Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 1 Summer Vacation 2009

On the road again…. We are heading for California via the Historic Lincoln Highway. Today was a day for getting ourselves positioned into Illinois so that we can pick up our starting point on the Lincoln first thing Tuesday morning.. We will begin in Joliet Illinois. If you followed along on last summers blog, you will remember that we ended Route 66 in Joliet, so it seems a fitting place to begin the Lincoln Highway.

We left home at 7am this morning, crossed over the Blue Water Bridge into the USA at Sarnia / Port Huron. There was about a 45 minute delay at the border. The customs agent was most interested in knowing if we had any fruits, vegetables, meat or plants. We didn’t have any of those items as I already knew that they were not allowed into the US. He wanted to know where our cooler was and I showed him it was in the back seat. That seemed to satisfy him and he waved us through. Usually they ask how long will you be in the US and what is your purpose to be in the US, but he didn’t seem interested in knowing anything more than if we were bringing something across that we shouldn’t.

It wasn’t long after we crossed into the US that we were LOST !! Somehow we missed the I 69 cut off to Flint MI and instead we were on I 94 heading South to Detroit. We pulled off and I fired up the GPS and we cut across country heading North and West until we got ourselves back onto I 69 where we should be. It wasn’t too bad cutting across country like that and I am glad that I saw the error of our way before we got to far South. We did eventually have to get back onto I 94 so it would have worked out ok, but by taking I-69, it skirts around and by passes that whole messy area of Detroit and we re-joined I –94 well outside of Detroit in the city of Battle Creek MI.

It was a beautiful sunny day as we drove Westward across Michigan and entered into the Northern part of Indiana briefly and then into Illinois. We saw a high temperature of 28 C which is about 90 F for those of you who are metrically challenged. We are here in East Hazel Crest Illinois for the evening. We will be glad to put this area of the country behind us, we find it too “industrial” and “suburban” and much prefer the wide open spaces of the States that lay ahead of us.

There wasn’t any photo opportunities today, even the Rest Areas were boring. I was hoping that there would be Welcome to Michigan signage or even a sign saying which rest area we were at, but nothing. So I just took a picture of our car and of the building.

This is the Turkeyville Michigan Rest Area. At least the name is interesting, too bad there wasn’t an official sign.

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We arrived at our Hotel in East Hazelcrest Illinois around 7pm local time (we gained an hour today). First stop was the local Baskin Robbins ice cream store, but they did not have Karen's favourite Chocolate Fudge.

In the morning we will awake and drive North to Joliet IL where we will try to locate the 3 block section of highway that both Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway share. That will be our official starting point for our road trip along the Lincoln.

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