This report is from Day 3 of my 2004 summer vacation, on June 18, 2006.

Froggie's 2004 Summer Vacation Day Day 3 (OH-IL)

Day 3: Sidetracked

Continued our county-collecting journey, and also made a couple not.

- Starting the day with a brief 1/2 mile jaunt on I-75, we headed west on US 33 towards St. Marys. US 33 is only freeway in the immediate Wapakoneta vicinity, but has an interchange at CR 91 near Moulton on the expressway segment. IIRC, the speed limit was 65 MPH.

- Continued on to St. Marys and where US 33 and OH 29 swap roadways, and stayed on US 33 west to Willshire. Between US 127 and Rockford, US 33 was part of a detour route for OH 117. In Willshire, there is a brief 3-way multiplex with US 33, OH 49, and OH 81.

- Took OH 81 west from Willshire, which becomes IN 124 at the state line, and we stayed on IN 124 for awhile. Just west of Monroe, there was construction at the US 27/IN 124 intersection...looks like INDOT is widening US 27 in this area to 4 lanes.

- In Bluffton, IN 124 takes a series of 4 turns in order to "bypass" the central part of town. The first two are along IN 1, and there's a 3-way IN 1/116/124 triplex along here. The third turn is where IN 124 turns off of IN 116 (both leave IN 1 at the same location), while the last turn is on the west edge of town and involves a stop sign for WB IN 124 traffic.

- Stayed on IN 124 until IN 13, where we turned south. IN 13 was a fairly nice route with wide shoulders, and crossed the easternmost part of Mississinewa Lake on a fairly long (but otherwise nondescript) bridge. There were signs along IN 13 cautioning motorists about bicycle traffic.

- IN 13 has a brief duplex with IN 18 between Sweetser and Mier, with the intersections configured with IN 18 as the "through route". Took IN 18 west from here, seeing a town-wide garage sale in Converse, construction at US 35/IN 18 in Galveston, and the north end of where IN 19 seemingly disappears between IN 18 and US 35.

- Took a brief side trip on some county roads south of Young America, in order to pick up Howard County, and then got back to the southern IN 18/IN 29 intersection, where we headed south on IN 29 to Middlefork and IN 26, which we took west towards Lafayette.

- Part of US 421/IN 39 is closed north of Rossville, and traffic was using IN 75 and IN 26 as a detour. Not sure how far north the construction zone or detour went, though.

- At the southwest corner of the US 421/IN 39/IN 26 intersection in Rossville (a 4-way stop), there is a diner called "Sanitary Lunch". Didn't stop.

- Lots of rain-filled fields, puddles, and ponds along IN 26 between Rossville and Lafayette. Looks like the area got *A LOT* of rain in early June. In fact, my friend in Lafayette (he's a city cop) said they had to close parts of US 52 south of Lafayette the previous week due to flooding.

- Visited my friend in Lafayette (the planned stop) for about half the day, including lunch and dinner. In the process of heading out to lunch, saw that IN 26 follows a pair of one-way streets through Lafayette, coming back to one road west of the Wabash River.

- Finally left Lafayette a little before sunset, with the initial intention of totally bypassing the Chicago area. With that in mind, we hopped on I-65 north, exiting at Exit 188/IN 18 and heading west to get Benton county, then north on a county road to Remington and Jasper County, then finally west on US 24 towards Illinois. It was on this county road that my check Engine light suddenly came on. We stopped and popped the hood (the unplanned stop), but couldn't find anything wrong or out of order, nor did the car feel anything different than it should, so we just kept on going.

- Concern about the engine light lingered, though, so after crossing into Illinois, we decided to catch I-57 and head north towards Chicago for the night, then find a dealership or auto parts store in the morning. Our route at this point became US 52, US 45, then I-57 to I-94. I made the mistake of taking the Express Lanes on the Dan Ryan, forgetting about the Red Line rehab previously discussed here on MTR. Bad move. Got stuck in a 30 minute traffic jam, even at 11:30pm. The Local lanes were flowing freely, but I had no way to get to them, and so was stuck. And rather than continue being stuck all the way up to I-290, I bailed at I-55 and took Lakeshore Dr up to the end and backtracked to the Edens along W Peterson Ave (US 14). Took the Edens and the Tri-State up to IN 137, and got a room at the Great Lakes naval base for the night.

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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig