One day, four states

Day 2: Gary, IN. 1,520.3 km

Today was possibly the biggest drive we'll do on this trip. (We haven't planned the drive home yet so I don't know for sure.)

We had a small breakfast in our hotel, left Alexandria at around 8:30 in the morning, and drove until we got to our hotel in Gary, Indiana, passing through Wisconsin and Illinois along the way. We stopped for gas in Minneapolis, had a sit-down lunch in Tomah, WI, and stopped for gas again in Durand, WI, ending up at our hotel pretty much twelve hours after we left the previous one.

I drove the whole way, to my own surprise. The one time I was getting tired was around lunch, and Ali was tired too, but after our lunch stop (probably around 45 minutes), I was more awake and good to go again,

Once again the weather was on our side: mostly dry roads, and no rain or snow. It would have been rain, actually, since it was above freezing the whole way — our high temperature today was 6° C!

Traffic, on the other hand, was not quite as nice as yesterday. We hit morning rush hour in Minneapolis and afternoon rush hour in Milwaukee (I just can't get away from that place, it seems!). But that meant we went through Chicago well after rush hour, and with up to seven lanes on the freeway, we were glad of that! And we had a fantastic view of the Chicago night skyline as we approached. (Also a good view of all the planes approaching/leaving/circling O'Hare!)

The only reason that traffic was a concern at all was that, starting in Wisconsin, we noticed drivers being VERY aggressive with their lane changes after passing on the interstate. I would be driving along with the cruise control on in the right-hand lane, someone would come up behind and pass me, and then pull RIGHT back in front of me as soon as they passed, often leaving less than a car-length between us! Slightly unnerving at 65-70 mph! And then, after we were used to that, we got to Chicago, where people seem to merge on the assumption that other cars will just get out of the way for them.

Oh well…we were startled a couple times but it was once again a pretty uneventful drive. We had a small supper in our hotel room, and we expect a shorter drive tomorrow morning. And we're glad we're on the east side of Chicago and won't be driving through morning traffic there!

My favourite local attraction that we drove past: in Wisconsin, the “Deke Slayton Astronaut And Bicycle Museum”. And I couldn't help but think of Pamela when we saw a billboard for a scrubs warehouse store!



Posted on December 27, 2013, in travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yup, driving on the US freeways are quite the experience! Ontario’s 401 coming up….

  2. Mom and Dad Veenendaal

    Thanks for the update. High in Winnipeg today -1 and very messy driving. Enjoy your travels tomorrow

  3. Having been on a road trip with Darryl before, I am shocked that you drove the whole way. Watch out, Ali…have we warned you yet of his tendency to get sleepy behind the wheel after lunch? It’s the reason I did most of the driving when we drove through the mountains. I couldn’t trust him to stay awake! 🙂

    P.S. Enjoy the milder temps. While yesterday was mild here, we’re back in the deep freeze for the next week again.

  4. Glad you’re having nice weather! We’ve had blizzard-like weather in Winnipeg today and there’s warnings for windchills of between -40 and -45 overnight tonight. Looks like you picked a good time to go away for a holiday!

  5. @Heather; we had a discussion similar to this yesterday and decided we weren’t ready for a road trip through the mountains 🙂 Darryl also proudly reminded me that he didn’t hit any rumble strips!!

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