their own warm, sunny island.

3. “Drive Me Crazy” Kaytranada (feat. Vic Mensa) Vic and Kaytra bring the best of their worlds together on this cut, making a bike ride on Sheridan feel like a drive on Lake Shore Drive with the top down. Kaytranada’s hazy, chill synths provide a perfect backdrop for Vic’s can’t help but give a “did he just say that?” face after hearing razor-sharp lines like “I’m buying Nike stock when I see these checks.” Both artists offer impeccable swagger, making this a relaxed yet buoyant collaboration.

4. “Something New” These two upcoming producers from Washington, D.C., describe their sound as “music that your dad might like.” That must be one badass dad, as this song begs you to skip the library and post up on the lakefill all day. The track reimagines Viceroy’s “Back at the Start” in a colorful, tropical house context and teleports even

(Robin Schulz Remix) This track showcases Robin Schulz, adding his laidback Ingrosso’s big room banger. The song still booms loud and anthemic, but within the context of a calmer vibe. Schulz creates a soundscape that

excites and encapsulates the listener, but alternatively lends itself to a warm, tranquil listening environment. Think tailgate season meets a day at the beach.

7. My Love” Route 94 (feat. Jess Glynne) (Prince Fox Remix)

5. “Oh Sheit It’s X” Thundercat

Prince Fox’s reworking of “My Love” speeds up Jess Glynne’s vocals, cuts the

Merely listening to this song will put sunglasses on your face, cut your sleeves short and turn your classroom into a darty. Thundercat’s funky, upbeat jam highlights his knack for melody, leaving you singing, “I just wanna party” for days. While we’ll still be in class during May and June, this song will take the

and makes the song sound larger than life. He uses a variety of tones in the drop that lend themselves to an irresistible, cinematic melody. Even vibing to this in Tech will make you feel as if you’re witnessing an epic story reach its climax before your eyes.

discussion section.

6. “Doe-Active” A$AP Ferg

Andrew Block (feat. Erica Falls)

It’s okay if you spent your Valentine’s Day last quarter watching Netflix After bumping this song at max volume, you’ll be “ballin’” alone; this track will be sure to make you feel warm and and “shot callin’” your way fuzzy inside all spring. Andown Sheridan Road all quardrew Block’s syncopated and ter. Ferg’s playful, cocky lyrics mesh with Stelios Phili’s robotic, soulful guitar playing locks trappy production sense. If you you into his chord progresknow a nice Jewish boy named sions, paving the way for Erica Falls’s vocals to court Adam Levine, he’ll be honored to hear “Doe Active” (the juxtaposes sonic elements, bridge will explain that joke).

old and new, putting the listener in a romantic time machine.

9. “Grey” Travi$ Scott This cut’s xylophone-esque synth line embodies its best qualities as a whole. Its simplicity, calmness and uplifting feel pump serotonin through your brain, leaving you in an easygoing daze. While it may give you trouble leaving your spot on North Beach, it makes for a great soundtrack to a beautiful day in the sun.

10. “To Ü” Jack Ü (feat. AlunaGeorge) Where the previous song hypnotizes you into deep relaxation, this one snaps you out of it immediately and gets your adrenaline going. The song’s high energy level gives vibes. Diplo and Skrillex alternate between pop and dubAlunaGeorge elegantly belts into the microphone, yielding quite the collaboration. Consider it a throwback to A&O Ball.

a love letter to the art institute’s special exhibitions One writer’s advice to take a break from permanent collections + explore the temporary exhibitions housed by the Art Institute

by helen murphy

Visiting the Art Institute is probably on everyone’s Chicago bucket list, but it can be easy to cling to the permanent collections and forego the special exhibitions the museum is constantly holding. Though the permanent collections are full of beautiful and celebrated art, the Art Institute’s special exhibitions are always centered around a common theme, historical time period or artist. This makes it easy to focus and become more deeply immersed in the few artworks on display at the exhibit, rather than the huge number available in the permanent collections. In the several small galleries in which these special exhibitions are housed, feeling connected to the artworks as well as to your fellow spectators becomes an easy, wonderful task. A few weeks ago, I attended the “Shatter, Rupture, Break” exhibit held in Galleries 182-184, some of the smallest rooms in the museum. The exhibition has since closed, but my trip demonstrates the amazing experience that a visit to an Art Institute special exhibit can be. spring quarter, escaping to the city and visiting the museum was the perfect respite. Instead of resorting to my usual trek through the Impressionist and Contemporary wings, I

slowed down and spent over an hour in just these three galleries of the museum. With a less overwhelming number of artwork to concentrate on, I allowed myself more time for each piece, taking the time to read each piece’s placard as I wound slowly through the three rooms. The exhibit featured art pieces centered around the theme of deconstruction and contained works depicting both objects and bodies that had been broken and put back together again. Though the exhibit was all about brokenness, I felt a sense of calm wandering the rooms. The rush of Chicago city life and the hectic bustle of tourists racing around the museum to visit the most renowned works could not permeate the walls of the exhibition. Most of us who live close to the Art Institute know our way around rather well. We’ve roamed the halls each visit knowing the exact location of that Modern piece or ancient Greek sculpture we really want to see again. Special exhibits challenge what we know to be true of the museum; they introduce new pieces in new locations and force us out of our artistic comfort zone. It is indeed a fresh experience concentrate solely on one exhibition. After all, the permanent collections will always be there, while the

Though the exhibition I visited a few weeks ago is now over, there are several upcoming ones available. One bookmark in the back of your mind, Charles Ray: Sculpture 1997 - 2004, takes place from from May 15 to Oct. 4. It will feature 19 aluminum and stainless steel sculptures by Charles Ray, a contemporary artist. Galleries 291-299 in the Modern Wing, as well as the gardens, will become temporary homes to pieces made between 1997 and 2014. Ray hails from Chicago and is considered an innovator and experimenter in his pieces are the product of 10 years of work. His work represents a hybrid of themes in American popular culture and draws inspiration from classical sculpture models. This exhibit is a must-see simply because of its uniqueness: sculptures are rare in the permanent collection, especially contemporary sculptures like Ray’s. His artwork is sure to inspire creative experimentation and innovation in everyone who visits the exhibit. So, next time you take a pilgrimage down to the Art Institute, slow down and take a look at the special exhibitions you don’t know the museum as well as you think you do.

“object” Claude Cahun, 1936. image courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago *photoshopped

“city of drawers”

Salavor Dalí, 1936. image courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago *photoshopped

“the doll” (la poupée)

Hans Bellmer, 1935. image from: The Art Institute of Chicago *photoshopped

near or far

a guide to your off-campus adventures shaleila louis

Here’s the perfect spring quarter scenario: You sit up in bed late one Saturday morning and look out the window. The sky is clear and blue and the weather app informs you that today is the day you’re going to really go outside. You’re going to see the sights and stay out all night. Soon, you’re dressed, your phone is charged and you’re boarding the L to Chicago! But maybe that isn’t your story. Maybe you wake up and yawn several times. Then you stretch and settle in for another 10-minute snooze. Sure, you’re feeling adventurous, but you’re not sure you have the energy to head all the way into downtown Chitown tonight. Maybe you don’t need to go all the way there! from your doorstep! Surely World Of Beer and Panera aren’t the unconstrained and the energy-drained alike, here is a handy guide to the events Chicago and our beloved Evanston have planned for this spring:

chicago Ladies Night Out: Movie Night may 13.

Want to combine a night out in the city with your signature hobbrilliant lineup of independent free at the Homer Township Public Library District! No

a handy evanston equivalent YWCA Women’s Film Series Event: “Dreamcatcher” may 14.

moving documentary instead. “Dreamcatcher” chronicles the life of a teenage prostitute, Brenda Myers-Powell, who fought to buy herself a new lease on life and became a symbol of change. The event by the YWCA begins with wine and food at The Bottle Shop followed by the screening.

a handy evanston equivalent chicago Meanwhile in Chicago

Fran Randall Memorial Concert may 15.

may 14.

You’ve experienced the city, you’ve fallen unconditionally in love with the city and you’ve left your heart downtown. Now, catch up with a music festival at the Redmoon Theater that is quintessentially Chicago (and has already begun!) and celebrate the talents of local artists who exemplify what this city is all about. Follow the Facebook page for a complete lineup! Tickets are $25 for general admission.

the Fran Randall Memorial Concert brings to the stage music students from local colleges, universities and high schools. Make your way to the Levy Senior Center for the luxurious Steinway grand piano, stay for the heavenly music. Admission is free!

chicago Manifest Urban Arts Festival may 15.

Support fellow college students from Columbia College Chicago at their annual showcase as they display original works that go beyond the typical museum fare: performances, fashto entice you, Columbia College bands will perform throughout, ending with a surprise headliner, and all for free!

a handy evanston equivalent YEA! Day Festival may 16.

Leave college behind for a day and support the children of Evanston’s K-12 schools as they showcase their artwork and performances. Sometimes we forget Evanston isn’t just the college town we know it as. Go cheer on the children who look up to you - and all for free!

chicago Memorial Day Parade may 23.

rade already, it might be high time for you to join the onlookers and wave the stars and stripes as the parade heads down State Street from Lake to Van Buren.

a handy evanston equivalent Memorial Day Ceremony may 25.

Square downtown to witness a Memorial Day ceremony and behold the time-honored parade.

a handy evanston equivalent The Starlight Concert Series

chicago Music in the Plaza june 13, 27.

Grab a couple of friends, some lawn chairs and a blanket and get ready for a night to remember at Zabrocki Plaza. Sit and enjoy live music under the stars as beverages are provided the event, but you may want to grab dinner earlier at a stellar local restaurant.

june 9, 16, 23, 30.

Tired of going all the way into Chicago just throughout Evanston with the Starlight Concert Series. Don’t worry if you miss a couple concerts; there’s one every week in June.

chicago Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America may 9 - october 25.

Attend an event you have likely never heard of before! Make your way to the Chicago Botanic Garden to watch miniature true-to-life trains chugging past replicas of famous landmarks while admiring the well-cultivated and maintained garden all around you for just $6.

a handy evanston equivalent Backyard Botanics Sale june 13.

and converse with fellow gardening enthusiasts at this annual event hosted by the Highland Garden Club of Evanston. The plant sale features plants grown straight from the club members’ gardens. Get your questions answered by the members and return home with some plants to brighten up your summer sublet!

chicago American Cancer Society: Relay For Life june 6.

a handy evanston equivalent NU Relay For Life june 21.


spring concert guide taryn nobil

From farewell tours and debut shows to performances by rising indie powerhouses, Chicago’s spring concert schedule is packed with must-sees. Here are some of Scene+Heard’s recommendations to satisfy your live music needs.

Remember that viral video “Somebody That I Used to Know” all on one guitar? Well, those musicians aren’t just Youtube sensations; they’re an active band called . And they don’t just craft quirky covers of Top 20 hits. They play folk-pop that incorporates touches of reggae and ska to produce endlessly uplifting songs. As in its

May 16, Beat Kitchen: When the members of Glocca Morra announced late last year that they would be terminating the band, they assured their fans that they would go out with a bang. The punk band followed to its live show. Last year’s Gang of Rhythm tour saw the on Bandcamp along with a band jumping into the crowd, seven-date farewell tour sched- rolling around the stage and ule. Glocca Morra formed in exchanging roles playing a Miami and laid the groundvast collection of instruments. work for their band in South Florida basements before heading out on the road again relocating to Philadelphia’s in anticipation of its fourth burgeoning DIY scene, which spurred the likes of Modern cannons and good vibes gaBaseball and The Menzinglore. All ages. ers. Since then, Glocca Morra have toured with emo bands : from Joyce Manor to Owls (real name Mackand remained a staple in the enzie Scott) may very well be hearts of Kinsella-worshipone of the strongest songwritping twinklecore kids. Fusing ers of the 21st century. Yes, it’s its South Florida hardcore still very early in the century, roots with a rowdy Philly-bred but listen to “Strange Hellos,” energy, Glocca Morra’s music is wholly informed by a realbum “Sprinter,” and you will lentless touring lifestyle. Don’t see that this claim may not miss the band’s last hurrah be hyperbole. Scott’s words when it hits Chicago. All ages. are wrought straight from the heart, as if she ripped the orMay 19, Bottom Lounge:

gan from her chest, squeezed its blood over paper and let the words drip into place in dark red ink. It sounds like tually a cathartic process that she employs to heal the pain pulsing through her veins. Her voice conveys this emotional heft with care, at times a gentle cradle, otherwise a bellowing behemoth. Paired with rock songs that range from aching ballads to searing anthems (sometimes within the a live setting, Torres should be nothing short of a soul-stirring storm. 21+. May 22, Schubas: MONAKR released its ago. Called “Diamond,” it’s an infectious song that sparkles on the surface but holds a somber weight— it was written after songwriter Saam Hagshenas lost his uncle to cancer. After members of Chicago-based electro pop groups Gemini Club and Hey Champ collaborated with Grammy-nominated singer Matthew Santos for “Diamond,” they realized their creative chemistry was too strong to stop after one song. Now, it’s only a taste of what’s to come. The group aims to explore the shadowy depths of pop music by fusing “Chicago’s R&B and

House traditions” in the modern indie context. MONshow ever at the little-but-legendary Schubas before dropping its debut EP in June. If “Diamond” is any indication, there should be plenty of danceable gems. 21+. May 23, Portage Theater: If Willis Earl Beal didn’t consistently label himself a “nobody,” maybe he would realize that he has the capacity to leave a huge impact on the music world. Blogs took notice of his 2012 debut, “Acousmatic Sorcery,” but the public’s access to Beal’s astounding talent. He didn’t get around to showcasing his booming voice until he performed “Evening’s Kiss” on “Later… with Jools Holland.” Luckily, XL Recordings recognized his abilities and signed Beal for his sophomore album, “Nobody Knows,” which focused more on the rich soulfulness of his voice with a backdrop of haunting hymns and blues stompers. Since falling out with the label, Beal has self-released a couple experimental albums and performed sporadically in the Chicago area. Experience the arresting power of Willis Earl Beal when he opens for The Sea and the Cake in Portage Park. All ages.

reading we

image courtesy of Unknown Mortal Orchestra

eek shows

June 2, The Burlington Bar:

Instrumental math rock band is locally revered for its theatrical shows, where mysterious masks and onstage antics are constants. Space Blood has a few Chicago dates lined up for the spring, but this show at the Burlington aligns perfectly with reading week free time. 21+.

June 3, Fireside Bowl:

Alex Giannascoli has quietly built up a cult fanbase even though the majority of his musical career has consisted only of him crafting pop songs in his bedroom. The 22-year-old college student isn’t just an Internet-age anomaly, though. ’s music carries the allure of nostalgia and the relatability of growing pains anchored by brilliant songwriting. Gigs are key to becoming a DIY extraordinaire, so there must be something special about Alex G’s show. And there’s only one way to find out what it is. All ages.

June 6, Lincoln Hall:

The psychedelic masterminds of Unknown

singer of The Strokes. 21+.

June 6-7, Logan Square:

Don’t let the daytime go will hit the road to support to waste. Head to Chicago “Multi-Love,” the follow-up early for to the band’s acclaimed al- cago before catching bum “II.” The new album, Unknown Mortal Orcheswhich drops May 26, is tra and Shabazz Palaces also a thematic foil to “II,” at night. The festival, also exploring ideas of love and known as “Logan Square’s relationships as opposed Recycled Art Fair,” features to loneliness and isolation. a music lineup of some of Live, the band’s dreamy the city’s best local bands soundscapes will transport playing afternoon sets. On you to an alternate uniSaturday, check out The verse. 18+. Gold Web (like Passion Pit, but costumed as an “art glam monstrosity”) and Carbon Tigers (catchy yet complex indie rock à la Local Natives). On Sunday, When Ishmael “Butterdon’t miss Gross Pointe’s fly” Butler got signed to garage punk, Santah’s Sub Pop, he became the psych rock and The Boxers’ first rap act on the legend‘60s-laced beach pop. All ary label, joining Beach ages. House, The Postal Service and Sleater-Kinney among many others. Tendai Maraire joined Butler soon after, and the experimental hiphop duo was born. Recently, the duo has honed its live chops on tour with Julian Casablancas+The Voidz. It sure couldn’t have hurt their performance skills to share a stage with the lead

June 7, The Shrine:

images courtesy of Space Blood & Unknown Mortal Orchestra

camping in the midwest

a beverly hills boyscout presents

images courtesy of Google Map & Attic Paper

My six years as a Boy Scout amount to this here article. I clocked three weeks of camping, scaled the highest hills, wore the baggiest pants and pledged my allegiance to God each Monday night to present you with the ultimate guide to Midwest camping and hiking. Okay, so maybe “hiking” for Beverly Hills Troop 33 meant a quick walk down Rodeo Drive (I’m not kidding), but I’ve always loved the great outdoors. count as outdoors. There’s so much more to explore within driving distance of our beautiful campus, and it’s simple to coordinate. Just visit ReserveAmerica to book any of the campsites listed below (the exception being the Warren Dunes campground, which can be reserved at

images courtesy of Ride Lust & Attic Paper

sugar creek driving distance: approx. 3.5 hours

Š Haley Brown / Haley Brown Photography

As a rule, Hoosier Mama Pie Company is as far as some will allow themselves to travel from campus, but try getting out to the Hoosier STATE. The site was named for the wild turkeys that hunters would trap within the park’s distinctive sandstone gullies, or ‘runs.’ Today, these sandstone rock faces make for perfect hiking conditions, and the park’s 14 miles of track system have been divided into 11 distinct trails. “Trail 3” is noted as being particularly rugged, requiring ladders to assist in scaling the deep gorges. Floating down Sugar Creek in kayaks, inner tubes and canoes becomes popular as the Midwest begins to warm up and icefalls turn to waterfalls. Canoe liveries like Clements Canoes and Sugar Valley Canoe are located in the Turkey Run area, but excursions begin upriver in Shades State Park.

© Eric Lubrick / Eric Lubrick Photography

Entry: $5 for Indiana residents, $7 for nonresidents Camping: Turkey Run Campground (Electric), $12-$29 Alternative Lodging: Turkey Run Inn (Hotel), Grannys Farm Bed & Breakfast (B&B)

turkey run state park, in.

Š Skip Maskeri / Flickr

shades state park, in.

The creek access point is located at Deer’s Mill Covered Bridge, one of 32 historic covered bridges in Parke County, known as Covered Bridge Capital of the world. A full-day canoe excursion will take you 15 miles down river to the exit point at Cox Ford Covered Bridge in Turkey Run. The park’s formal title is “Shades of Death.” There is some speculation that the name comes from the dark overgrowth of the hemlock forests, but it’s too sinister to overlook. Who is under threat of attack here? Indiana doesn’t seem to value gay people much, do they? Death is quite overdoing it, but these backcountry canoe outposts are just the type to reserve their right to refuse you service under Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

© Chris Koester / Flickr

Entry: $5 for Indiana residents, $7 for nonresidents Camping: None Alternative Lodging: None

shades state park, in.

Š Costa Dillon / National Parks Traveler

lake michigan driving distance: approx. 1.5 hours

All that stands between you and the Indiana Dunes is Gary, Indiana, which has been named America’s most miserable and most dangerous city. Crime is so bad in this hellhole that a Gary newspaper actually published a piece on a local gang that had the nerve to whine about how unfairly they’ve been treated by law enforcement—something along the lines of how gree murder, but when they kill one of us, they only get manslaughter.” The poor things. Somehow, adjacent to this modern American ghost town is in the nation, alongside those in California and Hawaii. Indiana Dunes State Park attracts millions of visitors annually, who enjoy more than 70 miles of trails and the almost 200foot dunes, so tall they’re actually called mountains. Mount Baldy is one of the taller dunes, and is called a “living dune” because it travels about four feet each year. When the weather is right, it’s possible to see the Chicago skyline 40 miles away. Also popular is walking the trails through prairies and woodland, like Miller Wood, and the boardwalk over wetland, like Cowles Bog and the Great Marsh.

© tomdadams / Reddit

Entry: Free Camping: Dunewood Campground (Rustic), $18/night Alternative Lodging: Plenty in the vicinity

indiana dunes state park, in.

warren dunes Š Sally Thelen /

The Warren Dunes, like those across the state line in Indiana, are known for their “singing sands,” which create a humming noise when walked upon or blown by the wind. Like their counterparts, they are also tall enough to be called mountains and ridges. The Warren Dunes are less frequented than the Indiana Dunes, however, and they are generally taller (the tallest being 260 feet tall). Because they are also slightly further from Chicago at 52 miles away, their height assists the view of the skyline accordingly. A short walk up the creek just south of the beach leads to large beds of gray-green clay, where a natural slide can dump you into the pool of mud below. It’s supposed to be good for the skin, and it’s fun to paint with. I’m imagining this as an arena where the Midwest’s burliest frat stars paint their letters on their chest and kick ass like they have nothing to lose. Rush Scene+Heard! Just further from the beach is Warren Woods State Park, which is like nowhere else in the so-called “Chicago Wilderness.” This primeval forest is a unique ecosystem in the Midwest, where towering beech trees block out 95 percent of sunlight.

© Rick Goltowski / Rick Goltowski Photography

Entry: One day pass is $8 for Michigan residents, $9 for nonresidents Camping: Modern Campground (Electric), $29-$31/night; Semi-Modern Campground (Rustic), $22/night Alternative Lodging: Lakeside Inn (Hotel), Rabbit Run Inn (B&B)

warren dunes state park, mi.

illinois river driving distance: approx. 2 hours


the wintertime, waterfalls become the main attraction in the springtime, when melting ice and more frequent rainfall get Paddleboat cruises along the Illinois are short in duration and unreasonably expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a day on the water. This stretch of the river is is overrun with millions of Asian Carp, and the fear is that the ecosystem. Do your part and keep these carp in line. If for leaping up to 10 feet out of the river and directly into go. Holy carp! In August, Bath, Illinois becomes the site of the Redneck Fishing Tournament, where participants set out in costumes with nets to catch the invasive species.

© Jason Lindsey

Entry: Free Camping: Starved Rock State Park Campground (Class A), $25-$35 Alternative Lodging: Starved Rock Lodge (Hotel), Landers House (B&B)

starved rock state park, il.

matthiessen state park, il Š Todd Ryburn / Flickr

Many prefer Starved Rock’s quiet neighbor to the southwest, Matthiessen State Park. The often overlooked Matthiessen is less ing and complex hiking opportunities. Of the six miles of trail system, the most interesting portion is a mile-long chain of sandstone dells separated by waterfalls, which pour out of Matthiessen Lake and into the Vermilion River. The park is optimal for wildlife viewing. Several mineral springs throughout the park are used by the local deer population as ‘salt licks.’ The deer just stand there… licking salt.

© Jim Vallee / Everything Photography

Entry: Free Camping: None Alternative Lodging: None

matthiessen state park, il.

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