Friday 25th – Chicago IL to Fairmont MN

First real driving day… and it was raining! Boooo! Once I had all the kit wired up and running in the car, it was time to get rolling, and it stopped raining once I crossed into Wisonsin.

20140725-officeThere are never enough USB sockets in cars if you are a geek. The Tahoe had one USB socket, under the lid/flap in the central armrest, which I used for MP3s on a USB key. So, To power the two phones (one running GPS nav, one running Waze), the GoPro taking images every 10 seconds for the entire trip (time lapse movie will be assembled when I get back to the UK), and the T-Mobile mifi, I needed to bring my own lighter socket extension and several lighter socket to USB power dongles. Yes, its a borgified mess, but it works!

One thing that I was amazed at was the difference in landscape heading west from Chicago compared to heading South. When I went south last year to DerbyCon, it looked like a post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland (sorry, it did!), but heading west was full of green and farmland and grass… what a difference! Eve Adams mentioned on Facebook that if I took 65 South from Chicago through Indiana last year, then my assessment was perfectly accurate. Glad I am not alone in that thought :)

20140725-routeToday was ~460miles, 7 hours 45 mins, 4 states, Warrenville (Illinois) to Fairmont (Minnesota), via Bridgeport (Wisconsin) and Algona (Iowa).

One thing I will say about Iowa is you would never be short of some corn. I mean, I drove 3-4 hours through Iowa, and all I saw on either side was fields of corn… as far as the eye could see, nothing but corn. I have hours of time lapse images of corn from the GoPro, but I won’t bore you to death with them. They all look very much like this one.

20140725-cornThe other thing that always amazes me is the sky. We are all used to the sky in the UK being murky on the horizon, like a low mist or fog that means you can never really see the horizon, nor can you actually see the clouds in the sky at the very edge of the horizon. Look at the image above… I know it doesn’t have a high enough resolution to really show it, but I could see the clouds out as far as the horizon. Amazing clarity, and I see this a lot when I am in the US.

Now, onto one of my annual issues I need to discuss about the USA: What is it with the obsession with pickles with your food? Seriously, they are in everything! I expect to be saying “I would like a diet vanilla coke without pickles” some day… well, that’s a lie, I`d never ask for a vanilla coke… nor anything “diet” either to be honest, but the point remains that pickles are taking over your food quietly, invading your homes and your supermarkets, and you just stand by and do nothing! Stand up for your right for a pickle free diet :) Today I asked for a burger at Culvers without pickles… so, as ordered, they did not put any pickles in it (yay!), but they did put a sliced pickle on the top of the actual bun… what the actual!!?? As you can probably tell by now, I don’t like pickles…

 

 

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