Here are more of my observations on our car trip from Chicagoland to visit family in Northern Maine, part of the series of posts: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio & Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Distance Traveled: 154 miles
Bathroom Breaks: 2
• Indiana's most noteworthy form of welcome to weary travelers of I-90 is the stench of a sewage treatment plant for at least the first 20 miles. What could be more likely to invite us to get to better know our neighbors to the east? Perhaps a series of spike strips across all inbound lanes?
Or maybe a high-pitched noise broadcast across all channels and through the air, counteracted only for locals by special government-issued noise-canceling earbuds worn at all times? Seems like something those stinky old spiteful Indianans would do.
• The rest stop in Portage, Indiana amused me by having the Girls of Playboy pinball machine in the entry to their game room, right next to the children's claw game filled with Dora and Minnie Mouse dolls. I guess this just means Indiana is fun for the whole family!
Distance Traveled: 245 miles
Bathroom Breaks: 3
• As you can see, we got a lot better about bathroom breaks, thanks largely in part to threats and bribery. It figures, though, since the pricey Ohio Turnpike (more than half our journey through the state on I-80/I-90) is unbelievably clean, well-lit, and lavishly appointed. It makes me wish I could meet all my bodily needs for the entire trip during only those 2 of 22 hours.
• After stopping at a gas station for our final bathroom break (since I-90 splits off the Turnpike proper, it figures), we decided begrudgingly to give up for the day with less than a third of the trip covered after the first day, in about 9 hours. That's right-- only 9 hours, and only 430 miles or so.
Distance Traveled: 40 miles
Bathroom Breaks: 0
I can't tell you how happy I was to start out the day knocking down a whole state without a single bathroom break, or, at least, I won't tell you. Even though we were just clipping the corner of an otherwise large state, I'll still just quietly treasure it as my own secret little joy in this cold world.
By the way, in case you ever take a similar trip, please make sure you (like us this time) follow I-90 instead of I-80 when they split in Ohio, Especially if it's any time within a few hours before sundown. Otherwise, you'll just have to describe to us all how tender is the face of God, either from beyond the grave or having been blessed to narrowly escape it.
Let's all tell Congress it's okay to earmark a little something extra for PDOT (I've decided they must call it this if it's not already) to upgrade this road, perhaps at the very minimum by adding some reflectors on the lane lines, and maybe some new reflective paint. Or, they could issue everyone night vision goggles at the border. Which is cheaper?