Monday, August 3, 2009

Great American Road Trip: Part 9

After an all too short visit with our friends in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which included swimming at the club and sliding down huge, winding water slides, we piled back into our car to head west. No one was particularly excited to drive for hours upon end, especially when it meant leaving our friends and the fun we were having there.

1:00 p.m. 81 Degrees, Mostly Sunny

Depart Sterling Heights, 1 hour behind schedule. Our plan is to make it to Darlington, WI, for a late supper with my aunt. I'm concerned that we will hit rush hour traffic in Chicago...

4:56---3:56 p.m., 86 Degrees, Sunny

Our drive thus far has been relatively uneventful, due to napping passengers, exhausted from many nights of too-late bedtimes. We've had a quiet day reading, napping, knitting and watching a video. I think we are about an hour outside of Chicago, which will indeed put us there for rush hour. Can't wait.

As we approach IL, there are many marshlands and ugly industrial areas...

4:40 p.m. 85 Degrees, Cloudy

There was no welcome sign for the state of Illinois, and there isn't anything particularly welcoming about Chicago either. The skyline is murky and the traffic does, in fact, stretch out for miles and miles.

6:44 p.m.

We've just paid the last toll we need to pay in IL, thank god, because Matt is muttering about the scheisters who are ripping him off every 10 miles with toll booths, that evidently do NOT pay for nicer roads and cause even more traffic than is there to begin with. (And now is the part where we shake our fists and curse Blagojavitch...)

Finally, we leave the highway and begin our rural journey that will lead us through about 60+ miles of farmland. Corn and soy stretch on for miles over rolling hills that are dotted with lovely old farm houses.

8:14 p.m.

After about one hour on scenic and VERY rural roads, we cross into Wisconsin. Another half hour and we've reached Aunt Bettie's home, which has extraordinary views of the farmlands and wonderful flashing fireflies all around.

Owen is especially excited to see her spinning wheel, so after our supper, she spends some time teaching him to spin. Evidently he is a natural. She is sending the kids home with little hand held hanging spinners and some wool so they can spin their own at home.

Jammies on and almost ready for bed...but there is always time for a root beer float.

Total miles traveled today: about 460

Next stop: somewhere in South Dakota

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