Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bye Bye Iowa Illinois and into Indiana

Our last full day on the road, I hope.

Last nights Motel6 was the clear winner Avoca, if your interested. Tonight's (and probably the last for some time) is a step or two back. Not it's fault but the water comes out frothy with a tinge of green. No ice machine, normally not a huge deal but when your getting in late (in Indiana that is anytime after 7 pm) nothing is open and dinner is week old tortilla chips and warn Pepsi it matters!


OK we started out in rain. There was apparently a big rainstorm last night but cozy in our five star Motel 6, with double pained windows, we didn't notice. It stopped long enough to load up but da beast still tracked mud in on everything.

But he is a bit calmer in the truck so that's good. He doesn't always sit with his head down looking like he's trying not to puke.


WE also had a stack of celebrities today. We drove through the town where John Wayne was born, then Ronald Regan's birth place then the Hoover Historic site???


This one I thought was funny. Heading east to West Liberty.



If this wasn't so shaky, this is a truck after all, you would notice that our millage is 2011. Seemed appropriate.


Monty is looking out at the Mississippi


And we make into Illinois.

But wait we didn't stop there...


The beast is SO happy not to be in the truck.

So some observations.

Iowa was fun to drive through, even though it was raining. Rolling hills interesting to look at and the roads were pretty good.

Illinois on the other hand was a bit more like Nebraska view wise, but the roads! I swear 1/4 were "under construction" I don't know if this is a good move at improvement or if they are always "under construction" but I80 is a mess. A bunch of times your down to two lanes, one each direction. When you have big trucks flying at each other on "under construction" pavement it's nerve wracking. Once you get close to Chicago any pretense of repair is pretty much out the window. There are pot holes a truck could disappear into. I hit one and everything not tied down in the cab went flying. Le dog was not amused. I was down to mountain crawling speeds to try and save some of the cargo. But then we get to Indiana...

Indiana is a rare driving experience, thank god. In Indiana they repair pot holes by filling them in, a little. Most of the I80 is basically one big pothole with stripes. But they don't stop at that, they add to the fun by not lighting any of it. Exits with shopping are lit up like daylight but the roads and road signs are not lit at all. Actually that is not strictly true. The toll booths are lit up very nicely. They are unmanned and take some kind of state issued pass or cash (bills only and no change (so that $1.40 toll is $2 cash. There is a name for practices like this but the server would yank my post if I used it. You can also pay with a credit card. So far, my two hour adventure with Indiana road hell cost around $15 in tolls. I though it was a bit steep till I realized that if you just think of what this experience would normally cost you it's pretty cheap. While driving I thought that the closest I had come to this kind of thrill was to ride the barely hanging together Big Dipper at the Beach Boardwalk. Indiana highways are like ridding an old scary roller coaster with out a safety belt, for an hour straight not knowing when it all falls apart and you die. And hour of the Big Dipper would cost more than $15, and I got two hours for that!

Michigan still has a chance to slide lower than Indiana but I have done a fair amount of time on the roads around Detroit and I doubt that the rest of the state can be bad enough to bring the score down to Indiana's level. Plus even if it's as bad they don't add insult to injury (quite literally) by charging you for it.

AND with all this money they are ripping people off for WHERE is it all going??? Certainly not into maintenance. I want that gig. I give you a really lousy version of what your looking for and charge you through the nose for it. Oh and you don't get a chance to say no.

Next post from Detroit.

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