Posted by: TheAuthor | 26/10/2011

Day 41 and 42 – The drive to Chicago

Day 41: Rain cascaded heavily overnight and brought us back to earth, Kevin was severely wet and I spent a good half hour attempting to secure up the drenched straps.

On the road to Indianapolis, our desired port of call for the night, we encountered high winds on the roads. Before were 50 miles from Washington a car struck the barrier and rolled just ahead of us (note to worried parents, we were not involved nor observed the incident). A number of cars had pulled up and the occupants were racing to assist the driver. Driving up I noticed that more people were watching the scene compared to those helping so I decided we would be more of a hindrance than help at that moment, so we continued the drive. We travelled for another 100 metres or so before coming to a grinding halt, another over turned vehicle down the hill. This one already had police on the scene, but did nothing to prevent us from crawling at a snails pace for an hour.

The weather worsened as we progressed, harder rain and stronger winds. Time ebbed away as the miles and kilometres fell. A rather short 8 hour drive rapidly transformed into a cramped 12 hour ordeal as we approached Indianapolis which, as we discovered on arrival, was fully booked in all hotels because of the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We spent an extra hour searching in the rain, driving on roads that had a few metres visibility and poorly lit lanes (if existing at all) as well as un-fluorescent cones before finding a winner.

From leaving at 9 A.M. we finally got into our 4-person smoking room without tea and coffee making facilities at 11 P.M ready for bed.

Trip Statistics:

Tim Horton’s Stops – 16

Alternate Coffee Stops – 4

States Driven Through – Ohio, Indiana

Kilometres driven – 1054km

Total Canadian Kilometres driven – 11,499km

Total distance driven – 14,265km

Car faults – Found out Speedometer is inaccurate by 10kph

– Speakers starting to refuse to operate

– Tail Light Casing Broken

– Console Handbrake light always ‘on’

Day 42: We drove early in the torrential rain to get to Chicago early enough to be able to get unpacked and see the city before the sun faded away for another night on the road trip. As we pulled up into the street, Racine Ave, we noticed that we were in a rough area indeed and the only ones who were not of African-American origin. The house was large enough to hold the four of us plus all of our belongings, as we removed the roof boot and it’s contents to allow them to dry – and be safe from possible theft. On the inside, with a single toilet facility, were another 10 people all vying for space and a chance to use the bathroom. An interesting home with bags of character for sure, in a neighbourhood many tourists don’t see and for a good reason. Having said this, we never encountered any dramas or issues that would make you feel unsettled or unsafe.  In the rain we drove to the Science and Industry museum in, now very much lighter, Kevin.

This museum was incredible and was fully interactive. Huge exhibits covering landslides, liquid nitrogen, tornados, the human body as well as much more could take the entire day to explore. We only had two hours before it closed, so we raced around focusing on areas we preferred to see. Shell had never experimented with liquid nitrogen before so we went into the live demonstration, meant for kids. In a quite lively instructional class we learnt a fair bit, but ran well into our time for the museum so we had to leave before we had the chance to eat ice cream made from the liquid nitrogen – a true shame!

We still had some time to kill before we were able to officially check into the new crack den, so we went to a bar for a quick drink to warm up from the cold and wet of the autumn weather.

The night on the floor of the cheap BnB we were staying at ($59 for two of us over the three nights) was not too bad. Very little disturbance outside or indoors to wake you up or cause any grief at all.

Trip Statistics:

Tim Horton’s Stops – 16

Alternate Coffee Stops – 4

States Driven Through – Illinois

Kilometres driven – 305km

Total Canadian Kilometres driven – 11,499km

Total distance driven – 14,570km

Car faults – Found out Speedometer is inaccurate by 10kph

– Speakers starting to refuse to operate

– Tail Light Casing Broken

– Console Handbrake light always ‘on’

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