The group left Grand Rapids (MN) on Tuesday morning, with Susan driving (it is nice sometimes to have a travel partner with thumbs and an operator’s license). We dropped her off in Rochester at about 2 PM and headed east and south, stopping for the night between Elgin, IL and Chicago, IL. There was a late winter storm not far behind me, and I wanted to keep out in front of it.
The next morning, it was on the road again. I was pleased to discover that my E-Z Pass was accepted on the Chicago toll roads – it was the first sense of ‘getting home’ that I experienced (and I was still a thousand miles away). No matter how much I needed to press on, we did detour to take a walk along the shores of Lake Michigan, at the Indian Dunes National Lakeshore.
Aside from that walk, we again made time all day, and stopped in Erie, PA for the night. For most of the trip I had been driving no more than six or seven hours a day, but I woke up in Erie with ten hours of driving between me and my own bed, and that pesky snowstorm a day behind me. The thought of staying in a hotel three or four hours from home that night, with the possibility of having to stay through the next day and night before the roads cleared again, was just about impossible to consider. So, we left early, stopped infrequently, the human drank coffee and the dog got ripped off on his long walk for the day, and we made it home by 10 that night.
The next day the weather was truly awful. I suppose I could have driven home through it, but it was a lot better to be home, unpacking and catching up, than to be slithering over the mountains.