Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Road Trip - Yay!

 There are very few things that I enjoy as much another road trip - whether it's just another travel adventure or a revenue generating trip. This trip is a one of the revenue generating kind. As I write this post, I'm sitting in my corner room at the Swissotel in downtown Chicago on Wacker Drive a block from Michigan Avenue  also known as the Magnificent Mile. In another post I'll describe my room and the divergent breathtaking views I have from the wrap around windows on both sides of me. While I'm not a great lover of large cities, this is truly an inspiring view.

The road trip to Chicago was enjoyable. My colleague, Mike McCool, a former business partner and a friend for some 37 years, picked me up at my current eastern base camp in Keyser, West Virginia. He arrived this past Friday around noon in his Chevy Suburban loaded with all the equipment and much of the printed material he was providing for the conference we'd be working at.

We traveled through West Virginia three times during the trip, plus a portion of western Maryland, western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Part of the trip was on the interstate highway system while about half of the trip was on some of the "Blue Highways" of America allowing us the opportunity to travel through numerous small towns and small cities. We also spent lots of our trip in rural America. Another nice aspect of this trip is that it was in the fall and we've seen lots of color, so far.

We left Keyser around noon on Friday and made it to Bellefontaine, Ohio where we found a place to pull in for the night. On Saturday we left around 11:00 AM after a delicious breakfast at a local independent restaurant that we also had a nice dinner on Friday evening. We enjoyed listening to the locals talking about all kinds of topics including farming, the economy as it impacted them, the current presidential race and the two candidates. We were truly experiencing a slice of Americana. Interestingly, I had been to the small town of Bellefontaine about 33 years ago. It's not a place that I would normally not find on a route to anywhere I'd be going.

The rest of the drive to Chicago took us through corn fields and other crops. It also took us through a new crop - renewable energy, in this case, windmills generating electricity. While we experienced some significant rainfall on Friday afternoon and early evening while I was driving, Saturday was a bit on the brisk side, but the sky cleared and it was a very pleasant drive the rest of the way into downtown Chicago where we arrived around 3:30 PM.

Here are a few photos I took from the car as we were traveling. Mike was driving while I shot these photos.

Cheat Lake near Morgantown, West Virginia
New White Flowers emerging from the Indiana corn fields
Rt. 30 a scenic Blue Highway in flat, very flat Indiana

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