Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29. . . Rockford, Ill

Wednesday. . . June 29 . . .miles driven so far, 1218; miles driven today. . . almost 400.  Not bad considering the traffic.  I am at a Red Roof Inn (they like dogs!) in a dynamite city after driving the horrendous Russian roulette "highways" (if you can call them that) through Chicago.  But back to the beginning of the day. . .
Left the little group of dated motels at the Milan, Ohio,  exit. Did not go to the lake, had to scramble. But first had to drive through the McDonald’s window and get an ice coffee.  Have to have coffee to drive with the semi’s. (Pronounced sem- I’s. You know what I mean.)
On my way up the ramp to the Interstate, noticed a large local seed company, big silos and all. I was glad it was not Monsanto. . . it was Schle. . . .I hope they do not cave to Monsanto. . . stay strong, seed company!  I see on the water tanks that I am in Erie county. Gas is 3.47 a gallon.  Not bad at all.  The first part of the day was great. . . green green fields. Corn is higher here, maybe 2 feet high! Many barns, many acres of beautiful land. Many tractor trailer trucks going 70 mph.  The Fed X trucks move with 3 trailers attached. Three!  Ohio and Indiana both allow the three trailers, and I’m sure more states do, too. It was still windy, and the weaving trailers made me a little nervous, but then I got used to it, and it was like sailing. . . everyone swayed with the same wind. . . did I mention Indiana?  I passed over the top of that state, and it was all farmland, with 70’s style rest stops on the highway. . . but serviceable just the same. I took no pictures. I was too busy running in and out to use the facilities in a quick enough time so Yoko would not get to hot in the car, because it was hot today.  AC on full blast.  Gas was higher in Indiana, $3.99 a gallon, but that could have been because it was on the Interstate rest stops.
At 1:25 I was passing through Elkhart, Indiana. I remembered when the whole town filled up on one of our trips through because of a Notre Dame football game. No room at the inn, as they say. . . I looked longingly at Exit 31. . . Indiana Dunes the brown National Park sign promised. copy and paste this address for gorgeous pixs of the region. http://www.visitusa.com/indiana/photos/indiana-indiana-dunes-state-park.htm     I would have really liked see visit The remarkable dunes of Indiana up there near the lake, but it was hot, I am not walking like a pro just yet, and I had the dog. And I had to get around Chicago. . . so I passed, this time.I'm getting better with links. Click on the blue up there and you'll go where I didn't. . . so pretty!
The last rest stop in Indiana was a serious one. I gassed up , walked Yoko, watered Yoko, and put on my game face.  I was ready for the wild ride around Chicago.  I do not have a FastPass on my car, but will get one someday. Hopefully, it will work in Chicago, even though they call it something else. Because people like me had to be shot into a little jug-handle every five miles to pay an 85 cent  toll. And if you missed the turn because there was some large trailer truck in front of you, tough tiddle. Luckily, I always jumped over just in time. It was all very tricky. Of course, construction cones everywhere with a 45 mile per hour speed limit, which EVERYONE ignored. I was doing 60, passing no one, and being passed by everyone else. I took the circle around Chicago (480) and listed to the radio announce the crashes I was missing on Lakeside Drive. If I had been tired, I was not tired driving around Chicago. Alarmed might be a better work. And also amazed. Amazed that President Obama came from this state as a senator, and Chicago is still full of shovel ready projects. If there is an improvement, I could not tell from the last time I drove through with Jim in 2007.
With great relief I headed out into the burbs and then the country on Interstate 90, and then got myself to Rockford which is where I am now relaxing in an air conditioned room.

This is one affluent town. The cluster of motels is really high end, lawns are all cut like I am in Naples, Florida. . . and I mean the lawns around big box stores and fast food places. The city is twenty miles wide. I know this because I went the wrong way to the hotel off the Interstate, and had to turn around and come back to it. I asked the man at the reception desk what the base of the economy was in this town. Nuts and bolts he said. I guess we’d fall apart if it were not for nuts and bolts. He said this town was on the protect list during WWII because of the nuts and bolts production. So, I’ll have to look that up.  Tomorrow. The fireflies are out again, and people are setting off fireworks randomly. Yoko hates that. I hope she sleeps tonight. Nightie night. Sorry, I was clenching the steering wheel too hard to shoot any pictures.

http://www.redroof.com/about-us/city-information-pages/rockford,-illinois

check out this link to see all about Rockford. I would say it is a good city to live and work in. Well laid out, lots to do, lots of housing, lots of jobs? Retail, at least. And maybe they still make nuts and bolts here. http://www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org/
Tomorrow, must get through MN, as they are running out of money in the state budget, and may shut down the rest stops over the Fourth of July weekend. Yikes! Lots of budget woes all around, not only in Washington. Teachers laid off everywhere, what's a little school child to do? Or a laid off teacher?

1 comment:

bnow said...

After a busy week,I'm finally caught up with your journey,Irene. As always, your attention to detail, along with your word-smith talents, have me virtually right there with you.

Will be missing you at the writing group tomorrow but will send you love with each exhale of my opening three breaths. Hugs to Yoko and keep on truckin'! xoxox Linda