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A Drive Through America’s Heartland

Thanks to the Highway Interstate System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.”  Charles Kuwalt

Here we start, on a seven-hour interstate shot from Mingo Junction, Ohio to Chicago. Interstates are good for just getting there. The fun starts when we get off.

view hotel 2

A room with a view

Our hotel in Downtown Chicago sits smack in the “Magnificent Mile” where everything we want to see is only a mile’s walk away. Let’s start the new year with a generous gin martini and juicy steaks at Ditka’s.

city from navy pier

Views from Navy Pier

We do all the tourist things, with insider suggestions from our dear friends Stacey and Eric. Stroll to the Navy Pier for awesome views of Lake Michigan and the city in the winter.

view from hancock

View from the 96th floor

Ride the elevator to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building for airplane views of the city, worth an overpriced cocktail. The best view comes from the Ladies’ Room window, if you don’t want to wait for a table.

view from bathroom

View from the ladies room on the 96th floor

What’s a trip to Chicago without a night of blues at Buddy Guy’s place?

music buddys

You must listen to the blues in Chicago

Have breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s, where they greet you with doughnut holes and milk duds to ease your likely wait.

lou mitchell

Just one of Chicago’s iconic eateries

After some pro football at Mother Hubbard’s Sports Bar (Steelers squeak in a wild card spot), devour deep dish pizza from another iconic eatery, Lou Malnati’s. What’s with all these Lous?

iowa from interstate

Iowa from the Interstate

Time to hit the road. We agree with Charles Kuwalt and get off the Interstate. Time to see some sites. Listen up, Trekkies, as we visit Captain Kirk’s future birthplace (200 years from now) in Riverside, Iowa.

ron birth place 2

“Live long and prosper”

The bartender at Murphy’s Bar and Grill tells us that Trekkies descend upon this small town the final weekend each June. “They set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most Trekkies in one place,” she says. “You should see the costumes. One year a woman came in the bar wearing nothing but green body paint. I told the owner, because we had children in the place. He came out and bought her a drink!”

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Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, Nebraska

 

Back onto the Interstate and into a trance with the echo of rolling wheels, until we get off in Nebraska, headed to Alliance. Yes, Marilynn has now visited all 50 US states! (I still need Hawaii) We celebrate the occasion in spiritual, new-age fashion with a drive through the Sand Hills Journey Scenic Byway. Forget Stonehenge, we’re talking about Carhenge!

carhenge

Stonehenge? No, Carhenge!

You can feel the souls of vintage vehicles, their tail fins now preserved under thick grey paint, waiting to inspire future generations of self-driving cars.

car best

Carhenge outside of Alliance, Nebraska

Can’t see anything from the Interstate.        Ron Mitchell

 

 

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. martiwrites #

    I have a whole bunch of comments:
    1.One side effect of living here so long is that I totally lost my mojo for freeways. Doing the 70 to 270 to 71 in Columbus pretty much freaked me out a few years ago, so I’ve sworn them off. So, yeah.
    2. Paula Jo and I are planning a road trip for the next time I’m on that part of the mainland, and playing in Chicago is on the agenda. I’d probably hit the same kinds of things you two would. So I’m taking notes.
    3.No Hawaii yet? We must fix this soon. My kid moved out again, so when you DO make it here, you guys actually get a bed instead of a back yard.

    January 6, 2016
    • Yes, I know what you mean about the freeways. After four months in Alaska coming back is quite freaky. Can’t imagine what it’s like after all of the years you have been away. Let me know when you road trip, and we have a place for fyou guys, of course, if we’re home.

      January 7, 2016
      • martiwrites #

        Will do. She just wanted to road trip from Milwaukee to home but if I’m gonna be there, I gotta make it more than that! So I just might.

        (My biggest concern is that we have a definite Lucy & Ethel vibe, so we may end up in sitcom purgatory) lol

        January 7, 2016
  2. Great views. Love the photographs.

    January 26, 2016
  3. That Carhenge is awesome!!

    February 19, 2016
  4. Carhenge was definitely worth the side trip, Jill. I mean, how many different things are there to see in Nebraska?

    February 20, 2016

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