Drive Summary

Starting last Thursday very early, Rikki and I started the longest drive/trip of our lives.  It was quite exciting and late last night we finally arrived in our new and temporary home, in Fairport, NY.  It's right outside Rochester.  

DAY 1:

Thursday, we had planned to get up at 4:30 and be on the road by 5 by due to two unfourtnate 
alarm clock issues, we ended up not leaving until a little after 6.  Most of the first 10 hours of the drive were pretty routine, all stuff I've driven before.  Rikki drove the first 6 hours, then we switched off, and Rikki slept most of the time that I was driving. 

We stopped for food the first time after about 11-12 hours right outside Denver in a little mountain town called Idaho Springs.  We found a little family resturant called The Wildfire, it was actually pretty good.  I had a chicken fried steak that was literally hanging off the ends of the plate.  We finished off our food and jumped back in the car, but upon decending into Denver, Rikki heard something funny and decided to check the tire pressure.  That turned into a 1/2 hour ordeal due to lack of quarters and other people using the air pump machine, but after that we were on the road again.  We didn't quite make it to Lincoln as we had planned, but stopped somewhere in the middle of Nebraska called Lexington.  The whole town smelled like poop and the Super 8 there ended up being a lot more $ than we thought it would be.

Check out the size of 
this thing.  It was over a foot long.

DAY 2:

We had planned to get up at 7 to drive to Chicago, but typical us we woke up an hour late.  We
 threw all our stuff together really quick and jumped on the road.  Rikki went right to sleep and I burned through Nebraska and most of Iowa.  That took about 5 hours, then we switched.  Rikki didn't like driving through Iowa any more than I did, see previous post for the many reasons.  
Once we crossed the Mississippi into Illinois, it wasn't so bad.  The drive was fairly quick and
 then around 7 we made it into Chicago and drove straight to the reason for our Northward detour, Harry Potter: The Exhibition at a museum
 downtown.  I wasn't to keen on it going into it,
but it meant a lot to Rikki so we went.  But it
 actually ended up being a lot of fun.  They had tons of stuff there from the movies, but i'll leave it to Rikki to put up all the details of that.  After it was over, we drove about 30 minutes south and stayed in the most run down Super 8 I've ever seen.  It was a lot cheaper, but wow.  However, we did find a White Castle right down the street which Rikki loved.  After that experience, we both agreed that we're fine never going back to Chicago again.

Illinois, Chicago, and White Castle

Day 3:
We kinda took a different attitude by day 3.  Since it was Saturday, and we'd planned enough
 to get into New York with time to spare, we just
 decided to sleep in and get up and go when we 
got up.  We got up around 9 and decided that we'd just drive around and try to find a place to see Lake Michigan.  That didn't go so well, and we ended up driving around for 2 hours and finally leaving Chicago and driving through Gary, Indiana before we finally found a beach where we could stop and go up by the lake.  So then we jumped back on the freeway and started driving.  This was when we finally realized how much we really hate toll roads.  I think total on the trip the ended up setting us back about $40.  Yea.  The rest of Indiana was pretty uneventful, but we both really liked Ohio.  Pretty country.  As we were driving through Cleveland, we saw a road sign that said "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum".  DETOUR #2!  It took us quite a while to find it due to some missed turns, but we got there and it was pretty cool.  We also saw Lake Erie here.  It was a nice little side trip.  Then things got rough as I got hungry and Rikki realised how much she needed to use the bathroom.  Her phone froze up, so we had no GPS for a while, so we had another 2 hour aimless drive through Cleveland trying to find a bathroom and our way back on to the freeway.  We finally found the freeway before finding anywhere to eat , then drove a few miles to a Pizza Hut.  From there we finished the drive in one straight shot, getting into Fairport about 11, 5 hours behind schedule.  But we're here, our apartment is nice and it should be a good summer.


Iowa Drive-thru

Driving through Iowa, i kinda got a strange persecption of the state.  Driving wise.  I don't know how accurate this is as a whole, but this was my experience from observing the driving patterns and signs as we passed through.

Construction patterns - Cones closing off one of the two lanes, preceeded by tons of signs warning of the dangers of speeding in a construction zone.  The lane would stay closed for two miles or so without any sign of actual construction work happening.  It would say open for another 2-3 miles, then the process would repeat itself.  This kept going on and on for the longest time and i had no idea why.  One sign observed in one of these sections read: "Minimum penalty for hitting worker: "$10,000 and 14 years in prision."

Semi #1 - Overturned in the ditch between Eastbound and Westbound I-80.  Totally destroyed.  Wondered if driver survived.

Sign on Semi #2 - "DO NOT FOLLOW INTO WORK AREA"  How many cars followed that truck off the road into a construction site before they decided that they needed that sign there?

Sign on Semi #3 - "INEDIBLE - CONTENTS NOT MEANT FOR HUMANS" How many people tried to eat out of a random silver tanker truck looking like it could be hauling gasoline before this was inscribed?

Semi #4 - In the same ditch 60 miles down the road.  This one had been carrying construction vehicles, and was in worse shape than the first, although not overturned.  Wheels completely broken off and axels completely missing and a catipillar tractor half buried and still attached to the bed, which had been seperated from the rear 8 tires completely.

When we got to number four and we saw the ambulance pull into the lane blocked off by cones, it dawned on me that they leave cones up permenantly around common semi crash sites, so the ambulances can get to the mangled truckers faster.  It was the only thing that made sense.

Finally, it all came together when I started to see signs reading, "See the world famous I-80!" and the like.  We came up over the hill and saw the last sign before this actual I-80 place, reading "THE WORLD'S LARGEST TRUCK STOP!"  Behind it spraweled acres and acres of gas stations and fast food places and parking lots.  It was quite a sight to behold.

Summary:  Driving through Iowa, not pleasant, not safe.