Friday, May 10, 2013

US Hwy 20: Into Indiana

After four good days in Milwaukee -- good weather, good work, good dog park, etc. -- it turned cold, windy and rainy again yesterday afternoon. Those conditions persisted this morning, so Happy and I packed up and hit the road with the simple plan to drive the interstates south then east around Chicago. It turned out to be a pretty miserable day on the road, probably the worst of this road trip so far. That says a lot, no?

For one thing, it seems that every road in Wisconsin is under construction. That is certainly true of the interstates we were on today: Rough patched roadways, narrow and shifting lanes, the works. The roadway got better when we hit the Illinois tollway, but the insanity shifted into a higher gear altogether. Driving the speed limit (55 mph) in the right lane is a nightmare as trucks zoom by at 70 or more. Pulling off every 20 minutes to pay a toll is also pretty annoying, almost enough to make me break down and get an EZ-Pass account!

In due course we crossed into Indiana, the self-proclaimed crossroads of America.

I'd planned to get back onto US Hwy 20 just as soon as possible after clearing Chicagoland, and was even more enthusiastic to do so than I could have imagined. I know it doesn't look like much, but I was pretty giddy with excitement when I saw the familiar -- now cherished -- sign welcoming me back and pointing me in the right direction.

Driving at the posted speed limit of 45 mph makes progress slower, but also a whole lot more pleasant -- and even downright relaxing after the interstates. The two or three stoplights in each town add a welcome punctuation to the roll, and offer a chance to look around or check the map without concern for safety. Greenery at the side of the road and my old friend the railway alongside round out the picture. Color me happy!

I've stopped in Michigan City, IN, and plan to stay here tomorrow. There are some famous dunes on the nearby shore of Lake Michigan that should be nice to check out, especially if the weather clears a bit. Who knows what else I might find, now that I'm very happily back on track… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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