Day 2:  Fremont, Ohio – Chicago – St. Charles, Illinois

So the Great Jeep Tour 2013 continued this morning. The task of the day was to secure an apartment in Chicago for Jamie, who is headed to college later this month. He will be attending the School of the Art Institute Chicago as a photography major.  He is a talented man (see

Google Maps (and the mildly schizophrenic Apple Maps) both agreed that it would take a little over four hours to make the drive to our destination.  We left shortly after 9:00 a.m., which would have given us plenty of time to get to our 3:00 p.m. appointment, especially since we were traveling from the Eastern time zone to the Central time zone, which bought us an additional hour.

Four hours and some change. Piece of cake, right?

Not when traffic is backed up on the Indiana Toll Road. Not once, not twice, but three times.

We lucked out on the third traffic backup because we ended up stopping right before one of the South Bend interchanges.  A quick consult of the map and before we knew it we were in Michigan, trying to make our way to Interstate 94 via US Route 12.

Except the trucks that were apparently using the same mapping software thought to do the same and were chugging their way through the back roads just like we were. By chugging I mean they were moving no faster than 40 MPH.

We finally made our way onto Interstate 94 and as soon as we crossed back into Indiana, we hit traffic again.

The idea of four hours and some change was now just a memory and Earl was making a call to the apartment guy to let him know we were running late.  He understood.

Interstates 90 and 94 through Chicago were at a standstill, as to be expected, but so was Interstate 55 and Lake Shore Blvd.

So we spent most of the day looking at the taillights of whoever was in front of us.

We finally got to our appointment seven hours and 10 minutes later. The deal was signed in less than an hour and we were on the road again. 

Apparently more traffic was trying to get into Chicago versus the likes of us trying to leave, so we only hit a few snags on Interstate 90 as we headed west out of the city. I did manage to snag a photo of an American flight coming into O'Hare as we sat in traffic near the Des Plaines Oasis. 

By the time we arrived to visit family in St. Charles we were in the mood for the excellent home cooking and conversation. So the day of frustration ended on a high note.

A couple of things I noticed along the trip today:

1. only about 1/2 the men in a toll road service plaza wash their hands after using a stall with a door in the rest room. I'm not sure I like this trend.

2. There are a LOT of angry lyrics in some of the music that is blasted out of windows in a traffic jam. 

3. There are a LOT of loose license plates frames rattling to the angry music that is blasted out of windows in a traffic jam.

4.  FitBit does not count the number of times you step on a clutch in a Chicago traffic jam.

5.  I'm a country boy through and through and damn proud of it. I may be able to adapt to city living but my heart will always be in the farm land in the middle of an open field.