I dunno about you, but lately I’ve been taking a lot of “sanity walks.” Just aimless strolls to get out of the house and try to not think about the the global pandemic which is altering all of our lives. I’ve been going on sanity bike rides and sanity drives around town as well. Honestly I thought I’d be bored of the streets and sidewalks of Chambana by now, but I keep finding little nooks and crannies of town that I didn’t know about before. Here’s a few discoveries that I made recently that you can check out yourself during your own mental health excursions…or if venturing out doesn’t feel safe, just subsist on my own photos and words below.
The Illini Boat Graveyard
I was biking around south of campus the other week and I thought I saw a boat sitting on the grass between some big storage sheds. Obviously I went to investigate and found not one, but many boats!
This apparently is the dumping ground for the Illini Sailing Club/Sailing Team.
Here’s a boat that’s (ironically) full of water.
Here’s a boat that’s (also ironically) full of tires.
Do I have any jokes about these boats? Not really, they’re just a cool find.
The Radar Tower at Willard Airport
I don’t write about places in Savoy very often. Probably because there aren’t many cool places in Savoy. However, Willard Airport is a GREAT place in Savoy because it saves me from having to drive to O’Hare. Also there’s an Einstein Bros. Bagels there now. I fly out of Willard every chance I get!
Anyway, I was taking a leisurely drive the other day (definitely VERY LEISURELY, I certainly was not gunning it down country roads while blaring 107.1FM “Champaign’s Alternative”), and I found that if you drive out behind Willard, you can get right up close (but still not too close) to the radar tower.
The tower is pretty cool if you like tall objects that also spin.
I was a tiny bit nervous about being even this close to the active radio emitter, but judging by the size of these warning signs, the radar itself is only slightly more dangerous than the security gate.
I needn’t have worried at all because after just 10 short minutes next to the radar tower I felt totally invigorated! I’m no doctor, but I think I’ll start telling everyone that airport radar cures COVID. After all, my opinion is just as reputable as some other notable people who have been talking about “cures” recently.
Oh, I also love how “protected” the gate key code box is.
Preservation Pond Champaign
Chambana has its fair share of parks both big and small, but I just recently discovered this one near Russell Street and Washington in Champaign.
Preservation Pond is a nice little drainage pond surrounded by local plants.
That’s all lovely, but just look at these park amenities!
A water fountain!
The other kind of water fountain!
A highly informational placard!
Gazebo with lights and power outlets!
(…and spider eggs in the power outlets, definitely not an amenity)
Astonishing! I’ve had apartments that are less livable than this rainwater pit. If I wasn’t completely terrified of touching any object outside my own home, I’d be in that gazebo right now writing this column.
Fire Engine For Sale
Yes, for the startlingly low price of $4,999, this massive piece of hardware could be yours. Does it run? I have no idea, but even if it doesn’t, that’s a great quarantine project for you. Just think of the adventures you could have with your own fire engine!
I’m torn about what I would do with this fire engine if it were mine. I could of course leave it looking like a fire engine and be the king of all future parades in Champaign and surrounding counties.
Or, I could paint it all camo and drive around town intimidating the truck bro dipshits in their GMC Sierra Crew Cabs with their pro-gun stickers and custom wheels. Even those bros would be forced to bow in reverence to my mighty Ford 900 V8 engine from the mid 1970s.
Most likely, I’d paint the whole craft violet and fill up the water tanks with thousands of gallons of grape soda. Then on hot days I’d venture forth delivering high-pressure purple refreshment to thirsty citizens.
That’s all I’ve got for you this month dear readers, but I’ll see you again in June!