And now we are three
Mary’s delayed flight meant she didn’t arrive till around 9.30pm last night, so plans for a reunion Giordano’s pizza were shelved in favour of breakfast at Tempo instead.
Larger than life, especially for you, Lesley, it was worth waiting for, believe me.
An hour or so later, noting 27224 miles on the clock of our Dodge Grand Caravan, we set off on our road trip proper, heading south out of the city towards Gary, Indiana. The scenery ranged from a light industrial landscape to steel works after steel works. Arcelor Mittal appeared to occupy most of the land here in northern Indiana and most of it wasn’t a pretty sight.
At times like this, I look for signs which give some idea of where we are. On this railway bridge was a big clue.
We were driving along the I20, the very same road we’d driven a couple of years ago, but in the opposite direction. I well remembered the blog post I wrote at the time, to Chicago via the washing machine because driving on a stretch of the Interstate near Gary was a pretty scary experience. I was pleased the weather was a little kinder to us today.
As well as driving the car, my Hero always keeps an eye out for his favourite railway landmarks (or perhaps I should refer to them as railroads here?) Sure enough, he spotted this sign in time for me to snap a picture as we passed by.
For as well as being the steel works centre of North America, this area is a major transport hub too, with railway – sorry, railroad – yards left right and centre.
There were strange vehicles parked in the car park too.
Gary, Indiana hadn’t improved much since were were last here. Though many of the buildings in the city were of solid construction, they were all but derelict and the whole outlook appeared very bleak. I didn’t manage to snap the huge mural of the Jacksons, sadly, but pulling up at traffic lights alongside Porky’s Pit gave us time to assess the potential and decide that thankfully, we weren’t hungry right now.
Another bonus for the train fan around here, with a Pullman car on the end of the Amtrak train heading for Chicago.
And shortly afterwards, we were entering the state of Michigan, our destination. We’d been here before, in that very same blog post in fact, but this time, we’re going to be exploring the “mitten state” more thoroughly over the next couple of weeks.
Soon, we were driving through “Harbor Country” and as if to confirm that, a vehicle towing a huge boat crossed over right in front of us. Rather than heading for the lakeside, however, we were continuing in an easterly direction right now and spotting a sign for Froehlich’s bakery, closely followed by one for Three Oaks, we realised that we were still retracing our steps from that earlier trip.
Yes. Of course we drove into Three Oaks and headed for Froehlichs once again. It was just as good as we remembered!
There were tempting goodies on the shelves, though it wasn’t really the time to be buying such things.
So, we just looked and admired – though actually, I’m none too sure about pickled asparagus!
There was one essential piece of information about Michigan we hadn’t quite grasped yet though, but as my Hero noticed a clock in the store and gave it a bit of thought, it became clear. Michigan is in a different time zone to Indiana and Illinois. It was an hour later than we thought!
Taking a last look around this cute little town, we jumped back in the car and began the last part of today’s journey.
It was a more rural route now and within an hour or so we reached the first stop on our route. Someone began to sing…
A B C D E F G H….I got a girl….
Did you guess? No, I didn’t know the words either, but m-i-l Bettine does, every one of them!
So here we are for a couple of nights.
We took a quick look around downtown before dinner tonight and found the city to be rather interesting.
Surprisingly quiet though.
Anyway, we enjoyed dinner at Food Dance, sitting under the enormous corn plants.
Had we been staying at the Columbia hotel, paying $1.50, we might have considered a pot of our favourite Jeni’s ice cream, all the way from Columbus Ohio.