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Day two :: September 20, 2004: 12:19 AM

Sunday, September 19th 2004: day two

We began the day by getting back onto I-90 and headed into Cleveland rather than take the by-pass as we thought we would use our GPS system to find a Starbucks. I had printed out some addresses….and after giving up on a couple of them as they seemed too far out in the wrong direction, we chose one and let Microsoft lead us into some twisty turny neighborhood whereupon up came the Blue Screen of Death – and shortly afterwards, after some choice words, we started trying to find our own way out again and still no coffee! At this point we remembered there was a Starbucks down the road from the motel in Mentor….Mike did not get his only Starbucks coffee of the day until two more states, or was it three along the road….he had to make do with other types :-(

We saw the Rock and Roll of Fame in Cleveland , at least twice, and the sign to the Boxing Hall of Fame but we went by Toledo, hard to imagine that ,isn’t it?; Ohio never bade us goodbye but Indiana welcomed us!! At last!

A sign just inside the border told us we were in the Fireworks Capital of America and that we were passing the world’s largest fireworks warehouse…not a place to hang around near, I think. We managed to not visit the College Football Hall of Fame when we passed by Notre Dame…

By the road we saw solar panels operating signs that read ”Animals present when crossing” but no indication what kind. Neat idea though. Apart from deer and a few birds of prey (both of which we saw yesterday but I forgot to mention) and flocks of small and noisy birds I did not see long enough to identify this was not a wildlife kind of day, much traveling through cities.

We took a short trip into Michigan, opened the car door and plonked our feet down, just to say we had been there.

We really expected some mention of the fact we had crossed from eastern to central time. Being from such a small country as the UK, this seems like a big deal: nothing, we were expecting better things from Indiana – had they not welcomed us?! They also said goodbye, but Illinois obviously did not care….

We stayed on the I-90 at Chicago (defying our AAA TripTik- don’t tell the nice woman who spent a long time working out a fast way through – but this was Sunday!) because we were making good time, wanted to see the city other by plane ( we have both, separately changed planes there before) and also, after the Cleveland fiasco and given the many times we have traveled I-90 from its easternmost exit in Boston, MA, we had realized we could actually get to travel almost all of it on this trip…the intended visit to Seattle and a car trip back to Yellowstone ( which was originally the plan rather than including this short visit on this trip) and we could say we had done the whole thing….so we trailed around Chicago, saw the Sears Tower and watched planes going over our heads through the sun-roof (me, Mike was looking at the road, honest!). Just after O’Hare we got to the 900th mile of our trip and in a little over 26 hours.

We did see the Illinois native who was the proud owner of the plate: GOBEARS and we passed the playing arena of some team with the name Sox in their title and a color, I forget which or what they play: not cricket, that’s for sure…

And then on into Wisconsin.

I have been to Wisconsin before for a conference and liked it. I had high hopes for the courtesy and the enthusiasm for Wisconsin for its guests. Almost immediately after the toll plaza as we left Illinois (very assiduous at taking one’s motoring money if lapse in pleasantries) there was not just a sign, suitably wooden: Welcome to Wisconsin but a whole Welcome Plaza AND….they laid on a beautiful sunset for as we went back to the car with hotel coupons in hand.

As we approached the outskirts of Madison, WI the trip odometer reached 1000 miles. It was 9 pm eastern and 8pm central and we found this Comfort Inn with internet. We went for a walk around Madison. The Capitol was bright white, impressive and very well lit, and the lakes (the downtown is nestled between two) were absolutely dark and inky with a hardly a light in sight except occasional boats on the water…the air was dry and it was a pleasant 65 degrees or so. Just lovely. I still like Wisconsin…but tomorrow we head off north and then west again on the I-90 to Minnesota and South Dakota…

Trip total so far 1010 miles

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