I grew up just south of Denver, and have been leary of backpacking around Chicago...
After living here for 4 years, I took the plunge and went up to Michigan's UP. Actually, it was fun. The weather was cool in the dead of the summer, there were no boats, planes or cars to be heard for the 4 days we were hiking. One day, a plane was flying nearby, when we started to hear it, we were all like cavemen "Huh? What's that? What's that? Oooga-booga!"
Was great to get out int othe wilderness and unplug for a few days. Must say, it wasn't Yosemite back-country, or anything remotely close, but was awesome to live out of a pack. 3 days, 4 nights, 24 miles, and only 12 weeks out of knee surgery!