It's hard for me to believe that we have already been on the road for 7 days and have only made it to Chicago. I've driven across the country quite a few times, and it usually only takes 2-3 days max. My last trip was from Bangor, ME to Denver, CO and it only took 34 hours. I must say, this relaxed pace is a quite a bit nicer. I do enjoy being able to have a bed to sleep in at night!
I was up at 7am today and immediately got in the car, and drove over to the tire place which was only about five minutes away. I was the first person in the door, and they immediately got to work on the tire. 20 minutes and $260 later, I was out the door with another brand new rear tire. I went back to Walmart, put the new tire on, and then got to work changing one of the tiny house tires that had worn down during our braking adventure getting to Pittsburgh. When that was done, we got fuel, and were on our way by 930.
Our destination for today was Chicago, which was only about 4 hours, so we took it slow, and stopped around the ½ way point at a Fair Oak Farm, which was recommended by the bartender at Books and Brews last night. They had killer mac ‘n’ cheese! After lunch, we took a walk around the farm and went to the “Birthing Room”, where we saw a baby cow that had been born about 30 minutes earlier. It couldn’t even stand up yet, and I think Shenee was in love.
From there, it was on to Chicago. Apparently all the Walmarts in the greater Chicago area don’t allow overnight parking, so we ended up parking at a VERY busy rest area (Chicago Lincoln Oasis) just a few miles over the Illinois border on I-80. At first it didn’t look like there was going to be space for us, but near the end of the row of trucks there was one space open. These were double truck spaces, just like a normal parking lot, so when I pulled in, there was a truck in the space in front of me, so if we wanted to leave, we would have to back out. I pulled in, and then got into the car, and backed the motorcycle trailer up to the back of the house, that way we could drop the trailer and still have access to the car.
With the house and motorcycle parked, we headed north to Chicago to see the sights and meet up with my friend Ali. We drove along Lake Shore Blvd for a while, and then circled back around to pick up Ali. She doesn’t have a car in the city, and of course the Subaru was jammed full of stuff, so we made a quick stop in a loading zone to unload and then reload more efficiently to open up a rear seat. We then retrieved Ali from outside her workplace, and headed out to find a brewery!
An hour or so later we changed venues, and Ali’s friend Chelsea met up with us. They both wanted to see the tiny house, so Chelsea got her car, and they followed us out to the “Oasis” for a private tour. Chelsea was kind enough to bring a bottle of wine as a house warming gift, and I realized that although Shenee and I have slept in the tiny house, we hadn’t yet had our first drink in it! That needed to change!
After the four of us polished off the wine, Ali and our new friend Chelsea took off for the city, and Shenee and I got some rest.
Tomorrow’s location is unknown. The job I was hoping for in Bozeman, MT hasn’t materialized, and the jobs that Shenee has been able to find in Montana have all been snapped up before we have been able to make a decision. At this point, we will probably head west on I-80 and stop somewhere in Iowa.