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Week of December 3, 2023 | Week 7 Map

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Holy Idaho! We arrived in Chicago a few days ago. We still have 4 days until our CRUISE! Can you tell I am excited? If you guessed Chicago was in the state of Illinois, you are GREAT. Speaking of GREAT, did you know that Chicago is located on the Great Lakes? Did you ever hear of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior? Remember the acronym HOMES to remember the names of the Great Lakes. Chicago is directly on Lake Michigan. It is absolutely beautiful. Chicago is like a huge city with a beautiful lake (beach and all) right across the street. Too bad we weren't here during the summer months when the weather is warm enough to swim and small boats sail through the waters constantly.

We visited Navy Pier today. They have cruises going out, special musical events, a HUGE Ferris wheel and other rides, and much more. Events change every week (every day sometimes). It was cold, but worth it. It was a nice break from our search for Louie. We even visited the Willis Tower (used to be called the Sears Tower). This is another famous building in America. Did you ever hear of it? We took pictures of Chicago. PS - I have learned why Chicago is called the "Windy City." Holy Idaho!

     - Meri

The beautiful Lake Michigan

An aerial shot of the beach at Chicago (on Lake Michigan). Can you believe how blue the water is?

Isn't is amazing how such huge skyscrapers are right across the street from the water?


Navy Pier
Find out more about the Navy Pier at their homepage


We have heard nothing more about (or from) Louie. But there are only three more days until our cruise where we can finally meet up with him face to face. I wanted to tell you more about Chicago. The magazine in our hotel says the city itself actually sits on the St. Lawrence Seaway continental divide at the Chicago Portage. It was a trade route from ancient times that connected the Great Lakes watersheds and the Mississippi River watershed. That all sounds so confusing. I wonder what it all means? There is a lot of new vocabulary there, at least for me. Have you ever heard of the continental divide, a portage, or a watershed? I am going to go look up the definitions. Be back soon!

     - Geo

The Navy Pier (see the Ferris Wheel)

Willis Tower (the tallest buildling)

Downtown Chicago

Wednesday Evening

I have been researching the definitions of those three new vocabulary terms. Here is what I found. The continental divide refers to the the "backbone" of a continent. In North America, it runs from the Northern tip of Alaska all the way south to New Mexico. It moves along the Rocky Mountains, which separate the eastward-flowing waters (goes to the Atlantic Ocean) from the westward-flowing waters (goes to the Pacific Ocean). The continental divide moves along the Rocky Mountains, which separate the eastward-flowing waters from the westward-flowing waters. So the continental divide is an imaginary line that separates the land where water flows to the Atlantic Ocean from land where water flows to the Pacific Ocean. I wonder if the continent is split into equal halves by the continental divide?

Portage is pretty simple to explain (although I never heard of the word). It is basically a way for boats and/or ships to carry supplies between two waterways. I guess since "port" is where things get carried on and off ships and "portable" means you can carry something, it makes sense that a portage carries things between two bodies of water.

Simply put, a watershed is an area that catches snow and rain and drains into a certain stream, creek, marsh, lake, or another waterway. That area "sheds" its water into a body of water. My dog sheds, too!

Okay, now that my nightly research is finished, Meri and I are off to do some nighttime sightseeing. GREAT NEWS! GT has an office in Chicago and flew in to surprise us today. He is staying until we board our cruise on Saturday. Our final stop on the cruise is Helena, Arkansas. Can you look at the attached map and figure out which cardinal direction we will be traveling?

     - Geo

More amazing architecture in Chicago!

These skyscrapers are SO HIGH

A picture of the night sky in Chicago


Map of the United States
Look at the map. What cardinal direction will we travel from Chicago, Illinois to Helena, Arkansas?

Vote Here:

- Will we be traveling northwest?

- Will we be traveling southwest?

- Will we be traveling southeast?



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