8:24 (CO time) – Niagra Falls, NY – Took a small (several hour) diversion to Niagra Falls – very peaceful and beautiful, but made us more sleepy. We got to watch the fog lift from the falls, leaving a full rainbow over the waters. We stayed on the US side, but Canada was just across the river and all the cool buildings were on the Canadian side! The ranger at the info booth tried to convince us to go on a boatride or on the ‘Cave of the Winds’ tour down at the base of the falls, but we’re just too exhausted. Called home, then went to Denny’s for breakfast. Considered stopping and taking a nap, but after cleaning out car and sending postcards, decide to push on. Found short-cut to highway and were quickly back on the road to “home”. Quite slap happy. (S)
Just realized we forgot to meantion Cleveland. Arrived in Cleveland about 3am. From highway, resembled Denver — Stadium, TREX, Chipotle sign. Also Ohio has Starbucks at on-toll road stops. However, Jennifer in desperate need of restroom and we need gas. Jennifer ready to stop driving or was I driving? Can’t remember. Decide to exit at Chipotle sign (4 gas stations advertised). 1st gas station: stop, pull up for gass, switch seats while Jennifer tries restroom. Gas station locked, so we drive to next station. Am already pumping gas by time Jennifer get to door–she pulls, lunges, but this door is also locked. Gas attendent lock a bit concerned. Jenn decides to walk to next station. She is just out of my view when car screeches around corner and both driver and passenger throw heads out window and scream blood murder. Meanwhile, two ‘gang-looking’ young men are crossing street and begin cussing out car. Am in panic as cannot see Jennifer. Stop pumping gas and drive to station where Jenn had headed. Get there, park and find door locked. No Jennifer. More panic. Drive across the street to Shell station. Ne Jennifer. As preparing to call 911, Jennifer appears out of 3rd station, so drive to meet her. Very thankful to find her alive and safe. Though Cleveland rocked upon first examination, have decided that Cleveland no longer rocks. Hope cop pulls us over for escort out of Ohio. Just before Pennsylvania, try stopping at gas station (I still needed to use restroom and Jennifer ill). While Jennier is in restroom, sit with gas attendents and local ad watch horror flick about curse of the gypsy. After Cleveland, am a bit wheasy about situation. Beat it to and throught Pennsylvania, and stop in NY for gas. Very happy to have distance between us and Cleveland. Soon after decide to go to Niagara–just outside of Buffalo. (S)
5:20pm – Leaving Chicago.
Left city by accident — Chicago turned into Indiana. Neil called–he was here yesterday. Nearly died trying to reach Camisky Park. However, very handy that while going to sports shop (also deathly experience, though next to police sub station) noticed headlight was out and found auto parts store conveniently located across the street. We agree God must have been watching! (S)
Spent morning (after 11am) wandering city–went to skydeck at Sears Tower. Very high. Awesome jets (F-18) flying all around–even through skyscrapers. (S)
Saw TU Chicago…Very nice. Couldn’t go in…too much security. The (cute) policemen left before we could get our pictures taken with them. Bummer. (J)
From Sears Tower saw our hotel. It was really big! I suppose a whole city block would be, but you just don’t notice on the ground. The tower is 110 stories, we went to the 103 and were 3 stories above where the roof of the Twin Tower used to be (See Postcard). (J)
Susie tried to cause serious car accident on highway during 5pm rush hour traffic. Was stupid, but also decided Chicago drivers are very rude. Not to mention loud. Their signs are amusing. Never saw a drive-thru eatery, though saw lots of signs for drive-thru smoke shops and OTB (off-traffic betting sites_. Still no idea what those are precisely for. Now very happy Jennifer insisted on gong to hotel bathroom. Now on diversion. (S)
7:12pm – Got off tollway. (NOTE: apparently, pay only for one random exit fee from tollway — unlike E-470. Thought toll was $6.15 but was in face only $0.65. Have decided that E-470 very expensive.) Are eating at Chili’s in Michigan City. Jennifer expertly changed headlight (in Chili’s parking lot). Plan after dinner: find strong coffee and get gas, ice, etc. Ohio soon, then Pennsylvania. (S)
12:50am – North Platt – $20.93 for 13.087g ($1.59/gallon). Very retarded gas pumps at Phillips 66. (S)
1:21am – Susie went the wrong way! J/K. Almost. I’m sleeping. Bye. (J)
4:40am – Lincoln – back to driving (J). I’m determined to not whimp out this time. SND. Note: Stopped at rest stop, fell asleep, Jennifer took over. (S)
10:50am – Lots of random emergency bathroom and nap stops. Jennifer has had difficulties (health related). Susie has had difficulties (sleep-related, or previous lack there of). Just ate at Country Kitchen. Eggs were wierd yellow and Jenn’s bacon was peppery. Yuck. Gasoline $14.84, 9.6 gal, $1.479/gallon. (S)
2:26pm – Beddendorf – Were making good time but took diversianary trip to small city-town. (S)
3:47pm – Wild Goose Chase! We finally found the post office. Susie needs the bathroom, now we hope to find I-80. Then three hours to Chicago. (J)
4:03pm – Illinois for the 2nd time. (J)
8:00pm – Arrived (at hotel) in Chicago around 8 PM. Staying at the Hilton Chicago for the night. Very posh. Two bathrooms. 21st floor. We have to ride the “executive” elevator to our floor. (S)
8:59pm – 0 miles – Denver, CO – We have begun. Kinda.
9:03pm – Morgan call and we give thorough update (Colorado & Colfax).
9:04pm – Dykstras call (want Susie’s work badge).
9:42pm – 38.2 miles – Kennesburg, CO – Filled tank of gas ($24 of 85 grade gas! Approximately 16 gallons.)
11:45pm – NEBRASKA!! Susie’s driving…..
11:49pm – On the road again.
Crossed into Central Time Zone.