My Maggie Daley Park Adventure

slide crater Maggie Daley Park chicago
“Slide Crater” play garden

For those that read my post Chicago Green Spaces you’ll know that I was super excited to swoop down the slide in Slide Crater and then just as quickly heartbroken when I encountered this sign…

sign for slide crater

There were dreams of a rent-a-kid business to solve my conundrum, but then reality set in and I realized I was going to have to come up with another way. Soooo

One Tuesday morning I just happened to wake up at sunrise (anyone who tells you they heard an alarm clock going off is lying). I got dressed and ran meandered over to Maggie Daley Park. As I had hoped  To my surprise, the park was empty. Not an adult or authority figure in sight. Eyeing the bridge I thought, is that a frayed rope I see?  I had better go check that out before any kids get on there. Because you know, it’s the responsible thing to do. As I walked across the bridge it bounced beneath my feet and shimmied from left to right.  Crossing it was more fun than I dreamt it would be. Climbing up the tower to access that long silver chute of a slide, I had to squeeze through 4 tiny holes and climb 4 miniature ladders. As I struggled to reach the top I thought…..who the heck is this designed for, I can barely get through these openings….oh…. yeah.

And finally I made it. I peered out the top, as delighted as if I had just reached the peak of Mount Everest. Packing my phone and sunglasses securely in my purse, I got ready to climb into the chute. And then I saw him…a park district maintenance crew member. Only 50 feet away.  Pulling a long blue hose. He was heading towards the slide. Oh crap, what do I do? I hid up in the tower, watching him, waiting to see if he would go away. Then he turned around and started to walk away… phew. But he only walked a short distance, grabbed a part of the hose that was caught on a fence post and started back towards me. OMG, what do I doMaybe he will go back again. If he does, I’m gonna make a slide for it. And he did. He turned his back and I shot down that slide faster than you can say, that wasn’t me officer. Ok not really, that’s just how it went in my head.

What really happened was, the skin on the back of my legs caught on the slide and I came to a screeching halt.  Literally…there was a screech. So I tried to lean back and hold up my legs so that only my butt was touching the slide. Then you heard click click click click as the buttons on my back pockets hit each seam in the slide. That lasted a few seconds before my legs hit the slide again…screeeech. LIFT the legs! Click click click click….screeeech….LIFT….  click click click click….screeech. It was like being in a car with someone who was learning to drive a stick shift for the first time. OMG I don’t remember it being this hard when I was little. The clicking and screeching sounds echoed so loud within that metal tube I thought it must be being broadcast to the whole park! I was envisioning an entire crew of maintenance men running towards the slide with pitchforks, Braveheart style. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity I got to the bottom. After a quick look left and a quick look right, I hopped out of the slide. Then I put on my most casual, I didn’t just pop out of that slide, walk. Phew, ok, never doing that again. Well… maybe I’ll go back tomorrow. But next time I’m wearing pants!

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Author: Nicole Bolin