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Saturday, February 02, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 7:

Oct. 16th, 2012, Tuesday: Climbing out of the back of our truck we could see a group of tents and folks two sites away, no privacy whatsoever! Hello world. While eating breakfast we filtered water and refilled our containers, then had to hunt for Brad’s lost keys. They were found still in the lock on the box on top of the truck - ha! They can’t be removed without locking up the box - a good security measure. The night before I thought I lost my neck warmer after climbing into bed. I searched everywhere in the truck then wiggled around to peer out the back with a flashlight before realizing I had it on... There’s always so much to keep track of while traveling - we were getting loopy! Before leaving I talked to my Uncle in Michigan to let him know we were getting close. 

Wild clouds that morning!

From there we took hwy. 12/18 east until it became just 12 - another back road through lovely green countryside reminiscent of Oregon, but without conifers. 

Over through Deerfield to Whitewater, then east on hwy. 20 to interstate 41 south to Chicago.

We exited north of Chicago on a quest to find the house I lived in for just one year when I was in the first grade. Taking Green Bay Drive we drove through Glenco, Winnetka then into Wilmette, where we turned right onto Wilmette Ave. finding it easily! 

We parked nearby then went for a walk to see if the neighborhood was as I remembered it. The house looked very different from when we lived there - but similar too. I remember the rough concrete walls - altered now with added woodwork and planter boxes giving it a slight tudor style. 

Just two houses away was the park we used to go to and around the corner on the same block was our school. 

It was fun to get out and walk around and see how my memories matched up! We weren’t there long, taking off on Green Bay to Ridge Drive, then Lake Shore - straight through the heart of Chicago. 

I shot drive-by photos while Brad zipped along - all the way through to South Shore Drive where we zigzagged following detour signs, finally making our way, after a couple of wrong turns to I-90 - a toll freeway. That took us into Indiana and I-94. 

In Portage Indiana we stopped for gas and Brad left me in charge of filling the tank - my first time this trip. It also was an opportunity for a peanuts and hard boiled eggs break, plus a chance to buy some more ice for the cooler. It’d been cloudy to start the day but it warmed up quick as the sun came out - temps were probably in the low 60’s. I couldn't believe I was still wearing my Chaco sandals this far into our trip on these surprisingly balmy days! 

We hopped onto I-69 in Marshal going north towards Lansing then east on I-96, soon finding the exit to Williamston where my Aunt and Uncle lived. There we enjoyed a terrific home cooked meal, good conversation and our first indoor bed of the trip. My Aunt and Uncle were moving at the end of the month from the home they had lived in for years, so although there were boxes everywhere, Brad could still see what a nice place it was. That night it was too hot for me inside the spare bedroom, but once I opened a window I was finally able to fall asleep. We just weren’t used to being so warm after a week of sleeping outdoors.

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